The Challenges

In today’s time many companies reduce or stop investments with the goal of saving money due to the current economic situation.
However, when it comes to HMIs there might be better ways to save money by investing into web HMIs like WebIQ instead.

Just have a look at the imaginary company MachinePark Inc. as an example which is based on experiences we’ve had with many different customers:

  • have been building machines for more than 30 years
  • use different PLC/HMI systems (e.g. SIEMENS, Allen-Bradley, Beckhoff) in their machines due to legacy systems and acquisitions of other companies
  • for each of these systems they have distinct non-web HMIs because each of these systems is not compatible to each other
  • for each of these systems they have highly specialized employees in the company
  • when one of these specialists is on vacation or sick delays might occur because the others cannot take over
  • many new machine features have to be implemented three times by three people on three systems
  • some machines could not be shipped in the last months because specific displays by one of the manufacturers were temporarily not available due to the global chip shortage and using these specific displays was a requirement with no alternatives (vendor lock-in)
  • as a result revenue started declining in the last months and costs are at an all-time high

Huge Improvements

When MachinePark Inc. discovered WebIQ and started using it, they saw huge improvements:

  • they still use different PLCs, but now use a single unified web HMI powered by WebIQ
  • each of the employees can modify the HMI easily using only HTML, CSS and JavaScript and the drag & drop layout editor integrated in WebIQ Designer so when one of them is on vacation or sick modifications can still be performed
  • they save a lot of time and resources, because they only have a single HMI that’s easy to update
  • as they have created their web HMI with WebIQ using responsive design they not only can use many more screens and web panels from different manufacturers, the resolution can also be slightly different
  • when implementing their custom widgets with web technology they often use freely available open-source libraries to save time and money
  • when they don’t know how to implement a specific JavaScript functionality or CSS style, they find information easily online through Google
  • they also optimized their new HMI for smartphones and tablets using the responsive design features built into WebIQ – and are now ahead of their competition

How they kickstarted their new web HMI:

  • they participated in a free webinar that was suited to their individual needs where they could get answers to all of their questions
  • they started getting to know WebIQ on their own by creating a simple demo HMI based on the many demo HMIs shipped with WebIQ
  • they had Smart HMI create a basic HMI for them in their individual design and a few custom widgets
  • rather than reading the manual themselves they decided to get a fully customized training to learn how to create an HMI the fastest way possible
  • multiple short online trainings with a few days between them allowed for immediate use of the topics learned in the training before continuing with the next trainings for better learning effects
  • they then completed the HMI on their own and utilized the support packages available to get professional help quickly

What MachinePark Inc. likes about WebIQ

  • non-proprietary open web technologies and the OPC-UA standard prevents vendor lock-in: they can now use any OPC-UA enabled PLC and any web-compatible IPC
  • using the tools, documentation and demos available they could build their own HMI quickly
  • instead of standardized trainings and workshops the meetings with Smart HMI were fully customized
  • they liked the empowerement they got with WebIQ: an immediately usable software which does not require hundreds of hours of trainings and Smart HMIs focus is definitely on continually improving and extending the software rather than predominantly selling trainings and custom developments
  • the support they got from Smart HMI was outstanding with quick replies – sometimes directly from the individual developers of WebIQ when the topic was more complex

Just see for yourself what WebIQ has to offer – signup now for free and test WebIQ for free for 30 days!

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