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|What is an HMI, and why do we need
it in the BMS?
Regardless of the type, the goal is always the same: to provide the User with an insight into the operation of the system or machine.
Global Control 5
HMI, in other words, an Human-Machine Interface, is a User Interface or
dashboard that connects a person to a device, machine or system. The
HMI term can be applied to any display that allows the User to interact
with a device but, when we hear the phrase, it is usually connected to
the industrial process as an interface between the process and the
The HMI may be used to:
One of the examples may be using the HMI to
control the air-conditioning system to check or control the temperature
in a house or a building. The industrial case would be the supervision
of a water pump – if it is running, how long it has been working for,
The HMI can come in a variety of forms, from
computer monitors or tablets to built-in displays on machines.
Regardless of the type, the goal is always the same: to provide the
User with an insight into the operation of the system or machine.
Each BMS system needs the User Interface, from a
simple built-in LCD in a controller to a full Graphic Operator
Workstations. Such Workstation is usually a PC, with an operator
sitting in front of the computer and monitoring the system. He or she
can analyze different anomalies and modify parameters when needed. This
procedure is a delicate and essential task that guarantees the quality
and efficiency of the BMS system.
However, there are situations in which we need a
more straightforward solution – an object that allows the operator to
check if everything is ok, do some minor changes like setting the
different temperatures in a chosen area, turning pumps on or off. Also,
there may be a situation when the operator should not have all of the
permissions – then you create a User account with access restrictions
as the operator should be able to see and manage only a part of the BMS
system. In that situation, you can use HMI instead of PC and mout it
wherever you need.
In this situation, you can create web graphics
representing Air Handling Units (AHU), Light Control in the building,
or any other necessary view and use the HMI to display them to the User.
A solution that we provide is iSMA PC Panels
with an Android system, easy to mount into a cabinet or onto a wall.
They can be used as typical Android Panels, where you can log in via
web to any station and manage it. The only problem you might encounter
is that the User will be able to access all Android possibilities, so
instead of focusing on the data collected from the building, one can
read the news or play games…
This is one of the reasons why we have created
iSMA Android Application. It has been designed exclusively for our PC
Panels with Android to connect with Niagara station. It is installed as
a home application, so it will be the first thing you notice when you
turn the Panel on. There is an option to activate the Kiosk Mode, which
will prevent the usage of any other applications. Moreover, you can add
many stations/Users, and the application will remember credentials so
you can easily switch between them. Each station has its own name, and
you can mark it with a different color for easy recognition.
Such a solution creates a simple yet powerful
HMI that can meet many requirements and can be placed anywhere you need.
If you need
more information about iSMA Android Application, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit our website:
Musielak is a Product Manager in Global Control 5 responsible for HMI
panels, iSMA-B-MG-IP and SfAR I/O modules for industrial automation.
She made her first steps in electronics world by working as Product
Marketing Manager with displays. Now, she is expanding her knowledge in
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