31 May 2016
Intertech developed and enhanced a Manufacturing Requirements Planning (MRP) system
for a customer as a Win32 client-server application. The customer contacted Intertech
after Sybase Professional Services could no longer work on the project. The application
connects to Adaptive Sever Anywhere for its primary database.
The MRP system was originally split into four applications with buttons on a main
window to open report and maintenance windows, as a way to secure functions for
user groups. Intertech consolidated these applications into a single system with
PFC security, menu and navigation side bar. The entire application was then refactored
to use the PowerBuilder Foundation Class (PFC) with a multi-document interface.
The application tracks work flow, controls processes, configures products for specialized
data processing products. It now integrates automated assembly, component storage,
and customer relations management (CRM) in separate systems.
The following screen shots show some of the immersive windows in the application.
These are very rich interfaces with extremely dynamic, data driven presentations.
Pop-up menus, tool tips, dropdown lists, drill-down to related windows, etc. cannot
be conveyed in these static images.
Product definitions describe documents, options and processes for manufacturing.
This supports cloning products and their configurations, and export and import of
option lists for commonly used product features. Options can be for static configurations
or individualized manufactured items.
Product Instances show the entire life of an individual assembly, process and phase
of manufacture. Each instance of a product is serialized with a barcode. Scanning
the barcode in the appropriate screen can retrieve the instance for logging and
update of location and process phase. Values can synchronize to other selected instances
of the build. This can record issues found and how they are resolved. It can relate
this instance as an upper level assembly to other component instances, or as a subassembly
to a parent, or link to other reference products. It can retrieve documents, drawings,
or spreadsheets. It can inspect for completed requirements and tasks before advancing
to the next phase, for fine grained process control and quality assurance.
The application produces a variety of barcode labels for component reels, and Picking
labels in Code 128. Reel labels create entities in the application and transmit
them to storage towers. Towers can recognize and store reels automatically:
Tiny 2-D Matrix barcodes (containing 50 characters) fit on circuit boards on special
stock for a Zebra thermal transfer printer. These affix to the board so the automated
assembler can identify the components placed, and the application can track its
movements in all phases of manufacturing:
Dynamic Pick List with color codes have allowed planning and preparation of parts
to be five times more productive. Previous builds can compare parts with this list
for mounted reels on feeder slots in the automated assembler:
Supply & Demand Analysis
Supply & Demand Analysis for ordering compares inventory and purchasing with demand
from scheduled builds. It exports quotes for normal parts or for PCBs which result
in purchase orders. Highlighted columns flag special conditions for the buyer with
explanation in tooltips:
Time Sheet Entry Form permits print, collection and data entry of labor on projects
Planning allows scheduling of projects with rich tool tips. Planners can schedule
all phases for a build at once, move schedules forward or backward, flag days for
holidays (used in timesheets) or other events:
Kitting and Builds
Kits/Builds work with planning for the scheduling and preparation of projects. Specifying
new bills of Material (BOMs) can find subassemblies to add to the build and changing
them can find previously allocated inventory, emailing concerned parties. There
are process controls constraining phase advancement, shared with planning:
Product Instances Dashboard shows the progress of individual assemblies within a
Build Phases Dashboard
Build Phases Dashboard shows a summary of builds in their manufacturing phases: