HMI's Role in the Connected Plant

By Himanshu Shah

Technology Trends

Several technological and organizational developments will have a disruptive impact on the automation market in the mid- to long-term. Automation users need to recognize that some of these developments, such as mobility solutions and Industrie 4.0/Intelligent Devices and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are particularly relevant to users of Human Machine Interface (HMI) software.

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An increasing number of users require on-demand access to plant data and remote access because employees in manufacturing work with complex, expensive equipment. Today employees handle multiple responsibilities, deal with more regulations, and need the ability to troubleshoot plant equipment or production status, from the office, home or on the road. Contextualized mobility solutions can further enhance performance, safety, and operational efficiency because such solutions would offer relevant controls and information based on the current location and user profile using geo-location technologies.

Industrie 4.0 focuses on increasing flexibility of manufacturing, leveraging similar technologies as IIoT. The unique demands of this makes it vitally important that the entire organization understands the value proposition inherent in intelligent management and visualization of connected products. The awareness of dynamics in this area will help in the selection of appropriate automation equipment that can leverage IIoT, including HMI software that has been designed to visualize this plethora of newly connected assets.

HMI software users must carefully select the product that fully embraces these latest developments because they will offer much greater value in improving automation functions, reducing energy consumption, expanding operational visibility, and providing relevant and timely information for better decision making and process improvement.

HMI/SCADA Software Market Analysis Report

ARC has just published a comprehensive, updated market analysis report on HMI Software and Services that provides a quantitative assessment of the market and associated analysis. While the report is primarily focused at supporting the strategic planning efforts of current and prospective suppliers, it includes much information that end user organizations would find helpful, including both technology and industry trends and information about the leading suppliers.

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