Driving forward HMI design in automotive

COPA-DATA provides HMI upgrade for tailored usability 

Based in Worcester, Dynamometer Services Group provides engine, transmission, component and vehicle testing. Specialising in new and remanufactured dynamometers, DSG delivers a modern service by incorporating advanced digital control and data acquisition systems through COPA-DATA’s zenon software platform.

The technology is used by the automotive sector to accurately measure the torque and rotational speed of an engine, therefore calculating the engine’s power.

Project range

DSG provides dynamometers to users – from large-scale engine manufacturers, right through to small manufacturers and niche projects, such as engines for aerospace and classic formula race series. HMIDynamometers must be accurate. But, more importantly, they must accurately relay their measurements back to an end user in an understandable manner.

This is typically visualised through a human machine interface. HMI should seamlessly connect human and machine – in this case, the operator and the dynamometer. DSG sought an upgrade to its existing 28 HMI screens to improve user friendliness, usability and general aesthetics, and turned to zenon by COPA-DATA and its professional services offering for help.

COPA-DATA’s professional services provides customers with complete project management, from concept development through to coding support and workshops. For DSG, this offering was seen as an ideal opportunity to update its group of 28 HMI screens, while also tailoring zenon for the project’s unique requirements.

Complex visualisation

zenon is an open-design software platform that can be used for complex process visualisation. It can offer classic HMI tasks, like operating and observing processes, through to more complex actions typically associated with supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA),such as archiving data and analysing trends.

As an HMI for DSG, zenon has been used to modernise the way the company communicates measurements of its dynamometers. Before the project, DSG used a variety of HMIs, some of which were outdated, compared to the company’s engineering expertise in the sector. Standardising the platform used across these HMIs provided a much-needed upgrade, both visually and ergonomically.

Simple improvements, such as aesthetic design, made a big difference. By using a standard application of colour pallets across the HMIs, zenon helped to keep projects look and feel consistent throughout the HMI. For the end user, this reaffirms trust in the dynamometer and therefore trust in DSG.

Colour customisation

The use of the colour pallet functionality also allows the customer to customise HMIs to specific colour specifications. Blue and white branding? Blue and white interface. This is particularly beneficial for DSG’s sales process.

zenon also ensures consistent styles. In the original version of the project, the HMIs used several styles in different parts of the projects. While this may sound minor, it is ultimately very distracting and confusing for the user. The new style consistency makes it easier for a user to perform tasks without confusion.

Overhauling a previously cluttered interface with zenon allowed DSG to reduce engineering time for operators by enabling much better usability. For instance, symbols were created for the significant components of the project, which could reduce the number of customer changes in the future. Symbols were also used to improve the otherwise cluttered navigation of the HMI, creating consistent navigation options across multiple screens.

Greater efficiency

Drop-down lists were also minimised. Removal of some of these outdated and difficult-to-use lists allowed DSG to replace them with more efficient buttons and pop-ups. Because users are more familiar with these visual displays, the user experience is improved.

The HMI overhaul has also allowed DSG to future-proof the technology for its end users. For instance, the application of layers in the zenon Editor can reduce the volume of engineering time with future project adaptions. Combined with better data display, the machines become much easier to read and therefore far more valuable.

COPA-DATA's zenon software platform has been used by DSG to modernise the way it communicates measurements of its dynamometers.
COPA-DATA's zenon software platform has been used by DSG to modernise the way it communicates measurements of its dynamometers.

COPA-DATA UK Ltd

Suite 42, Fourth Floor
Greyfriars House, Greyfriars Road
CARDIFF
CF10 3AL
UNITED KINGDOM

+44 (0)1633 415338

sales@copadata.co.uk

www.copadata.com

More applications
1 day ago
NSK bearings reduce concrete floor manufacturing machine failures to zero
Regular bearing failures in a concrete floor manufacturing machine were leading to extensive downtime, costly lost production, and high maintenance costs. To rectify the problem, the customer turned to the expertise of NSK for a redesigned wheel hub and stub axle assembly.
3 days ago
Servodrives help protect chair castors and cut packaging costs
Drives and motors specialist Yaskawa has played a key role in the development of an automated system specifically designed to fit protective plastic caps onto chair castors, using its Sigma-7 series servo-drives and a SLIO-series controller.
6 days ago
SKF streamlines bearing analysis for Ansys users
With the new SKF Bearing App for Ansys Mechanical, design engineers have instant access to accurate stiffness data on more than 10,000 bearing designations. The app is available in the Ansys Store free of charge.
6 days ago
Omron awarded platinum rating from EcoVadis for sustainability
Omron has been awarded the Platinum rating following a sustainability assessment by EcoVadis. A score earning a Platinum rating, which is the highest distinction, puts the company within the top 1% of all the businesses assessed for sustainability performance.
1 week ago
ABB Value Provider wins order for rolling mill DC drive solution
DC drive specialist Iconsys is set to deliver a bespoke drive upgrade solution comprising two 12-pulse drive suites from ABB for a UK steel mill’s payoff and tension reels, used to feed and recoil steel strip through a production line.
1 week ago
What are the design considerations when specifying lead screws?
The first in the new ‘Design • Engineer • Build’ series of video podcasts focuses on lead screws – components that are at the heart of countless engineering systems. We talk to Phil Jones at Abssac about the enduring popularity of these essential design products, and the design considerations in their specification.
1 week ago
Harting honoured with the ‘Best of Industry Award’
The industry media of the Vogel Communications Group presented their ‘Best of Industry Awards’ shortly before the turn of the year. The Harting Technology Group emerged as the winner in the ‘Electrical Equipment’ category with its Han-Modular Domino modules.
1 week ago
Quick ROI and 60% decrease in maintenance travel with remote access
Brazilian surface treatment systems manufacturer Erzinger was keen to limit service trips as much as possible to serve customers faster. By implementing IXON Cloud, it can now support its customers remotely, and work in an intuitive and secure way. It can even set up multiple simultaneous connections to work together on the same project. The result is cost reduction, quick ROI and happier customers.
2 weeks ago
Nord high up in the sustainability ranking
Nord Drivesystems was assessed by the rating agency EcoVadis and awarded the silver sustainability certificate in 2022. In the overall ranking, the North German company is in the top six percent of manufacturers in the industry assessed by EcoVadis.
2 weeks ago
Mitsubishi Electric helps door manufacturer triple its throughput
Renowned door manufacturer Profile Developments has seen a threefold increase in its productivity, thanks to its latest collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric, with a solution based on multiple FR-E series inverter or variable speed drives (VSDs) and other system-matched components, such as a GOT 2000 series HMI and MELSEC iQ-R PLC.

Login / Sign up