The Real-World Importance of Human to Machine Interface in Otek’s New Technology Meters

Safety is of utmost importance for anyone working in a critical environment, like a nuclear power plant or oil refinery. Many millions of dollars are spent every year ensuring that workplaces are protected against forces of nature, human error, and mechanical failure. One factor that has become increasingly important to workplace safety is human to machine interface, or HMI. Read on to find out how Otek has taken HMI into account when designing our digital New Technology Meters.


Why is HMI Important?

Human to Machine Interface makes it easier for humans to manage and interpret measurements and readings from instruments. This leads to an increase in productivity (as less time is required to ensure the instruments are working correctly) and a safer working environment. In addition, digital meters like the NTM reduce the number of errors made by operators due to their simplicity of use and reliability. In short, instrumentation that takes HMI into account will be safer and more reliable than one that does not.

Automatic Tri-Color Bargraphs

Our tri-color bargraphs use the colors green, yellow, and red to display process status. These colors mimic a traffic light and the meanings are universally understood. This means that there’s no need to have to think about whether or not a reading is safe or unsafe: green signifies a safe reading, yellow signifies a cautious reading, and red signifies an unsafe one. This simple mode of communication between the human operator and the machine increases safety and improves reaction time in a dangerous situation.

Signal Failure Detection

One feature of our New Technology Meters is our signal failure detection. Unlike analog meters, our NTMs will inform you when the input has failed or gone dead. The meter not only flashes its display with the message “INPT FAIL,” but transmits the event to supervisory equipment via serial I/O for logging. In addition, digital meters provide a much more responsive and reliable reading than analog meters do- and they have no moving parts to result in stuck needles.

Other Features

Another added feature that increases productivity and safety is flexible firmware that can perform math functions for the user. This feature can save valuable time and ensure accuracy. In addition, our bargraph meters are built out of durable materials and are offered in industrial, military, and nuclear grades. All of these things ensure ease of use and reliability for the user.

Since 1974, Otek has built cutting-edge process measurement and control instruments, which we back with our unparalleled customer service. Visit our site at or call us at 520-748-7900 for more information about our company and products.