Industrial HMI design principles for highly automated manufacturing processes
Authors: Matvei Bryksin, Nikita Vysotsky, Pavel Guseynov
Abstract: The number of industrial robotic installations in Asia, Europe and the Americas is continuously growing every year, and a forecast from the International Federation of Robotics (IFR) shows that these values will increase more in the future. Process automation level measured by operational industrial robots relative to the number of factory employees is getting higher in the multiple industries of mass and serial production. With the expansion of robotic-based solutions and automation tools for manufacturing processes, the industrial HMI (human-machine interface) integration to operations management becomes vital for end users to operate efficiently on the daily basics. As a result, each equipment vendor and software solution provider supplies custom HMI screens, which makes the lack of a homogeneous user experience one of the main issues for rapidly growing Industry 4.0 applications. Intuitive interfaces and well-designed human-machine interaction improve visibility to robotics cell operators, prevent them from unexpected errors and allow maintenance engineers to recover from faults and resolve issues quickly in case of line stoppages. Usually, such interfaces support the factory commissioning phase, and after a successful launch and go-live decision, the integration team handovers commissioned system to the operations team after training with personnel and the hypercare period. As an Industry standard, the main problems that Industrial HMI solves are factory operations use cases and essential manufacturing business processes: production management and process control, process and equipment configuration, equipment monitoring and diagnostics, reactive and predictive maintenance management, historical reporting and analytics, health and safety. To be able to design, develop and release to production user interfaces for specific manufacturing and assembly processes, we provide the HMI product design framework and design principles for configurable scalable factory interfaces. Using such an industrial HMI framework, the development team can rapidly prototype and build custom-tailored applications from existing tested and validated components and keep a holistic user experience across multiple sites. Flexible product architecture for HMI applications allows automation integration businesses to deliver to the end user robust UI solutions with a high level of accessibility to control robotic cells and lines supporting specific process implementations in different production environments. The central proposal of this paper is the design framework and design principles for configurable industrial HMI based on the product strategy that allows the creation of customised interfaces on demand. The principle methodologies of the design system presented in the paper have been validated and tested through multiple research studies and continuous product improvements in the production environment. Several HMI solutions have been integrated into automotive production, composite materials manufacturing, high-voltage modules production and battery assembly, transportation and warehouses with autonomous mobile robots. The research and automation community can use described approaches to design better human-computer interaction for their HMI solution and dramatically improve the user experience of using them.
Keywords: Human-Machine Interface, Industrial HMI, Interaction Design, User Experience, Product Strategy, Human Factors, Ergonomics, Usability
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