Human Machine Interface (HMI) units are vital to the operations of your machines and can replace hundreds of buttons, selector switches and indicator lights throughout manufacturing plants. However, the high-use of an operator interface makes it one of the most abused components on the line. Over time, the units start to show wear and tear and can become unreliable, potentially adversely affecting your machine’s performance.
Here are some of the signs to look for to determine if your HMIs are on the road to failure:
1. Screen Is Faded or Difficult to Read.
If the screen isn’t as bright as it used to be or the graphics are not properly displayed, this is an indication that your backlights or inverter circuit is at fault or your display may be nearing its end of life. In this event, improper selections can be made and could cause machinery to malfunction running the risk of equipment damage and even putting the operator at risk of personal injury.
2. Touchscreen Is Less Responsive.
If you have to press harder than usual to make a selection or attempt to make the same selection several times before touch is sensed, there is a high probability that your touchscreen is defective either due to excessive wear, poor connection or loss of calibration. Over time, build up of dirt, grease or other foreign materials may hinder the performance of your touchscreen and misalignment of the touchscreen and display could affect how accurate your touchscreen is when making selections.
3. Loose Cable Connectors.
If you have an intermittent connection between your PLC and HMI, your communication port and/or cable could be at fault and if communication cannot be established, the driver chips for your communication ports may have failed. Intermittent or failed communication can cause incomplete data transfers and in most cases, can generate a fault on your PLC and HMI.
4. Damaged Screen.
Did someone use a screwdriver instead of his or her finger to make touchscreen or keypad selections? Mishandling HMIs can severely damage the display, screen overlay, touchscreen or keypad membrane thus hindering the performance of the HMI as a whole.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs with your HMI, the good news is that you don’t need to buy a new one. Our certified technicians can fix any of these issues. We can replace backlights, displays and touchscreens and repair touchscreen controllers and on-board communication ports. Unlike general repair houses, we can repair and replace most internal components as well as properly test the video functions of your HMI.