Which HMI will best suit the application?

HMI and its suitability to application

We are often asked this question by first-time customers who approach us for complete design of HMI from scratch.

Different customers who have requirement of HMI call them by different names and terminology. From membrane keypads and keyboards to silicone keyboards, touch sense panels and metal keyboards, they are all human-machine interfaces or HMI.

Although HMI buyers might have their own opinions on this, however, the reality is that Linepro has thousands of active customers with hundreds and thousands of keyboards manufactured are the best option to suggest HMI solution for your needs.

What goes into proper selection of HMIs for an application?

The most suitable kind of HMI for your specific application is dependent on several aspects. It is important to consider the working environment must be taken into consideration first, as the requirements for a military standard Keyboard differ significantly when compared with a keyboard designed for industrial machines. However, the cost, timeframe as well as quantity and performance are among the top aspects to be evaluated by the right decision makers.

Different stakeholders from different sections of an organization may have different objectives and requirements of a new keypad. For some, the delivery aspect is the most important thing while to others, it’s the cost. From a design point of view there are a lot of possibilities to design a fully functional keypad. What is the best way to ensure that it is the best? Feel, appearance and user-friendliness cannot be easily measured, and as a result, opinions can override the specifications, making the guidelines obscure and confusing about what constitutes and does not constitute an essential design element for the HMI.

Read Blog on: Membrane Keypad Technology for Harsh Working Conditions

Speed and Deliverance of HMI

The most efficient HMI is one that’s finished in a timely manner, delivered and ready to use. What is the point of a complicated HMI design when you need six months of time to create and test the first part and four months to deliver an application? It is crucial to speed up the development process and is especially crucial when the economy slows and cash flows tighten.

3-D printing can be an alternative however rarely these models will have the button functions to provide users with real-time feedback. The tactile experience, the color IP protection standards, color and button stiffness are all affected since the 3D-printed parts do not represent the kind of product that is suitable for production as well as the required application.

However, if you are able to put off couple of weeks, your best alternative is for Linepro to produce production-ready keyboards or touch panels and seek constructive feedback from all users.

Creating trust through quality

A well designed HMI which adheres to working environment conditions will perform for years and can be trusted upon for its capacity and reliability. It is an equivocal term with a variety of HMI and keypad technology being classified as high-reliability. Mean time between failures (MTBF), useful life, and other similar terms help quantify the expected life of these assemblies. Membrane keypads and keyboards are simple design elements are simple yet durable type of HMI which can sustain millions of actuation cycles.

Dome switches made of stainless steel in membrane keypads are among the top options for design due to the dome acting as a load path and is the primary source of forces when it is pressed. Metal domes in keypad are revolution in HMI membrane keypads as there exists a relation between stress and amount of actuation cycles. Steel behaves well against cyclic bending and fatigue. Hence, metal dome switches can withstand millions of cycles if designed correctly and is one of the best HMI design option when it comes to reliability. Also, metal domes made of stainless steel cost pennies.

Experience of HMI Design – An important factor

At Linepro, we have myriad of keypads and HMI alternatives available. It’s easy for us to refer to our past designs and provide solutions based on our experience as the designs we prepare at present have been worked upon similarly in the past with some other customer.

The most effective ideas for design today were derived from earlier-generation keypads, and then redesigned with modern technology. It is widely acknowledged that imitating our own keypads is the most sincere kind of praise to ourselves and there’s no shame when it comes to keypad design. But, we really do not encourage intellectual theft of intellectual property of our competitors or any third-party at our organization! Millions of designers suffer each year.


Before we begin, we get involved with customers and ask which options are the most crucial. Is it the cost or reliability that matters the most? Or is it both? For this purpose we have a pre-screening process to identify the actual requirements of customers before we start designing the HMI. It’s been 30 years in industry and our process of knowing the actual requirements to attain reliability is a grand success worldwide. Contact us today for more technical discussions and requirements on HMIs.

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