At the TIMTOS machine tool trade fair in Taiwan, W.D. Hearn learned about ncTOUCH software at the Siemens booth. The software, from Siemens solution partner Mill IT, is capable of capturing all information from the SINUMERIK 828D and SINUMERIK 840D sl control systems and using it to generate easy-to-understand graphics on a simple HMI. This solution suited Daliff’s needs perfectly. The next step was to understand Daliff’s requirements and adapt ncTOUCH to meet them. "We selected the three Leadwell machines with SINUMERIK 828D controls and arranged a meeting with Mill IT and Siemens in Cape Town to implement ncTOUCH based around the information and HMI configuration required by Daliff management," explains Christiaan van Schalkwyk, managing director at Daliff.
The software had an immediate effect on Daliff’s production: "Already during the first week, analyzing inefficient work processes, poor planning, downtimes due to a lack of tools, and so on became straightforward," said van Schalkwyk. The next step in remedying these deficiencies was simple. ncTOUCH has been successful not only from the big brother standpoint of monitoring the machine park but also in the genuine comparison of key production data. It enables set-up times of different types of jobs to be compared with time scales, that is, how long a machine has been in a certain operating mode (such as job mode or MDI). Daliff now has instant real-time data that can be neatly captured and displayed directly via PC, tablet or smartphone.
Marius Maas, production manager at Daliff, and van Schalkwyk have both given positive feedback on the way that ncTOUCH has impacted the shop. As van Schalkwyk observes, "The data generated in real time are perfectly accurate and therefore cannot be disputed. No matter where in the world the facilities are located, this accurate feedback means there is no room for arguments in production meetings with shopfloor supervisors."