By passing the Operator's Test, those willing to independently operate Lotta can demonstrate their ability to do so. The purpose of the test is to ensure that conditions for operating the machine as well as person safety are fulfilled, also when others are not present to assist.
The test arrangement somewhat resembles the driving test for a driver's license; the applicant operates the machine on command as instructed by the test supervisor. The only persons present are the applicant and the test supervisor and there will be no help on machine operations during the test. The aim is to gauge the applicant's readiness for independent operation.
The applicants are urged to prepare in advance by studying material available in e.g. Hacklab wiki and elsewhere. The best readiness should be gained in the training courses that are held from time to time but those are not a strict precondition; demonstrated skill will determine.
It is not possible to pass the test without mastering the fundamental items of Lotta operation!
Please note also that general knowledge of machining and automation is not necessarily enough as this test specifically evaluates the applicant's ability to operate Lotta according to the practices agreed for Lotta - not general knowledge as such.
The general run of the test is as follows:
|Part||Task||Desired outcome||Grounds for rejection|
|Machine start and preparation for operations||The applicant starts the machine from state cold & dark
The machine is appropriately inspected for readiness to operate
|The machine is ready to start operations
All necessary initial tasks have been performed
|The applicant does not manage to independently prepare the machine for operation|
|Fixing a tool to appropriate holder||Test supervisor indicates one or more tools and fixtures
The applicant shall correctly determine how to fix the indicated tools as well as find and apply equipment possibly needed to accomplish same
|The indicated tools are properly fastened to correct holders using work methods that ensure a proper result
||The applicant fails to fix a tool|
A tool has been fixed incorrectly or clearly insufficiently
|Placing a tool in the magazine and measuring tool length offset||Test supervisor indicates one or more tools fixed in holders
The applicant places tools in the magazine and programs them ready for operations
|The applicant has placed the tool(s) into the indicated magazine position(s) correctly
The applicant performs the tool length offset measurement and programming using the method agreed for use with Lotta
|A tool has been inserted into the magazine incorrectly|
The applicant fails to measure or program the tool or the programmed length offset is clearly incorrect
|Machine operation in manual mode and use of supporting MDI mode commands||Test supervisor indicates a workpiece and operations to be performed upon it
The applicant performs the simple milling and/or drilling operations using manual mode commands
|The applicant fixes the workpiece and performs the required machining in manual mode, using MDI commands where necessary
||Applicant fails to fix the workpiece independently|
Applicant fails to master the necessary manual operations
|Measuring and programming of work coordinates||Test supervisor indicates a workpiece and the work coordinate set to use
The applicant fixes the workpiece and programs the coordinates appropriately
|The workpiece is fastened appropriately
Coordinates of selected points are measured
|Applicant fails to fix the workpiece independently|
Applicant requires help in measuring the coordinates or, the end result is clearly incorrect (error more than 1mm)
|Entry into memory of indicated program and program run in automatic mode||Test supervisor indicates a G-code program to enter and run
The applicant executes the program
|Applicant sanity checks the program to detect possible programming errors
Applicant creates a new program and enters the code using Lotta's console user interface
|Applicant fails to enter or run the program independently|
Entering a clearly erroneous program into the machine
It should be noted in advance that should the applicant require assistance in a fundamental operation or, if the test supervisor has to intervene in order to avoid damage, the test is automatically rejected. Minor assistance e.g. to aid memory shall not be grounds for rejection. The test supervisor is the sole arbiter and alone decides whether a case is minor assistance or grounds for rejection. With that in mind all applicants are urged to genuinely master the principles and operation of Lotta.