Human-Machine Interfaces – An Asset For The Oil and Gas Industry

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It is human psychology to strive for better. Label it curiosity, optimism, growth, development, or success; we always persevere to change. One of those many facets makes us who we are, what we are, and where we stand in the ecological hierarchy. Unlike our other counterparts of life forms, we merely don’t adapt to the changing environment. Instead, we strive to change the environment. This catharsis is the inherent explanation of all the progress we have made in the story of time, be it evolution, the discovery of fire, metals, monarchy, colonialism, the industrial revolution, digital revolution, artificial intelligence, and an amalgamation of all of that, HMI. 

In a layman’s term, HMI or Human Machine Interface is a user interface that connects personnel to a machine, piece of equipment, a system, or device. While this term applies to any such screen which enables a human to interact with a machine, it is eminently functional in industrial processes. We heavily invest in more superficial forms of HMI in daily life like touchscreens and keyboards on our desktops, smartphones, ATMs, vending machines, and other electrical or digital apparatuses.  

In many industrial pursuits, HMI formulates the backbone for the production line, simplifying and enhancing operations substantially. Such HMI mechanics are armed for data acquisition, supervisory controls, advanced stock control, and controlling other lines in manufacturing. Thus though much later, other industries like oil and gas are steadily investing in HMI and realizing what they have been missing out on over the years of development. And why not? HMI offers several advantages to these industries. 

HMI solves the long-going struggle of oil and gas industries as a conduit for information. They operate on the distributary model, i.e the pipelines which run miles on different terrains, some are easily accessible for regular transit, and some are not, under deep ocean beds, mountains, and desserts. Presently, the problem lies with manual investigation and reporting which is undertaken after there is a breakdown. Even then it takes significant time for that casualty to get addressed and then resolved. However, HMI negates this back and forth human relay of events, by presenting a detailed report of the pieces of machinery of pipeline situated in the remotest locations, and in event of damage, it can present a detailed description of the issue, only after which human resources can be involved in fixing them. This saves time in repair and for the process to get started again without much flux and facilitates centralized control of facilities. 

Even though some industries have incorporated HMI in their facilities, it is functionally limited to serving the same traditional purpose of relaying messages only, which are non-descriptive like “error”, “failure”, “denied” etc. This does not serve the purpose at all because finally, an operator will have to run to that particular malfunctioning part of the machine and investigate what is wrong and then take the corrective action. Oil and Gas industries have to use HMI in a way that it is able to live to its true potential. Advanced to a level where it merely does not inform about the situation but also describes the problem beforehand. 

In the same parlance of providing effective solutions for problems, it must be understood that the stakes are skyrocketing in the gas and oil industry, and leakage or any machinery mishap can be fatal. HMI then allows the plant operator to locate a malfunction in the machine and respond immediately. Setting up an advanced and well-functioning HMI system allows the operator to view problems before reaching the brink of failure. This curtails the chances of operational failure and serious industrial mishaps like leakage, explosions, etc. Since HMI is an important part of any industry always hire HMI repair specialist agency like Industrial Control Care to fix any issue with your HMI LCDs, touch screens, membrane keypads, and external housing.

Thus, it is conclusive that instilling a well laid out and planned HMI system in the oil and gas industry is a great asset as it helps them run effectively, efficiently both in terms of precautionary foresight, equipment maintenance and time, conjecturing performance, and getting done what needs to be done briskly, something which is hard to achieve when continued with higher inclination on human resource.