While an HMI is vital for machines and devices to work efficiently with human users, they don’t come without fault. Broken HMIs are a common problem, and trying to fix them could be easy or complex depending on the problem. With so much usage, it’s important to know what the problems are with HMIs and how you can prevent them.

What are some of the biggest problems with a broken HMI?

HMI Misuse by User

Human users are by no means perfect. We use other items to try to tap the screen besides our fingers, we may try to pry the device apart when it’s not working, and we definitely don’t keep our devices in an ideal environment. A dirty environment can be a big problem, as can environments with extreme temperatures. The touch screen that you use all the time will eventually wear out and possibly get damaged if you aren’t caring for your device properly or using it in the ways the manufacturer intended it to be used. Make sure you read your manual to know what’s acceptable and what’s not when using the HMI on your device.

Unanticipated Problems

Many problems can be anticipated before they even happen. As mentioned above, we know the touch screen will wear out eventually. It’s the unanticipated problems that can cause major problems. If you notice something is amiss with your device or your screen and the HMI’s functioning but you do nothing about it, the problem will get worse over time and take more energy, time, and money to fix than it would have if you’d addressed it in the beginning. Buttons may become worn, on/off switches may fail to work, or older HMIs may need reprogramming. Try to anticipate problems before they happen so you can better care for your device.

Custom HMI Solutions

Not every broken HMI will have the same solution. Some may need simple fixes such as a switch replacement; others may need an entire new program. Custom solutions for HMIs are one of the biggest problems with broken HMIs, because not every one will be the same. Older HMIs are more likely to need custom solutions than newer ones, mainly because the software will be outdated and the HMI may not be functional or accessible anymore. Also, parts are more difficult to find for older devices with HMIs, so you may have to find custom fixes, which in the end may not work as well as the original did simply because the custom fix was not originally meant to work with your outdated HMI. The biggest problems with a broken HMI are usually anticipated problems, but not anticipating problems can have consequences for both user and machine. Broken HMIs may need custom fixes such as new software or new parts for your machine or device. Most failures with HMI can be predicted and fixed at the first indication of a problem. PLC Migration