Including the right alarms in HMIs

HMI programmingToday HMIs are prevalent in all kinds of industries. For example, you can find them in systems to manage the manufacturing execution systems (MES) in all kinds of plants. In addition, they can be a part of field service management systems (FMS) and control networks for smart devices. It is easier to use them than ever before, but it is still important to get the HMI programming right. This must ensure the interfaces are easy for everyone to understand and use.

One thing a good HMI should include is a series of alarms. They can highlight when there is an issue with a part of a system or the whole thing. This can then encourage the operator to look into it and find a solution.

Using the right alarms

There are actually several different options for alarms here. Below you can find out a little more about three of the most important types and when to use them.


The first and most common type of alarm will provide a warning when there is a problem. However, it won’t do anything else. It will allow processes to continue. As a result they should only be used where there is no risk of damage or injury if a process does proceed.

Cycle stop

A second option will trigger an alarm but allow the current cycle of a process to continue. It will then stop the system until the cause of the stoppage is addressed. This is useful for things like low materials.

Immediate stop

The third and final important type of alarm will immediately stop a process if there is an issue. They are essential if there is an unsafe or emergency situation where a machine cycle cannot continue. This could include things like a loss of power, a jam, or anything that puts a machine into an unstable state.

Ask us about HMI programming

At IRS Consultants Ltd we work hard to create the best user interfaces for all kinds of systems. Our goal is to make them easy to use but ensure they include everything necessary for facilities to function properly. This can mean including different types of alarm.

So, if you want a first rate HMI programming service, speak to us. We support clients in all kinds of industries, working to deliver the best advice from start to finish.