Robotics Dashboard

Solar Panel Factory Monitoring

Track and Troubleshoot Complex Processes

Robotics Dashboard

Malaysian solar panel factory

A Malaysian solar panel factory needed a way to track the hundreds of robots and processes on the factory floor. A single delay can halt the entire process and is extremely costly. Previously, the factory administrator had to read alerts in a complex table. It's easy to miss an alert when it's in a text-based spreadsheet.

THE SOLUTION
Live layout-based monitoring

I designed a heads up dashboard to monitor the robots and processes in real time. By mapping each robots' error status data to the node on a map of the factory floor, trouble spots can be easily located and resolved more quickly.

For each offline robot, give alerts indicating:

  • why the robot is offline

  • where the robot is located on the floor

  • how long the robot has been offline

CHALLENGES
Complexities and Interdependencies

Understanding all the processes and the types of things that can go wrong was unimaginable without seeing the facilities in person. The engineers understood their individual parts, but no one had a holistic understanding of the process and how the logistics of the robot processes.  

CATEGORY

Factory​ monitoring software.​

 

DATE

Jan 2017 - Feb 2017  3 weeks

MY ROLE

Interaction Designer

 
PARTICIPATORY DESIGN
Traveled abroad to be on site
Toured the facilities and saw every process

Interviewed the Chief Engineers who are on the solar factory floor, people on the line, and management

 

RESEARCH AND REPORTING

User Research

Interviews

Card Sorting

Understand the Data

ITERATIVE DESIGN

Multiple Iterations

Rapid prototyping

Testing

Peer reviews

Stakeholder reviews

 

INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE

Created an interactive dashboard

Production Wireframes

Animated prototypes

Read the floor plan

Redrew the AutoCAD drawing into SVGs 

Mapped the alerts to the floor plan

Solar factory in malaysia

Wireframe iterations

THE PROBLEM

Transporter Rail

The backbone of the factory is the transporter rail, which picks up and drops off solar wafers around the factory to their different processes. 

When parts malfunction, because they are on a rail,  it can cause the entire side of the factory to halt. Delays are very expensive. 

The factory managers need a way to track the transporters and to be given clear notification when and where a malfunction happens.

Transporters must always move or delay are inevitable

ROBOTS PROCESS THE WAFERS

Humans are only needed to keep the process moving. They need to quickly respond to the machines if there is a malfunction to make sure the assembly line doesn't fall behind a projected output.

One error delays the whole process line.

DISCOVERY
THE ENGINEERS

I discovered that the engineers understand their individual parts, but no one has a holistic understanding of the process and how the logistics of the robot processes. 

I spoke with everyone who had some stake in monitoring the factory.

My Team of Engineers

THE FACTORY HAS 3 FLOORS

The chief engineers want a centralized dashboard to monitor all 3 floors of the large factory.

Each floor has a different layout because they do different processes on each floor and therefore have different robots of varied sizes.

SYNTHESIS AND INSIGHTS
OFF LINE

After talking with everyone, I understood the levels of urgency and logistical issues. Sometimes machines go offline for scheduled maintenance or other machines further down the line fail.

There are a variety of reasons a machine can go offline, not just malfunctions. 

Allowing the user to easily be able to differentiate the reason for the offline is critical.

Some indicator of length of time a machine has been offline is also import.

The exact location is also required since many robots are very small and there can be many processes in one process line.

The Solution is Modular SVGs

INTIAL THOUGHTS

I thought calculating pieces/hour would be helpful. I didn't know how many machines there were in a process. I didn't know the layout of the floor or scale.

I made a good guess like staggering the Pills shapes because the Process alternates row by row and the size of the process changes. The pill allows you to easily stretch in the Javascript code.

 

Using the alphabet was a solid choice that lasted.

ALERT CODING

I created color codes for the different types of alert notifications for fast assessment.

TRANSPORTER ALERTS

Working out the Special GPS location alert for the Transporter. 

DASHBOARD 1ST CONCEPT

Before I had any information. I just imagined from this rough blueprint what the users would want to know or do from a high level.

ITERATION 2 : BLUEPRINT MAP

Working out the Special GPS location alert for the Transporter. 

GPS LOCATION 

We located the API's for the GPS location that each robot has. The rail is also mapped with GPS coordinates.

 

I combined the GPS coordinates with the

AutoCAD blueprint. This is so I can accurately show the location of any alert. This is also easily updated in the code if the move machines around.

GPS LOCATION 

I traced the AutoCAD File to make SVG's of the rail. This how we can link the robot's data

GPS and the map to the alerts location.

ITERATION 3. GPS GRID

I combined the GPS Coordinates with the

Auto cad Factory Blueprints and the letter based location labeling. This is so I can accurately show the location of any alert. This also easily updates in the code if they move machines around. Simply enter the GPS coordinates of the new location.

THE STRATEGY

ITERATION 4. A lighter touch

Once I had the function taken care of I worked on the color. Since Green indicated GOOD. There would a lot of Green. So I chose light shades of green which gives this otherwise dry dashboard a fresh feel. 

ITERATION 4. The pill

I chose the pill because it's easy to read and to make. In Javascript, make an SVG rectangle, then round all the corners 90º. To change the length of the pill increase the W or H of the rectangle.

ITERATION 4. Repeat

I then applied the same design to the other floors, slightly changing the color.

Future Concepts

© 2015    Charles    Perretti   Design    Build

 

charlesperretti@icloud |   San Francisco, CA 94122  |   Tel: 415-359-7545   

 To see my previous Product Design portfolio   www.perrettidesign.com