It’s advantageous to have a simple control panel because it reduces the amount of operator confusion which then reduces the amount of operator error so if you’ve only got a choice of two buttons to press, then to be faced with a screen with 60 buttons on can be a little bewildering. The trick is to make something that is easy to use, operator friendly, that people like to use and don’t consider it a being a bit foreboding.
If you only operate a plasma machine a couple of hours a day or a week then it should be an easy process, their function is to cut steel, not to be a computer operator. That’s the bit of the design that takes the time and energy to create.
In an ideal world you’d have one button which is START.
Now we can’t make machines that way because there are too many parameters to control but what we can do is that once you’ve set up a machine for a particular thickness then essentially you do have a start button and a stop button. I think in terms of design and control system design then it’s quite simple to make an XY machine control system that will control a plasma or a gas cutter and there are systems available off the shelf.
This is what Techserv have done, and, having spent a considerable amount of time doing this it pays dividends.