Worker assistance, the art of simplicity
Pilz Automation Ltd
Posted to News on 7th Dec 2022, 08:50

Worker assistance, the art of simplicity

Worker assistance, the art of simplicity

The development of MiniTec SmartAssist, the new worker assistance system, focuses on a high degree of practicability with simple handling and operation.

For some time now, the team at MiniTec Smart Solutions has been working on a completely new assembly assistance system. The entire development of MiniTec SmartAssist remains true to the MiniTec principle, ‘The Art of Simplicity’. This is evident in the interface of the Editor, where, in future, customers will be able to create the interactive workflows for the assembly of products themselves.

Specialists for the User Experience Design (UX) were brought on board to ensure that the system was as easy and intuitive to use as possible. The effort paid off: With the expertise of developers, the evolution of the MiniTec SmartEdi interface is now well advanced and is characterised by a simple operating logic that is understandable for the ordinary person.

Software development Markus Kaiser explained: “The user experience of the Editor is particularly important to us. Users should understand what is happening straight away. After all, it is the users themselves who find the best way for an assembly process. They know the requirements, the workflows and their employees best. We offer them the tool to achieve this goal in an uncomplicated way.”

Precise fitting user interfaces

The Editor feature has been designed for the customer to create their own interactive workflows, on their own. This gives them an advantage to be far more flexible and independent. Using the Editor has been made as simple as child’s play.

An illustrative example of user ergonomics is provided by the control for configuring an LED light strip. This was made significantly more compact and clearer than the original approach. The figure shows a workbench on which a certain lamp flashes pink. A matrix layout of the LED units makes it clear at first glance, where the corresponding LED unit is on the bench. Both the flashing mode and the light colour can each be changed with the click of a mouse.

When it comes to efficient support for the user during their assembly task, LED light strips are not the only possibility. Another option is for an optical positioning system that is provided by the projection of a laser beam.

A special laser projector is attached above the workstation and the assistance system automatically controls which object the laser should highlight within the scope of the assembly steps. Depending on the structure and orientation of the system, markings can be projected onto the work area, components can be highlighted, or objects and areas outside the work area can be illuminated. The laser projection doesn’t have to be only a laser dot, a large number of shapes are available to choose from in the Editor.

MiniTec UK Ltd

Unit 1 Telford Road
Houndmills Industrial Estate
RG21 6YU

+44 (0)1256 365605

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