Human Machine Interface (HMI) Design for Medical Applications

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An interconnected world requires seamless user interface solutions that anticipates the mindset of the operator and their machine

“A picture is worth a thousand words. An interface is worth a thousand pictures.”

-Data Scientist

HMI Design & Engineering

Graphic overlays on control panels are vital to Human Machine Interface (HMI) design, as they dictate the interaction and control between operator and machine. From microwaves to medical diagnostic systems, our interaction with control panels, switches, buttons and touch-screens is our way of taming technology in order for it to do our bidding. To harness this power requires seamless, efficient communication between the operator and machine through the use of Design Mark’s intuitive, custom graphic overlays for industrial control panels.

In the medical device world, simple, fluid and reliable modern control components are vital to improving care efficiency, ensuring patient comfort and maintaining provider operations. At Design Mark, we leverage over 40 years of experience in the design and manufacturing of user interface technologies, offering seasoned, ISO 9001-2015 certified production of graphic overlays, membrane switches, control panel assemblies and other HMI-based system components. From intricate medical devices to complex industrial systems, Design Mark provides custom design, manufacturing and quality control under one roof.Design Mark_HMI Medical Devices_blog

Graphic Overlay Design Evolution for HMI

Since the dawn of time, humans strive to simplify their control and efficiency over their own inventions. From gears and levers to buttons and switches, we strive to not only tame our control of machines, but also make that control more intimate. Along this history, humans have gone to understand that the machine interface requires more than just physical contact, but also intuitive predictability.

English mathematician Charles Babbage introduced the Babbage Analytical Engine in 1837. Considered the first mechanical Click here for Rapid Prototyping computer, programming was performed through the physical operation of various cranks and clutches. Over a century later, IBM brought forward punched cards in the 1950’s, thereby streamlining our ability to program machines and enter data. The command line interface soon followed in the 1960’s along with physical keyboards, thereby simplifying our ability to control machines.

In the 1980’s the introduction of the Graphical User Interface (GUI) set the stage for a symbiosis between computers, physical control panels with graphic overlays and mobile, multi-touch screen systems. GUIs were essentially digital control panels that simplified human-machine interaction in the form of various symbols, icons, charts and visual representations, thereby making it easier for humans to interface with computers (machines).

Human Machine Interface – Merging Physical and Digital Control

Today, many graphic overlays on control panel assemblies now work in coordination with digitized GUIs for a seamless HMI experience. At Design Mark, our custom graphic overlays can be fabricated with a variety of features including textured surfaces, color matching, embossing, durability and both UV and chemical resistance. Our team leverages years of experience building graphic overlays that are vital to successful operator-interface control.

Innovative HMI Design Services

Building efficient, highly reliable graphic overlays for medical devices, industrial control panels and other applications requires in-depth attention throughout the entire product development process. Design Mark takes the time to analyze and implement a successful HMI design using the following objectives:

  • Define the operator and tools required for an effective process outcome, eliminate the ineffective
  • Explore the interface functions (visual, auditory, tactile, etc.) necessary for graphic overlay design
  • Visualize and create the communications and interactions between the operator and machine
  • Establish an optimal feedback loop that meets the operator’s skill level and efficiently achieves a machine outcome

Since 1971, we’ve applied our seasoned, industrial design expertise to custom manufacture graphic overlays for a wide range of HMI applications. We’ll explore panel functionality, input complexity, layout predictability, component durability, ergonomics and operator psychology. We understand how environmental considerations such as temperature, wear and tear, rough use and the elements can influence human machine interaction - especially in medical environments.

Designed According to Industry StandardsDesign Mark_ISO 9001 2015

Design Mark is a US-based, ISO 9001-2015 certified company, focused on continuous process improvement, lean manufacturing methods and quality control. From prototyping to production, we can work with large OEMs, contract manufacturers and other design teams in the medical, military, communications, industrial and government industries.

Comprehensive Provider of HMI Solutions for Medical Device Engineering

With both our design and manufacturing facilities located in North America, we’re able to offer a complete, one-stop solution for graphic overlays on control panels. Our clients don't have to rely on outsourcing, third parties or overseas production timelines. 

Design Mark stays ahead of medical industry trends in order to balance successful graphic overlay designs with the latest in human machine interface development. Our goal is to always create control panels with graphic overlays that harmonizes the process between machine and operator. 

Are you in the concept design phase and looking to get your next project started? Contact our skilled team of engineers today!

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