Kontron AIS GmbH
Creating the Framework for Tomorrow's System Control
Kontron AIS GmbH is a full-service supplier in the field of industrial software. For more than 30 years, Kontron AIS has been developing modular software solutions that are tailor-made for customers in machine and plant construction and in semiconductor manufacturing.
The software framework ToolCommander® is a product from their portfolio and the basis for the realisation of plant control systems that are used in different industries. With the current version of ToolCommander®, a profound product development has taken place. The software is used in a highly specialised environment in production and research for plants with a wide range of technological functions. Therefore, the software must be able to react flexibly to different requirements.
Before starting the project, the user interface of ToolCommander® only included solutions for partial areas of the software. A structured visualisation of the complex functional scope of a plant was missing. The task was to create a holistic and consistent concept that guides the user through the interaction with the machine and provides quick support when errors occur. Challenge here: Any potential optimisation strategy had to consider applicable industry standards and practices to ensure consistent operation between the different production systems, thus also providing a wide reach into the market.
Recognising and Applying Workflows
As users are accustomed to established processes and operating standards, it was essential to consistently incorporate their needs. With the help of UX methods, previous interaction patterns and areas in the software interface that were particularly difficult to use were identified. The collected requirements were then conceptually implemented. In order to give the user orientation in each workflow step, the complex functional scope of a machine was clearly structured and visualised. Also, attention was also paid to an adaptable design concept that can be modified depending on the machine type.
Higher Security in Decision-Making Processes
The new ToolCommander® takes into account a responsive design, clear instructions for action and reduced complexity when working with the machine. The new design concept simplifies interaction processes that were previously difficult to use by integrating established user processes. This balancing act creates acceptance, as it satisfies customer and user interests at the same time.
Two essential aspects characterise the user experience of ToolCommander®: On the one hand, the software is defined by an error management system that not only displays problems, but also shows concrete options for action. In this way, the machine operator is supported by the system in critical situations. On the other hand, the software includes a transparent machine visualisation. Even detailed areas of the machine are visualised and can thus be experienced by the user.
Making Production Sustainable
The more comprehensible the communication at the interface between human and machine, the more resource-efficient production can be. Thanks to the improved error management, ToolCommander® enables safe and smooth operation and prevents high costs arising from damage to the processed materials in the event of an error. Kontron AIS thus supports machine and plant manufacturers in taking new paths in automation and sustainably reducing costs – while UseTree continues to accompany them on this journey.
“UseTree has set us on our way in a competent and sustainable manner with a stringent concept and responsive design. Our vision of the application, which seemed impossible before, is now already on the market and we are very happy with the result and the cooperation!”
Teamleader Product Development
AIS Kontron GmbH
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