Visualization for HMI on machines

Use the 3DViewStation as part of the human-machine interface (HMI) for visualization on machines

In today's industry, even a medium or large machine is equipped with an integrated computer. It then has its own screen (sometimes touch display), which is used to control and monitor the machine. This is often called the human-machine interface, or HMI for short. Via the HMI, people can, for example, operate the machine, program it or call up status information.

User interface of the future

Each machine also has design data - usually in 3D - and documentation for commissioning, maintenance and troubleshooting. So what could be more obvious than to connect all these things? 

Intelligent, graphical 3D software for operators of complex technology

Often the HMI is only used to control a machine. Settings are made, programming is changed and there are, for example, interfaces to sensors that provide current or past status information. If now the development ensures that a 3DViewStation is running on the machine, the existing 3D CAD data belonging exactly to the machine can be reused and used for an appealing 3D graphic. This opens up new possibilities that make the operation and control of machines and systems more attractive on the one hand, and more efficient on the other. Because the user now has the CAD data belonging to the exact machine configuration available in a lightweight representation on site at any time. 

Here are a few examples of the benefits of 3D graphics:
The machine reports an error. Previously, an error code appeared on the display. This is where the search for the cause used to begin. 

Quite different now with a 3DViewStation 3D graphic. 

Where in the machine is the problem?

In case of an error, the user not only sees that an error occurs, but a 3D model of the machine is displayed. All components are loaded, but displayed with high transparency. Only the affected sensor is highlighted opaquely and clearly in red color. In addition, it can be surrounded with a semi-transparent circle and thus be highlighted even more clearly. Finally, one could have the application automatically zoom in closer. This allows the operator to see exactly where the problem is within the machine before proceeding.

Is the sensor defective?

By clicking on the 3D geometry, the status of the sensor can now be tested again in real time. But maybe it is also important to see the last data. This historical time series is also just a click away and could provide information about the cause of the failure. After a thorough analysis, the user now has the certainty that the hardware is defective. So the next step is to replace it.

Is a spare part available?

Many machines today are connected to the intranet and sometimes to the Internet. Even if not, then a service technician could temporarily connect using a smartphone. Using metadata stored in the 3D model, it is now possible to check whether the right sensor is available without a cumbersome search in the spare parts system. If not, the order could now be triggered automatically. But perhaps our technician has the right item.

How is the sensor replaced?

The advantages of developing good 3D graphics and integrating them into an HMI are many. Information "at the fingertips" is what the Americans call it, when everything is just a click away. So you can also link the documentation relevant to fixing a problem with a 3D geometry. These instructions can be available as classic PDF files, as videos and again also as 3D models with a series of work steps or animations.

In the age of Industry 4.0/IoT, there is also the possibility of operating a central solution that monitors and controls multiple machines simultaneously and can also alert service technicians. After all, they too can benefit from fast, intelligent 3D graphics on their smartphones. This greatly improves machine-human communication and significantly reduces errors caused by misinterpretation of texts.

3D graphics for HMI from the 3D CAD visualization experts

Kisters has been involved in powerful 2D and 3D content visualization software for over 25 years. The 3DViewStation product family is Kisters' own digital technology. From the very beginning, the development has been based on the requirements of customers who approached us with ever new ideas. So the way from the classical 3D CAD viewer to visual components of a man-machine interface was obvious, because all CAD data were already available completely and could be reused easily. Our first customers had already made experiences with alternative solutions, which had promised a lot, but had led to serious problems in the course of an integration attempt. 3DViewStation is different: It is not an SDK (Software Development Kit) but a stand-alone application, which nevertheless has to be fully integrated into the user interface of an application and only has to be accessed by using APIs (Application Programming Interface). This significantly reduces the effort required for integration and allows a visual impression of the overall result at an early stage.

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... for users

  • Addition of 3D geometries to the more textual information
  • Spatial representation of a problem instead of a pure error code
  • Reach your goal with a few clicks by linking geometry, documents, videos
  • Fast visual impression even with extremely complex machines
  • Simple operation

... for developers

  • Rapid implementation of an integration
  • Few lines of programming code required, as no SDK
  • Competent consulting team helps with all integration questions

... for decision makers

  • Additional 3D graphics on the machine is a competitive advantage
  • Can be further optimized with service applications
  • Use of 100% BOMs for machine operation
  • Fewer queries from users, since exact data is available on the machine
  • Relieves the service teams
  • Many automation possibilities
  • No training necessary