ABB Ability™ System 800xA High Performance Graphics

Providing the best operator interface can be challenging. Waiting with the response for an alarm to occur is not an option. High performance graphics for ABB Ability System 800xA provide intuitive graphic solutions and increased situation awareness for fast process handling.

How do you make sure that operators are presented with all the information they need to make a timely decision, while excluding what they don’t?

Many existing operator interface graphics are inefficient and unsafe, waiting for an incident to occur for the operator to respond. Systems should guide the operator graphically before an alarm or any other deviation occurs because it is easier to respond to events when presented graphical from overviews, rather than reading from a list.

System 800xA provides the possibility to adapt graphics performance according to certain principles in order to provide efficient operations. Operators can choose between regular graphics and high performance graphics.

Graphics are becoming more and more intuitive and the tendency is towards reducing elements and colors instead of overloading process overviews, leading to a much smoother operations flow.

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Classic and high performance indication for graphic elements

In ABB Ability System 800xA, the user per default has the choice of using graphic elements or faceplates in a classic or high performance style. High Performance HMI expands the capabilities of traditional HMIs of distributed control systems in many aspects. It reduces risks of human errors and decreases operatorrelated incidents by improving situation awareness and leading to a better handling of abnormal conditions. 

Using High Performance HMI can help operators to make better decisions and by doing so improve process safety and process uptime. Some of the main factors to improve the classic HMI are deliberate color definitions, usage to maximize visibility of abnormal situations and reduced complexity. A new style for alarm indications can be used in faceplates and as graphic elements. 

Feature Pack 4 introduced the possibility for the 
operator to use high performance graphics elements, alarm help and web reports, and the 800xA mobility guide. 

Pattern recognition for better visual monitoring

The industry has good knowledge how to improve graphic handling, and latest best practices allow an operator to visually monitor a target he introduces to the system. Pattern recognition is more effective than numbers. Pattern recognition includes deviation bars and trends which allow the operator to easily verify his stable state with large amounts of data.

The right information in the right place at the right time

Graphics Enhancements

- Copy of expressions or part of expressions to re-use graphic building blocks
​- Find and replace references to re-use displays
​- Solution library to increase engineering efficiency
​- Support of current Factory Symbol Library

Embedded Trends

A good practice is to use embedded trends for key parameters. A high performance trend can be used to display historical data in a graphical manner. This efficiently draws attention to abnormalities and deviations.

Tabbed Navigation

Tab-based navigation enables quick and direct access to primary displays and minimal keystroke access to secondary and associated displays, thus improving situation awareness and responsiveness to alarms and events.

More examples

ABB’s approach to achieving a high-performance HMI includes a range of technologies and industry best practices implemented in the System 800xA Operations environment. All are focused on boosting operators’ situation awareness and their correct and effective response to abnormal conditions.

Avoid confusion - A rule of thumb can be to configure certain graphical elements for effective operations. Avoid confusing colors; red, a color that suggests danger, is used for alarms, and should therefore not be used in diagrams or analyses.

Our offering

Process Graphics

Clean and clear process overview for operators. The current release includes Pocess Graphics 2.

Graphics Builder

True vector-based expression editor with a comprehensive pre-defined graphic symbol library.


Extensive symbol library

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