Digital design for iRoll software – Valmet’s intelligent technology
Valmet Corporation has been a leading global developer and supplier of services and technologies for the pulp, paper and energy industries. With the ambition of becoming the global champion in serving their customers, their offering covers everything from maintenance outsourcing to mill and plant improvements and spare parts. The strong technology offering includes entire pulp mills, tissue, board and paper production lines, as well as power plants for bio-energy production. Valmet's net sales in 2013 were approximately EUR 2.6 billion. The company employs 11,000 professionals around the world.
iRoll - Valmet's intelligent roll
Valmet’s iRoll technology enables customers to improve the efficiency and product quality by assuring optimal runnability of paper and board products. A papermaker can obtain significant cost savings by improved nip profiles, parent roll hardness profiles and tension profiles as well as printer and converter satisfaction. iRoll software is the tool used for advanced analysis of the data collected by the sensors of the iRoll.
Ixonos redesigned the Valmet iRoll desktop software. The objective of the new design was to assure that the software is efficient and easy to use, and also meets Valmet’s brand requirements.
The renewed user interface ensures that an iRoll user is able to easily track the status of one or more iRolls without cluttering the display with multiple windows. The user can easily monitor the current nip profile measurement, as well as complete history of the data with color map and 3D visualizations. Clear views and comparison tools allow the user to easily detect possible problems or opportunities for optimization. System notifications alert the user if something requires immediate attention. A new settings user interface provides the user an easy way to configure the software parameters without having to rely on text based system files.
The Valmet iRoll software is a dashboard designed for desktop use. There are a few principles to keep in mind when designing a dashboard. Impactful visual design plays the key role on delivering the value. Unless the users are engaged, they will not use it.
It is a well-known fact that our brains process information as ‘chunks’. It means that our ability to perceive and comprehend is dramatically faster with visualization. Therefore careful selection of data presented on the dashboard is essential. Also the way the data is presented is crucial. Special attention needs to be paid to the visual system: information hierarchy and clarity as well as logical information flow and interactivity. A well-designed dashboard will not only save valuable time, but also increase efficiency and precision. In heavy industrial processes, like in paper machinery, the impact of its business aspects can be substantial.
The dashboard is also a tool for exploring and forecasting possible future issues and if necessary, to change course of the predicted trend beforehand.
iRoll dashboard visual design had three objectives
a) to display the current status in a way that allows the user to quickly glean data from it
b) to point out action points the user needs to react
c) to integrate the Valmet brand to the dashboard to create an optimal user experience and increase brand value
In this project we designed two different visual approaches. The light coloured day version was the main use case for the personnel taking care of the machine and the production. In addition we explored more visional, future looking, tablet version of the dashboard displaying an even more digested and summarized data flow. This could for example act as a sales tool for business developers or give requisite data for management for future investment decisions.
The new iRoll UI is clear and reflecting our corporate brand, our customers have been very pleased with the new visuals.
Tatu Pitkänen, Manager, R&D, Valmet Service
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