Invensys Appliance Controls
Reducing the design cycle by 50%
Invensys Appliance Controls is the leading control system manufacturer in the world, building more than 12 million appliance controls a year. These controls are used by appliance manufacturers around the world to automate everything from household washers and dryers to public water faucets. Invensys engaged Visimation to develop Visio automation for ControlWorks, a system that enables the design and programming of control panels in a fraction of the time as compared with previous methods.
Before the introduction of ControlWorks, the preliminary design of a control panel might have been sketched on a paper napkin turned over to a graphic artist or CAD specialist to be rendered in 3D, and passed back and forth between Invensys, the appliance manufacturer, and consumer focus groups for feedback. From concept to production, it took 12 to 24 months to get a control panel ready for market. ControlWorks cut that time in half thanks to the custom Visio interface created by Visimation. Other features and functionality include:
Appliance designers can choose from a variety of SmartShapes, including knobs, dials, slider bars, and LED displays. These shapes have been programmed to look and behave like real-world appliance controls using Visio ShapeSheets and a combination of Visual Basic, Visual Basic for Applications, and C++.
Once a control object is in place on the panel drawing, the designer can assign it a preprogrammed function containing a set of operating instructions. A knob on a washing machine panel, for example, could be assigned a function with instructions to fill the tub to a certain level, agitate for 5 minutes, drain, spin, and so on.
The appliance can then be run directly from the Visio drawing. No prototype hardware needs to be developed for testing. It’s one seamless transition from the drawing board to final product, saving money and months of development time.