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Tornos Has The Tablet for Technophobes
Tornos Has The Tablet for Technophobes
Tornos Has The Tablet for Technophobes

Tornos Has The Tablet for Technophobes

Added to MTDCNC by Tornos Technologies UK Ltd on 29 May 2013

The SwissNano marks a break from the rest of Tornos' range of machine tools in terms of the design and concept of the machine. Its ambitious aim is to be fully manufactured in Switzerland whilst meeting very stringent cost requirements, so as to counter Japanese and Korean competition, often manufactured in low-cost economies.

The  SwissNano is a demonstration of the performance that the Swiss industry can offer. Furthermore, it must stand as a potential replacement for the legendary M7 and MS7 that remain the benchmarks for a good number of workpieces, both in terms of precision and productivity. Therefore, the SwissNano will have to be equipped with the very latest technologies to be a success. This technology will see the company introducing untapped technology on the SwissNano. It incorporates an application that allows machine production to be remotely monitored with a tablet.

Olivier Marchand, Chief Technology Officer at Tornos comments: 'In what I think is actually a first for the industry, the SwissNano can communicate with an Android® tablet via a standalone Wi-Fi network, which is created between the machine and the tablet. This application allows information on the machine state, the production status and the plan for the workpiece currently being created on the machine to be brought up and displayed. Furthermore, service and maintenance instructions, alarms and troubleshooting methods are all available in this modern, practical interface.'

To benefit the end user, the application is not limited to one machine; it allows an entire workshop or a bank of particular machines to be monitored. The tablet cannot control the machine and only allows information to be brought up from the numerical control and displayed. Management of machining and the workpiece programs remains the preserve of the numerical control, with the latter staying completely independent. The tablet is not able to influence the activities of the numerical control in any way.

Mr Marchand, continues: 'Whereas OEE interfaces allow several makes of machine and numerical control to interface and are complex and relatively expensive systems that allow our customers to monitor their entire workshop, the Tornos application currently only covers the SwissNano. Depending on its success, we will extend it to other Tornos machines. The functions of the application are already very complete and cover most requirements. Again, if successful, we will no doubt expand the options available to the user.'

More than just a gadget, if an alarm occurs, the application does not simply give end users a remote warning that production on your machine has stopped, it searches the service instructions for possible solutions to this alarm, saving precious time. The machine is equipped with a USB port allowing the tablet to be recharged directly on the machine. It will also be possible to display the machining information on the tablet in slideshow mode, and to use the tablet as the machine's instrument panel.

First and foremost, the tablet is a tool to increase the customer's productivity, as Mr Marchand states: 'Just think, you can monitor your entire bank of machines on your tablet and check the status of each machine, without having to move. This will obviously save you time. For example, if there is an alarm on a machine you know immediately what is wrong and how to resolve it. The service and maintenance instructions are integrated, so operators can consult them and find content within them ergonomically. There is no doubt this application helps speed things up and improves efficiency. Furthermore, it is possible to log in to the SwissNano forum to put questions to our team software hotline and to consult the tricks and tips which are posted by our team.'

Security and confidentiality is fully considered with the new tablet set-up. In the standard scenario, the machines and the application are not connected to the internet or to any network. The machine and the tablet create their own networks automatically. The application recognises the machines in the workshop and communicates with them via their own network. With concerns over confidentiality, no information is fed back, either to Tornos or to any server. Some customers who have a workshop network can take advantage of this network when using the application to go beyond the physical limits of the tablet's Wi-Fi, so customers can monitor their machine inventory via the network. The application can then use either its own network or the network already in place.

To take full benefit of this system, an end user requires an Android ® 4.0 tablet with a 10 " screen, for easy reading. A range of manufacturers make tablets with this operating system, which is why Tornos chose Android (r) ®, to give customers a choice. Additionally, there are IP67 or IP68 certified tablets that can be used in corrosive environments.

Highlighting the potential for additional platforms, Mr Marchand, continues: 'The introduction of additional platforms will depend on the success of this application, but we could expect to see an iPad or Windows version of this application. If a customer wants to utilise this functionality, they can choose the tablet that best meets their requirements. We are continually striving to be the benchmark in technology and this new innovation will undoubtedly be attractive to machine tool users.'

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