Touch Screens or Human Machine Interface (HMI) Monitoring System

HMI stands for Human Machine Interface (HMI). A Human Machine Interface (HMI) is a software application that presents information to an operator or user about the state of a process, and to accept and implement the operators control instructions. An HMI is Touch Screen Sensor, often a part of a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system and the information is displayed in a graphic format (Graphical User Interface or GUI).

Human Machine Interface (HMI)
Human Machine Interface (HMI)

HMI screens use solid state memory and commonly purchased memory such as compact flash (CF) cards for memory expansion and data storage. As HMI Screens have been developed for the single purpose of being a machine interface device they have their own operating system and do not need all the extra complexity and baggage which comes with a PC based operating system.

The functionality the user needs access to be configured using a Windows based application supplied with the HMI. Before the advent of HMI touch screens the user would install individual devices in a control panel such as switches, indicator lights, potentiometers and thumb wheel switches. This was a much more labor intensive solution as holes had to be drilled in the panel, the devices had to be installed and wires had to be pulled to each individual device.

When the first economically priced HMI screens hit the market in the early 90’s the physical communications between the HMI and a PLC was via an RS232 or RS422/485 communications port. The availability of Ethernet communications has enabled such developments as FTP servers now being embedded in HMI screens. In recent years there has been a dramatic growth in Ethernet as a medium for Industrial Communications.

Operator Control and Monitoring Systems

HMI software:

This software comprises one-stop visualization tasks close to the machine as well as SCADA applications on PC-based multi-user systems and covers whole range of Visualization Software for the Human Machine Interface. The HMI Software is as follows

  • HMI-Software in the TIA Portal
  • SCADA system SIMATIC WinCC
  • SCADA System WinCC Open Architecture
HMI Software
HMI Software

HMI-Software in the TIA Portal

For every HML application, HMI Software is a consistent engineering for the entire Human Machine Interface bandwidth from basic panel upto SCADA system. All these devices will be programmed with single software SIMATIC WinCC inside TIA Portal.

HMI-Software on PC


This system has high visibility in production and it also offers complete functionality for all industries in a single-user system or a distributed system with many servers.


SCADA System SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture

  • WinCC Open Architecture Basic SW
  • WinCC Open Architecture – Options

SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture – Basic System

The SCADA System Simatic WinCC Open Architecture provides necessary tools and caters for users as per their needs saving their valuable time and also offers solutions to implement.

SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture
SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture


  • It is a part of SIMATIC HMI family designed for high complexity and large scale applications.
  • Performance of SIMATIC is that it allows access to more memory with the 64 Bit support.
  • Platform independent and available for Windows, Linux and Solaris.
  • Simatic WinCC Open Architecture is flexible as it scales from small single-site system to high-end system.
  • It is Reliable and reduces the scope for errors.

Simatic WinCC Open Architecture is expandable as it is adaptable and grows with necessary extensions.

SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture – Options

SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture is extensible with many options:

  • Options for fast and easy engineering
  • Options for increased availability and reliability
  • Options for clearness in distributed systems
  • Options for efficient maintenance management
  • Options for mobile operation
  • Options for efficient building automation
  • Framework for integration of video management systems
  • Options for Web functions enable the representation of WinCC Open Architecture data via Intra- or Internet.
SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture – Options
SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture – Options


  • WinCC OA OPERATOR allows you to monitor and control your system easily from your smartphone.
  • WinCC OA Vido Management enables a video management system to be integrated into WinCC Open Architecture.
  • WinCC OA ETool makes it possible to integrate SIMATIC Projects automatically into SCADA System.
  • WinCC is designed on a non technology-and industry-specific basis, it is modular and you can extend it in a flexible way.
  • WinCC/Web Navigator allows you to visualize and operate your plant via the Internet or your companys Intranet or LAN without any need to change in the WinCC project.

A large number of WinCC Options allows industry-specific solutions. For example pharmaceutical industries and water treatment applications.

HMI Panels Purpose

These HMI Panels are perfect for harsh Industrial Environments. The SIMATIC panel offers the correct solution for every application, from a simple keypad panel through mobile and stationary operator interfaces right upto a performance compact and multiple interface choices. Intelligent display screens and error-free operation with keypad or with a touch screen operator interface provides an added value.

HMI Panels Purpose
HMI Panels Purpose

WinCC makes possible both single-user applications in mechanical engineering as well as complex multi-user solutions or even distributed systems including several servers and clients and also internet based in plant visualization.

HMI Architecture
HMI Architecture

Client environments can be installed and distributed among one or two virtualization servers using virtual instances. This enables centralized management and further simplifies backing up and restoring the system environment.

As software for most complex Human Machine Interface tasks WinCC is able to handle comprehensive projects and mass data. WinCC Open Architecture finally addresses solutions with highly customer specific adaptation requirements and specialized functions even on Non-Windows platforms.

Thus, a Human Machine Interface screens therefore can communicate over serial, Ethernet and fieldbus type links such as DeviceNet, Profibus and CC-Link. The information given in this article is useful for a better understanding to the Viewers. For more information about the Human Machine Interface or electrical and electronic projects contact us by commenting below.

Photo Credits

  • Human Machine Interface (HMI) by bxh
  • HMI-Software on PC by siemens
  • SCADA system SIMATIC WinCC by hi-tech
  • SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture by siemens
  • SIMATIC WinCC Open Architecture – Options by siemens
  • HMI Panels Purpose by kaasm

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