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The user interface of the CL WRX 3.0 software suite from Concept Laser has won the iF DESIGN AWARD 2017.

The intuitively operated, ergonomically optimised and user-oriented interface of the CL WRX 3.0 software suite won over the international jury comprising 58 members.

The development partner for the user interface design is HMI Project from Würzburg, Germany. The human machine interface specialists were thus able to demonstrate once again that they are almost in a league of their own when it comes to the design and usability of user interfaces. Concept Laser teamed up with HMI Project to develop an HTML5-based user interface for interactive dialogue between the user and the additive manufacturing machine production environment. This new user interface of the CL WRX 3.0 software suite from Concept Laser was completed in time for formnext powered by TCT 2016 following a 12-month development process. This very interface won this year’s iF DESIGN AWARD and is thus one of the winners of the design label that is renowned around the world.

Innovative design meets HTML5 technology

The structure and graphical preparation of the interactive user interfaces of CL WRX 3.0 permits a maximum degree of transparency and rapid acquisition of parameters on local or mobile devices. The essential attributes, as the jury saw them, include improved self-descriptiveness, better ergonomics, greater efficiency, shorter learning times, better acceptance, fewer operating errors, greater operational reliability and a high-quality overall impression. According to HMI Project, the design makes the interface stand out from the competition and ultimately is more fun to work with. The open, standard-based HTML5 technology permits the separation of design, content and functionality. This enables rapid testing and prototyping. Intuitive gestures and multitouch and easy integration of semantic animations are also supported. The system allows uniform, system-independent presentation and responsive behaviour for different screen sizes and types of terminal devices. It is also very easy for functions to be expanded on this technical basis.

Web-based technologies ensure rapid orientation in production

A clear and process-oriented architecture is the hallmark of CL WRX 3.0. It enables more efficient production in a smart factory. The status of all machine components can be monitored at all times during the process. The web-based app concept allows for modularity and expandability. External interfaces are available for flexible adaptation to larger production networks. It is also worth mentioning the standard control across all applications and the flexible way that the software can be individualised with configurable widgets. Apps can be combined, and a rapid change of app via partial / full integration is possible. The software allows data to be managed centrally with clear authorisation concepts, both in the network and for locally available applications. Accordingly, there is a breakdown into user roles with a range of functions depending on the particular user role. The operator is presented with an intuitive, graphically subdivided user interface with functional animations. Convenient operation thanks to multi-touch gestures also forms part of the new design. Not least, a harmonious colour scheme aids orientation. Workflow-oriented navigation and transparent parametric representation make it easy to map complex processes. All of these aspects combine to deliver a harmonious overall impression and optimum usability.

M LINE FACTORY at the core of industrial series production

The new M LINE FACTORY machine solution from Concept Laser heralds a completely new approach in machine architecture and offers an unprecedented level of automation and innovation. For the first time, part production as well as set-up and dismantling processes will take place in two independent machine units so that they can be operated physically separate from one another and can be combined however you desire. This now enables production processes to run in parallel rather than sequentially so that downtimes are considerably reduced and the availability and output quantity of the process chain is thus increased. The modular machine technology of the M LINE FACTORY also forms the core of Concept Laser’s “AM Factory of Tomorrow” concept which also makes provision for upstream and downstream stages of the production process as well as links to conventional manufacturing methods. The concept consistently implements the basic idea of “Industry 4.0” in the form of automation, interlinking, and digitisation of any number of machines, and thus permits the economical series production of additive metal parts. Such a production scenario can be controlled and monitored using the CL WRX 3.0 software suite. It brings together all units and modules of the M LINE FACTORY and allows employees and operators to access all process components.