Human machine interface (HMI) solutions have made rapid strides in the last decade in step with changing customer demands. As the trend towards real-time factory intelligence gains widespread acceptance in industries, HMI software will continue to evolve. From merely providing plant data on a mobile device, HMI now delivers real-time data and actionable insights to operators. The consequent benefits, such as lower plant operation costs, higher process efficiency, and greater energy efficiency will power the adoption of HMI solutions.
“The development of Industrie 4.0 in Europe and Smart Factory in the United States will create a future for the manufacturing sector wrapped around the convergence of applications,” said Frost & Sullivan Industrial Automation and Process Control Research Analyst Guru Mahesh. “As a result, the need to constantly innovate and reinvent components will propel the uptake of HMI in discrete sectors.”
Unlike discrete industries, process industries such as chemicals, food and oil can get by with basic automation solutions for production in bulk quantities. Hence, advanced HMI solutions have found restricted use in the process sector.
While this trend continues to pervade several process industries, the food and beverage sector is gradually giving in to the allure of HMI solutions. Manufacturers in this increasingly competitive segment have understood that automation is critical in order to remain profitable. Likewise, growing awareness in other process sectors will open up new applications for HMI solutions.
“Real-time intelligence and big data analytics are expected to revolutionise the HMI space,” noted Mahesh. “To capitalise on these opportunities, HMI vendors must meet the demand for innovative features and value-added services from end users in the global market.”