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HMI Design

HMI Design involves a lot of rules today that we didn’t have before. Within those rules we must have things like an HMI Philosophy. That philosophy is going to dictate some of the rules, not just for the control system, but for the historian system, and for anything else that goes on the operated desktop. That philosophy’s going to talk about the number of screens, the layout of the screens, how it fits onto a console, how many keyboards should be on the console, how many mice on the console, etc. The philosophy is the big picture.

Then we have what we call a style guide. A style guide extracts the information and puts it into the language of the automation system’s vendor. It talks about specifics, the detailed design of the screens. We also have something we call a tool kit. In all parts of the ISA life cycle model 101, we now have a tool kit that describes the objects. What’s the behavior and what’s the size of the text? How do we show an alarm for every little object, things like a pump or a valve? Anything that changes, that’s dynamic on the screen, is built by objects. So those objects need a library. In that library, we give all the details around the object and the behavior of the object.

These three documents (the philosophy, style guide, and tool kit) work together to provide a consistent and best-practice solution that meets today’s international standards.

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