ProtoTrak Control Demos Blur Line Between Real and Digital

Trak Machine Tools’ booth has a new look this year, with an emphasis on hands-on demonstrations of its ProtoTrak RMX CNC.


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In some machine shops, there’s a sharp division between employees who program and employees who run the machine tools. But increasingly, that division is fading away. “In the ProtoTrak world, the same person is doing both,” says Steve Pinto, president of Trak Machine Tools/Southwestern Industries Inc. As such, machinists who need both to program and to run the machines are requiring more integrated and seamless controls.

In recognition of this increasingly dual role, the company’s booth looks markedly different at this edition of IMTS. Whereas in the past, Southwestern Industries has placed its machine tools front and center, this year it’s all about controls, with a dozen displays running demonstrations of the new ProtoTrak RMX CNC.

According to Pinto, the control “blurs the line between the digital and the real world.” New and upgraded features including solid-model graphics, fly-out windows and contextual training are intended to help users have a smooth, seamless operating experience “that isn’t interrupted by having to put yourself in ‘computer mode,’” he says.

IMTS visitors are invited to interact with the new control in assisted-play demonstrations. “The control itself has onboard tutorial videos and context-sensitive help in fly-out windows, so people can learn right there on the spot how to run it,” Pinto says.