ISA NEWS RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Infantino
New ISA Standards Committee Seeks Input on Human-Machine Interface
Research Triangle Park, NC (14 June 2005) - ISA again helps set the standard for automation with the formation of a new standards development committee on human-machine interface, or HMI. The committee is seeking input and participation as it formulates a scope and plan of action. In keeping with its long history of developing integral standards, ISA established ISA-SP101 based on input from users across industry that HMI guidelines and standards would provide multiple benefits, including:
- Reducing operator mistakes and misinterpretations via clear and intuitive representations of conditions and operator control interfaces.
- Reducing learning curves for new operators, and allowing operators to move from one system to another (often within the same plant) with minimal retraining.
- Assisting communications and reducing errors between geographically dispersed groups.
- Reducing costs of re-invention.
- Reducing rework because differences in design philosophies could be solved up front.
- Enabling applications to be developed using HMI features that will be supported in future systems and HMI upgrades.
The overall scope of the HMI standards project is intended to cover all sectors of process and discrete manufacturing. "Great care must be used in developing HMI standards to avoid being industry specific," cautions Douglas Peck, P.E., Project Engineer with Middough Consulting Inc., who has volunteered to serve on ISA-SP101. "You do not want to develop a standard that is embraced by the process industries, for example, but totally rejected by the manufacturing industries."
Initial ideas regarding the specifics of ISA-SP101's work include menu hierarchies, screen navigation conventions, graphics and color standards, dynamic elements, alarming conventions, security methods and electronic signature attributes, interfaces with background programming and historical databases, popup conventions, help screens and methods used to work with alarms, and program object interfaces. Configuration interfaces to databases, servers, OLE servers, and networks could also be included.
Individuals wishing to participate or provide input are asked to contact Charley Robinson, ISA Standards, firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-990-9213.
Founded in 1945, ISA (www.isa.org) is a leading, global, nonprofit organization that is setting the standard for automation by helping over 30,000 worldwide members and other professionals solve difficult technical problems, while enhancing their leadership and personal career capabilities. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, ISA develops standards; certifies industry professionals; provides education and training; publishes books and technical articles; and hosts the largest conference and exhibition for automation professionals in the Western Hemisphere. ISA is the founding sponsor of The Automation Federation (www.automationfederation.org).
WBF provides an open forum for the exchange of information related to the management, operation, and automation of manufacturing processes. Created in 1994, members of the non-profit, professional organization include end-users, vendors, consultants and academics. WBF provides organization, management, and structure to facilitate networking among its members and sharing of knowledge and information related to manufacturing processes. WBF documents best practices and guidelines for implementation of standards that apply to batch control and the exchange of batch data, as well as conducting technical conferences and technical training programs. WBF is a founding charter member of The Automation Federation (www.automationfederation.org). More information about WBF is available at www.wbf.org.
OMAC–The Open Modular Architecture Controls Users’ Group (www.omac.org) is an affiliate organization of ISA- The Instrumentation, Systems and Automation Society- and works to collectively derive common solutions for both technical and non-technical issues in the development, implementation, and commercialization of open, modular architecture control (OMAC) technologies, and to facilitate the accelerated development and convergence of industry and government developed OMAC technology guidelines to one set that satisfies common use requirements. OMAC has about 500 member representatives from end-user companies, OEM's, and technology providers and integrator companies. OMAC currently operates three Work Groups: Packaging Machinery, Manufacturing Infrastructure, and Machine Tool. OMAC is a founding charter member of The Automation Federation (www.automationfederation.org).