[Article] HMI Centric Solution -Maximizing human empowerment is the shortcut to Smart Factories

High FlexibilitySimple VisibilityStrong ReliabilityImprove abilityImprove operation rateImprove qualityless wiring and space-savingReduce costReduce design workloadArticle

Did you know that HMI needs are changing

Pro-face has been a pioneer in factory visualization since developing the world's first HMI in 1989. Today’s industrial market is filled with services and products developed to realize “Industry 4.0” and "Smart Factories” at modern manufacturing sites. However, we recently hear comments like these. “We couldn’t gain any substantial effects despite major investments.” And, “Yes, we can now collect various device data. But, it takes too much manpower to integrate and use it.” And so on. In response to such comments, we revised our HMIs from operation terminals to devices that can integrate device data and operation log data for use.

Why do we need HMI in the era of AI?
Despite the growing volume of device data, fewer and fewer people actually work in factories. Not only has automation increased since the days of manual factory work in the 18th century Industrial Revolution, but technology transfer challenges, workstyle changes, shortened work hours due to optimization, etc. contribute to this trend. This trend amounts to each worker having to analyze more data to fulfill his or her duties. Although we expect much from AI technology, human workers still have to make decisions and set goals for fully automated, AI-assisted factories. That’s why optimizing data for human eyes dramatically improves efficiency and productivity. Helping people is the shortcut to smart factories.

 HMI Centric Solutions make sure operators and managers receive optimized information at the optimum time. Now we want to introduce the details and benefits of HMI Centric Solutions that Pro-face can realize.

HMI Centric Solution
We can let workers make full use of information not only by using HMI as an operating terminal but also by taking advantage of its connectivity and placing it between OT and IT as a gateway to higher level systems.

HMI Centric Solution - High Flexibility
Since factories rarely use only single maker's devices or a single network, it is essential for HMI to connect to various devices and networks. Pro-face’s rich protocol compatibility satisfies this need and enables a thorough collection of device data. Pro-face HMI flexibly connects the latest high-performance robots, visualization devices, and PLCs, as well as networked equipment and systems and modified old facilities.

And of course, HMI securely connects to IT devices/services via your choice of diverse communication methods. We also offer solutions for checking HMI screens remotely from PCs, smartphones, tablets, etc. There is an advantage in remotely checking the actual HMI screen and not just data. For example, remotely viewing the HMI screens of connected devices lets you easily confirm alerts, operation logs, visuals from monitoring cameras, etc.
Also, depending on the connected device or required information, our solution lets you flexibly select suitable hardware. Pro-face lets you optimize for your factory because we have suitable hardware for any situation, including everything from simple operation terminals to highly sophisticated industrial computers.

HMI Centric Solution - Simple Visibility
As information increases, visualization becomes less simple because the operation screen fills up with information. That’s why we must focus on providing necessary information at the right time, when needed, instead of visualizing everything. User-friendly screens are the key to improve productivity in the factory.
We are already accustomed to receiving optimized information via the internet and smartphone. This is especially true for those in younger generations.
The advantages of smartphone usability are not just visual. They also provide the right information at the right time. Sometimes we just want to check alerts. Sometimes we want to change settings based on alerts. It’s helpful if we can customize what information we receive and when.

HMI Centric Solution - Strong Reliability
While user friendliness is important, we must also never forget high reliability in industrial equipment. We continue our efforts to ensure long-term peace of mind in any manufacturing setting. This includes conducting thorough evaluation tests and adopting strict security measures to help realize smart factories. We can support tomorrow's manufacturing with HMI Centric Solutions.

As an HMI pioneer, we also provide global support based on 30 years of experience. There's no need to worry about local procurement abroad. Our HMI specialists around the world can help you with product support, repairs, training, proposals for improvement and replacement support to extend product lifespans. Our support covers every stage from examination to implementation and maintenance.
We hope you agree that making the most of people is the key to successful smart factories and that Pro-face offers the best HMIs for this purpose. Through optimized HMI Centric solutions, we aim to make the most of people and realize smart factories.

Kana Wada (Pro-face by Schneider Electric, HMI Marketing)
Index: What is an HMI centric automation architecture? (Marc Lafont)

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