HMI elements for Oil and Gas

I am working on customisable and being able to animated HMI elements for oil and gas. There will be more like wellheads, artificial lifts methods, pipelines and manifolds, seperators, heaters, tanks and other auxiliary equipments for surface facility to create to use in projects to have more detailed and insightful HMIs.

I need your feedbacks about design style and other details that I can miss. Thanks in advance.


Before you go too far creating plumbing diagrams have a look at REALPARS What is High-Perfo rmance HMI and their accompanying videos. The guidelines specifical caution against using symbols showing flanges, fasteners and othe clutter.


Thanks for your feedback. As you see that I am using different design style to create more detailed and gamified items to catch people attention on interfaces.

It does catch people's attention. It draws their attention to the clutter. Even when those people are supposed to be paying attention to the content. Varied colors do the same. Which is fine if the colors are conveying information about the process. Not helpful when the colors are just decorative.

Gamified design is for games. Not for real world systems. IMNSHO.


Are you sure for that?

I agree with @Transistor and @pturmel so, yes we are sure.

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My question is just for "Gamified design is for games." and I should accept "Yes" answer from you for this sentence.

So I am confused about why industrial companies are investing millions of $ to gamification systems into non-game contexts for changing something during Industry 4.0.

Are we still in Industry 3.0 to continue with older standards?

I should clarify, my response was a bit of sarcasm. You initially asked for feedback and I think most people will agree that fancy graphics don't tell the user anything important and it is just a distraction.

I see.

I got sarcastically similar response from a manager in Honeywell 4 years ago, when I asked why we are still using gray scale interfaces. a year after this conversation, same person used fancy blue palette instead of gray for Aramco project due to different valid reasons according to him.

I didnt ask feedback to give up because of industry 3.0 standards. I am just trying to create new things to align with other Industry 4.0 technologies. As I understood from your sarcastic approach that I should use less color.

In all honesty, you can use whatever you want. But, it is highly recommended to follow High Performance HMI techniques. Perhaps develop both, High Performance and intense graphics, to see which is better from an operational standpoint. At the end of the day it should be about operations not entertaining.

I think you've flipped your technologies. High-performance HMI design ideas are relatively recent--very much part of the Industry 4.0 re-alignment. Why do you think otherwise?

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I recommend reading up on good HMI design. The main points in my approach would be:

  • Minimise clutter.
  • Be consistent with fonts, colours and layout across all screens.
  • Use colour sparingly and with purpose. Use it for the company theme if you're including that in your HMI and use it for go / no-go. Avoid the default garish green and red. The Perspective themes have predefined colours such as --success and --error which will work well.
  • Don't depend on colour alone to convey information. Some users may be colour-blind.
  • Right justify numbers in fields and tables.

That's just a few thoughts.

We started to use mobile apps and IOT to control and monitor systems for mobility. Gamified items are providing insigtful screens for users in mobile devices and small screens.
I am aware of purpose of High-perfomance HMI designs and I am accepting their importance in control rooms.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I noted them.

Consider designing your objects as grayscale wire-frames, minimally shaded. That still provides the spatial context for operators/users, without detracting from the dynamic (potentially colored) content.

That would be helpful for designs. Thanks for your feedback.

I just thought that different colors are useful for quick explanation in small screens, like blue wellhead is water injection well, orange well is gas well, gray wellhead is oil well, also for understanding artificial lift method, jumpjack is for sucker rod pump. I have been working on other drawings to provide better understanding from screens.

IMO a simple textbox with the current state spelled out is better. For colors, you have to be able to distinguish them (not be color blind) and you have to memorize them (or supply a legend). For text you just have to be able to read (Running, stopped, faulted, etc., those states are fairly intuitive).

A combination of text and color is the best of both worlds, if the colors are used properly.

Some links that may be useful, High Performance HMI Techniques - Ignition User Manual 8.1 - Ignition Documentation

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I tried to explain my approach for creating new designs but its very difficult to explain if you are not working in oil and gas. You should understand problems and requirements on business side. My approach is to solve time-consuming activities in front of screens when looking at one page.

I want to share the case as an example to understand what I am trying to do:

I have a manifold and separation system in substation before gathering station including 20 wells with some chemical injection system. Customer wants to indicate all information in one page.

You have to use labels for well names, manifold name, equipmet names in separation system, chemical injection skid names, and artificial lift method, fluid type, well type, injected chemical types, and transmitters, flowmeters, manual gauges etc.. That means around more than 200 labels should be used. I am trying to eliminate half of them with colors and gamified drawings. Still you cannot achieve to indicate structure of wellheads and equipments in surface facility with label or whatever High Perfomance HMI techniques provide. However, you can indicate all detailed information that I mentioned above with colors and gamified drawings.

You have to open other documents to check more details and I am saying that these are time consuming activity. If we are discussing one platform or UNS type of solutions, we should also think to provide more information in one page with colors or drawings. I am not sure that I can explain what I am trying to solve.

There are many users on this forum that do oil and gas, I believe @nader.chinichian is one of them.

Perhaps they will chime in with their feedback. Hope you get the feedback you are looking for.

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@dcamp @dcamp1 too