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Old November 4th, 2017, 09:07 AM   #31
Jsu0234m
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Looks like you did a good job to me. The only problems i really see with it are the shades of red and green. Those bright colors can be kinda hard on the eyes.

You also need to hide or lock the HMI configuration buttons, if you leave them out where operators can press them you will get pretty regular calls about the screen being in configuration mode. This will also bring up another issue with document control on your programs. If you don't delete the old versions off and they can get to the configuration mode screens, they will inevitably end up loading the wrong program.

Most of our screens have logins for at least our department so we can hide configuration options and the close HMI button, but if you don't need security you can very easily make the configuration mode button invisible and hide it behind something that the operators wouldn't normally hit. I usually hide it in the header on one of the screens away from anything the operator would normally press if the project doesn't need security.

I don't mind sharing some of the HMI screens I built or either directly worked with vendors to build. Some of those are below. These screens were built using FactoryTalk ViewME and the screen sizes range from 7" to 15".

I wish more people would share their HMI screens as well. I think its good for us to see what other people are doing.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg OilTanks.jpg (57.6 KB, 112 views)
File Type: jpg Freezer.jpg (67.4 KB, 101 views)
File Type: jpg Conveyor.jpg (61.2 KB, 104 views)
File Type: jpg Combo Scale.jpg (82.3 KB, 94 views)
File Type: jpg Xray.jpg (82.2 KB, 92 views)

Last edited by Jsu0234m; November 4th, 2017 at 09:11 AM.
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Old December 16th, 2017, 12:03 PM   #32
durallymax
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I'm a complete amateur when it comes to PLCs, and have not built an HMI setup yet, but have operated many. One thing that stood out on the new screen was the interlock buttons.

I'm assuming they enable/disable the interlock for that piece? Are they both enabled for normal operation? Or is normal operation shown in the image with one disabled and one enabled? If I assume they both need to be enabled, I'd suggest changing the buttons appearance(depressed type image)when enabled VS disabled to make it visually easier to identify without having to read. Or you could use that same visual distinction for normal operation VS special situations if one is to be enabled or disabled. Maybe you've already done this too!

Personally I like softer colors, somewhat of a middle ground that still keeps the operators happy, but if he vivid colors don't bother them or cause any distractions I don't see much reason to change what works.

Thanks for the thread, definitely looking back on this one when I start on an HMI.

Last edited by durallymax; December 16th, 2017 at 12:09 PM.
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Old December 16th, 2017, 01:45 PM   #33
jazzman44
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I really Like the PLC guys screen as an operator screen, The SCADA guys seem to like there light colored bland screens which serve their purpose where alarms should up and can easily seen on a light background , but as an operator screen on a machine its terrible , If I have to hunt for stuff on a screen, that's not good operating a machine, that's where the right colors and face plates come in .
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Old December 16th, 2017, 04:55 PM   #34
Rube
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Attached are some screens from a RL G315 and a RL Graphite for Jsu0234m's viewing pleasure. Some of these screens are for operator input, some are for monitoring only.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BAFs.jpg (46.2 KB, 69 views)
File Type: jpg Inputs.jpg (75.9 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg Outputs.jpg (70.4 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg Layout.jpg (28.4 KB, 54 views)
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Old December 16th, 2017, 05:36 PM   #35
jaden
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I try to avoid start and stops on the HMI if they are used a lot. It tends to wear a spot on the screen, and if the display is on a different screen, they can't stop it as quickly as if there was a real pushbutton to push.
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Old December 17th, 2017, 01:35 PM   #36
Pete.S.
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I think the HMI design isn't very bad but it could be a lot better.

The colors used doesn't correspond to NFPA 79 industrial machinery. The standard covers real pushbuttons but HMI applies here too.

Normally the color red is used to signal alarm conditions, yellow is when something is in an abnormal state and blue is for safety related functions.
Green for running is good though. But the square indicator that indicates a running conveyor should not red when things are just stopped.

I would use red only to indicate alarms. It is not recommended to use red on the HMI for buttons at all, especially if you have real physical emergency stops buttons (they are red).

