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The best possible user guidance for data acquisition tasks (PDA, MDA, MES, SPC)

The new user guidance of the Cosmino data entry dialogues will significantly simplify and even revolutionize human interaction with PDAs, MDAs, MESs or SPCs.
We have been involved in the collection of production data for over 35 years and we know that the amount of manually collected information manually has increased significantly in recent times, despite the increasing amount of data being transferred automatically.
This is because humans are a relevant factor in most processes and make inputs that cannot be taken over from a machine control or any other system, for example manual inspections or when logistical issues cause a plant shutdown. In general, this applies to any by humans controlled activities, such as order changes or shift changes.
Comprehensible and easy-to-use data entry dialogues are therefore the most important prerequisite for ensuring that manual interactions with the software continue to be meaningful and timesaving in the future.
That is why we have not only completely renewed the look of our Cosmino data entry dialogues. Instead of people only recognizing and manually calling up the required data capture tasks themselves, intelligent user guidance provides support and ensures timely and complete data capture in a priority-dependent sequence.
The heart of this is our Task Queue Manager, a background service that identifies all tasks that arise for the user and sets them in a sensible order.
An acquisition dialogue "thinks along" and guides through the data entry process

The COSMINO Task Queue Manager guides through the data entry process based on the customer-specific requirements for each activity. The task queue directly visible in the entry dialogue is a sequence of already prioritized entry tasks with an indication of when they are to be carried out.
The task starts automatically at the specified time and guides you step by step through the necessary entries. A task also displays all information required for this activity.
How does the task get into the task queue? Many acquisition tasks can already be initiate by non-manual triggers today, e.g.:
  • the diagnosis of a downtime when the machine is no longer producing,
  • the entry or correction of NOK quantities at every order and shift change,
  • SPC inspections using the inspection frequency specified in the inspection plan,
  • maintenance activities based on the date in the maintenance calendar,
  • and many other tasks where the COSMINO Task Queue Manager can determine the necessity and due date directly

Other tasks are still triggered manually. But even then, the Task Queue Manager uses the customer specific setting to determine whether these tasks should be carried out immediately, whether a task that is already being carried out should be paused or whether other tasks should take priority.
For example, a manually triggered user login would take place immediately, as the person who has joined the system would otherwise be prevented from making entries.
A manually triggered job change is placed after the tasks still required for the old job. Inspections that are not yet due lose their necessity because of the task change and were deleted from the task queue. However, inspections that are already due remain in the queue before the task change.
At the same time, the order change can be a trigger for scheduling further activities that must always take place before or after an order change. This could be the recording of raw materials and additives at the end of the old order or the reading of product relevant documents at the start of the new order.
The new acquisition dialogue ensures reliable and seamless acquisition
The task queue shows the order of the pending tasks including the due date, so that the data collector does not have to decide on the sequence themselves. Already required acquisition activities start automatically based on the sequence.

Whether the workers are allowed to start, move, or even delete certain tasks earlier can be defined for each task type. The acquisition dialogue users themselves can also have different authorizations.
The manual start of activities via buttons or even different acquisition interfaces is no longer necessary. The data entering person receives all information required for the task, including digital documents, directly during the acquisition.

First projects are already benefiting from this new way of acquisition - you can do that too
For the operator, the acquisition dialogue thus becomes a perfectly configured tool to support data recording and to access valuable information. There is no standard scope except of the user guiding objects. The data acquisition dialogue is created from a widget construction kit according to requirements. It displays precisely only the required information and supports activities only those are desired.
Contact us if you are interested in modern and user orientated data acquisition on the shop floor. We would be happy to present our concept and existing dialogue examples to you in detail.
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