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Designing an Efficient HMI/SCADA Application

With the help of a great SCADA software like InduSoft Web Studio, SCADA and HMI software are becoming much the same thing, with scalable SCADA and HMI applications increasingly able to take the role of either supervisory functions or machine controls and HMI applications. HMIs are no longer specialized electronics designed only to communicate with specific machines. With a powerful software like InduSoft Web Studio that offers over 240 native built-in drivers, it’s easier than ever to create HMI and SCADA applications that can easily be configured to work with a variety of machines in an infinite number of configurations.

So what makes a good SCADA or HMI application?

When creating any operator interface, whether for an HMI or a SCADA software application, it’s important to keep a few things in mind, such as the technical level of the users of the application, good design principles, and language.

Design

Some important design ideas to keep in mind while using the development environment of a SCADA software like Indusoft Web Studio include simple design principals. For example, keep the layout of the interface clean, and be sure to call attention to the important information. Spinning graphics and animated text should be reserved for things that require the operator’s immediate focus. Colors should also be carefully planned. Use color to help operators immediately distinguish between types of information. Keep screens simple and uncluttered. Bear in mind that 5% of men and .5% of women are color blind. Design the screens to show status with not only color but with text as well.

Keep information on hand

InduSoft Web Studio allows users to put all the necessary information ready at hand. By connecting IWS to a database or by including PDFs or HTML pages within the application, operators can get quick access to necessary information such as troubleshooting assistance or maintenance requirements for machines. In addition, the Secure Viewer thin client allows users to set security permissions and restrict access to the web. Streamline navigation for additional information so that it’s ready at hand. Don’t require operators to navigate through five or six screens to access relevant information.

Keep the operator in mind

Carefully consider elements such as alerts, trends, and any information displayed to the operator. Make sure that it is relevant to their duties, and not an unnecessary distraction. In some cases, it may be useful to tweak applications for operators on the plant floor and supervisors monitoring the process from an office or remote location. SCADA software like InduSoft Web Studio is infinitely customizable.

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