Secrets to Boosting Competitiveness with Post-Press Machinery-Part 2: HMI Optimization

Secrets to Boosting Competitiveness with Post-Press Machinery-Part 2: HMI Optimization

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    SBL Machinery has been a key player in the post-press packaging equipment industry for over fifty years (Die Cutting Machine, Folder Gluer Machine, Hot Stamping Machine). Today, in this series of articles on “secrets to boosting competitiveness,” we’ll share these insights to help you understand how SBL excels and to encourage you to consider ways to enhance your company’s competitiveness!

    The “industrial-grade” HMI used in our machines is fundamentally different from  different from the “commercial-grade” HMI found in cars or consumer electronics! Let’s jump right into today’s topic – HMI optimization.

    1. What is HMI?

    HMI (Human-Machine Interface)  is the interactive interface between humans and machines. It includes both hardware and software, enabling operators to control, monitor, and optimize the functioning of mechanical equipment. For SBL Machinery’s products, including Die Cutting Machines, Folder Gluer Machines, and Hot Stamping Machines, all are equipped with HMI devices. The HMI plays a crucial role, impacting not only the efficiency and accuracy of machine operators but also the overall performance and production quality of the equipment.

    2. Key Features of a High-Quality Post-Press Machine HMI

    2-1. Appropriate Size


    The size of the HMI screen is vital for user experience and operational efficiency. In the past, the high cost of touch HMI screens meant that smaller sizes (6-8 inches) were common. Recently, with reduced costs, mainstream HMI screens have increased to 10-12 inches. A properly sized touch screen can display more information, allowing operators to see all critical data and controls at a glance, reducing the need to switch between interfaces. Larger screens can better present complex data and graphs, significantly improving operational efficiency, especially during multitasking.

    2-2. Durability

    Thermometers_SBL_Hot Stamping Machine

    Touch screens used in printing and post-press machines are usually referred to as “industrial-grade” HMIs, while those in cars and general consumer electronics are called “commercial-grade” HMIs. Industrial-grade HMIs are more expensive and have a longer lifespan because they possess the following features:

    • Environmental Adaptability
      They are designed to be waterproof, dustproof, and explosion-proof, typically meeting IP ratings like IP65 or higher to prevent liquid and solid particle intrusion.
    • Temperature Range
      They can operate over a wider temperature range, typically supporting -20°C to +70°C or broader, to meet various industrial site requirements.
    • Interference Resistance
      They have good electromagnetic compatibility and resistance, allowing stable operation in environments with electromagnetic interference.
    • Durable Materials
      They use robust materials like aluminum alloy, stainless steel housings, and thickened glass panels with specially designed touch panels to enhance impact and wear resistance.

    2.3 User-Friendly Interface


    A user-friendly interface is a core goal of HMI optimization. The operational interface should be designed to be clear and straightforward, allowing operators to quickly become familiar with and proficient in its use. Key features include:

    • Clarity and Readability
      Use readable fonts, appropriate font sizes, and color contrasts to ensure information is clear under various lighting conditions.
    • Intuitive and Understandable
      The operational logic should align with user intuition and habits, reducing the learning curve.
    • Simplicity and Orderliness
      The interface layout should be simple and orderly, avoiding excessive elements and information that may distract the user.

    2.4 High Processing Speed

         The performance of an HMI depends mainly on its internal CPU and memory. A high-performance CPU ensures quick responses when executing multiple tasks, which is crucial for post-press machinery that needs to process large amounts of data and monitor equipment status in real-time. Sufficient memory ensures that the HMI can handle large amounts of data and run complex applications without lag and delay. In demanding production environments, the HMI needs to process and display large volumes of production data in real-time, demanding high capacity and performance from the memory.

    3. Specific Methods for Optimizing HMI

    3.1 Larger Panel Size

     Larger screens help minimize the risk of errors. A bigger touch area allows operators to click controls more accurately, which is crucial in a production environment to prevent mistakes. The HMI size should be selected based on specific application scenarios to ensure the best user experience and operational efficiency.

    3.2 Upgrading CPU and Memory

    SBL-HMI-cpu and memory

    Capacity Higher-grade CPUs process data and execute commands faster, making the HMI interface more responsive and smoother to operate. Increasing memory provides more buffer space, reducing data read/write delays, and enhancing overall computing speed. Expanding storage allows the HMI to store more historical machine data, log files, and parameter settings.

    3.3 Visual Representation

     Using icons, charts, and other visual elements to present information reduces the amount of text and improves readability and comprehension, speeding up the reaction and operation times for machine operators.

    3.4 Optimizing User Interface Layout

    • Functional Zoning
      Categorize and group functions based on their type and relevance, making it easier for users to quickly find the necessary functions.
    • Consistency
      Maintain consistency in interface style, operation methods, and terminology to reduce users’ learning curve and time.
    • Detailed Operation Manuals
      Provide detailed operation manuals and guides, allowing machine operators to consult and learn as needed. Manuals should include illustrated steps and troubleshooting guides.

    4. Conclusion

    Optimizing HMI is one of the crucial strategies for enhancing the competitiveness of post-press machinery. A well-designed HMI not only  improves machine operation efficiency and production quality but also significantly reduces human errorss the interactive interface between humans and machines, shortens employee training time, and enhances the overall user experience. To achieve HMI optimization, it’s essential to select industrial-grade HMI hardware that meets the demands of the production environment, including waterproof and dustproof capabilities, wide temperature adaptability, large touch panels, and hardware specifications with high-performance CPUs and sufficient memory.

    On the software side, adhering to good interface design principles such as clarity, intuitiveness, and orderly information presentation is essential. Utilizing visual elements to display large amounts of information can also improve usability. Furthermore, reasonable functional zoning, interface layout optimization, and providing detailed operation manuals are measures that can enhance the HMI user experience.

    In summary, continuous HMI optimization is a key factor in improving the overall competitiveness of post-press equipment. SBL Machinery has been refining this area for years, aiming to offer customers excellent experiences and benefits. With the advancement of new technologies, HMI will likely continue to evolve according to operators’ needs. Don’t you agree?


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