HMI design can contribute to safety issues and industrial accidents, despite advanced alarm notification systems. In a survey by Automation World, 70% of respondents said “alarm overload” impacts their ability to properly operate the production process. The heart of the dilemma is simple: HMIs used in industrial processes today were meant to maintain a particular operational state rather than to optimize business performance.
Situational awareness, a methodology of best practices, can help overwhelmed operators to perform their jobs with fewer errors and can reduce unanticipated downtime. Designing a more effective HMI involves these elements:
- Goal-oriented design
- 4-level window display structure
- Simplified color and animation
- Actionable alarm management
- Standardized design elements
- Smart meters and dashboards
The proper HMI design allows operations teams to shift their focus from straight operations to real-time business management. The ultimate benefit to an industry is a higher level of safety and better economic performance.