Machine builders are increasingly finding it hard to remain local players and need to think globally to capture new markets. And of course, their competition is also now global. So how can you stand out from the crowd and avoid price driven negotiations?
The style and design of your machine is one of the areas for focus, and this includes the interface with the user. We can see three major trends are impacting the humble control panel and the choice of components used to build them.
- Machine builders are looking to differentiate through their designs – increasingly aesthetic design of the machine with a brand driven style for example, and its operator interface add or reduce the value proposition
- Efficiency in operation is essential and well designed and easy to use control panels contribute immensely to this
- The suppliers of operator interface components such as pushbuttons, switches and indicator lights are converging in terms of technical performance and are now proposing new ideas and products to help OEMs compete effectively
So what does this mean for the machine designer ?
Simply put, designing high performance, aesthetically pleasing machines has never been easier.
Imagine the ability to replace your grey control panel front door with a colourful, intuitive background. To mount the pushbuttons flush to the panel surface to aid cleaning and add a touch of style. Or to identify the function of each device with a simple, clear and long lasting text or graphic icon. This is the reality of today for the world’s leading pushbutton ranges and the result of years of understanding and answering to the problems faced by machine designers worldwide.
So how can this customization contribute to differentiate you from your competitors?
Design your interface to meet the needs of your machine and your customers – with functions grouped and organized based on the usage you want. Background legends allow you to identify these groups, for example setting, operation and even to clearly highlight the emergency stop and safety functions.
Make your machines easy to use and global – identify devices using text in the local language, or simplify the interface by using icons or even pictures. Marking the pushbutton face, the bezel or using permanently marked legend plates ensures ease of use for the life of the machine.
Integrate your brand and design principles into your control panel -as well as displaying your brand logo and strapline, bezels can even be supplied in a variety of colours. Not only will this make your machines look great, but your marketing department will be happy too!
In conclusion the control panel is now an extension of your design palette, aiding your customers to use their beautiful machines increasingly efficiently no matter where they are.