A look behind the scenes of development

Last year, Tool-Temp presented the MATIC product line at various international trade fairs - a smart and intelligent series of temperature control devices that meet all the requirements of automated production environments.

Our entire development team, led by Jonas Asprion, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), did an excellent job. In this interview we offer the opportunity to take a look behind the scenes of development. Roger Loriol and GianAndrea Müller are two of our creative minds behind the MATIC product line. They talk about the technical challenges and the development process of the MATIC product line and provide insight into the committed work of our development employees, who work day after day to get the most out of temperature control technology.

Roger Loriol has been responsible for the development of the user interface (UI) for the new MATIC series since 2022 and is also intensively involved with the user experience (UX). In addition to the programming itself, he also takes care of the operating concept.
GianAndrea Müller has worked on the control of temperature control units since joining the company. This includes a fundamental physical understanding of how all types of equipment work. This is the basis for the development of the operating logic and control algorithms for the new MATIC line and the actual implementation on the IRIS controller.

What exactly are User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX)? What influence do they have on the usability of the device?
Roger Loriol: UI means “user interface” in German. The UI is the interface through which the user interacts with a machine or a website. In relation to our devices, this would previously be the entire control cabinet door with the controller and all switches and lamps. There is now a touchscreen through which all functions of the device can be controlled. UX can be translated as “user experience” in German. UX refers to the totality of impressions a user experiences when interacting with a product. The UI plays a crucial role here. UX design aims to make the user experience as positive, efficient and satisfying as possible.

We have always received positive feedback on the operation of our devices - simple and uncomplicated. We wanted to maintain this with the new IRIS controller of the MATIC Line. That's why when developing the UI, we always paid attention to simple and intuitive operation in order to make the UX positive.

What was the UI development process like?
Roger Loriol: We started by interviewing some long-time customers. During the interviews, exciting opportunities arose to close open gaps with existing features. Customers have responded extremely positively to this experience.

In the second step, we developed the basis for the new UI. This gave rise to many ideas about how the extended features of the MATIC devices and the new controller could be made easy to use.

How was the usability/usability of the UI tested?
Roger Loriol: After completing the design phase, we presented a first version of the UI to various test persons and incorporated their valuable feedback into further development. In collaboration with management, we also carried out this online with our branches. Last but not least, the demo version of the UI was also presented to our customers at various trade fairs.



Two examples of the new controller’s user interface

How is the new IRIS controller different from our older models?
GianAndrea Müller: The main difference lies in the centralized intelligence. This means that all sensor information flows together and is combined. The frequency converter installed as standard in the MATIC models is also completely integrated into our control system. This allows us to continuously monitor the device and regulate it better. Since the entire controller is modular and has reserves in computing power, we are prepared for any new requirements that may arise in the future.


What did it take to achieve this?
GianAndrea Müller: On the control technology side, we first needed a clear understanding of our devices. To do this, I derived today's operating logic from our electrical schematics, created fluidic schematics for all devices in the MATIC series and defined a comprehensive measurement campaign, which we were able to implement with the active support of Jonas Asprion (CTO) and production. From these measurement data and the physical relationships, we have set up a mathematical simulation model of our devices and possible consumers. This “digital twin” now allows us to test different operating conditions within seconds, which would otherwise take days and weeks with a test setup.

GianAndrea Müller and Roger Loriol brainstorming
GianAndrea and Jonas Meier in front of the first test setup for MATIC