Human Machine Interface(HMI) Programming Tutorial

HMI programming is a skill that requires an understanding of the basics in engineering, electronics, and computer science. This tutorial will teach you about HMI programming through easy-to-follow explanations and examples. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll be able to create your own HMI programs!

Introduction to HMI Programming

HMI stands for Human Machine Interface. HMI programming is the process of creating computer programs that can interact with and control industrial machines such as robots, conveyor systems, and assembly lines. The code you write in these types of programs is referred to as “scripts” or just “programs”.

In order to do this successfully, it’s important to understand the basics behind how each machine operates (mechanical engineering), what kind of information you’ll need from a person controlling the device (electronics/computer science), and finally coding all that into an executable format which your program will interpret (coding).

Programming an HMI Software

When programming an HMI system, it’s important to understand how different components interact with each other on both the physical level (electronic connections between sensors) and logical levels (how data flows through an entire project). You’ll also need to know about things like safety systems that can shut down a machine if something goes wrong as well as alarm systems that let operators know when there are problems so steps can be taken in response.

How to Learn HMI Programming

HMI programming is a vast subject, so it’s not possible to learn everything there is about HMI in one tutorial. It takes years of experience and practice for an engineer or operator to become familiar with all the capabilities and safety features associated with any machine they work on.

While you can’t expect yourself to know all of this information before beginning your career as an HMI programmer, learning bits and pieces each time you use a new piece of equipment will help build up your knowledge base over time.

Who Uses HMI Programming?

HMI programming is used by a variety of people in many different industries. Engineers use HMI to monitor and control machines that perform important tasks such as building cars, processing food or medicine, manufacturing products like circuit boards or textiles, powering cities with electricity from power plants, and generating energy from nuclear sources.

Job roles in HMI programming:

  • Industrial engineers
  • Control engineers
  • Mechanical Engineers
  • Electrical Engineers
  • Software Developers
  • Operators and Supervisors in the industrial setting. (For example, a supervisor at an oil refinery who is monitoring employees using computer terminals)

Common Uses of HMI

HMI is used in applications across many industries, but a few of the most common are:

  • Oil Refineries
  • Chemical Plants
  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Facilities
  • Power Generation and Distribution Systems. (For example, monitoring electrical power lines or wind turbines)
  • Nuclear Power Stations. (For example, controlling temperature gauges on nuclear reactors)

HMI Programming vs PLC Programming

PLC (Programmable Logic Controller) refers to hardware components used in various industrial machines such as factory robots or conveyor belts. These are different from the computer programs known as HMI that allow engineers and operators to access those controls through their computers. However, there is some overlap between these terms since an engineer could program a PLC with an HMI language like Ladder Diagram or Structured Text.


HMI programming requires a solid understanding of engineering concepts (like how circuits work), electrical components (like sensors), computer science ideas (like data flow-through systems), plus experience working on different machines so that all this information comes together into one cohesive knowledge base for each industry or organization where these types of programmers are needed.

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