Touchscreen technology grows for controls manufacturer

30th June 2017
Lanna Cooper

 The user interface of the smartphone and tablet has been incorporated into the next-gen, mid-range CNC system from HEIDENHAIN. The TNC 620 no longer has soft keys at the side of the screen or function keys and a numeric keypad below. Operation is now via graphics on a large touchscreen, as will be demonstrated on the manufacturer’s stand at EMO 2017.

This contouring CNC for prismatic machining and probing is a four axis control as standard, but can be extended to five axis simultaneous operation. In common with previous versions, with which the new unit is compatible, contour fidelity, high speed and excellent surface finish are obtained. The context-sensitive, intuitive user interface shows the elements that a user needs during all working steps, making the control straightforward and reliable to operate.

The TNC 620’s familiar look and functionality has now been combined with modern operation using tapping, swiping and dragging motions on the screen. Easier to operate than previous control versions, the interface speeds data entry, location and manipulation, resulting in tangible increases in productivity.

An operator can move graphics directly on screen dynamically and smoothly, zoom in or out and move or rotate a graphic. A pop-up keyboard appears for inputting text.

Just as quickly and intuitively, swiping motions enable kinetic scrolling at operator-controllable speed. A slow, brief flick results in scrolling over a few lines, whereas a longer, rapid swipe scrolls over many lines and a short tap stops the movement. Searching through long lists, programmes and tables to find an NC block or tool, for example, is therefore much quicker.

The MC 8410 main computer in the TNC 620 with touchscreen technology complements the existing MC 7410 and MC 7420 units. For the machine builder, the newly designed operator panel MB 721 can be supplied with dual-channel feedback for safety critical applications. It features three optional elements that can be assigned to additional keys, key switches or a USB connection and provides potentiometers for feed rate and spindle speed adjustment.

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