Smartness seems to be the current trend, not only in automation but also – and especially – in consumer products. Everyday appliances are offering more sophisticated functionality through software-based solutions. As a result of this change, the emphasis of product development has changed radically during the years at Cimcorp, too. Not forgetting our strong mechanical and electrical engineering, the importance of the ‘software’ side has been duly noted. Our latest product launch, the Cimcorp 3D Shuttle, represents a new, intelligent generation of robots, and it has been well received by our customers.
I’m sure that most of us have noticed a huge difference in usability among different devices in our everyday life: some are very logical and easy to use, while others can be quite complicated. We at Cimcorp have realized that there is also room for improvement in our own user interfaces. After all, although our products are very technical, we don’t expect the operators to be engineers!
A long time ago, as a young project engineer at Cimcorp, I watched an operator working with one of my first user interfaces, designed for the CIMCUT windscreen cutting and grinding line. I had thought that the user interface would be very clear and easy to use, but I soon realized that the operator was struggling with certain things. For me, getting direct feedback from the operator was very educative. I made improvements accordingly – and soon everyone was happy.
Direct feedback from actual users is the best and most important source of information when planning the direction we should be heading in Cimcorp user interfaces. So please, keep on giving feedback to our people whenever you feel like it, whether it is negative, positive or even neutral.
I hope you had a chance to have a look at the user interface of our Cimcorp 3D Shuttle at LogiMAT in Stuttgart or at IMHX in Birmingham earlier this year. With the development of the Plus series robots, we have also moved towards more productized software with our cell controller. I believe this enables us to concentrate more on the user interface, which in turn benefits our customers through more effective operation.
Jyrki Anttonen, Technology director