InTouch 2017 OMI is a Game Changer for Industrial Visualization. Pass the Orange Juice!

By Glenn Yancey, System Consultant, InSource Solutions

Here in Florida, one of the things that I see plenty of are oranges. Today, our Wonderware InTouch HMI solution is involved in every step of the process as the oranges are received, juice extracted, blended, cartons filled, labeled, pasteurized, and packaged for consumption to the distribution warehouse. Operators creatively use touch screens to navigate an application with just one finger from one process (filler) to another process (pasteurization), and multiple steps have been integrated to prevent accidental operator control actions. It works well. BUT these applications were never designed for the modern way which we interact with devices.

“Multi-touch is a method of input on a touchscreen that allows two or more fingers to be used on the screen at one time. Apple’s iPhone is famous for introducing multi-touch to the cell phone world by using it to allow pinching and stretching gestures on the screen to control zooming.” -per Mobileburn.com.

We are now living in a day and age where we instinctively use multi-touch gestures to accomplish a variety of tasks on our smart phones, tablets, and some computing devices. Wonderware’s InTouch OMI 2017 visualization software has introduced Multi-touch interaction to the industrial and SCADA world. The result: a game changer. OMI creates a much easier interface to your automated process. It empowers any operator to be more effective, security conscious and less prone to distraction.

Many industries, namely the Food & Beverage (Ex. Orange Juice) as well as Pharmaceutical, require their facilities to be in compliance with FDA guidelines & procedures designed to maintain a safe, secure, and foolproof process that ensures product safety. These standards apply to the HMI interaction an operator has during the process. Some implementations of the FDA guidelines may require operators to log in at the point of changing a value, or may even require a supervisor to supply his/her credentials to approve an action with an Electronic Signature of “when that was done” and “by whom”.

Although not directly subject to regulation under 21 CFR Part 11 by the FDA, Wonderware System Platform, InTouch, and Wonderware Historian products incorporate features and functionality designed to facilitate the development of applications for use in FDA-regulated industries. InTouch OMI’s new multi-gesture set feature of “Slide and Tap” and “Touch and Tap” is simple, yet incredibly effective safeguard for preventing accidental writes on values where an operator has been already granted privileges for interaction. It provides an additional layer of protection on the screen, besides traditional security methods built into the application. These “Slide and Tap” and “Touch and Tap” Multi-Touch Interaction features require you to select an outer layer that has an underlying layer containing the object with which you are trying to interact. One finger must move away the outer layer to expose the interactive layer, which your other finger can select. You can see how this provides an additional layer of safety to prevent an accidental write.

Another game changer in Wonderware’s new release for industrial visualization is the De-clutter feature. Many citrus industry applications I have seen have quite impressive, beautiful graphics, but are often overly cluttered with graphics and text to where so much of the screen feels more like the monitors from the movie “The Matrix”. With the new De-clutter feature, you can expose only the extra graphics only when you have zoomed in with your fingers and have surpassed a certain zoom level. This provides a clean, orderly high level view at “10,000 ft.”, but when you zoom in to “7,000 ft.”, you then are exposed to additional graphics of your process that you didn’t have when zoomed out.

Example of what I may see with the de-clutter feature:
10,000 ft (100%): Storage Tanks for Juice Mixers and flashing alarm borders when in alarm.
7,000 ft (300%): The same as above, but now I see my Levels, Temperature, and more details such as Tank Size (Min and Max).

The operator can easily focus on the overall process without clutter, but when additional details are needed, zooming in will accomplish the granularity required for achieving that specific task. Less clutter and distraction. More orange juice.

To see more of these two game-changing Visualization features in InTouch OMI, click here to watch my video.