Special Report

How design can simplify the operation of machine tools

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Efficacy of machining is dependent on the user

Complexity, however, applies not only to the machines themselves, but also to the production environment, according to Wichmann. “In order to take into account the requirements of customers around the globe and the corresponding factory regulations, the system provider MAG has adopted a flexible approach to the design of its machines and systems. With the EMO Design-Body-Kit announced for the EMO (metalworking fair in Hannover, Germany), MAG leaves room for specific requirements.”

This allows the customer to decide for or against the design option, and the design kit is open for the relevant colour regulations, automation interfaces and the like. “It is also important here to take an in-depth look at the multiple additional functions and analysis options that make a machining process more effective,” the designer explained. “This efficacy is always influenced by the user.”

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In order to relieve the increasing workload on operators, and Wichmann said there is a need for new ergonomic solutions. He announced that “MAG will present a control console concept which is a response to the increased demands regarding simulation, CAM or interconnection to production and resource planning or to training software.”

In the opinion of the designer Dominic Schindler, founder of the Dominic Schindler Creations GmbH (DSC), in Lauterach, Austria, the high complexity of machine tools is often due to the fact that products are not primarily developed for the operator, but for efficiency in production or for simplification of component purchase. “Although these aspects should never be completely left out of consideration, there will be a clear move in the coming years in favour of development for the operator,” Schindler predicted. Operation will, in his view, become more logical, more intuitive and therefore simpler.