Real Time Manufacturing Database

Objective: Capture actual production parameters and monitor productions processes. Based on production goals provide production equipment at all workplaces with production orders and appropriate documentation.  Our assignment was to provide recommendations for database response time and data accuracy improvements.

Features: This customer is one of the largest US manufacturers of plastic film. Our task was to improve their manufacturing process by monitoring production equipment and processes in every work place. The customer had designed, developed and implemented a company wide database application using their own resources; however, after one year in production and several improvements made by the RDBMS supplier, they still had problems with response time and data integrity.  Our mission was to improve & optimize performance, data integrity & data accuracy, using client’s internal resources for developing and coding.

This project entailed:

  • formulate a detailed description of the current data model, at physical, conceptual and implementation levels.
  • completely qualify the slow response time
  • completely qualify data integrity problems
  • review users priorities and delivery schedules
  • redesign the data model to address the qualified items
  • develop objective metrics allowing us to measure response times
  • before and after improvements
  • develop all the “fixes” required – accomplished using the client’s
  • internal resources
  • report the improvements made to management.

For several functions, the response time was divided by a factor of 20 and overall improvement was made by a factor of 7. Regarding data integrity, we did not only resolve discrepancies, but we also introduced new concepts that allowed management to monitor manufacturing yields and losses more closely.

Our results were praised by both users, management and application developers, in terms of addressing technology transfer, especially as related to database design issues.

Remote Access Database for People with Disabilities

Objective: Collecting, storing and making available information about all kind of services and service providers for people with disabilities.

Features: This database was designed and developed for a not-for-profit organization. It can be accessed through a variety of means, including the Internet. The task included designing the database, designing and developing all of the applications and providing powerful database administration features and strong for the support for the system. During the design phase, we developed specific mechanisms and procedures to gather accurate and up-to-date information.

Business Analyst: Decision Support

Objective: Assist managers to focus on the most profitable areas of their businesses and take appropriate actions on less profitable or unprofitable areas such as customers, products, division of sales territories, divisions, etc.

Features: This application was developed for a large plastic manufacturer. The database is periodically fed from the company’s main transaction system and an activity base costing mechanism is performed, thus allowing it to build Profit & Loss (P&L) statements at very refined levels. Business managers can analyze their activity, determine and perform appropriate actions after data mining, ad hoc reports and more complex decision support models reveal new information. Several extensions of the system allow the managers to retrofit the company information system into some of the decisions they have made through Business Analyst. Development time was extremely short using the Rapid Application Development (RAD) approach. Business Analyst uses a client/server UNIX/MS-Windows Oracle/PowerBuilder environment.

Dakota Auditor: evaluate compliance

Application Domain: Evaluating compliance to regulations

Purpose: Dakota Auditor is used to identify environmental regulations and evaluate a given facility’s compliance. This system was developed for a business that designs, develops and markets an expert system to assist environmental regulation auditors do their jobs – identify legal requirements and evaluate compliance, document findings and monitor corrective actions.

Features: The product collects information and builds reports about which environmental regulations apply to a given facility and its compliance to those regulations. The auditor enters information about the plant under inspection and then, based on that information, identifies which legal regulations apply and presents the requirements for compliance. Numerous “what if” situations are proposed enabling the user to discover the applicable regulations in each of those scenarios and construct the necessary reports. A specific inference engine was developed for this application allowing forward and backward chaining. This technology enabled the implementation of breakthrough application features, making Dakota Auditor the standard in its market.

Pathways: patient monitoring

Application Domain: Health and lifestyle changes

Purpose: Numerous health problems can be improved through lifestyle changes, including, nutrition, exercise, stress management or reducing drug consumption. Sufficient support for these lifestyle changes must occur in the patient’s environment to be sustained over the long term and be most effective.

Features: Using a variety of means and media, the system continuously monitors each patient in their own environment. Pathways performs periodic assessments and defines new case plans based on personal objectives, need for change and strength of the “network support”.