CHICAGO (July 7, 3:20 p.m. EDT) — It is 4 a.m. at an injection molding shop when the alarm sounds on a press.
With little information available, the operator has few choices beyond shutting it down until someone is on hand who can fix it, even if that means getting someone out of bed.
Eurotherm Ltd. has a new set of controllers, though, to put the solution in plain text, allowing operators to know precisely what is needed to bring the press back up as quickly as possible.
“There's no excuse for an operator to be standing there saying he doesn't know what to do,” said Paul Morgan, group business development manager, at NPE.
The firm's new 3200 and 3500 series of controllers permit the processor to have a scrolling text message across the unit, with as many as 700 characters available for the message. In plain language, the machine can inform operators precisely what is wrong — if it a heating unit that can be easily replaced or something more dire that requires immediate attention from a specialist.
“What this is, is a miniature human-machine interface,” he said.
The new units can be retrofitted as replacements for existing 1/16 DIN and ¼ DIN controls.
All of the company's new products introduced at NPE were geared toward simplifying the connections between human and machine, noted Steven Miller, strategic market manager for Eurotherm North America. There are improved Ethernet connections to allow for remote monitoring of equipment and infrared connections that permit companies to make changes to the controls with the controls still in place.
Software improvements permit engineers to click, drag and drop information for the press from a personal computer, rather than poring through 50-page instruction manuals to find the proper codes.
“We're simplifying the product for the user,” Miller said.