OMICRON, a long-standing customer of Centigrade has released RelayLabTest, an innovative desktop-based software to test protection devices. RelayLabTest enables users to simulate entire power networks in order to achieve most realistic operating conditions. The software already complies with the requirements of the future standard IEC 60255-121 for distance protection devices. Centigrade supported OMICRON during the entire user interface design and engineering process of the WPF-based user interface from start to end.
In this respect, the RelayLabTest project is the continuation of a fruitful collaboration that, among other things, brought the two companies a prestigious iF Design in the past. Again Centigrade delivered visual and user experience design concepts, taking care of a solid consistency towards already existing OMICRON software products. For example, the formerly dark and elegant design of the touch-based CMControl was adapted to the desktop domain while maintaining typical corporate design aspects.
Above this, Centigrade and OMICRON were able to establish a highly efficient collaboration using the agile development approach “SCRUM” – over a distance of several hundreds of kilometers. Remote stand-up meetings were conducted on a regular basis to clarify interfaces and interconnection points between OMICRON’s C# developers and Centigrade XAML design engineers to develop the WPF-based user interface.
Stefan Schwabe, Product Manager at OMICRON: “When designing the application we went with a new approach – this approach reflects one of the strategic goals of OMICRON which is building products with optimized usability and visual aesthetics, to make a tester’s work easier and a more joyful and productive experience. Again, we chose Centigrade as our partner for designing the product’s user experience and visual look – and again it turned out that this was a very good decision. Together we worked successfully on analyzing the workflows and crafting the UI concept of RelayLabTest – with impressive results.”
One striking feature of RelayLabTest is the so-called “grid editor” which can be used to model power networks on a virtual surface. With this module, users can construct and connect power-network elements within seconds thanks to several smart interaction concepts that all target ease of use.
Thomas Immich, Managing Director at Centigrade: “When we observed how competitors of OMICRON solve grid editing, we soon had the feeling that there was something wrong with their approach. Grid editing just felt clumsy and awkward. Their main problem in our view was that they all saw grid editing as a “drawing” task. But after some end user analysis, we felt that grid editing is more like a “construction” task. As a consequence we came up with that mosaic element metaphor. This lead metaphor of “real” physical elements went along with the entire grid editor design process from start to end and. really was a source of inspiration and mutual understanding throughout the team.”
To document the smooth collaboration between Centigrade and OMICRON, the two companies released a short video containing interviews with the RelayLabTest team members as well as screen captures of the software. For lower resolution versions visit Centigrade’s YouTube Channel.
About OMICRON electronics GmbH
OMICRON is an international company serving the electrical power industry with innovative testing and diagnostic solutions. The application of OMICRON products allows users to assess the condition of the primary and secondary equipment on their systems with complete confidence. Services offered in the area of consulting, commissioning, testing, diagnosis and training make the product range complete. Customers in more than 140 countries rely on the company’s ability to supply leading edge technology of excellent quality. Service centers on all continents provide a broad base of knowledge and extraordinary customer support. All of this together with our strong network of sales partners is what has made our company a market leader in the electrical power industry.