Efficient Plant Jan./Feb. 2021 - 9

feature | HMI solutions
Modern edge-capable HMIs do far more than provide
visualization. They are essential to connecting with data and
processing it into useful information.

DISTRIBUTED INTELLIGENCE AT the edge
is becoming the norm for today's expanding industrial-digitization environment. Human-machine
interfaces (HMIs) on embedded devices, located
ideally near field equipment, play a key role in this
data-driven, distributed, and collaborative intelligence model.
According to research firm IDC, Framingham,
MA (idc.com), " By 2025, 25% of enterprises will
have headless analytics embedded into the business,
thereby improving real-time operational decision
making and achieving process automation. " HMI
software supports this trend by remotely connecting
operators to machines, systems, and devices to bring
real-time analytics intelligence closer to the field.
(IDC FutureScape Worldwide Data and Analytics
2021 Predictions (Doc # US46920420) is available
for purchase at idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=US46920420.)
The latest edge-capable HMI generation supports
legacy platforms-and integrates with existing
devices and systems-while incorporating emerging platforms, including edge devices, 5G and 6G
network technologies, remote visualization, and
embedded analytics. The trend is moving away from
centralized cloud-computing solutions and toward
distributed intelligence, provided by edge technologies, that is delivered to operators with HMI devices.

EXPONENTIAL DATA GROWTH

As manufacturing digitization
heads toward mainstream
status, human-machine interface technology delivers the
information operators need to
make informed decisions.

JAN/FEB 2021

EP2101fadisra.indd 9

Data volume, generated across increasing numbers
of applications and devices, is growing exponentially.
Pre-processing data locally, before sending it to the
cloud, becomes an absolute necessity to enhance
efficiencies and avoid network degradation.
Sending enormous amounts of data to a private or
public cloud consumes significant network bandwidth. This issue is further exacerbated for industrial-automation applications because some sensors
constantly transmit data. HMI software preprocess-

ing improves the situation by presenting only data
that helps operators make real-time, data-driven
decisions.
Latency, a measure of network delay, is another
consequence of excessive network communication.
For some applications, such as temperature condition monitoring, latency to the cloud is not an issue.
However, for high-speed production lines, where
real-time decisions affect product quality, scrap volume, and other production losses, latency cannot be
permitted. Smart, edge-located HMIs reduce latency
through data-quality filtering and aggregation.

NEW ROLES
HMI software's traditional role has been to visualize
and monitor industrial systems, especially for
human interaction. In today's data-driven world,
HMI software's role is expanding to include computational and cognitive functionality. Its evolving
responsibilities can be characterized by five Cs:
 Connect
 Collect
 Compute
 Cognize
 Create.
Ubiquitous and agnostic connectivity, provided by
HMI software, is necessary for seamless integration
with a wide array of field devices, legacy systems,
edge devices, other HMIs, historians, and the cloud.
Every device on the factory floor, throughout corporate back offices, and in the expansive supply-chain
universe should be connected for an efficient industrial-automation environment.
New industrial-automation business opportunities are possible with the introduction of 5G and 6G
internet innovations. These innovations promise to
deliver improved response times, accompanied by
frugal bandwidth utilization. Accessing real-time
remote data from every step of an operation, including from mobile vehicles, is invaluable for reducing
EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM |

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http://www.idc.com https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=US46942020 http://www.EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

Efficient Plant Jan./Feb. 2021

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