iF DESIGN AWARD 2017 for User Interface Design of the M LINE FACTORY from Concept Laser

  • User interface design of the CL WRX 3.0 software for the modular M LINE FACTORY receives award
  • Innovative HTML5 technology permits the separation of design, content and functionality
  • Great transparency of design and functionality of the software architecture of the M LINE FACTORY

Lichtenfels (Germany), March 13, 2017: 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 optimized 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 dialog 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.

Beaming faces at the presentation ceremony for the iF DESIGN AWARD 2017 on March 10, 2017 in Munich.  (Left to Right)- Markus Buberl (HMI Project GmbH), Philipp Kruse (HMI Logic GmbH), Ralf Hetzel (Concept Laser GmbH), Christian Rudolph (HMI Project GmbH) and Dr. Kai Hertel (Concept Laser GmbH).  (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser)

Beaming faces at the presentation ceremony for the iF DESIGN AWARD 2017 on March 10, 2017 in Munich. (Left to Right)- Markus Buberl (HMI Project GmbH), Philipp Kruse (HMI Logic GmbH), Ralf Hetzel (Concept Laser GmbH), Christian Rudolph (HMI Project GmbH) and Dr. Kai Hertel (Concept Laser GmbH). (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser)

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.

The user interface design of the CL WRX 3.0 software suite from Concept Laser for PCs, tablets, smartphones and touch panels. (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser)

The user interface design of the CL WRX 3.0 software suite from Concept Laser for PCs, tablets, smartphones and touch panels. (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser)

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 behavior for different screen sizes and types of terminal devices. It is also very easy for functions to be expanded on this technical basis.

Transparent HTML5 code below the user interface of CL WRX 3.0: The software is displayed uniformly in the web browser regardless of the system. (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser)

Transparent HTML5 code below the user interface of CL WRX 3.0: The software is displayed uniformly in the web browser regardless of the system. (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser)

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 individualized with configurable widgets.

More perspective in the AM process: Modular widgets depict a large amount of information. (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser)

More perspective in the AM process: Modular widgets depict a large amount of information. (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser)

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 authorization 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 color 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 concept of the “AM Factory of Tomorrow”: The “smart factory” is a flexibly expandable, high-grade automated and centrally controllable meta production system which is focused fully on the production assignments in hand and thus enables the economical series production of additive metal parts. (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser)

The concept of the “AM Factory of Tomorrow”: The “smart factory” is a flexibly expandable, high-grade automated and centrally controllable meta production system which is focused fully on the production assignments in hand and thus enables the economical series production of additive metal parts. (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser)

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 digitization 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.

Workflow of CL WRX 3.0: Plan build jobs with Office, create order, monitor with the Manager and control options on the PRD and PCG production units. (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser)

Workflow of CL WRX 3.0: Plan build jobs with Office, create order, monitor with the Manager and control options on the PRD and PCG production units. (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser)

The M LINE FACTORY in detail
The M LINE FACTORY consists of two independent machine units. The M LINE FACTORY PRD, as the production unit, has a max. build envelope of 400 x 400 x 425 mm³ (x,y,z) and is optionally equipped with 1 to 4 laser sources, each delivering 400 W or 1,000 W of laser power.

The core of the unit is three independent modules, the dose module, the build module and the overflow module, which can be individually activated for the first time and therefore do not form one continuous unit. The individual modules are moved via a tunnel system inside the machine. This means that, for example when new powder is supplied, the empty powder storage module can automatically be replaced by a new module immediately without the build process necessarily needing to be interrupted, as was previously the case. Finished build jobs can now also be moved out of the machine with the dedicated module and replaced directly by a new prepared build module so that production operations can be resumed immediately.

