The Difference Between HMI Display and Touch Screen Display

Q&A on HMI display and touch screen display

1. What is the difference between the HMI display and “touch screen display”?

Strictly speaking, there is an essential difference between an HMI display and a touch screen display.

This is because the “touch screen display” is only the hardware part that may be used in HMI products.

But the HMI product is a kind of human-machine interactive equipment that includes hardware and software.

In the industry, people often call the HMI product with touch input function “touch screen display”, but this is not scientific.

2. What is the difference between HMI display and configuration software?

HMI products often referred to as “touch screen displays”, contain HMI hardware and corresponding dedicated picture configuration software.

In general, different manufacturers of HMI hardware use different picture configuration software, the main type of equipment is connected to PLC.

Configuration software is a general STONE Designer product running on the PC hardware platform and Windows operating system. General configuration software supports a very wide range of equipment, such as a variety of PLC, PC board card, instrumentation, inverter, modules, and other equipment, and because the PC hardware platform performance is strong (mainly reflected in the speed and storage capacity), general configuration software function is also much stronger, suitable for a large monitoring system.

3. Is there an operating system in HMI display products?

Any HMI product has a system software part, the system software runs in the processor of HMI display, supports the multitask processing function, the processor needs to have the small operating system management system software to run. In the high-performance HMI products based on the tablet computer, WinCE, Linux, and other general embedded operating systems are generally used.

4. Can the HMI display only connect with PLC?

That’s not true. HMI display products are to solve the problem of PLC human-computer interaction, but with the development of computer technology and digital circuit technology, much industrial control equipment has a serial port communication ability, so as long as there is a serial port communication ability of the industrial control equipment, such as frequency converter, dc speed regulator, temperature control instrument, for the module can connect HMI products, to realize the human-computer interaction function.


5. Is the HMI display only connected with other devices through the standard serial communication port?

Most of the time it is. However, with the development of computer and digital circuit technology, the interface capability of HMI display products is becoming stronger and stronger. In addition to the traditional serial (RS232, RS422/RS485) communication interface, some HMI products have a network port, parallel port, USB port, and another data interface, they can be with a network port, parallel port, USB port, and other interfaces of industrial control equipment connected, to achieve HMI of equipment.

6. Can the equipment with communication function be connected to the HMI display products?

It should look like this.

Because the general HMI display products are provided with a large number of commonly used devices to choose from communication drivers;

In general, as long as the corresponding communication driver program is selected in the configuration software of the HMI display, the communication connection between HMI and equipment can be completed.

If there is no communication driver to connect the device in the configuration software of the selected HMI product, the user can inform the manufacturer of the HMI product of the communication port type and protocol content to connect the device and ask the manufacturer of HMI to compile the communication driver for the device.


7. PC and touch screen display can directly communicate with PLC, complete the function of HMI display?

Sure. However, it is necessary to compile the corresponding HMI software to make the PC a real HMI product.

8. What is the development trend of HMI displays in the future?

With the development of digital circuits and computer technology, the function of HMI products In the future, the function of human-machine interface products in the high, medium, the low division will be less and less obvious, and the function of HMI will be richer and richer.

All HMI products over 5.7 inches will have color displays and have a longer screen life.

Due to the reduction of computer hardware cost, HMI products will mainly focus on the tablet PC as the high-end product of HMI hardware, because this high-end product has great advantages in processor speed, storage capacity, types and quantities of communication interfaces, networking capacity, and software resource sharing, which is the development direction of HMI products in the future.

Of course, the small-sized (display size less than 5.7 inches) HMI products, due to their advantages in size and price, will be widely used in HMI (human-computer interaction) applications of small mechanical devices as their functions are further enhanced (such as IO function).

Now it’s clear the difference between an HMI display and a touch screen display. The touch screen display is only the hardware part that may be used in the human-machine interface product, and the HMI display product is a kind of HMI device that contains the touch screen hardware and software.

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