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  3. AMADA Adopts NEC's UCD Service to Develop User-friendly Control Screens

AMADA Adopts NEC's UCD Service to Develop User-friendly Control Screens

*** For immediate use April 17, 2013

Tokyo, April 17, 2013
-AMADA CO., LTD. (AMADA; TSE: 6113) has adopted NEC Corporation's (NEC; TSE: 6701) "User Centered Design (UCD)" service to successfully develop a user-friendly AMNC3i touch panel control screen.

AMADA will incorporate this product into its sheet-metal bending machines, starting with the EG Series servo (*) drive model and the HG Series model featuring a hybrid drive system. These two products are scheduled to be on sale in May 2013.

For more than 20 years, AMADA has been adding functions to its AMNC machinery control unit as part of helping workers safely bend materials. As machinery has come to support an increasing amount of functions, the number of control buttons and work processes has also increased. Accordingly, it has become increasingly difficult to effectively display functions on existing screens. Complex operations also require many hours of training and place a heavy burden on new workers. In order to improve its global competitiveness and respond to the growing complexity of machine operations, AMADA has been working to improve user interfaces (UI) in terms of the visibility and user-friendliness of control screens.

Meanwhile, NEC is engaged in activities aimed at strengthening the manufacturing field through the "NEC Manufacturing Co-Creation Program." As part of the program, NEC offers its UCD service, which capitalizes on the company's experience in UI development for POS terminals, cell phone handsets and bank ATMs, and helps users increase operational efficiency.

AMADA produces 3,000 bending machines each year. The new AMNC3i features that have been incorporated into the EG and HG Series allow users to perform work in line with their registered preferences, which paves the way for easy operation in accordance with the user's level of skill. The new control panel is also scheduled to be successively introduced to other models.

Enhanced features include the following:

  • An 18.5-inch vertically oriented liquid crystal display (LCD) screen with capacitive touch sensing that allows workers to easily operate while wearing gloves. These new machines also integrate a 3D display area, process display area, operation area and other aspects into one screen to minimize the actions necessary for operating the touch screen panel and to help ensure worker safety.

  • Machines are equipped with a 3D display feature that vertically changes the position of large operation buttons in response to a user's height. This enables users to operate the machine at an optimal position for reduced strain.

  • Screens display functions and information commonly used or viewed during the work process. They also display the progress of the bending process in the form of a bar that helps users understand the status of a task at any given time.

  • Buttons for related functions are grouped so that information displayed on a single screen can be easily recognized. A universal design font is adopted to help ensure legibility from a distance.

  • The new screens utilize silver and red color schemes that are consistent with Amada corporate designs.



(*) A servo is a mechanism that automatically operates toward reaching a target value with the position, orientation, behavior, etc. of an object as controlled variables.