HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Feature
Automation & Control
The Evolution of Packaging Controls
8/28/2012

By linking ergonomics, navigation, and design, new HMI systems are able to display complex processes in a way that is easy for the user to understand and manage. The new OMAC standard goes one step further by defining a common look and feel between operator panels in packaging plants.
By linking ergonomics, navigation, and design, new HMI systems are able to display complex processes in a way that is easy for the user to understand and manage. The new OMAC standard goes one step further by defining a common look and feel between operator panels in packaging plants.

Return to Article

View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
Page 1/2  >  >>
Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Welcome standardization
Rob Spiegel   9/7/2012 8:53:09 AM
NO RATINGS
It's good to see yet another step toward standardization on the factory floor. This is one more step away from hodge-podge world of plant automation. I would guess this will also give control engineers some relief from the daunting task of original programming.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Standards seem to be a must here
Beth Stackpole   9/7/2012 8:53:31 AM
NO RATINGS
It's actually amazing to me that there hasn't been a common HMI look and feel and standards prior to this kind of effort--or at least one that has any teeth. Coordinating that diversity must be a bear for organizations to manage let alone impeding worker productivity. Why has it taken so long to push standards?

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Standards seem to be a must here
Ann R. Thryft   9/7/2012 11:42:53 AM
NO RATINGS
HMIs are an interesting, sometimes overlooked area of focus for software/display technology improvements. Yet they play a vital part in what happens on the factory floor, and how well, and how quickly, operators can adapt to, or fix, problems in process control. It seems like improvements have been ongoing for a really long time. It's good to see that some kind of standardization is finally arriving, at least on packaging lines.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Welcome standardization
Charles Murray   9/7/2012 5:32:58 PM
NO RATINGS
Seems like OMAC has talked about this for a while, Al. Good to see it's finally happening.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Standards seem to be a must here
Rob Spiegel   9/10/2012 12:01:37 PM
NO RATINGS
I agree it is a good thing, Ann, especially as systems are becoming increasingly complex. I would imagine this becomes a more manageable world for control engineers -- greater complexity, simpler interfaces and less original programming.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Standards seem to be a must here
Ann R. Thryft   9/10/2012 12:46:51 PM
NO RATINGS
Rob, my understanding is that better, more use-friendly HMI systems are key for both control engineers and operators. There's a shift underway to put more decision-making into the hands of lower-cost operators rather than engineers, which is made possible by more automation of functions and databases that experienced engineers used to do, as you've mentioned several times. This is also being facilitated by better HMI systems.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Standards seem to be a must here
Rob Spiegel   9/10/2012 3:01:55 PM
NO RATINGS
That's a new twist I was not aware of, Ann. I didn't realize the decision making was shifting to lower-cost operators. I knew vendors were relieving plant operators of the original programming that used to be part of running a plant, but I didn't realize that meant non-engineers had their hands on the controls.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Standards seem to be a must here
Ann R. Thryft   9/11/2012 12:18:19 PM
NO RATINGS
The decision-making can shift to lower-cost operators because they're making fewer decisions--and more low-level ones--as more functions get automated. This is by no means the case everywhere, but it's yet another cost-cutting trend. That's what I've heard, anyway.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Standards seem to be a must here
Rob Spiegel   9/11/2012 12:52:27 PM
NO RATINGS
I guess that shouldn't be surprising, Ann. This could be part of the trend of replacing the baby-boomer engineers at plants. As the boomers retire, I hear they are being replaced by younger workers who have less automation and control experience, but more computer experience, which is mostly appropriate given the changing nature of automation. And of course they would be lower-cost workers simply because of their youth and inexperience. 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Standards seem to be a must here
Ann R. Thryft   9/11/2012 1:04:53 PM
NO RATINGS
Interesting, Rob. I hadn't connected the dots between the baby boomer retiring trend and younger workers with the cost-cutting trend of using less expensive operators instead of engineers on the factory floor. I'm not sure they're the same thing. First, the engineer vs operator trend is usually described as being due to improved HMI, as we were originally discussing. Plus, isn't the first trend occurring mostly within engineering?

Page 1/2  >  >>
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Tesla Motors might be planning to boost the driving range of its two-seat Roadster to 400 miles.
RFID offers visibility into the plant. What inventory is being consumed? What stuff is being built? What's done and out the door?
More and more robots are becoming more autonomous all the time. Now Lockheed Martin has completed a demo mission with two completely autonomous robotic vehicles performing resupply, reconnaissance, surveillance, and target acquisition.
Take a look at the top 20 US undergraduate engineering programs. Then tell us -- did your school make the cut?
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 8 - 12, Get Ready for the New Internet: IPv6
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service