The latest machine architecture from Concept Laser: The M LINE FACTORY is noted for physical separation of the machine units used for part production (M LINE FACTORY PRD) and the set-up and dismantling processes (M LINE FACTORY PCG). Operations can now take place in parallel rather than sequentially, which saves time and costs. (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser)

The latest machine architecture from Concept Laser: The M LINE FACTORY is noted for physical separation of the machine units used for part production (M LINE FACTORY PRD) and the set-up and dismantling processes (M LINE FACTORY PCG). Operations can now take place in parallel rather than sequentially, which saves time and costs. (Photo courtesy of Concept Laser)

The physically separate, autonomous M LINE FACTORY PCG is available as the processing unit for set-up and disarming processes. This enables “optimum use windows” right through to the ideal of 24/7 availability of the machine technology. The new processing unit has an integrated sieving station and powder management. There is now no need for containers to be used for transportation between the machine and sieving station. Unpacking, preparations for the next build job and sieving therefore take place in a self-contained system without the operator coming into contact with the powder. An automated material flow is another unique selling point. This allows self-contained modules for transport and material provision to be used.

Concept Laser GmbH
An der Zeil 8
D-96215 Lichtenfels
Germany
Phone +49 (0) 9571 / 1679-0
Internet: www.concept-laser.de

About the iF DESIGN AWARD
The iF DESIGN AWARD is presented once a year by Germany’s oldest independent design institution,iF International Forum Design GmbH in Hanover. For more than 60 years, the iF DESIGN AWARD has been a global, recognized hallmark when it comes to exceptional design. The iF brand is established internationally as a symbol of outstanding design. The iF DESIGN AWARD is one of the world’s most important design awards. It recognizes design achievements in all disciplines: Product, packaging, communication and service design, architecture and interior design as well as professional concepts. All award-winning entries are presented in the iF WORLD DESIGN GUIDE, published on the iF design app and exhibited at the iF design exhibition Hamburg.

About HMI Project
HMI Project is an office from Würzburg, Germany for contemporary user interface design. HMI Project designs and creates ergonomic software interfaces for industrial applications. HMI Project, derived from Human Machine Interface, is a reliable partner when it comes to developing unique solutions with touch-optimized usability and high-quality design for local panels or mobile devices. New and open approaches from HMI Project combine the highly specialist expertise with demanding and individual requirements from industry. The services on offer range from technical analysis and the development of user-friendly operating concepts through to implementation.

HMI Project GmbH
Frankfurter Straße 92
D-97082 Würzburg
Germany
Phone +49 (0) 931 / 45329770
Internet: www.hmi-project.com

LaserCUSING® Background Information
The patented LaserCUSING® process from Concept Laser is used to create high-precision mechanically and thermally resilient metallic components. The term “LaserCUSING®,” coined from the C in Concept Laser and the word FUSING, describes the technology: The fusing process generates components layer-by-layer using 3D-CAD data.

In this process, fine metal powder is fused locally by a high-energy fiber laser. The material solidifies after cooling. The contour of the component is created by redirecting the laser beam using a mirror redirection unit (scanner). The component is built up layer by layer (with a layer thickness of 15 – 500 μm) by lowering the bottom of the build chamber, applying more powder and then fusing again.

What makes systems from Concept Laser unique is stochastic navigation of the slice segments (also referred to as “islands”) which are processed successively. This patented process ensures a significant reduction in stress when manufacturing very large components.

Concept Laser at a Glance
Concept Laser GmbH from Lichtenfels, Germany is today, unlike almost any other company, one of the real pioneers and key drivers of powder-bed-based laser fusing with metals. The technology driver here is the patented LaserCUSING® process, also referred to as 3D metal printing, which over the course of 15 years has evolved the additive manufacturing of 3D components from a rapid technology to the stage of industrial series production.

When Frank Herzog founded Concept Laser GmbH back in 2000 in Lichtenfels, a metal laser fusing machine was an entirely unknown quantity in the market. How is a 3D geometry created from metal powder using a laser? What does 3D printing or a digital process chain mean for the manufacturing of the future?

