Coperion has given its proven CSpro control for ZSK twin screw extruders a new look. Coperion has precisely aligned this innovative graphical user interface (GUI) with the needs of their extruders’ operators, creating a uniform look and feel across all user levels; thanks to the clear reduction in complexity it is intuitively operable.
Now an independent jury has honored the added value of this new operating concept, optimized for users. The control interface was recently awarded the 2021 IF Design Award in the Product Interface category.
Analysis, Evaluation and Optimization
Comprehensive observations during machine operation, user interviews, and an analysis of production conditions on location during compounding served as the impetus for the extensive re-working of the CSpro control’s GUI. The challenges facing operators on a daily basis while operating an extruder, as well as proven procedures, were examined in detail. All of the knowledge gleaned from these endeavors flowed directly into the development of the new Coperion GUI.
The result is markedly reduced control interface complexity without limiting any of its all-encompassing, well-known functionalities. With its modern design, the CSpro can now be intuitively operated by touch. The operator can easily and precisely control the extruder’s functions thanks to the newly developed high-contrast icons. Additional information can be accessed at the touch of a finger. The risk of possible operator error is markedly reduced, thus increasing the ZSK extrusion equipment’s efficiency.
Moreover, functions which aid in operation, such as user-specific registration as well as simple recipe administration, are now integrated into the controls. Web-based help is available to quickly support the operator whenever questions arise. The extruder start-up sequence is visualized step by step within the GUI. The new CSpro control features a responsive design which automatically adjusts and adapts to any device screen size so that the GUI can be used on various devices, such as tablets.
The control is OPC 40084-compatible, allowing ZSK extruders with the new CSpro control to be seamlessly connected into the overall production monitoring and order management systems.
Intuitive Operation Increases Efficiency
The CSpro control’s clear structure enables the operator to intuitively control individual operation steps. Even with its comprehensive functionality, operation of ZSK extrusion equipment using the new control surface is effective and efficient. All necessary information on the system’s status can be found at the topmost level – for example, production progress and information regarding orders in process.
Using a modularly constructed machine image, the operator can access every section of the machine and expand the amount of information as needed, thanks to the innovative expandable interface architecture. Individually configurable dashboard widgets display current values of the extruder’s most important operational parameters at a glance. Torque and throughput can be regulated quickly and intuitively using slider controls that are ergonomically positioned on the lower display edge.
A so-called distance view allows the user to see from a distance whether the machine is clear to begin or if operator intervention is required. Machine status and remaining production batch run time are also clearly visible from afar.
Markus Schmudde, Head of Research & Development, Compounding & Extrusion at Coperion, was a driver behind the new CSpro look: “The development and implementation of the new CSpro control interface for our ZSK extruders underwent an extensive analysis phase. We were able to implement everything we learned from that into the new GUI. At the same time, we have set the foundation for more digitization in compounding and extrusion processes going forward. We’re proud of this innovative result and we’re convinced that operators of our Coperion extruders will profit significantly in their daily work from it.”