Almost every software exports data in common formats such as CSV, TXT and XLSX. The data is parsed, manipulated, crunched, and ported into a final report. The problem is that generally speaking, handling data output can be very time consuming and prone to human error and many companies have custom reporting needs that don't fit into out-of-the-box software solutions.
Instead of working your process around a software, J&L can help your software work for your process.
Once a process or workflow has been established, we can create and help create custom solutions to increase efficiency and productivity while reducing redundancy and human error.
Why Invest in Data Automation?
Investment into even a small automation script or custom developed tool/software can result in immediate return on investment. The time savings alone can equate to huge annual cost savings. The increase in productivity/production can produce a significant rise in profit. Using data automation with other tools can also greatly reduce cost such as replacing physical documentation and reporting with digital files that can be easily shared.
What Tasks Can Be Automated?
Nearly any defined digital workflow can be automated. The more static the process, the easier to automate. When processes become more dynamic, user interfaces can also be developed along with automation scripts to accommodate all of the detail.
Softwares that allow scripting integration can automate steps taken by the user in the software itself. For instance, at J&L one of our departments use inspection softwares like GOM, PC-DMIS, and Polyworks to complete dimensional inspections.
After the raw data is collected by the operator, they must complete several steps:
- Select polygonization level and polygonise the raw data.
- Look for any small data holes and fill if the hole is within filling specifications.
- If using an AutoFill option user should set and select boundary specifications so as not to fill any core exits or hole features that are supposed to exists.
- Set thinning options and thin the mesh if required
- Name and export the data as an STL to the appropriate directory.
With some simple input at the beginning, this process can be completely automated.
For more examples, see our case studies below!
Generally used for Windows operating systems. Great for developing both desktop and web-based applications. Anything requiring a more elegant user interface.
Challenge: Eliminate paper and time waste caused from physical request forms e.g. Vacation, Personal, etc.… from employees.
Solution: What started as a single use application grew into a multi-featured piece of software. Each employee has a secure login that uses a salted hashed password that allows the employee to not only submit request forms electronically, but also track their attendance and remaining personal/vacation hours, upload documentation, stay up to date with current events in the company, and make suggestions or ask questions.
By using email integration, we have made processing information from employees in our HR department much faster and more efficient.
Challenge: Automatically generate reports to document results for our NDT department. The process of cataloging failed parts was time consuming, costly, and repetitive. Our previous documentation process included printing a form for each non-conforming part, filling it out by hand, and then summarizing all information from these forms in a separate spreadsheet.
Solution: We created a web application that allowed the user to pick a part and use clickable cells to enter defect information. All part data was then stored into a database and when the order was done the user could pick by order date and click a button to generate a pdf with all the necessary images as well as detailed footers along with an auto generated excel file ready to be attached and emailed to the customer.
Digitizing Route Cards
Another waste reduction project was requested in the form of our route cards. These are internal sheets that are printed out and travel with jobs throughout the facility to track what stage a job is in and who authorized the completion of previous stages. We focused on one customer and aimed to create a digital representation of these cards that would run as a desktop application. We were successful in eliminating the physical forms and shifted to a database driven desktop application. Multiple users can use it simultaneously because the application periodically re-queries the database for updates and keeps multiple instances of the application in sync. Complete with email notifications to keep cross department communication intact and create a quicker more efficient workflow.