HMI Software Product Research September 2007

Research was undertaken to gain a better understanding of Control Engineering subscribers’ applications and needs regarding human machine interface (HMI) software.
By Control Engineering Staff November 1, 2007

Executive Summary
• Among those who specify, recommend, or buy HMI Software, 77% do so for in-plant requirements, while 47% do this for OEM needs.
• 43% of respondents use both continuous and batch processing as their primary application for HMI software. About one-quarter of respondents use continuous manufacturing.
• Virtually all respondents have alarm summaries and color capabilities in their current HMI software. Trending and animation are the next most popular features. Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed employ flat panel technology and another seventy-seven percent employ touch screens with their current HMI software. Microsoft Windows XP is the most common operating system among those involved in HMI software. Almost two-thirds of respondents use OPC connectivity with their current HMI software.
• For 43% of survey participants, HMI software upgrade frequency is driven by whenever the feature in the upgrade being offered is needed.
• 56% of respondents do not use a web interface to view or monitor HMI information. And of those viewing information, about equal portions view charts, trending information or database, real time reports. The majority of respondents using web interface capabilities on their HMI software are not using it for any other HMI activities.
• Only 19% of respondents are currently using wireless capabilities with their HMI software. Almost half are not currently using and don’t plan to use wireless in the future with their HMI software.
• The most popular service required from HMI software vendors is for upgrades and patches.
• About half of respondents have changed their security measures in the last 1 to 2 years as it pertains to their HMI software. Of those taking additional security measures, most have increased password protection procedures followed by 61% restricting access. When asked about future precautions, about half of respondents intend to take action in the future.
• Almost half of respondents are not sure whether their HMI software supports any regulatory requirements. A little over one-quarter state their current system supports such activity.
• More than half of respondents purchased HMI software from Rockwell Automation in the last 12 months. Wonderware registered the second highest purchase frequency at 29%.
• The average HMI software spending per respondent in the past year was $221,109. Thirty-three percent of respondents will increase their HMI software purchases in the next 12 months, and 56% will continue at their current purchase level.

HMI Software Product Research 2007