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Obertshausen - The latest dashboard design for Karl Mayer's KM.ON digital management service is designed to offer greater clarity, functionality and ease of use for the warp knitting industry.

Using the k.management dashboard, KM.ON customers have a direct connection to their production – no matter when and from where. The smart tool provides a comprehensive overview of what is happening at production level and uses near-time data from machines that have been securely networked to the KM.ON cloud via the industrial computer k.ey for this purpose.

This, therefore, provides an overview of all important machine key figures as a basis for efficient management. Decisions can be made quickly and soundly, and processes can be planned prudently. In the event of malfunctions and bottlenecks, rapid intervention is possible and the customer can save valuable time when completing routine work.

The dashboard – and its many benefits – was launched on the market at ITMA Asia 2018. It has now received a major upgrade. The new features offer even greater clarity, functionality and ease of use. Furthermore, the data quality and data availability have been optimised. Following further development, the tool works reliably worldwide – including in China.

Given the new design, changes to the new dashboard version are immediately apparent, says Karl Mayer, adding that the way information is presented has been fundamentally revised. It offers greater clarity and faster orientation in terms of colouring and structure.

Even the overview page, for example, with its reduced colour scheme and functional structure, invites you in and encourages you to explore. Instead of being displayed in a mix as in the previous version, key figures are now visually separated according to their function. “Every value has its framework,” says KM.ON Product Manager Marcel Wenzel. "The content is easier to access and is also explained in a way that is easy to understand."

For each key figure displayed, more detailed explanations can now be obtained by clicking on the adjacent question mark symbol. By clicking the “Help” question mark symbol, which is superimposed above the entire application in the top right-hand corner, the user can also access the user manual. The reference guide contains background information on the complete application, including publication references.

The users can adjust the language based on their preference under their personal “User settings” by clicking their user avatar. The available languages include German, English, modern Chinese and traditional Chinese.

These extensive changes were driven by discussions with customers. As part of these joint exchanges, the desire for simplicity emerged above all. “Given their profession, our customers are not digital natives. They want simple, intuitive solutions, without usage barriers,” says Wenzel, explaining that his team closely followed user wishes when optimising the dashboard content.

Decisions

Regardless of where the machines are located and information is needed, the dashboard provides data in near real time. On the overview page, the machine name and the next upcoming beam change time are displayed for each machine as before. New symbols now provide information about the status of the machine in eye-catching colours. Possible states are Stop, Running and Offline. The symbols illustrate the degree of production utilisation, even when briefly checking the homepage. A filter function can also be used to detect machines that are idle and by extension, capacity reserves or technical problems.

Other new display features include the number of stops and the remaining time when processing an item, including the number of items per job.

A sorting function for all networked machines based on specified categories makes it possible to optimise production. By prioritizing according to remaining production time and upcoming beam replacement time, the capacities for item removal and beam replenishment can be planned in detail. In turn, the number of stops when producing an item allows conclusions to be drawn about the fabric quality produced, for example.

As with the overview page, the details page for each individual machine has also been decluttered. As part of a structured display, an adjusted offering appears, consisting of information on status, output, current and maximum speed, upcoming beam change times for all warp beams – sorted by urgency – as well as job stage with remaining time per item and for the complete job.

Information on the machine type, serial number and available KAMCOS version are found at the bottom of the details page.

Pre-programmed

The new k.management dashboard was extensively tested with customers in Germany and the USA in February this year. The roll-out to all KM.ON customers then began in April. In order to attract other textile companies, the new upgrade will be presented at the Karl Mayer stand at ITMA Asia, which is being held from 12 to 16 June 2021.

Additional changes are in the pipeline for the year. After a transitional phase, there are plans to switch from the previously free mode to an optional paid-for mode. A fee will then be levied in exchange for extended information and functionalities.

In addition, Wenzel and his team are already working on new ideas. “We are constantly asking ourselves which target groups need which additional information. Step by step, we are developing our dashboard together with our customers," he says.

The current version already offers possibilities for suitable further developments. For example, the overview page could help the machine operator to plan their to-do list even better by incorporating additional key figures, or indeed attract new stakeholders such as managers and directors with strategic rather than operational information.

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