This research study has contributed significantly to manufacturing and automation industries by offering a complete implementation framework for rapid human machine interface (HMI) development based on concurrent development using a virtual environment. The ability to exploit ''unique'' features of a virtual-real environment resulted in ''innovative'' distributed runtime environment (DRE) capabilities. DRE represents the ‘next’ natural evolution of runtime support or HMI development environment in the manufacturing machinery domain. At the core of DRE, a component-based runtime support framework has been created, which covers the major manufacturing machinery runtime support requirements including configuration, monitoring, alarm handling, diagnostics, maintenance and other support utilities. The runtime support framework is built upon industrial standards for openness and interoperability, utilising a component-based architecture and ''design pattern'' methodology for enhanced reconfigurability, maintainability and reusability. The runtime application developed is network enabled to support machine systems with distributed architectures.