All the familiar standbys are present in the C|one Control Panel. You’ll still see safety features such as the ‘emergency stop button’ and can control the feed, tool changes, spindles, double-swivel carrier, etc. So, what is it that makes the C|one so special?
Well, it's really the insight it gives you into your machine and what that knowledge empowers you to do.
Programs can be managed and favorited and you can view the program history on the C|one. All programs saved in the NC are viewable in the C|one program management. Five programs can be favorited per table and timestamps for file changes are tracked.
Depending on your needs, you can easily switch between the subprogram files (SPF) and the main program files (MPF) and workpiece folders. Table-dependent programs can be selected and deselected and these changes are also tracked in the panel.
Imagine a fuse blows and within milliseconds, there are several different alarms going off. The cause of the problem is simple, but it sets off a domino effect of other issues. Previously, the blown fuse would be easily buried, potentially leading to hours of work trying to find and solve the problem. No more guesswork or addressing issues one-by-one until you get to the root cause.
Additionally, another feature is being explored where, when an alarm is triggered on the C|one, it would be accompanied by help info. So, that means that not only would the root cause of a problem be immediately clear, but so would your next step. This will save you so much time and hassle.
Already as it stands, there are three categories of alarm, and they are pretty self-explanatory:
- Error or Fault
These categories can be filtered so you can strategically focus your attention. They are also color-coded by type. With the C|one, the time devoted to resolving issues is dramatically reduced.
What about the user-experience?
We also improved overall machine operation with the C|one. Upon first use, three things will become immediately apparent:
The 24” multi-touch screen display
If you have ever used two fingers to scroll on a tablet, then you already know how to use a multi-touch device. Almost all modern commercial touchscreens are multi-touch. This is how we interact with electronics in our daily lives. A multi-touch screen offers a much more intuitive, modern feeling interfacing process.
The haptic feedback on the screen reduces the risk for errors from unintentional input due to wrist-rest, water or dirt on the screen.
You will be able to use this to support feed and spindle override.
More Screens, Please!
Since we don’t already have enough screens around us… we have planned for secondary control panels to eventually be replaced with 10.1” screen tablets. The operating system will be the Windows 10 IoT Enterprise, which is the same operating system as many point-of-sale devices and ATMs. The tablet will have a battery life of up to 8 hours. You will be able to access the C|one interface remotely, provided that you are connected to your company’s network.
If you have a secondary screen, you don’t have to run back and forth from the control panel every time you need to load or see the tools or get someone else to help. The tablet takes this flexibility even further, allowing you to walk around and observe anything you want.
Additional features are being explored for implementation in the new control panel. For example, advanced tool management. Everything you will need to know about your tools will be available in one place on the C|one. You can easily see the status of your tools through icons. This type of monitoring, known as ‘condition monitoring,’ allows you to stay on top of what’s going on so you can know what to address before it has the chance to become a problem.
Think of it like a health tracking app on your smartphone. Looking at personal stats like daily step counts, calorie intake, sleep patterns and weight allows you to see trends that have a direct impact on your quality of life. Many people use knowledge of their stats as a tool to do things they never thought possible – like running a 5k or even a marathon.
Furthermore, you can customize the tools you see at any given moment through hiding and unhiding the cutting edges of tools. Tools can be edited, loaded, deleted and created in the new C|one HMI. Further aiding in straightforwardness, tool properties are grouped and can be dynamically hidden and unhidden.
We are also testing an import and export functionality for tool data on the secondary tablet so that you can take that information with you from one machine to another.
Modernization is what’s going to help machine shops remain competitive well into the future. Demands across industries are changing. Moving forward, you’re going to need to be flexible. Knowing your machines and their components inside and out will give you the ability to adapt.
Are you interested in learning more about what the C|one can do for you and your machines?