The answer was industrial machine technology: Concept Laser unveiled the first machine of this type in 2001 at Euromold in Frankfurt. With 65 patents granted today and over 120 patent applications, Frank Herzog and his workforce of around 190 employees continue to champion and develop the LaserCUSING® process. The company caters for the global market for laser fusing machines across all different sectors from sites in Germany, the USA and China and through a network of more than 35 distribution and service partners.

Concept Laser’s high quality standards, expertise in processes, applications and materials deliver reliable and cost-effective solutions which prove their effectiveness in everyday production and are primarily aimed at reducing part costs. In addition to commercial aspects, the process offers a large number of other benefits compared to conventional methods of production: The components are lighter, the designer has new freedoms, the topology and geometry are optimized, additional functions can be integrated, and less raw material is required. What this means is components that were previously manufactured using machining processes are now being redesigned to fully exploit the new potential offered by additive manufacturing.

Concept Laser offers a range of small machines (50 x 50 x 80 mm3) right through to the machine with the world’s largest build envelope (800 x 400 x 500 mm3). Machines from Concept Laser that are equipped with multilaser technology are among the fastest, safest and highest-quality laser fusing machines in the world. Around 650 installed machines and prestigious references and projects of this Franconian “hidden champion” around the globe send out a clear message and symbolize an outstanding technology for the future sealed with the endorsement “Made in Germany”.

For example, today the aerospace industry, automotive industry, medical technology, dental technology, toolmaking and other sectors focus strategically on 3D metal printing as the economical and high-quality production strategy of the future that embraces the notion of “Industry 4.0.”

Prizes & Awards

  • 2001 Presented with the EuroMold Silver AWARD for the M3 linear LaserCUSING® machine
  • 2008 Presented with the Bavarian Innovation Prize for the M2 cusing LaserCUSING® machine
  • 2012 Presented with the EuroMold Bronze AWARD for the X line 1000R LaserCUSING® machine
  • 2014 BAVARIA’S BEST 50 prize-winner
  • 2014 Finalist in the “Large Companies” category for the German Industry Innovation Prize in the shape of Frank Herzog, Managing Director of Concept Laser GmbH – Project: “The first 3D-printed titanium component on board the A350 XWB”
  • 2015 The “Best CEO of the Year Additive Manufacturing” award was presented to Frank Herzog, President & CEO of Concept Laser GmbH by the European CEO Magazine
  • 2015 Nominated for the German Future Prize – Prize awarded by the German President for technology and innovation. Project: “3D printing in commercial aircraft engineering – a manufacturing revolution is taking off” in the shape of Frank Herzog, Managing Director of Concept Laser GmbH
  • 2015  FOCUS Growth Champion
  • 2016 Winner of the “International Additive Manufacturing Award” with the QM Meltpool 3D quality monitoring tool, which was developed in-house
  • 2016 The ”Technologie Award by the Ostbayerischen Technologie-Transfer-Instituts e.V.“ was presented to Frank Herzog, President & CEO of Concept Laser GmbH, for his entrepreneurial technology and innovation services
  • 2016 Winner “Materialica Design+Technology Award 2016“ for the ”NextGen Spaceframe” project, together with its project partners
  • 2016 The “Best Pioneer in the Manufacturing and 3D Printing Industry 2016” award was presented to Frank Herzog, President & CEO of Concept Laser GmbH, by the European Business Magazine
  • 2016  FOCUS Growth Champion
  • 2016 Winner “Bavarian Innovation Award 2016“ with the QM Meltpool 3D quality monitoring tool, which was developed in-house
  • 2016 The “Best CEO of the Year Additive Manufacturing” award was presented to Frank Herzog, President & CEO of Concept Laser GmbH, by the European CEO Magazine
  •  2017 iF DESIGN AWARD 2017 for the user interface design of the software CL WRX 3.0 from Concept Laser

Source: Concept Laser

 

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