The digital Transformation – everyone and everything is a part of it in some way. In the 20th century, breakthroughs in technology allowed for the ever-evolving computing machines that we now depend upon so totally, we rarely give them a second thought. Even before the advent of microprocessors and supercomputers, there were certain notable scientists and inventors who helped lay the groundwork for the technology that has since drastically reshaped every facet of modern life.
If you’re like us, you’ve likely been sent an email or told in meetings that part or much of your company staff will now work remotely. Testing for remote computer access and data volume traffic are ongoing as plans are being worked out for this new structure. For most companies, that means VPN or other remoting methods. Virtual meetings are replacing face-to-face ones and pseudo to full quarantines are on the rise. Phone conversations will go on but this won’t fully suffice to cover staffing roles. And besides, you’re talking to neighbors and wondering if you should take one more trip to the grocery store. In the midst of all the chaos, your company still needs you to not only do your job but to excel at it.
Most modern manufacturing processes are controlled and monitored by computer based control and data acquisition systems. This means that one of the primary ways that an operator interacts with a process is through computer display screens. These screens may simply passively display information, or they may be interactive, allowing an operator to select an object and make a change which will be then be relayed to the actual process. This interface where a person interacts with a display, and consequently the process, is called a Human-Machine Interface, or HMI.
New training dates have been added so now is the time to register for your dataPARC training held in Vancouver Washington just across the river from beautiful Portland, Oregon. Whether you need to escape the heat of summer, the cold of winter, or just need to get away from the plant, our hands-on training is your ticket to a welcome escape. Oh, did we mention the training?
A lot of time and effort goes into the construction of the HMI screens and other display screens that are used to monitor and control production processes, so it is worth giving some time and thought to their layout and design. The most important consideration is how they can convey the most useful information in a timely manner to their intended audience.
Operating and troubleshooting a modern automated manufacturing process requires seeing and acting on hundreds or thousands of individual pieces of data. Digital control systems and plant-wide information systems have given us the ability to bring all of the data regarding plant status and performance to a single location. The challenge then is to create effective visual displays that allow the consumers of this information to easily understand and interact with the data.