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Automation Technologies 2/2014

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Automation Technologies 2/2014

Industrial communication

Industrial communication Back to current issue Online configuration of tailor-made displays Klaus Wammes Control displays can be crucial when operating machinery - failure may cause fatal consequences. i-sft creates tailor-made solutions for applications with specific requirements. The company has launched an online configuration device to calculate costs and to facilitate the design process. About Company name: i-sft GmbH Headquarters: Gundersheim, Germany Employees: 25 Brands: i-sft Products: tailor-made display solutions, measurement services, consulting Fast trains, aircrafts, seagoing vessels — for 20 years, display units by i-sft have been used in these kinds of applications. The company has never produced standardised products: its goal is to develop and manufacture individual displays that meet the complex requirements of the customers at a reasonable cost. The challenge of these projects is not only in the extreme specifications for individual parameters, but in their combination. For example, a display which can tolerate extreme temperatures is no good for outdoor use if is not bright enough to be read in direct sunlight. On the other hand, the development budget for costly projects should be spent on optimising the parameters that really matter. For example, a display unit for a machine control unit does not necessarily have to be a full-colour monitor, but it definitely has to resist the vibration of the machine. Author: Klaus Wammes, CEO, i-sft GmbH, Gundersheim, Germany AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 2/2014

Industrial communication Advantages of the configurator n It offers a checklist with all the important parameters of the display unit. n It speeds up the quotation process. n It offers a first idea of the costs. n The PDF visualises the configuration. n It helps to reduce design costs. indicator of the website’s examples ranges from 6.4 for displays integrated into a conference table to 26.4 for the cockpit of a railway train. The website does not specify actual amounts of money, because many other details need to be considered before i-sft can offer an accurate quotation. But the relative cost indicator gives the user a first idea of the costs. Sharing experience with the public Offering freedom and flexibility In addition, the website offers a “Custom design” section. Where customers find an online form to specify their own display and create a spider chart. The chart can be printed or saved as a PDF-file. The configurator is a way for the company to share their experience with the public and to offer electronics designers and developers a useful tool for assessing priorities and differentiating must-have from niceto-have features. “We manufacture individual displays that meet the customer’s complex requirements, which is often a necessary condition for realising their demanding applications.” Klaus Wammes, i-sft GmbH Different combinations of requirements cause different costs. The website features a “Solutions” section displaying several typical applications in the form of spider charts. The diagrams show the importance of several parameters for successful use of the display. Importance is rated in relative values from 0 (not needed) to 9 (not usable without it). Based on all these specifications, the configuration software calculates a relative cost indicator. The cost If the user decides to send his diagram to i-sft as an inquiry (which is not obligatory, also the website can be used without registering first), both partners have a well-structured basis for discussion. The configurator can make the quotation and design process a lot easier. AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGIES 2/2014