How do you improve on the world's best butt (upset) weld control system? That was the question we asked ourselves when we did a complete redesign for the new Assurance Plus® system.
We started by keeping all of the features of our successful Assurance control: our patented weld cycle logic and force controller; 16 channel diagnostic graphics system; and the flexible statistics packages. Further, we kept the same I/O pin-out specifications - allowing the system to be a drop-in replacement for previous generation Assurance controls.
With these goals in mind, we redesigned our weld controller using state-of-the-art components to be low power and low heat - with no heat sinks or fans, resulting in a hardened design with all surface mount components and a low noise grounding system. We increased the accuracy of the input data converters by 16 times that of the previous system and added optical isolation between the controller and machine signals such that external machine noise cannot interfere with the controller. The weld controller was further designed to implement a TCP/IP server and allow the user interface and database operations to be located in a different machine. This change allows the weld controller to be located close to the signal sources and allows the human-machine interface (HMI) to be located where it is convenient for the operator, such as a pendant, or in an automatic systems remote.
To support the new HMI machine, we completely rewrote the Assurance user interface for Windows or other operating system platforms, with redesigned and simplified forms for better workflow. We implemented a user management password and security system for fine grained role-based permissions, added high quality printed reports on any device supported by Windows, and added support for touch screen based operation. The AP databases are now realized on a SQL Server database backend. The HMI is fully network enabled and can support remote service operation and access to the database, including by our rewritten offline/network based setup editing and weld database tools. Finally we added plug-in support for custom tagged weld data - allowing for example support for barcode or GPS tags to be applied to stored weld data. Plug-ins for custom post weld processing is also supported. These changes bring together the best of a time-tested welding control system with the modern user interface and storage features your company's IT strategy requires.
Assurance Plus ®