Thesis for the Degree of Master of Science


Year 1997
Anna Mäki

Study of the Operator Interfaces

This thesis has been carried out at Outokumpu Mintec Oy as a part of the development project on the Proscon 2100 automation system.

The purpose of the work is to determine the characteristics of the user interfaces, the facts that need to be considered when the user interface is designed, and the special requirements set on user interfaces in the automation systems. This information is utilised in developing the operator interface of the Proscon 2100 in the Windows NT operating system.

The first part of the work consists of a literature review of the general rules and guidelines of the user interface design. The distinct requirements of the operator interface are reviewed, along with some practical guidelines for designing it. This information is also obtained through a literature search. The Damatic XD, Simatic and Advant operator interfaces are studied. The main emphasis is on how the operations are carried out and how the screens are and can be constructed. The Proscon automation system is briefly described, and the operator interface is studied. The demonstration project of the Proscon automation system is transferred from the UNIX operating system to the Windows NT environment. The Microsoft SOL Server version 6.10 and Microsoft Access version 7.0 database applications are tested as historical databases of the Proscon 2100 NT system during the thesis. The Proscon NT reporting application is implemented using the Microsoft Excel 7.0 Visual Basic programming language, and a data connection between the Cimplicity program and the Configuration Manager program was implemented. Finally, recommendations for the operator interface design are given based on the literature search and practical experience.

The basic problem in the design of the operator interface is to present ever greater information load clearly, efficiently and in an ergonomic way. In every stage of the design process the designer has to consider who the users are and what are their intentions.

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