Insights on remote operations and HMIs

A look at how COVID-19 is changing remote operations and human-machine interfaces

By Jack Smith April 4, 2021

The cover story in this issue of AppliedAutomation explores remote automation. The unfortunate events of 2020 as well as the technologies developed in response to them are, according to the author, “Forcing manufacturers to adapt and work in an ever-evolving, more remote business environment.

“Now more than ever, they must digitally transform their legacy control systems, set up secure remote infrastructures and establish remote application support capabilities to continuously optimize, maintain and sustain their facilities. Manufacturers also should develop remote management strategies where they leverage smart technologies, mobile devices, remote access connectivity and communications tools to ensure critical infrastructures remain up and running efficiently. They must carefully weigh the pros and cons of in-house resource bandwidth issues and the associated costs.”

The author also emphasizes remote access. He wrote: “Interconnectivity with today’s industrial control systems is essential from the business office down to the plant floor and throughout all remote locations.”

He also discusses outsource remote management and monitoring: “Outsourcing remote management and preventive maintenance services can help ease the workload for in-house employees from having to perform a variety of critical tasks.”

The second article in this issue focuses on data visualization. The author discusses user interface (UI) and data visualization designs such as color, form, spatial positioning and movement. He wrote: “The use of proactive, continuous intelligence for automatically processing real-time and historical data also can play a role by allowing operators to process increased data volumes. By detecting anomalies and producing effective UI indications, alarms and events, data visualization becomes an effective way of alerting operators of potential issues. Data storytelling puts information in context, reducing the chance of incorrect interpretation.”

Original content can be found at Control Engineering.

Author Bio: Content manager, CFE Media