Plex Manufacturing Cloud Has New User Interface




Making sure that Plex Manufacturing Cloud was fast and easy for the plant worker has always been part of Plex Systems’ DNA, but the product’s computer numeric control (CNC) machine look and feel has traditionally been not that appealing to other roles in a manufacturing company. Over the last year or so, with contracted help from EPAM Systems developers in Belarus and user interface (UI) design suggestions from Two Rivers Consulting, the vendor has embarked on embellishing its UI in earnest.
 
At the PowerPlex 2014 user conference, Plex demonstrated a new, role-based user experience dubbed F5 UI (the F5  function key is used to refresh screens on PCs). F5 features a reimagined user experience for manufacturing applications, looking at individual roles, responsibilities, and situations to deliver actionable information to the workforce. Plex pioneered cloud solutions for manufacturing, starting on the shop floor, connecting the people, machines, materials, data, and systems that make things. Given the recent and future influx of the millennial workforce, the F5 user experience was designed and developed to provide a seamless experience across devices.
 
At the conference, Plex demonstrated the first role-based experiences designed to support financial and administrative leaders in manufacturing organizations. Additional roles will be delivered throughout 2014 as part of Plex's continuous product development approach. New role-based UI will eventually support every worker in a manufacturing organization. For those customers that might not want to switch immediately to the new look and feel, the system allows customers to turn on new features only when desired.
 
 
 
In addition, Plex demonstrated integration (currently only in the lab) between Google Glass and the Plex Manufacturing Cloud. This integration aims to enable manufacturing professionals to see and act on live data and shop floor transactions, incorporating people, machines, and materials. Plex envisions a huge opportunity for wearable computing on the manufacturing shop floor, especially where it is necessary to keep hands free for work and safety reasons. Some roles in certain manufacturing environments might already justify the hefty price of Google Glass (e.g., if it makes pricey data acquisition scanners no longer needed), but the Google Glass price is expected to drop in the future anyway.
 
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