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Upgrading your UI with B&R HMIs

Written by: Mitchell Conn, Systems Sales Engineer

When the IPhone was first introduced to the public it changed the entire landscape of what and how people use their phones.  One of the most noticeable advances was in the touch screen interface that had not been used on any previous phone models and today 3.5 Billion people now have these devices.  This interface has become second nature to everyone and is an expected feature on every hand held device.  Contrary to the IPhone interface most industrial machines have followed a utilitarian approach to the user interface but that age is quickly coming to an end.  With companies looking for the next best thing to set their machine apart from the competition it is only natural that user interaction is a large part of that growth.  To bring machines into the next evolution, companies like B&R have been developing a user interface that is both more functional and aesthetically pleasing to the operator and customers.  In the next few paragraphs you will learn how B&R’s forward thinking approach to user interface is changing the expectation in the industrial market.

What makes this UI and HMI different from others?

B&R’s approach to User Interface and HMI development is called MappView.  With MappView, B&R now offers direct access to the wide world of web technology right from the engineering environment. Automation engineers have all the tools they need to create powerful and intuitive HMI solutions. There is no need to deal directly with HTML5, CSS and JavaScript technology.
MappView relies 100% on web standards to ensure content can be viewed optimally on any output device or even customized for specific users or user groups.

Why is MappView Unique?
What makes MappView unique is the way it integrates web technology right into the engineering environment. While MappView is built on HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, automation programmers never need to deal with these languages.

Seamlessly Integrated

  • HMI projects are developed in B&R’s development environment, Automation Studio. Pages and other resources are managed in the Logical View. The Toolbox provides an excellent overview of all available widgets.
    • Intuitive WYSIWYG editor
    • Integrated screen and resource management
    • Direct access to base data
    • Extensive collection of widgets
    • Fast and easy configuration

Reusable Elements

  • All GUI functionality is encapsulated in modular control elements called widgets, which are simply dragged and dropped into place and configured. Since content and layout are separated, designs can be adjusted at any time or even used on other machines

Platform Independence

  • MappView is built on the globally accepted web standards HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. Unlike proprietary platforms, these standards are updated continually and remain usable for decades – ensuring maximum return on investment.
    • 100% Web Standards
    • Responsive Design
    • Various Output Devices
    • Maximum ROI

Intuitive Operation

  • Modern web technology opens up exciting new possibilities for operating machinery and equipment. An efficient and intuitive user interface boosts productivity and reduces downtime.
    • Animations
    • New UI Design Concepts
    • Audio & Video
    • Multi-touch Gestures
    • Easy User Guidance

Total Modularity

  • MappView completely decouples the content from the layout and the HMI logic from the control logic. This shortens development time and ensures maximum re usability, making MappView the ideal solution for modular and flexible machine designs.

 Multi-client / Multi-user

  • Different users need access to different content. MappView allows you to implement role-based views without having to program them into the machine application. These custom screens can even be viewed on different devices simultaneously.


  • Data management in MappView is completely based on OPC UA. This makes it possible to easily integrate data sources from other vendors into the HMI application. This data can be viewed locally on a Panel PC or remotely on any device with a standard web browser.
    • Local or remote HMI
    • Easy 3rd-party integration
    • Supports OPC UA data model

There is a lot of powerful tools at your fingertips that you can take advantage to change the entire look and feel of your machine.  Many great companies have already started on this journey and result look great, take a look at this video of Negri Bossi for example.  .B&R is continually improving and coming out with new exciting ways to help your systems stay current with today’s expectations.  It’s time to bring your machine interface up to the quality your customers expect and B&R’s MappView is helping you do just that.
Take the next step in your product development today. Reach out and ask us about how we can help update the look and feel of your machine!