High Performance HMI Design

Grey is The New Black

High Performance Graphics Provide Informational Density and Minimize Operator Confusion

When abnormal situation arise, keep automation and operations at their combined best through the use of High Performance HMI (HP-HMI) screens.  NovaTech graphical designers use HP-HMI principles to reduce visual clutter through minimal use of color for background images.  More saturated colors and unique shapes are used to draw an operator’s attention to abnormal situations.  Digital value information is replace by more intuitive analog representations and embedded trends provide information rich context at a glance.  NovaTech applications engineers work with operators and plant managers to create new and adapt existing graphics to the HP-HMI approach.  Early collaboration and feedback during the development process is essential to facilitate operator adoption. D/3′s TotalVision HP-HMI smart graphic objects make it easier to do the right thing at the right time.

High Performance HMI Principles

  • Human Centric Design considers all aspects of an operator’s interaction with the process control system and plant equipment. Careful consideration is given to the type and amount of information delivered to the operator. The system should be designed to handle and control abnormal situations gracefully and operators of all skill levels should be able to manage many unit operations with ease and handle abnormal situations efficiently, effectively and safely.
  • Focus on Abnormal Situation Management facilitates safe process and plant operation when anomalies occur. During abnormal situations, the system must attempt to manage and control the process safely. The system must also provide the operator with the necessary information to make good decisions regardless of skill level. The system must not overwhelm operators with too much information.
  • Layered Graphical Hierarchy provides information required to manage all equipment within an area of responsibility.  High level overview graphics allow the operator to quickly determine the condition of all unit operations under her oversight.  Mid-level graphics facilitate process adjustments, data entry and more granular unit operation performance, while low level graphics and displays provide for diagnostics and analytics.
  • Careful Color Selection reduces eye strain, visual clutter, and overall distraction.  Good color schemes downplay normal operation and highlight abnormal situations.  Alarms are indicated using multiple indicators such as color and shape.  Critical alarm colors and shapes must be consistent across all enterprise displays.
  • Analog vs. Digital While traditional PID graphics sprinkled with color coded digital information provide a reasonable snapshot of what a process looks like at any given moment, analog indicators and graphical trend components provide a richer understanding of where the process is now, where it has been, where it is heading, and whether it is within acceptable limits.

Example HP-HMI Smart Graphical Objects

HP-HMI graphic objects

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