Surrounded by software we touch, slide, expand with our fingers, talk to systems to get them do the things we want - all of this is indispensable in our modern daily life. Mostly it gives us joy but sometimes also hate.
We don’t even read anymore, we follow graphics; or have you read an instruction paper lately? Nevertheless, even nowadays MMI (Machine Man Interface) and GUI (Graphical User Interface) are mostly old and outdated in terms of both comfort and ease of operation. That’s because Essemtec has ever enhanced “Falcon”, a revolutionary software for all Essemtec machine solutions, over the last years. This software includes state of the art MMI and GUI for the benefit of the user.
All great MMI are based on the same eight principals according “The Smashing Book” pages 7 and 8:
1. Clarity: The interface avoids ambiguity by making everything clear through graphics, flow, hierarchy and metaphors for visual elements.
2. Concision:  The real challenge in making a great interface is to make it concise and clear at the same time.
3. Familiarity:  Even if someone uses an interface for the first time, certain elements can still be familiar. Real-life metaphors can be used to communicate meaning.
4. Responsiveness:  A good interface should not feel sluggish. This means that the interface should provide good feedback to the user about what's happening and whether the user's input is being successfully processed.
5. Consistency:  Keeping your interface consistent across your application is important because it allows users to recognise usage patterns.
6. Aesthetics: While you don't need to make an interface attractive for it to do its job, making something look good will make the time your users spend using your application more enjoyable; and happier users can only be a good thing.
7. Efficiency: Time is money, and a great interface should make the user more productive through shortcuts and good design.
8. Forgiveness: A good interface should not punish users for their mistakes but should instead provide the means to remedy them.
The Essemtec Software R&D team has followed these principals to generate Essemtec’s software over the last few years.
For today’s operator it is difficult to understand MMI and GUI which were developed over ten years ago. The MMI/GUI is often still based on Visual Basic Style. These systems do not reflect today’s operating systems and day to day machine operations. Also, it is sometimes difficult for a European or American operator to understand MMI and GUI structures, which were developed in Asia. Most of these systems are running on Windows XP, Windows 7 or even still on DOS; these systems are not supported anymore. You also have to take into consideration the fact that machines and software have to be supported for at least 10-15 years after the initial investment.
The software is cleared structured and astonishingly easy to use. Four major tasks are defined, which allows the user to select different operations. Integrated sub-menus within the operations are classified with real pictures, application drawings and clear descriptions in local language, if wished, making full use of the intuitive software.
A wide range of parameters are available enabling you to manage a super high flex environment for prototype production. This includes material management incorporating the Cubus automated storage systems, and production swap on the fly. It also supports production in a large line environment and expansion to any size is fully supported. The production can be seen live on the monitor and the parameters can be sized in and out.
Many other supporting features are also available; such as live KPI on any computer around the globe, smart help features, MIS management, traceability and much more.
See “Falcon” at SMT Nuremburg 2017 at Essemtec booth 318 in hall 4 and in our new Website www.essemtec.com
Picture 1 Essemtec’s Falcon
Picture 2 “Falcon” is a swiss built software package for all Essemtec products. It is designed for a 21” touch screen, based on Windows 10 OS and a 64-bit computer.
Picture 3: Teaching screen with reel setup and live picture of component and feeders.
Picture 3: Production mode for one system with reels at the front and rear trays.