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Is It Time to Replace Your HMI Unit?

April 11, 2016
  Human Machine Interface (HMI) units are there to make your life simpler, not more complicated. However, if your HMI unit is exhibiting problems, it could be time to replace it. HMIs are crucial to keeping your machines running smoothly, and as such, they’re constantly used by people who don’t always take the best care of them. Regardless of how well you’ve taken care of your HMI over the years, eventually it’ll need to be replaced. Is your HMI at that point? Here’s how to tell.  

A Faded Screen

Are you squinting to see your HMI during operations? The last thing you want is to choose faulty instructions for your machines. If your screen is dim, faded, or hard to read, it’s probably time to replace your HMI unit. The fading of the screen could be due to a backlight failure or a faulty circuit. Regardless, making the wrong selection could lead to costly damage and even employee risk. Don’t risk it. Replace your HMI unit.  

Touchscreen No Longer Responds to Touch

What good is a touchscreen that’s no longer responsive? When you find yourself having to press hard on the screen or even tapping the screen numerous times, your HMI screen has probably seen better days. Your touchscreen could be worn down or have a bad connection if it’s not responding to touch.   With the harsh conditions HMIs operate in, debris such as dirt and dust can affect your HMI touchscreen’s performance. When accuracy is affected by the defectiveness of the touchscreen, it’s time to consider replacing your HMI unit.  

Problematic Connectors

If your cable connectors are loose, therefore creating a faulty connection between your HMI and your PLC, your communication ports likely have failed. This failed communication can be responsible for faults on your PLC and HMI in addition to partial data transfers. If the communication between your HMI and PLC is damaged, your HMI unit could need to be replaced.  

Broken or Damaged Screen

The touchscreen on your HMI doesn’t get damaged on its own. User error over time as well as harsh environments are often responsible for a broken or damaged screen. Using objects other than your finger, which aren’t meant to be used on your touchscreen, will damage your HMI with repeated use. Not properly caring for your HMI’s screen can damage the display, touchscreen, and keypad. All of these things will eventually damage the entire unit and lead to an HMI failure. A broken or damaged screen will eventually cause communications to your PLC to fail and operations will suffer.  

What to Do?

Replacing your HMI unit doesn’t always mean spending the money on a new unit. At Qualitrol, we can repair your HMI for a fraction of the cost! Our certified technicians can replace backlights, fix your display, and get you a brand-new touchscreen. We can also repair controllers and communication ports. Qualitrol conducts all of our repairs in-house with our experienced technicians, and we can replace internal components and test your HMI to determine where the problem is and how to fix it. The best part is that our turnaround time is days, not weeks. You’ll have your HMI back in no time and it’ll work like new. Qualitrol specializes in PLCs and HMIs, and we pride ourselves on our quality repairs. Does your HMI unit need to be replaced? If it’s experiencing any of these four signs, you may want to consider a replacement before operations turn faulty. Give us a call to discuss a repair at 877-536-0090 or fill out a repair form with us today!  
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