Fraunhofer IAO has looked into the effects that developments in the field of manufacturing will have on the interface between humans and technology. The study highlights the potential for future-proof human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and discusses the challenges that will have to be overcome in designing tomorrow’s HMIs and HMI engineering tools.
Human-machine interfaces (HMIs) are absolutely central to production processes, and as such they have a major influence on the quality and efficiency of industrial manufacturing. HMIs not only make it possible to control and monitor facilities, they also provide valuable information on those facilities’ operational status.
Current and future developments in manufacturing – including the changes referred to as Industry 4.0 – will also affect the role played by the interaction between humans and technology. While the growing connectivity and intelligence of systems promise greater flexibility in processes, they also have the effect of increasing complexity. This makes it all the more important to involve the future users of an HMI early on in its development.
Fraunhofer IAO has completed a trend study to identify and explore the key areas for action to ensure humans can interact with technology in tomorrow’s manufacturing. In particular the study considers all aspects of ergonomic HMI design as well as how to integrate new technologies such as interactive and recognition technologies or social media. Since HMIs are often produced using special development tools, the study also looks into the functionalities and opportunities such tools can provide.
One point the study makes is that while development work is simplified by certain tools offering standard functionalities such as SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition), these tools can restrict the range of design possibilities for the HMI. Using the right HMI tool, however, can in itself bring significant benefits in terms of innovation. With manufacturing environments in flux, what is needed is a set of future-proof HMI developer tools along with a detailed analysis of the design possibilities.
The content of the study is drawn primarily from workshops and interviews with relevant experts from the areas of manufacturing operations, IT, and the interaction between humans and technology. In order to make the results of the study as readily applicable in practice as possible, the experts approached came not only from the scientific community but also from industry. The study highlights the changes that the manufacturing sector is about to undergo as well as the challenges this presents for the design of interfaces between humans and technology.
In addition to offering specific measures and guidelines for how to design powerful HMIs, the study recommends selection criteria for the necessary engineering tools. These can serve as an aid both in designing and developing appealing HMIs and efficient engineering tools and in adopting a suitable future-proof HMI engineering environment.
Matthias Peissner | Fraunhofer IAO
The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
22.09.2017 | Life Sciences
22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering
22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy