human machine interfaces

Importance of Human Machine Interfaces


There is a huge importance of Human Machine Interfaces nowadays. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a leading trend with industrial and consumer products being linked through the internet. Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs) are becoming more refined to operate these devices.

In this article, we will understand what are Human Machine Interfaces and their significance in depth.


A Human Machine Interface (HMI) is well-defined as a component of a certain device or software application that allows humans to involve and interact with machines. Touchscreens and keyboards are some examples of Human-Machine interfaces encountered in our daily lives.

Human Machine Interfaces used in the industrial context are commonly screens or touchscreens. Those attach users to machines, systems, or devices. Factory operators use HMIs to regulate and automate machinery, in addition to their production lines.

Human Machine Interfaces can be:

  • Simple screen displays mounted on machines in the factory
  • Advanced touchscreens
  • Multi-touch-enabled control panels
  • Pushbuttons
  • Computers with keyboards
  • Mobile devices or a tablet

Human Machine Interfaces

Benefits of Investing in an Advanced HMI for a Plant

  • The main benefit is the simplification of factory processes and operations.
  • Ability to understand important, real-time data at one’s fingertips.
  • Modern-day, advanced level HMI add really the decreases the complexity of the factory environment.
  • Factory owners may rapidly answer back to changing or challenging conditions using the Human-Machine Interface.
  • As a result, productivity is improved since downtime is reduced.
  • This permits the factory owner to have intelligent systems that decrease cost and waste eventually increasing processes and profitability.
  • HMIs at the machine level will become ever stronger and have the chance to compete in real-time.

Uses of HMI

  • HMIs connect with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) and input/output sensors to acquire and display information for users to view.
  • HMI screens may be used for a single function, like monitoring and tracking.
  • These screens can be used to perform more sophisticated operations, for example, switching machines OFF or increasing production speed, depending on how they are applied.
  • HMIs are utilized to optimize an industrial process by digitizing and centralizing data for a viewer.
  • By leveraging HMI, operators may get key information shown in graphs, charts, or digital dashboards. Also, they can view and manage alarms, and attach with SCADA and MES systems, all over one console.
  • By permitting PLCs to connect real-time information straight to an HMI display, HMI technology removes the requirement for this outdated practice.
  • In that way, it decreases many costly problems caused by lack of information or human error.


  • Human Machine Interface (HMI) and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) are strictly connected.
  • They are frequently stated in the same context since they are together part of a larger industrial control system.
  • They each deal with diverse functionality and opportunities.
  • HMIs are focused on visually carrying information to support the user supervise an industrial process.
  • SCADA systems have a better capacity for data collection and control system operation.
  • HMIs do not gather and record information or connect to databases different from SCADA systems.
  • Somewhat, HMI delivers an effective communication tool that functions as part of, or together with, a SCADA system.

The Future of Human-Machine Arrangement

At present, there are many predictions for what the future can be for the next level of human-machine engagement. Technologies for example cloud computing, cognitive computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are all likely to play a role in the development of the next level of human-machine arrangement.

This is a challenge to predict what will appear as the next level of engagement. Though, there’s no suspicion that there will be the next level of human-machine partnerships. That would drive productivity in a number of industries.

The industrial HMIs would also get further incorporation of new and emerging technologies that are impacting HMIs as a whole in terms of the demands of Industry 4.0.

Mansoor Ahmed is Chemical Engineer, web developer, a writer currently living in Pakistan. My interests range from technology to web development. I am also interested in programming, writing, and reading.
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