The customer is a leading Austrian-based provider of integrated hardware and software solutions for vehicle emission testing in the automotive industry with a staff of more than 10,000 people and facilities in 45 countries worldwide.
Customer products stand out in the market due to innovative technical design and usability. High level of customization as well as enhanced diagnostic possibilities are also crucial features for the customer’s equipment.
For the reasons our goal was to design and develop a modern multi-level HMI (Human-Machine Interface) solution for the visualization of the controlled equipment operation. A new HMI system had to address major challenges:
• Control. Ensure interactive control of complex equipment, a must-have feature of all contemporary HMI systems.
• Usability. The customer needed a common HMI logic combining the best features from different customer’s products. Overall convenience and ease-of-use were a priority in HMI panel design.
• Configuration. The HMI system should have a high customization degree to adapt to all options of end user equipment.
Applied Systems carefully gathered and analyzed the customer’s requirements. We had to preserve all the best features of previous systems, support new generation of equipment and ensure modern look-and-feel for the developed HMI system.
During the specification and design phase our team was in constant contact with a number of engineers and experts. After several successive reviews, we began the development process based on prepared specifications.
Customized configurable HMI has the following features:
• User dashboards gathering general information;
• Possibility to conveniently navigate through different levels of the interface;
• Vivid demonstration of component parameters;
• A set of special controls for flexible use;
• Possibility to create compound data-from-time and data-from-data graphs.
One of the key innovations was the implementation of automatically generated gas-flow diagrams. UI (user interface) panels represent dynamic schemes of the controlled equipment (e.g. valves or pumps.) with "live" control elements, reflecting the current state of gas flows and equipment and allowing to change this state by several clicks.
The HMI components are implemented on C++, using GDI+ technology.
The team developed a customizable three-level HMI with a different degree of refinement:
• Upper level or system level − represents the basic view of the controlled equipment (e.g. benches);
• Level of subsystems − represents subsystems, for example, gas streams; each with a set of involved UI panels;
• Detailed level or device level − individual UI panel for each device or unit.
Thus, the three-level HMI makes it possible, on the one hand, to have a complete overview of the system, and, on the other hand, to have access to any details of the system in 2-3 clicks. The high level of customization allows to adapt our system to different hardware configurations.
Due to positive market feedback the implemented HMI components were successfully integrated in series of customer’s products.