HMI is an abbreviation for Human-Machine Interface in full definition and is among the steps taken by man to revolutionize most industrial processes. It is the interface that connects machine operators to a system or machine improving the ease of use. The application of the interface is diverse around the world with most people using it for visual data display for instance in car driving, tracking of time needed for production. Some industries purchase HMIs to help with overseeing their KPIs besides monitoring the inputs and outputs. Once you set up a budget to purchase Touchscreen panel pc HMI systems, you need to be well versed with the features to look for. Discussed here is a buying guide that you can use for considering HMI purchase for your business.

Tag-level Security

This type of technology needs to be very specific on how read and write security are managed by the system users in the company. To maintain the authenticity of the data in the systems, the software you get should allow for defined powers in the reading or editing of data based on user authorizations. The tag-level security feature comes in handy for allowing access to the systems however the restricted data will not be displayed on their screens. It is crucial piece of feature for such systems even in the pens section when you are customizing the dashboard or better yet using the trend charts.

Built-in redundancy

Have you checked the HMI system for failover hot-switches? The seller should avail software that has hot-standby redundancy for the real-time tag server. The system will furthermore have to satisfy primary and backup device terms for PLC addresses. This is especially very vital when handling data acquisition into the system by the authorized operators. Applications used by clients should also be able to switch automatically to backup servers from the normal primary servers should there be an issue. This feature helps augment the transparency of data entry and storage into the system for future reference.

Automated management and remote station

Before paying for anything, make sure the system allows for remote control for the startup settings and besides you need a centralized configuration for the same. This will allow for an even easier setup for the data-acquisition drivers in the system to work even for remote computers. You only need active remote services from the development frameworks. This easier to achieve when it can be incorporated with technology options like WCF that allows server configuration, the starting and stopping the server even from remote locations.

Integrating diverse user security measures

How does the system allow for identification and authorization measures for its users? Security is definitely atop feature to keep in mind when choosing which HMI option to go for. The modern solutions have three security models that can be considered inclusive of Active-Directory and Windows Authentication, WS-Federation and lastly the Application internal security. The best HMI systems allow for the integration of various security models to the original plans. The ability for customized security solutions to be added to the main system can be a guarantee for even safer and functional access and authorization to the system by those working on various projects.

Security and Web Getaways

There are lots of businesses that have issues with the security of their server application network and are mostly as a result of insufficient application getaways. The best way to safeguard user’s network from server application network is choose an HMI system that has sufficient application getaways. The system must allow you to maintain the difference between application and data servers mainly through the deployment of gateways and independent portals. Gateways not only manage user identification and authentication but also the smooth flow of data between different security zones of the system.

Built-in communication protocols

What you should be looking for in this case are the OPC applications. They are external apps that allow you to access different apps from the HMY system especially when on the same project. Try and find a direct way of accessing the standard protocols without the need for exchange security certificates or using different tools for the same. Developing SQL server can be instrumental not just for the creation of custom crypt data files but also storing the local date for the project. You can purchase SQL database that is inbuilt to the HMI system to allow for seamless support to ODBC, OLEDB, SQL-client and Oracle providers.

Synchronization tools

The flow of data from the device it is stored in to the office database needs to be smooth for seamless data management. Options like alarms and tag historian databases will allow users to not only store but also forward the data recorded and stored on the device to the centralized office for data storage. All the three functions of the system are independent to one another inclusive of synchronization, storage and the forwarding of all data stored in the system. The setup furthermore needs to allow for planned routes of data sharing through the various network domains.

Smart clients

Does the HMI solution you go for have smart client solutions? Avoid systems that still rely on pixel graphics considering the modern options in the market today have vector graphics to improve the user experience. When looking at smart client feature, some of the features to scrutinize include automatic updates to the cores of the system apps. The server start-up should also automatically open the client’s apps and more so offer improved handling of features like events, custom scripts and C#/VB code for the customer to enjoy. Smart clients for smartphones allow clients to use camera, GPS and other necessary native app features.