Modern CNC machine tools and machining centres, not least in mass-production systems, are supplied with machining data from CAD systems, often directly from a computer network. In spite of this, input and monitoring tasks must still be performed at the machine control panels within the production process itself, for example during setup or calibration.
The workshop controls on these machines are often not designed according to the criteria for an office or computer workplace. Poor location of screens and input devices, and unclear, complex presentation of information, can lead to elevated physical and mental stresses.
[Note: Patent applications control station EP131843443, Mark DMG MORI and Bumper EP 13184333.6]
Standards relevant to machine controls can be found on ErgoNoRA by use of the following search Terms:
The Technical Report ISO/TR 22100-3 describes how ergonomic principles can be applied during the risk reduction process according to ISO 12100 and how ergonomics standards can be applied to machinery. It helps designers take decisions with respect to ergonomics during the machine design process and can also be used when no relevant type C standards are available.
On many machine tools, the programming and control interfaces are located in a fixed position and offer little or no facility for adjustment by the user. As a result, very unfavourable static body postures may have to be adopted, for example by shorter users or in the event of glare, in order for adjustments to be performed and displays to be read (see also EN 1005-4).
On the DMG Ergoline Control, the angle of the display and of the lower keypad is adjustable. This enables allowance to be made for persons of different height and for ambient effects such as light incidence.
Inflexible program interfaces communicate a low information density, and may overtax the operator mentally. Conversely, inefficiently designed displays of the operating status may make monitoring tasks tiring and monotonous. This not only constitutes mental stress for the operator, but also increases the risk of error.
On the DMG Ergoline Control, the machine status is primarily displayed on a high-quality 19" colour display. The control software provides clear, user-friendly information and control through a number of sub-menus (see also EN 894-1:2009; EN 894-2:2009). Additional displays at the bottom of the controls are available as an option.
Controls are generally used by several operators. Where controls are used frequently, for example during the manufacture of custom items, they may also be used by different workers in multiple shifts. Since each operator has his or her own preferences for hotkeys, frequently used functions and other programmable elements, a compromise is often difficult to find. This not only impairs the effectiveness of the workers, but can also lead to excessive mental strain.
The SMARTkey system saves the user's access data on a small transponder that can be read out remotely by the control unit. The user is thus spared the inconvenience of having to log in and enter a password. This system also enables hotkeys and other programmable control elements to be set up and called up individually for each user (see EN 894-1:2009, Section 4.6).