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Author Topic: live-feed interface touch-screen computer for warehouse operations  (Read 1615 times)

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mark_mnc1

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I was talking to a new manager at work (in a warehouse environment) that just got his Industrial Engineering degree at Purdue Univ. and we were talking about how cool it would be to have a flow like map in a computer screen where you can see the layout of a factory/warehouse w/ each station, people, processes involved..in real time.  We were talking about one that would have the overall live feed map of whats going on operationally as well as a section of the screen where you can run tests, simulations, and reports on..kinda like a professional supply chain version of Microsoft Kinect (or hopefully closer to the one like in "Minority Report.")  I was checking google to see what is actually out there and wondered if anyone knows if something like this is out there on the market.  I can see companies like SAP or Oracle being involved in something like this right now.



Mark
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Cognitive Dissident

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Re: live-feed interface touch-screen computer for warehouse operations
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2011, 12:16:58 PM »

SAP and Oracle are dinosaurs, and in my opinion, incapable of such stuff.  If something like that is created, I'd expect it to be from a relatively unheard-of company.
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Bill Brasky

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Re: live-feed interface touch-screen computer for warehouse operations
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2011, 09:31:34 PM »

SAP and Oracle are dinosaurs, and in my opinion, incapable of such stuff.  If something like that is created, I'd expect it to be from a relatively unheard-of company.


The overall process is called SCADA.  Lots of companies make it.  (Our last incarnation of SCADA was made by a subsidiary of GE)

Basically, its no different than all the remote points in your car returning their specific data to a central location.  All cars have a chip or board.  Very common.  

Where its getting into futuristic stuff is now we can start our cars with smartphones, like on the commercials.

Before last year, this was more of an industrial control.  I used to use it in the pipeline operations.  The remote location would centralize the data, and then blast you a datapacket.  You'd see how the station was running, the pressure in the pipes and whatnot.  The commo lines were dedicated, and the system polled itself however frequently you commanded it.  We used thirty-second intervals, I believe.  An out-going command was prioritized and instantaneous.  Then the polling would resume on its scripted pattern.

To do this stuff with reliability and accuracy, you need a tech, and some telemetry at each location.  All the remote location stuff, the backroom stuff, and the workstation stuff needs to be on the same page.  The same language, compatible.  And I'll tell ya, reality is a bitch.  Stuff works in design, and requires a lot of upkeep in the real world.

In a factory, it'd be a box on a pole next to the machine.  It would read maybe 20-30 points in the machine.  Temp, RPM's, ON/OFF - that sort of thing.  

The stuff with the people is absurd.  Thats what timeclocks and floor supers are for.  To wirelessly connect the people, they'd need RFID in their badges.  That'd go to a transponder in the ceiling, and via triangulation, it'd determine your position.  Its a complete waste of resources, unless you have an absolutely sprawling campus, with a serious personnel issue.  Places like Apple, or Google, or CIA at Langley would use it.  Its probably inappropriate for a regular production facility that makes common items, like P+G makes toilet paper.  In a few years, sure.  It'll replace the timeclock.  Right now, the timeclock structure could easily last ten years with a swipecard.  No reason to replace it.

 






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mark_mnc1

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Re: live-feed interface touch-screen computer for warehouse operations
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2011, 12:59:53 AM »

Well instead of RFID chips in their badges (a bit too expensive and intrusive) employees that have rates to make (this company calls them a direct function) use RF scanners and the company's internal server knows where they are at at any location in the building and how long they have been on tasks or off tasks (taking a break, dealing with other issues, etc).

This is a major company and theres a lot of bureaucratic control from the corporate HQ but I could see something like this in every station/department and for different levels-area managers, general managers, even the execs at corporate.  I don't so much mean in order to control the employees but really in all ways possible-where products/orders are that need to be found im a timely manner, process controls, and even down to the level of performance checks on machinery-including a R.F. scanning system.  I would think the hardest part would be to keep as as up to date as possible but also starting the project--finding what data employees, managers, and people that would use the computer/machine and putting that all together.   
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BonerJoe

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Re: live-feed interface touch-screen computer for warehouse operations
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2011, 08:49:20 AM »

I'm surprised They already don't have this.
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blackie

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Re: live-feed interface touch-screen computer for warehouse operations
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2011, 09:21:52 AM »

SAP and Oracle are dinosaurs, and in my opinion, incapable of such stuff.  If something like that is created, I'd expect it to be from a relatively unheard-of company.
But Oracle and SAP have billions of dollars to acquire such a company. That seems to be how it works these days.
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Cognitive Dissident

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Re: live-feed interface touch-screen computer for warehouse operations
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2011, 03:11:58 PM »

SAP and Oracle are dinosaurs, and in my opinion, incapable of such stuff.  If something like that is created, I'd expect it to be from a relatively unheard-of company.
But Oracle and SAP have billions of dollars to acquire such a company. That seems to be how it works these days.

Certainly does happen.
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Bill Brasky

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Re: live-feed interface touch-screen computer for warehouse operations
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2011, 01:06:13 AM »

I'm surprised They already don't have this.

They do.  Its just that in most places, they can't justify the expense of integrating a new system, when the old one works reasonably well.

Think of the assembly line at Ford.  Pointless, and its one of the biggest manufacturing facilities on earth. 

Because they have supervisors and floor managers.  And those people have extra tasks, eliminating five minutes of their morning ritual wouldn't make the managers obsolete..  Making checkmarks on a clipboard is not worth 2.5 million bucks, when the results would be not much different than the old method. 

Tech is a really, really good thing, in the big context.  But sometimes, its a massive headache.  You would have to instruct hundreds of people to use it.  You'd have to get "license keys" for every workstation that's plugged into the system.  (and trust me, anyone who's left out of the "license key loop" would be fuckin pissed, in the world of office politics)

Or, a competent manager can stand there, slurp his coffee, and know whats up. 

When I started working back in '90, the cool thing of managerial status was the pager.  Then came the cell phone.  They'd hand out cell phones to the "important people".  A few years later, we all had cell phones. 

Upgrades are painfully slow.  When you approach a Veep, and have a good idea that costs two million bucks, it better be the absolute best fucking idea he ever heard.

Because, Veeps didn't get there by accident.  He probably has a viability study in the cabinet, twice as good as the derp you're trying to stutter through.  And they probably rejected it, until the cost comes down. 

Most likely, he's more interested in seeing how fucking stupid your suggestions are.  He may be a Veep, but he's still a man, at work - and people like a distraction.  And if you offer a LOT of stupid suggestions, you go to the bottom of the list when promotion time comes around.  The stuff you are nit-picking, he probably approved himself. 

And if theres a gem-in-the-rough mixed in, he'll keep it for himself.  Dismiss you, bring the engineer in, and take credit for it, himself.

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