Working With Colour Cards and Job Cards

M-Box User Support Article

What It Is About

When using M-Box you can not only see if a machine is running (and who is operating it), but you can also track what job or project the machine is working on. For this you will use the production smartcards, for which 2 card types are available. In this article we explain the differences between the card types (colour cards vs job card) with the specific advantages.

Learn first about the M-Box ordering system.

Reading tip to better understand this article.

We recommend reading “Working with the M-Box ordering system” before reading this article.

It will help you to understand the system and relation between Projects-Customer (sales) orders, production orders and jobs as you will come across them when using the M-Box planning and scheduling functionality.


  • Monitor the production process: see what is on the machine
  • Track total machine time per job or project
  • Flexibility in production scheduling and execution on the shop floor



Colour Card (set)  – Sets of smartcards with a colour combination (3 colours) on each card. All the cards in the set have the same combination, and each set is unique for your factory/location. Whenever a card is placed on an M-Box, the system allocates the productive time of that machine to the Production Order to which the set is connected. 

Job Cards – a plastic card with a unique 4-digit number assigned to an individual job. Anytime the job cards is placed on an M-Box, the system allocates the productive time to that particular job. 

M-Box Shop-Floor monitoring and manufacturing ERP

This User support article can be helpful when using the M-Box system. If you are new to M-Box or consider using the system, it will give you insight in functionalities and convenience of use.

More User Support Articles

Use Our On-Site Tutorials

Available in your user account on

Main Characteristics of Colour Cards and Job Cards

Colour Cards

  • Each colour-card set has a minimum of 20 cards (all in the same colour combination)
  • Colour cards are assigned to production orders that consist of a multitude of different jobs for single units or small series. Typical for mould making or other activity units that work on relative complex projects.
  • The production order related cards are set to any workstation that is productive for this order. All jobs use the same colour combination.
  • For your cost price analysis, the system will combine all productive time registered to this order via the colour cards.

Job Cards

  • Each card has a unique (4 digits) number.
  • Production cards are assigned to individual jobs on workstations. Production cards can also be assigned to mould configurations for injection moulding.
  • Job cards are set to M-Box on workstations productive for this job.
  • Cost price can be analysed per job.

Advantages of Colour Cards vs Job Cards

Colour Cards

  • Only one single card type needs to be assigned to each of the project’s production orders. All the jobs will automatically carry the same colour code.
  • The card will follow the parts through the production process. Every time a part undergoes a production step, the card is placed on the M-Box of that station and the productive hours will be allocated to the production order.
  • No need to create jobs for ad-hoc steps. As long as the production order is active, all machine time registered will be allocated

Job Cards

  • Use a dedicated card per job
  • Automatic scheduling: when an assigned production card is set to an M-Box on a machine, the system recognizes the job and mark it as Productive on that resource (Move from unscheduled to in production)
  • In practice this means easy switching back and forth between different jobs on a single machine (when a job’s quantity is not yet completed but is on hold for example for QC or material supply)

Can I assign job cards to specific jobs of a production order with a colour card?

Yes, this is a useful strategy if you want to isolate the machine time for a particular step in the process. The time will be visible for that job, but also added to the total productive time of the order for cost price analysis.

How does the job card work with mould configurations?

In injection moulding, each mould configuration is in fact a specifically defined job, only the quantity is not specified. The M-Box on injection moulding however counts each individual shot, so when the job is marked completed the system knows and adds the shot count to the job.

Can I schedule jobs that are marked with a colour card?

Yes, this can be done. Keep in mind however that whenever an unscheduled job appears on a machine (colour card is placed) the system assumes the scheduled job for that machine with that card is productive. When this happens, it should (but can easily) be fixed in the scheduling module of the mobile device or the web portal.

Can I use the scheduling function without job cards?

Use of the functionalities of scheduling and job progress tracking do not require any smart cards if individual jobs are manually started and stopped via the mobile device or the web portal.

Useful Tutorials available in the M-Box Portal

The over 100 M-Box Tutorials will guide you step by step to swiftly accomplish the desired result
  • Create a new production order
  • Add job to a production order
  • Connect a (different) colour card to a production order
  • Connect a (different) job card to a production job
  • Disconnect a colour card from a production order
  • Disconnect a job card from a job
  • Check job status and history
  • Check production order history