It's also good to make buttons and indicators different so the operator knows what he can press and what he can't press.

The other thing, and this is a major thing for HMI design, is that the HMI doesn't show the process or machine in any way. If it consists of 8 conveyors or whatever it would be better to show a simple schematic representation of 8 conveyors. Have them turn green when they are running or just show a green arrow and have them turn red if there is something wrong. It's just easier to understand. A HMI is more than a replacement for physical buttons and indicators. Use it to make things clearer. You also have a 10" panel which is big enough to make it good.

PS. Also, if you have more than one page (you have two right now) it's best to use an area of the screen for navigation. It could be on top, on the left, the right or on the bottom. I like on the top, like tabs in your web browser. Keep this area the same on both pages so you always press on the same spot on the screen to get to the main page or to the manual control page.

Also if you have the same controls, like horns on all pages - you also want to put them in the same dedicated spot on the screen. So if the operator want the horn he presses the same spot regardless of what page he is in.

Also be very clear about what the operator usually needs to do and keep that on the main page. And other not so common things on other pages. I think you've done that to some degree.

To me it's unclear what auto is. Isn't that the same as run everything?
In that case you might want to change things around. In cases like this I usually do three modes of operation - STOP, MAN and AUTO.
In auto the machine decides what is running or not, in manual mode it's the operator and in stop it doesn't run.
That also solves the emergency stop problem in a nice way. If the operator presses e-stop the machine stops and flips over to STOP mode automatically. After resetting the e-stop he can run the machine again by pressing AUTO.

PPS. I'd also use the term bypass for the interlocks. Because that is what the operator can do, bypass the interlock. That puts the system in a non-normal mode so you want that to be visible. You don't want the operator to forget that he has bypassed the interlocks.

BTW, the horns are warnings right? Aren't they activated automatically when you start up the conveyor line so everyone is clear of the area before everything starts to turn?

Last edited by Pete.S.; December 17th, 2017 at 02:23 PM.
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Old December 18th, 2017, 12:06 PM   #37
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"the little red indicator on each set of buttons turns green if the conveyor has reached running speed."

As Pete said, it's my experience that equipment that is not online is indicated green, and when live/hot/online/engerized etc is indicated in red.
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Old December 18th, 2017, 12:21 PM   #38
gbradley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sapper307 View Post
"...
As Pete said, it's my experience that equipment that is not online is indicated green, and when live/hot/online/engerized etc is indicated in red.
My Preference:
Green means everything is OK Running Normal.
Amber means there is some kind of issue.
Red Means Stopped.

Differences of opinion is what makes a Horse race.
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Old December 18th, 2017, 02:11 PM   #39
TheWaterboy
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Oh boy that RED/GREEN discussion can get heated.

Electricians like GREEN to mean "Off and Safe" and RED to mean "Running and dangerous"

Operators (and myself) like just the opposite.

MCC's are now built to the electrical preference but the older ones were the opposite. Lots of fun for the operators to figure out which one it is.

Last edited by TheWaterboy; December 18th, 2017 at 03:08 PM.
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Old December 18th, 2017, 03:05 PM   #40
Pete.S.
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There don't have to be a heated discussion because this problem has been solved a long, long time ago. To avoid having one machine work one way and another machine the opposite way there is a standard for the color of buttons and indicators.

That's NFPA 79 "Electrical Standard for Industrial Machinery" in the US and ISO 60204-1 "Safety of machinery - Electrical equipment of machines" internationally. Both spell out the colors for buttons and indicators and both have been working together to use the same colors.
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Old December 18th, 2017, 03:08 PM   #41
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Oh I know there's a standard. Doesn't change what happens though.
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Old December 18th, 2017, 08:26 PM   #42
durallymax
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I was kind of wondering about the horns and why they weren't programmed into the PLC to run without operator input, but I don't know the first thing about MSHA regs. However I do know how stubborn some older operators get and maybe he put it there simply to please them? You can't just rip the band-aid off I've learned, have to somehow make it their idea and ease into it.
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