A human machine interface (HMI) connected to a separate programmable logic controller (PLC) is the standard system for machine automation. However, combining PLC processing and HMI monitoring and control into a single hardware platform is becoming a more available and popular option due to improvements and advancements in both hardware and software.
HMI is a software application that presents information to an operator or user about the state of a process, and to accept and implement the operators control instructions. Typically information is displayed in a graphic format (Graphical User Interface or GUI). An HMI is often a part of a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system.