operating machines remotely
New TRUMPF app enables mobile operation of machines from the area around the machine.
Holding the controls of a TruLaser 5030 fiber in his hand, the machine operator sets up another laser cutting machine. This is possible thanks to the new MobileControl app, which TRUMPF is presenting at the Blechexpo 2013 international trade fair in Stuttgart. The app transfers the user interface of the 2D laser machine’s standard control panel to an iPad touch screen, giving operators an additional means of monitoring and controlling the machine besides the fixed control panel.
Hence, it also allows operators to monitor the production process during work steps that take place away from the control panel. Within the vicinity of the machine, they can view information about it and change programs on an iPad. There is also an option whereby a camera built into the machine transmits the production process live on the iPad.
Easy, secure, and versatile
Getting the MobileControl app up and running is child’s play, as no change to the customer’s network is required. For data transmission, the machine itself provides a secure wireless network via the wireless operation point. If the MobileControl software is activated on the machine and the MobileControl app loaded on the iPad, operators can start the application.
To do so, they log into the machine’s secure wireless network via the iPad. “The MobileControl app is easy to use and pretty much self-explanatory. Essentially, we were able to use it right after installation,” confirms Christian Zöller, machine operator at Agfa-Gevaert HealthCare GmbH, test customer for the MobileControl app.
The security of the application has been extensively tested by both TRUMPF and an independent organization. There is no connection from the wireless network provided by the machine to the customer’s network, which is thus spared the risk of additional access from outside. Moreover, the wireless operation point’s own firewall prevents unauthorized persons from gaining access to the machine’s controls.
This versatile app gives machine operators greater flexibility when carrying out their work. If several machines have wireless operation points and MobileControl software, operators can access additional machines from the same device. For Zöller, this is a clear advantage: “With the new MobileControl app, I can look after several machines at the same time. Even when I’m not standing right in front of a machine, I still have an eye on what’s going on.”
As of the Blechexpo trade fair in November 2013, TRUMPF offers this functionality as an optional extra on the new machines of its TruLaser Series 5000. The app itself can be acquired from the Apple App Store.
Contact us: MastersofSheetMetal@trumpf.com
This article was first published in autumn 2013.