21/04/2021

A "UNIQO" HMI for every machines

The challenge

In the era of globalization of the markets, machine manufacturers must design their solutions with not only the national market in mind but also thinking of international markets, where very often the requirements have to deal with requirements imposed by different cultures in the field of technologies adopted for industrial automation systems. This is even more true for Italian manufacturers, renowned worldwide for knowing how to find cutting-edge technological solutions, very flexible and customizable. The typical case that the manufacturer must face is that in which the end customer who purchases the machinery requires the use of control systems from specific brands based on preferences or internal strategic choice. It's no secret that the US market, for example, prefers US-made automation from Rockwell Automation (Allen-Bradley), while Europe or even often Asia favor B&R or Siemens automation. Finally, a responsive operator interface makes it possible to use the same HMI project in machines mounting operator panels with different sizes and formats, greatly reducing time-to-market. On control systems, the manufacturer has learned to develop enough flexibility over the years to include in their offering different design options for different markets and preferences. Visualization systems, which always accompany machinery for the realization of user interfaces, represent a crucial aspect and are always the subject of profound reflection by the technical offices. Unlike control systems, the realization efforts for these systems must concentrate not only on functional aspects, as is mainly the case in the control part, but also on user experience and effective representation of information as well as sharing both at horizontal level in M2M scenarios and possibly vertical towards management systems or even in the cloud. The design investment for HMI systems essentially represents a cost that one would like to amortize through full compatibility of the HMI application regardless of the control systems adopted, therefore avoiding the need to develop and maintain aligned HMI projects created with different solutions. This is in fact the challenge that MBF wanted to face when it got to know ASEM as a supplier not only of hardware but above all, in this case, of advanced software solutions for human-machine interfaces.

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