March 30, 2020

Augmenting Existing HMI Functionality


Human machine interfaces (HMIs) are often used in industrial settings to track production,  monitor machine status, and respond to changing environmental demands, with the goal of optimizing efficiency and reducing downtime. Many organizations are now leveraging connectivity to supplement traditional HMI functionality with cloud-based features, remote monitoring capabilities, and enhanced usability. Exosite’s ExoSense® remote monitoring application provides virtual HMI capabilities that organizations can take advantage of as they begin to augment existing systems with cloud-based monitoring. In this application note, we’ll discuss how Exosite’s technology offers features that have helped industrial organizations overcome the challenges they face when making this transition.

The Challenges

Organizations augmenting HMIs with cloud connectivity often face common challenges: 

  • The new applications needed to enable remote monitoring can have an unfamiliar look and feel that is challenging for machine operators and technicians.  
  • Developing and maintaining a separate cloud application can be expensive and come with hidden maintenance costs.
  • Connecting devices securely can be difficult and costly without IoT domain expertise.

The Solution

Exosite’s ExoSense® application solves these challenges by providing a remote monitoring solution that replicates existing HMIs with browser-based visualizations for mobile devices, tablets, and smartphones. ExoSense enables customizable dashboards, thresholds, and alerts that make it easy to remotely monitor critical machine health information for existing legacy machines and systems without requiring physical proximity to equipment or data collection points. And, our dynamic graphic dashboard panels allow signal values and status to be mapped to elements within SVG images, providing the flexibility to create visualizations that have the same look, feel, and functionality as existing HMI interfaces. ExoSense deploys in minutes and is configurable without coding, reducing both initial investment and ongoing maintenance costs. Exosite also has multiple security options, so organizations can easily leverage industry-accepted standards to connect devices securely, regardless of their IoT expertise.

ExoSense dashboard featuring HMI-like interface and additional monitoring capabilities

Key ExoSense Features 

ExoSense provides the following features that are purpose-built to augment HMI use cases:

  • Customizable dashboard builder to enable rapid visualization of remote machine health information
  • A dynamic graphics dashboard panel that supports SVG image capabilities to create dashboards with familiar look/feel/functionality of an HMI
  • Rules to set thresholds and trigger alerts for remote monitoring and notifications
  • Analytics functions that can be customized to augment visualization and alerts
  • Flexible user roles to fit the viewing permissions of any user audience
  • Inherent, industry-accepted security standards for device connectivity

To learn more about ExoSense, visit our technical documentation site.

The Outcomes

Organizations leveraging ExoSense have been able to:

  • Quickly develop a solution that enables a remote HMI-like monitoring experience from anywhere and any device, while maintaining familiar look, feel, and functionality to reduce disruption for operators and technicians. 
  • Leverage a fully managed, cloud-based software solution that makes it easy to monitor existing legacy equipment and systems, while reducing the need to internally develop technology and maintain security. 
  • Create multiple dashboard views within the same application that can provide both granular data about a single piece of equipment and high-level data about groups of equipment or the facility as a whole. 
  • Create varying permissions schemes, so different users—like factory floor workers, technicians, and facility managers—only see remote dashboards that are applicable to their role.
  • Enable remote monitoring of multiple HMIs, so users that are not on the plant floor can receive machine health information and respond accordingly, requiring fewer people and reducing operational costs.

Think ExoSense could do the same for you? Connect with an Exosite solution expert to talk about your application needs and see a demo of ExoSense today.