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Situational Awareness


About Wonderware Situational Awareness
Nearly half of all abnormal situations are the result of human error, partly because people must respond to danger signals without a true understanding of the full situation.


Traditional HMIs often complicate matters by presenting too much information without context, leaving operators to interpret what matters most. Wonderware Situational Awareness, presents the user with highly contextualized and easily interpreted information that is specific to the most important process issues while filtering out the noise to keep Operators focused. Wonderware Situational Awareness delivers the following benefits:

  • Faster problem identification

  • Maximized uptime

  • Empowered workforce

  • Reduced alarms and accelerated alarm recognition

  • Increased operational consistency

  • Fewer errors

Success Metrics



Independent evaluations of Situational Awareness strategies report a five-fold improvement in detecting abnormal situations before system availability is impacted, a 37% improvement in the success rate for handling abnormal situations when they do occur and a 41% reduction in the time required to complete tasks.

What is Wonderware Situational Awareness?


Wonderware Situational Awareness is a design approach devoted to providing operators with the most relevant and necessary information at the right time. They see the situation at hand in full context of what is happening in real-time, how it links to previous events, and where the process might be headed.  Such an accurate visual combination of past, present, and potential consequences leads to an exceptionally clear understanding, opportunistic analysis and reaction time, and better decisions.

Situational Awareness Essentials


Wonderware HMI software is specifically designed to incorporate Situational Awareness principles that help you reach your business goals.


The following principles are at the core of our design:

  • Goal oriented – the end game is always process improvement, not process representation for its own sake

  • Human-centered design - helping people do their jobs better, not just navigating around a PID loop

  • Visual optimization – designs are easy on the eyes, not awash in technicolor; colors are used only to flag critical metrics and progress

  • Highly interactive – displays and dashboards are easy to navigate and content refines automatically based on user input

  • Custom contextualization – screens are  tailored to the decision support needs of operators, remote technicians, managers and other users

What Makes Wonderware Situational Awareness Different?


Although all approaches to Situational Awareness seek to improve the User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX), the underlying practices, standards, design tools, and methodologies can vary considerably.

The Wonderware Situational Awareness Symbol Library goes beyond simple graphics and provides highly valuable and re-usable design elements that simplify HMI design and maintenance saving time, effort and cost.

Modern industrial systems continue to grow in complexity and geographically at an ever accelerating pace. This growth introduces new challenges including: vastly increased volumes of data, increased Operator training requirements and staffing issues, as well as having to meet the needs of a highly mobile workforce. Such changes require a whole new approach to industrial process visualization. It requires a more systematic approach to delivering situational awareness, involving intuitive and easy to use UI design tools and pre-configured symbols.

Designs are based on principles proven to translate highly dynamic process data into actionable information and effective decision making.

With the Wonderware Situational Awareness Symbols Library, application developers can create highly intuitive visual content and custom applications for any given event. Dozens of ‘Wizards’ guide context driven access to millions of ‘out-of-the-box’ pre-configured symbols. Developers drag and drop these into various scenarios, saving up to 70% in design time.

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