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HMI Development

What is an HMI?

A Human-Machine Interface (HMI) is the graphical user interface that allows operators, managers, and engineers to interact with their plant. It is typically installed on a computer in a control room, but occasionally it might be installed as a stand-alone panel-mount unit in the field, a tablet PC that an operator can carry with him throughout the plant, or even a smart phone.


We believe that an HMI works best when:

  • The design is simple and self-evident
  • The navigation is effortless
  • Colors are chosen carefully

People tend to be a little picky about their preferences and we will design what they request, but one of our strengths is in designing systems that can be used by people who are color blind*. A common type of color deficiency makes it hard for some people to distinguish between green, yellow, and red. An intelligent design will use colors to supplement meaning, but will never rely on those colors as the sole means of conveying that information.

The colors that are chosen can have a significant effect on the usability of an HMI. A Color Study is an analysis of the proposed color combinations for an HMI to determine the usability of those colors.

Panel-mounted operator interface terminals (OITs) present their own unique challenges.


Our Systems Integrators have primary experience with these HMIs:

  • Inductive Automation (Ignition)
  • Allen Bradley (FactoryTalk View - Machine Edition)
  • Allen Bradley (FactoryTalk View) - Site Edition
  • Wonderware (InTouch)
  • Maple Systems (5000 Series OIT)
  • Automation Direct (C-More OIT)

and minor experience with these HMIs:

  • Allen Bradley (RSView)
  • Allen Bradley (Legacy PanelView OIT)
  • Intellution (Ifix)
  • Iconics (Genesis)
  • Cygnet
  • Wonderware (Information Server - a Web-based HMI)

*Note: color blindness is not literally a blindness, but rather an inability to distinguish certain shades of color. The shades which one cannot see depend on the type of color deficiency.

Roughly 8% of all men and 0.4% of all women have some sort of color deficiency.