technology in the Food & Beverage industry
The Multi-Touch Revolution
A smart phone or a tablet PC is already a common gadget for many of us. These devices, through their simplicity and user-friendliness, entered into our life with an unbelievable speed. This is not a coincidence - we only need to look at how easy it is to use their software by touching the screen with our fingers. Learning curve? Instantaneously! We do many things using Multi-Touch finger gestures without being conscious of them, because they are simply normal:
- Flick, drag or swipe, in order to scroll to the preferred apps or to change the pages of a document
- Spread or pinch the fingers when we want to zoom the entire page or just a graphic image
- Tap on screen to select an option in a menu or to start an application
- A press (a longer tap) will display, for instance, a context menu
- Double tap to bring the zoom to the default value, and so on.
zenon with Multi-Touch
Multi-Touch on the HMI Operator Panel
Can you imagine if the operators of Food & Beverage production equipment would use such Multi-Touch gestures for process control purposes? The touch panels are already very common in the industry, at least due to reasons like: improved hygiene and reduced development and maintenance costs. Then what are the benefits of the Multi-Touch operation at the HMI?
- faster learning curves for the machine operators
- Increased operation performance due to improved usability, for example:
- the operator finds the available application options easier
- actions, like zoom or parameter value changes, are becoming much simpler
- Improved operation safety, for critical actions – allowed only by using special finger movements or multi-hand gestures