Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 28

AUTOMATION STRATEGIES

Design overview screens
around KPIs and layers.
If operators can't tell what's going on
within seconds of looking at an HMI
SCADA screen, it's too cluttered.
Displaying data points just because
they exist is pure distraction to an
operator. After all, data for the sake of
data is not the point of SCADA.
Industry best practice is to simplify
graphical user interfaces and bring
attention to process deviations,
equipment malfunctions, or abnormal
conditions that require operator
intervention. Only the most crucial,
high-level information should be on
the main HMI screen. How, though,
do you decide what data deserves that
coveted spot?
Focus on a few key metrics, rather
than a mass of data points. One of the
easiest ways to keep a clear interface
is choosing only to display KPIs (key
performance indicators). Those KPIs
should be directly related to business
goals, i.e., process output, reduced
downtime, and safety, among others.
Selected KPIs should be very clear
metrics (specific to an owner/operator's industry) that inspire operator
action. Based on unique features and
devices at various facilities, there's

Only the most
crucial, high-level
information should
be on the main HMI
screen.
HMI images courtesy
of AutomationDirect.

no one-size-fits-all
HMI. They should
look different (be
customized) according
to a site's particular
needs. For example, a landfill waste-toenergy plant might choose to display
KPIs such as:
■ active alarms
■ kW
■ kWh
■ methane %
■ O2 %
■ CO2 %
■ gas pressure
■ gas flow.
The HMI of a utility-scale solar
plant, on the other hand, would feature
much different KPIs, including:
■ interconnect voltage
■ interconnect current
■ interconnect kW

■
■
■
■
■

interconnect kVAR
inverter status
irradiance
alarm summary
breaker status of switchgear.
To avoid tracking too many KPIs
and creating an over-crowded display,
use fewer than 10 KPIs on a screen. If
additional information is needed to
support a more-detailed analysis, it's
best to use layers. With this approach,
information is accessed by drilling
down to lower-level screens from
the main overview. In most cases, to
reduce the time required to access
important, detailed information, an
HMI should have no more than
three layers.

Make analog data more meaningful.
It's not an optimized process if operators
are expected to memorize each device's
preferred levels and numbers, and
cross-reference to the data displayed on
the HMI. This situation also complicates
training of new operators. There's an
easier way.
With regard to analog values, e.g.,
temperature, pressure, kW, a best
practice is to show the value range,
along with indicators of upper and/or
lower alarm limits.
Another way to make an operator's
life easier is to indicate the direction
in which a variable has been moving
over a given timeframe, including the
minimum and maximum values. This,
of course, requires balancing the specific

28 |

MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY

details with the parameters
and understanding that not
all information is treated
equally.
An additional issue with
systems in which comparison
of analog information may be
required involves the ability of
operators to truly understand
what the values should be.
Designing HMI graphs with
percentages, rather than raw
values, makes it easier for
personnel to identify problems
with just a quick scan of the data.
This is data normalization, which
allows users to look at dozens of
data points and quickly identify outliers.

Show analog-value ranges
along with upper and/or
lower alarm-limit indicators.

JULY 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Maintenance Technology July 2017

Editorial
Uptime
On The Floor
Powering Auto Production
Following The North Star
Flying Inspections
Untangle Compressed Air Misconceptions
Change Your Lubrication Mindset
HMI-Design Essentials For Today's SCADA Systems
SAP: Tips and Tricks
Cybersecurity Best Practices
Bearing Storage
Interpreting IP Code
Noisy Pumps
Move From Time- to Condition-Based Lubrication
CMMS Energizes Maintenance Efforts
Products
Ad Index
Showcase
Final Thought
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Cover1
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Cover2
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 1
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 2
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 3
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Editorial
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 5
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Uptime
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 7
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - On The Floor
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 9
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Powering Auto Production
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 11
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 12
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 13
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 14
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Following The North Star
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 16
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 17
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Flying Inspections
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 19
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 20
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 21
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Untangle Compressed Air Misconceptions
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 23
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 24
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Change Your Lubrication Mindset
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 26
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - HMI-Design Essentials For Today's SCADA Systems
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 28
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 29
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - SAP: Tips and Tricks
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Cybersecurity Best Practices
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Bearing Storage
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Interpreting IP Code
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Noisy Pumps
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Move From Time- to Condition-Based Lubrication
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 36
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 37
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 38
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - CMMS Energizes Maintenance Efforts
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 40
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 41
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Products
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 43
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 44
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - 45
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Ad Index
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Showcase
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Final Thought
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Cover3
Maintenance Technology July 2017 - Cover4
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