Our Customer’s Problem:
Our customer, a leader in the power industry, had a product idea that required precise design for manufacturing. The request was to design Human Machine Interface (HMI) Housing that met UL waterproof and sealing standards and thermoformed switch bumps.
A Human Machine Interface provides a graphics-based visualization of an industrial control and monitoring system. Previously called an “MMI” (man machine interface), an HMI typically resides in an office-based Windows computer that communicates with a specialized computer in the plant such as a programmable automation controller (PAC), programmable logic controller (PLC) or distributed control system (DCS). (via PCMag)
The customer asked for our help in creating a tool design that was cost effective and functional.
The GTech Solution:
The GTech Design team created a complete turnkey design of a HMI Housing that exceeded their function and cost requirements.
HMI projects consist of three primary design challenges — 1) Die-casting 2) Gasket and 3) Membrane thermoformed, printed & selectively laminated.
We met the tight tolerances required and UL waterproofing standards while also meeting the project budget. It was essential to have the HMI pass the IP Code, International Protection Marking, IEC standard 60529, sometimes interpreted as Ingress Protection Marking. Published by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IES), IP Codes classify and rate the degree of protection provided against intrusion (body parts such as hands and fingers), dust, accidental contact, and water by mechanical casings and electrical enclosures. The standard aims to provide users more detailed information than vague marketing terms such as waterproof.
With weatherable properties added into the HMI, the customer can feel confident in the durability of thermoformed products, which won’t fade, rust, or crack under stress. Even scientific equipment can be made more stylish and distinctive with thermoformed plastics, giving the customer a critical edge over competition.
The finished HMI Housing design included:
- Die-casting and CNC machining, enclosure to meet UL waterproof standards
- Selectively laminated with thermoformed bumps
- Powder coated and sub-assembled to meet aesthetic requirements
- Final assembly
No tolerances are too tight or requests too outrageous for the GTech team to help companies design the tools and processes needed to make an idea into reality. Give us the restrictions, the specifications, the concerns, the budget … our team will discover the solution you are looking for.