Method and tool for collaborative development of task-oriented HMI designs

Workgroup: Applied Digitalization

Research Partner and Scientific Guidance:

  1. Fraunhofer-Institut für Verfahrenstechnik und Verpackung IVV Dresden, Sebastian Carsch

IGF: 22834 BR
Financing: BMWK
Duration: 2023 – 2025

Nowadays, operators are often not involved in the development of an HMI (Human Machine Interface) until the very end of the process, despite the recommendations of DIN 9241-210 and the intensively researched field of "user-centered design". One reason for this is the communicative distance between developers and primary users. Yet changes to an HMI at the end of development are associated with cost-intensive iteration loops. A software-based assistance system that supports the cooperative development of HMIs can solve this challenge and provide targeted support for SMEs in the field of mechanical engineering in designing task-oriented, less error-prone and thus usable HMIs.

The aim of the research project is to develop a method for the creation of task-oriented HMI for machines in the industrial production sector, which is to be implemented in a software demonstrator. This demonstrator includes the following functions: a software-guided hierarchical task analysis, a co-design tool for the synchronous evaluation and design of HMI interface models, a database server for storing data from all project phases, and a project management tool for managing HMI design projects and for accessing experience from past development projects. The exemplary research scenario in the project is the design of HMIs for machines processing and packaging food products. The obtained project results can perspectively be transferred to other branches of the manufacturing industry. The focus during the project is, on the one hand, on reducing communication barriers between the future application personnel of the manufacturing companies as well as the mechanical engineering companies and their software development department and, on the other hand, on cooperative development in all phases of HMI development.

For the industry, a task-oriented HMI results in a lower risk of operating errors and opportunities for accelerated troubleshooting or even proactive avoidance of these. As a result, downtimes are reduced, which minimizes waste and resulting costs.

Producing companies can furthermore achieve the following advantages by using the system:

  1. simplified process monitoring and optimization, including for less qualified operating personnel
  2. low training effort for the operation of the machine by new personnel

Machine manufacturers can benefit from the research results in the following areas:

  1. support of their own HMI development process
  2. transfer of experience gained from HMI design projects to future projects
  3. competitive advantages through HMIs with higher usability
  4. reduced service effort for training new customer personnel

The IGF project presented here by the Research Association of the Industrial Association for Food Technology and Packaging (IVLV e.V.) is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action as part of the program for the promotion of industrial community research (IGF) based on a decision of the German Bundestag.