The XYZ ProtoTRAK control system is, by any standards, an unmitigated success with over 15,000 machines fitted with the system in the UK (over 100,000 worldwide) since its initial launch. The phenomenal acceptance of the ProtoTRAK system is down to its ease of use for one-off and small batch production.

Developed by California-based South Western Industries, ProtoTRAK can be used on two or three axis mills, and two axis lathes and has been exclusive to XYZ Machine Tools across Europe since 1993. When it was launched it was seen as a breakthrough in easy to use control technology and as it has developed it has retained its easy to use, plain English, programing technology that guides users through relatively complex programs, intuitively filling in any blanks along the way. In this way it offers a unique ability for users to quickly develop their manufacturing capability using existing labour, which may, or may not, be conversant with CNC technology. To enable potential customers to gain a better understanding of the power and capabilities of the ProtoTRAK control, XYZ makes use of a desktop unit that is identical in operation to the control fitted to a machine, but gives customers a valuable insight into its performance, without them having to leave their office.

“When we launched ProtoTRAK in the UK, I confidently set ourselves the target of selling 12 units in the first 12 months,” says Nigel Atherton, XYZ Machine Tools’ Managing Director. “After three months and zero sales that confidence was draining, but then we received our first desktop demonstration unit. This proved to be a revelation, as once customers saw the ease of use and potential of the ProtoTRAK control we were almost guaranteed a sale. In the next nine months we sold 400 units. The rest as they say is history.” The hit-rate for customers buying a ProtoTRAK controlled machine after a desktop demonstration continues to remain high, with XYZ estimating that 80 per cent of demos result in a machine purchase.

The attraction of ProtoTRAK remains its ease of use and overall capability, which is echoed in the desktop unit, simply plug it in and away you go with the customer able to test out the functionality of the system at the comfort of their own desk. The unit has all of the capacity of a control attached to a machine, and highlights the ease which features such as pockets, profiles and hole sequences for milling, as well as tapers, threads and grooves for turning applications can be created. The clear user interface eliminates many of the ‘daunting’ aspects of conventional CNC controls, minimising the number of keys and buttons needed to create a program, removing any fears from operators that may not be familiar with CNC machine operation.

“The desktop demonstration of ProtoTRAK continues to be a major success for us and, while we have six XYZ showrooms and training centres across the UK, we realise that not everyone can spare the time to come out for a demonstration. With this desktop unit we can highlight all of the features and benefits of ProtoTRAK, without customers having to leave their business,” says Nigel Atherton.

For a quick insight into the efficiency and performance of ProtoTRAK there is a video available on the XYZ Machine Tools website (http://bit.ly/1QS4mo4). To book a desktop demonstration of the control by your local XYZ Area Sales Manager simply e-mail sales@xyzmachinetools.com or telephone on 01823 674 200.

XYZ Machine Tools’ desktop demonstration unit for its ProtoTRAK control system is a quick and efficient method of seeing the benefits of the control at the customer’s convenience.

80 per cent of demonstrations result in a machine sale, due to the ease of use of ProtoTRAK