A Sneak Peek into IQMS’ Upcoming Applications – Part I

IQMS New Application Development part 1 of 3IQMS‘ Automation Department has been busy this year. We’ve been working on some cutting edge applications: RealTime™ Process Monitoring with PLC communication, Android phone applications and EnterpriseIQ shop floor applications for the Android 3.0 tablets! These applications are harnessing the latest technology to transfer data instantly from the shop floor to the EnterpriseIQ manufacturing ERP software so you can make real-time adjustments instead of reactive recoveries. Below is a look at some of our recently released projects that are significantly assisting our clients in staying lean and competitive, as well as a sneak peek into what is in the pipeline.

Recently Released Programs for EnterpriseIQ:
RealTime™ Process Monitoring is the multi-lane highway transferring data between EnterpriseIQ and your shop floor’s PLCs, machine controllers and statistical process control (SPC) equipment. The process monitoring system was designed to automatically upload process information straight from your shop floor work centers directly into the SPC/quality modules in real time.

As soon as you receive a real-time alarm (via email, text message or voice alert), your shop floor personnel can proactively make adjustments to your process or shut down a work center if something is going wrong. If you’re running an automatic job with expensive materials, this could avert a costly problem.

Additionally with RealTime™ Process Monitoring, your operators can watch real-time charts of data points that you’ve configured for the item that is running. You can track machine settings (recipes) against “runs the best information” for bills of materials (BOMs) running against the work centers’ historical data. You can automatically print serial numbers for each item as it is produced or put an auto-labeling printer in your production line for traceability of individual parts. Additionally, you can look back at data in the historian months later should your product have a flaw or print a report of the SPC data for your customers.

Upcoming Projects Currently in Development:
The framework supporting IQMS’ RealTime™ Process Monitoring system provides for the rapid development of plug-ins to allow EnterpriseIQ to communicate with a wide variety of machines. Additionally, the use of the Modbus protocol combined with the architecture of the Process Monitoring system opens the door for the user to tailor data transfers to their system. Any novice PLC application programmer could quickly configure the Process Monitoring system to communicate with any PLC supporting Modbus TCP. Development of the Modbus plug-in, combined with system triggered events and dynamic user defined querying, have opened this system up for tremendous possibilities.

For example, how would you like to be able to enter BOM information into your manufacturing ERP system and have that data displayed on an HMI screen on the shop floor? The instant a BOM is set up to run, the ERP system could be queried for BOM-specific information that could be sent to your assembly line to automate barcode verification or adjust equipment settings … the possibilities are expansive!

IQMS has also jumped headfirst into the world of mobility. And we are not talking about a simple customer relationship management (CRM) app. How would you like to walk the shop floor with the ability to print labels, view documents, enter rejects and scan barcodes based on real-time production counts all on a wireless portable tablet? IQMS is developing the powerful EnterpriseIQ ShopData application and more for the Android tablet. This portable, easy to use touchscreen device brings plant management information to your fingertips for up-to-the-minute work center performance, document control, workflow approvals and so much more.

The Automation Department has too many new and exciting projects to list in this one blog post. Stay tuned for Part II of my series to learn more about IQMS’ upcoming developments.

Jason Slater, IQMS Vice President of Development, oversees IQMS' award-winning development team responsible for the design of emerging technologies for the shop floor. Jason holds a bachelor of science degree from California Polytechnic State University.