What is an Industrial HMI?

Related Terms: Industrial HMI, Panel PC, Touchscreen

What is an Industrial HMI?

Industrial HMI stands for industrial Human Machine Interface, a device that allows operators to control machinery using visual representations of the components in a given machine in industrial manufacturing and automation environment. Desktop computers have commonly been used for HMI systems because they offer easy interface and control via mouse and keyboard.

However, consumer desktop computers lack the durability and longevity required in industrial environments, where dust, debris, and temperature are common environmental factors. The term HMI has evolved to describe touchscreen computer systems used for industrial and process control. An industrial HMI can be built using an all-in-one panel PC or created by combining a standalone computer and separate touchscreen display based on the needs of a given installation.


Where are HMIs Used?

Industrial HMI systems are most commonly deployed to control complex manufacturing and industrial systems by relatively few operators, frequently remotely, using SCADA management software such as Ignition and ThinManager. Manufacturing facilities of every kind have adopted these systems due to their reliability and ease of use. Because Human Machine Interfaces typically offers a visual representation of the system or systems being controlled, they make training much easier and provide operators quick and intuitive insight into the status of equipment. Industrial HMIs can be deployed in virtually any automation application, from access control and security to inventory management and warehousing.


Types of Touchscreens Used for HMI

With the proliferation of industrial HMI, technology has come a need for more and more advanced touchscreen systems and software. Today there are two primary touchscreen technologies being used in HMI applications. Capacitive Touchscreens use the human body's electrical field to process input, similar to many of today’s smartphones, while Resistive Touchscreens rely on physical pressure to transmit touch data. Both systems have their pros and cons, so it's important to understand where each excels when building an industrial Human Machine Interface solution.


Looking for Industrial HMI for your application?

At OnLogic, we offer a wide range of touch screen panel PCs highly capable of HMI applications in the industrial environment. Use one of our fanless industrial PCs together with a touch display or pick the modular Panel PC that’s best suited for your specific solution. If you need help selecting the right fit for you, our Hardware Specialists are here to help. Choose your way of contacting them below.


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