Engel improves operator ergonomics, thus boosting productivity

Injection moulding machines that you can talk to are still science fiction, but as human-machine interaction continues to grow closer, communication is becoming increasingly easy. Intuitive control logic plays an important role here, such as the next generation CC 200 machine control unit recently presented by Engel. Another important step to shortening the man-machine divide is that of extending control logic by optimising operator ergonomics.

The extension module portfolio for modern injection moulding machines is continually being adapted and extended to reflect the individual application technology requirements placed on it. However, operational complexity seems to grow in parallel to the growth of the hardware and software module range. This makes it all the more important to keep the man-machine interface as simple as possible despite a wider choice of options.

This requirement has found its way into the manufacturer`s specifications document as an intuitively logical control system with a simplified user interface. Engel fulfils this requirement with the next generation type CC 200 control unit by integrating familiar controls from the world of the PC, sequence programming that relies on pre-programmed program sequences and touch screen based input options throughout its full machine range from small to large scale machines.

The latest evolutionary step, the CC 200 machine control unit, sees Engel taking a further step. Whereas previous development stages have focused almost entirely on software development and process controls, the last stage of development has concentrated on improving ergonomics. One further objective of the design project was that of giving the operator terminal a more prominent position within the complete system, the "injection moulding machine".

Whereas product preparation overheads on earlier machine generations concerned fitting and setting up the injection mould or plasticising unit for the main part, today's biggest overhead is automation of the injection mould and its environment. Besides this, the trend towards multiple-component injection moulding has also meant a paradigm shift in operator activities. Programming of move sequences, such as core-pull sequences, or the integration of robot movements into the injection moulding cycle demand more of the operator than simple setting up of injection moulding cycles.