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XIMA arises from the need to define a new approach to the synoptic of the HMI of IMA Active automatic machines.

XIMA - Human Machine Interface

Is it possible to design an HMI both compliant with all the constraints that characterize pharmaceutical manufacturing and is easy to use? 

This is the founding question of XIMA project.

XIMA arises from the need to define a new approach to the synoptic of the HMI of IMA Active automatic machines. To achieve this goal it is necessary to establish synergies among different skills, integrating design and software specialists in a well balanced team, working with a participative approach.

The leading rule that inspires XIMA, the principle of simplification, has been unfolded into four guidelines:

• Linearity
• Intuitiveness 
• Iconicity
• Scalability

Being designed according to these four criteria, XIMA results in a win-win situation, with benefits both for the customers and IMA.

IMA Active has been awarded the 2015 A’ Design Award for XIMA HMI. The Grand Jury has awarded this project for IMA Active’s «will to innovate, redesign, rethink and the courage to compare itself to others in competition».

Advantages for the customer



Prompt responsiviness Enhanced predicitivity Easy learning

The collaboration between graphic designers and software engineers has produced a co-design practice, which is focusing primarily on the user.

In fact XIMA plays a strategic role in improving operators’ efficiency:

  • Prompt responsiveness: The synoptic reproducing the main machine workflow ensures an intuitive control of the manufacturing process, allowing for fast reaction in case of malfunctioning.
  • Enhanced predictivity: XIMA increases the operator’s process knowledge and results in enhanced predictive capability. This leads to a lower risk of production blocking and to a superior quality of the final pharmaceutical product.
  • Easy learning: The intuitiveness of the system shortens the training period for new operators, while specialized operators can be easily moved through different machines and processes.

XIMA has been an exercise of human-centered design. This approach starts with a good understanding of people and the needs that the design is intended to meet.

The result is an HMI that truly meet the needs of operators.


XIMA is governed by the principle of linear navigation

Each action of the operator on the HMI corresponds to one and only one control signal. The rule which orients XIMA navigation is therefore a one to one correspondence.


XIMA is based on the principle of natural mapping

Following ergonomics, the natural mapping uses spatial correspondence between the layout of the controls and the devices being controlled. This is exactly the principle on which XIMA is based.


XIMA is inspired by the principle of iconicity.

On a closed look, the images that took the place of textual labels are properly «icons».


XIMA is ruled by the principle of scalability, which plays in two key dimensions.

Scale-to-multiple-devices.  IMA Active’s user interfaces are developed on different software platforms, characterized by a wide range of graphical resolutions and multimedia capabilities.



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