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The Power of High-Performance HMI

What is High-Performance HMI?

High-performance HMI is a design approach that focuses on providing operators with clear, concise information to make informed decisions. It leverages graphical representations, color schemes, and data organization to present only relevant information to the operator. The result is minimized cognitive load, maximized situational awareness, and improved response times in critical situations.


The Need for High-Performance HMI

Traditional HMIs often overload operators with unnecessary data, using bright colors and complex graphics that can lead to confusion and slow decision-making. High-performance HMI, on the other hand, is designed with a deep understanding of human cognitive processes. The High Performance HMI philosophy utilizes human factors that address human limitations and reduce information overload.


The following features highlight why high-performance HMI is essential in control rooms:


  1. Enhanced Situational Awareness: High-performance HMI allows operators to understand the state of the process quickly. By presenting data in an organized, easy-to-understand manner, it provides operators with a comprehensive view of system operations. Using 4 different Levels of design, each level provides real-time information that will reduce the reliance on alarms and in fact can reduce alarms all together.
  2. Improved Decision Making: With simplified graphics and relevant data, operators can make quick, informed decisions in critical situations. This leads to improved process performance and reduced downtime. Every undesired situation deserves an operator response or at least should not be a surprise to the operator.
  3. Increased Safety: High-performance HMI enhances safety by reducing the likelihood of operator errors. It ensures that operators have all the necessary information to handle emergency situations effectively.
  4. Reduced Training Time: High-performance HMI designs are intuitive and user-friendly, reducing the amount of time required for operator training. When operator displays are designed for improved performance the operators must be involved in the design philosophy as well as the design workshops. Ownership is key and operator involvement is necessary.


Key Elements of High-Performance HMI

A high-performance HMI incorporates several key design elements:


  • Simplicity: The design should be simple and intuitive, avoiding unnecessary details that could distract the operator.
  • Consistency: Consistent use of symbols, colors, and layouts across different screens can help operators quickly understand new displays.
  • Effective Use of Color: High-performance HMI avoids bright colors unless they’re used to signal critical conditions or alarms.
  • Data Organization: Information should be organized logically, with the most important data and alerts prominently displayed.
  • Trend Displays: Real-time and historical trend displays can help operators identify issues before the process enters an alarm state..


High-performance HMI represents a significant step forward in control room design. By focusing on the operator’s needs and cognitive processes, it helps to improve system performance, safety, and productivity. As control systems continue to evolve, the importance of effective human-machine interaction will only grow, making high-performance HMI an essential tool for modern industry.