Morgan is one of the world’s most renowned companies for textile cutting machinery, internationally recognised for both its hardware and software solutions. We were asked to redesign the company’s flagship product - the ‘Next’ cutting machine.
The Next needed to be positioned within a highest-quality product market, whilst also having a broad enough appeal to target both small firms and global brands.
In the landscape of the fashion technology industry, and in industrial machinery in general, design is carving out an important role. Historically speaking, new machinery was purely a matter for engineering. Now, more and more companies in this sector are beginning to consider the designer as a fundamental role - not only handling the aesthetics, but also improving the ergonomics of use.
The machinery and production lines are the fulcrum of the business and the protagonists of the physical working space. They, therefore, have a key role in determining the pleasantness of the environment and enjoyability of production activities.
The first step we needed to take was thorough research of both the sector and the company, defining precise project objectives and outlining the key characteristics that the new machine needed to have.
We studied the machinery in use, observing its different processing phases and the movement of the operator around the machine, and aimed to streamline the original concepts we had identified. The research activity allowed us to model the stylistic components at the heart of the new design: speed, strength and compactness.
However, we soon understood that we needed to think bigger, viewing the new machine within the complex ecosystem of an entire factory. In order to do so we decided we needed to find answers to certain questions:
The project required a large amount of specific expertise, so we immediately opened a dialogue with the engineering team of Morgan Tecnica which would continue throughout the project. Through regular exchanges we explored the feasibility of new technical solutions and the introduction of new functionality.
We have analyzed the machinery to reduce the lines to translate the complexity into simple lines that are welcoming to the operator and making it user friendly.
We decided to adopt a trapezoidal shape as the side panels of the machine. This shape evokes the precision and speed that the machinery is capable of, as well as enhancing its overall visual impact.
The rounding of the sides not only communicates compactness, but unites them to the lateral sides in a single shape. This allows the operator to use the machine in an easier and more comfortable way.
The user interface was previously composed of a monitor and a keyboard that looked like an unnatural add-on. We decided to convert this into a touch interface, giving the machine a more intelligent and responsive style.
The size of the cutting plane was significantly increased thanks to the adoption of a mobile support, allowing the operator to situate the screen where they want and also integrate it within the machine body.
The use of eco-leather along the front perimeter and a perforated technical fabric in the central part helped us to create a continuum between the operational space and the final product. This design links the manual work with state of the art technology, creating a closer harmony between the production environment and the items it creates.
In designing Next, a process of defining guidelines and stylistic elements was adopted that will inform future updates and redesigns for the other machines in the product range.