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Partnership between Centigrade and Berner & Mattner: Machine control at the tap of a finger

February 9th, 2011

The software experts of Berner & Mattner Systemtechnik GmbH and the UI design specialists of Centigrade GmbH intensify their cooperation in the area of innovative touch interface software solutions. With their cooperation, they support manufacturers of machinery and plants to improve functionality and ease of use of human machine interfaces through modern touch-sensitive interfaces. In doing so, customers increase the attractiveness of their products and significantly reduce costs of errors, support and training. Both companies have established an integrated procedure model and a special infrastructure consisting of state-of-the-art development methods and tools for effective development of human machine interface solutions. The first success of the cooperation is an operating terminal, developed in cooperation with OMICRON electronics, which has been presented with the iF communication design award for outstanding product design.

CMControl touchscreen user interface design received an iF communication design award



Both service providers supply manufacturers of industrial plants and equipment with intuitively operable touch interface solutions and, therefore, contribute substantially to the differentiation of products from competitors. „Touch-sensitive displays offer tremendous potential for machine operation and will completely change market requirements. Examples of consumer electronics, in particular, demonstrate how products can be optimized and used for differentiation through improved usability and individual interface design“, explains Dr. Klaus Wiltschi, Head of Industrial Customers Department at Berner & Mattner. „In the cooperation with Centigrade, we combine the necessary expertise in the areas of usability, design and software and provide the required infrastructure and processes for the successful development of effective and efficient touch interaction solutions”.

Effective development model for human interface solutions

Touch operation requires very specific usability standards – just transferring established usability concepts of PC software to touch interfaces simply fails. Similarly inappropriate are development processes involving designers and usability experts only at a very late stage or often even completely excluding operators. Therefore, the partners are consciously breaking new ground. Their development model is characterized by

  • early verification of workflow-oriented interaction concepts through prototypes and mockups,
  • agile software development methods with intensive involvement of customers and future users, and
  • parallel development of software and design.

Here, the workflow is given priority over function implementation. The work of developers and designers is seamlessly integrated by explicitly separating design and function based on state-of-the-art development technologies like SwiXML, XAML or QML. The web-based development platform and the automated build and test environments of Berner & Mattner enable effective cooperation of distributed experts by short integration and development cycles.

First success: iF communication design award

The iF communication design award is the first result of this new approach to the development of human machine interfaces. It has been granted for an operating terminal for an electrical engineering test device developed by Centigrade and Berner & Mattner in cooperation with OMICRON electronics.
Thomas Immich, Managing Director of Centigrade GmbH: „We are going through an important transition regarding the human interaction with software. Touch panels are getting more and more inexpensive to produce and their user acceptance is increasing. It is therefore not surprising that touch panels are integrated into almost every modern smart phone. Hardware keys are vanishing and the user experience is more and more defined by software. This is why we need to rethink design and software development methods and processes. The cooperation with Berner & Mattner is an important milestone for us towards intuitively usable, visually attractive and technically elegant touch user interfaces.“

About Berner & Mattner Systemtechnik GmbH, Munich
Berner and Mattner Systemtechnik GmbH is specialized in custom-made solutions for the specification, development and testing of complex electronic systems. Its competence spectrum ranges from consulting, conception, software and systems development to the setup and operation of entire test and integration systems.
On the basis of its products and services, Berner & Mattner provides customized software and engineering solutions for the automotive, aerospace, industrial automation, transportation, and defence industries. This is why well- known companies such as Audi, BMW, Daimler, Deutsche Bahn, EADS Germany and Siemens have been placing their trust in Berner and Mattner for many years. The company with headquarters in Munich was founded in 1979, currently employs 300 people at 8 sites in Germany and Austria and is a member of the international Assystem Group. Further information on Berner & Mattner: www.berner-mattner.com

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