Still not convinced that the application of Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) is the worth the investment of your company’s time and resources? HMIs have been around for decades, with some of the earliest examples dating back to the 1940s (yes, they are really that old). While the technology has evolved since then, the underlying purpose remains the same: to provide a functional user interface that allows the worker to individual to control a machine. Today we’re going to look at the some of the top benefits of HMIs and why companies today should embrace them.
Protect Against Work-Related Injury
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than 4,000 U.S. workers are killed on the job each year, and tens of thousands of other workers sustain serious injury. Implementing Human Machine Interfaces, however, can reduce these numbers by protecting workers from common forms of injury. If workers are currently required to manually operate a machine, for instance, implementing an HMI solution will take this burden off their shoulders, automating the process.
Of course, HMIs will also improve productivity in the workplace. Going back to the example cited above, implementing a Human Machine Interface can automate tasks that were previously performed manually. Rather than forcing workers to lift or manipulate objects by hand, employers can use HMI systems to automate these processes. Subsequently, this frees up labor, allowing workers to divert their energy towards other tasks.
One of the lesser-known benefits of Human Machine Interfaces is its ability to enhance communications between different devices throughout the workplace. It’s not uncommon for HMIs to feature remote I/Os, Ethernet ports, Dynamic Data Exchange, Data Highway Plus, Serial Port, and more, all of which can be used to communicate with other devices. Human Machine Interfaces can connect a vast array of devices and machines together, enhancing their ability to communicate while adding additional functionality to them in the process.
Lowers Hardware Cost
This alone should be reason enough for companies to invest in HMI solutions. By using Human Machine Interfaces, you can significantly reduce the total cost of hardware. Dozens or even hundreds of individual “indicator” lights could be replaced by a single Human Machine Interface; thus, lowering the cost of unnecessary hardware and making better use of the available space.