CELLS WORKFLOW FAQ
Note that many of the questions below are from actual Unisoft clients and their questions are primarily from the later stages of implementing the CELLS WORKFLOW software onto their manufacturing floor. Please contact Unisoft with any questions you have.
DATA ENTRY/COLLECTION — The CELLS WORKFLOW system supports data entry by people via barcode scanning or manual entry. We need the system to be able to exchange data with manufacturing equipment and test equipment. How is this interchange of data accomplished?
ROUTING/TRAVELER — Can the Tracking function be interfaced to an automation process? The goal here is an end of the line automatic check sheet insuring the serialized device has successfully completed all required processes before being automatically forwarded to the ship station.
SPC/REPORTS — For the report generation what type of query utilities are available? Is there a server thin client utility that can be used for data based queries?
SPC/REPORTS — I did not see any menu selections for showing/printing SPC charts. Will we need to create our own charts and reports for trend identification and analysis? What format are SPC reports in?
SECURITY — Is the ability to modify information user and data area restricted?
DOCUMENTS — Can data be imported from other file types such as AutoCAD (dxf/dwg), SolidWorks, Pro-E, Visio, Excel, ASCII, PDF, JPG, GIF, etc.? We can receive information in a wide variety of formats.
DOCUMENTS — How are schematics and test procedures handled?
SETUP — What is the typical time to incorporate all the data needed and to create all the screens and reports for a new product of average complexity?
SPC/REPORTS — What if all that I wanted was to implement SPC (FPY)?
BOM — Are the failure report unit data BOM based for the given unit or derived from a master listing [accumulated collection]?
LABOR — What is the typical labor burden per unit that your system imposes? What is the typical time spent at each data entry/tracking point per location?
DATA ENTRY/COLLECTION — What means of data entry/tracking can be handled? Do I need to go in through a PC workstation at each location or could I directly enter data through a fixed barcode scanner or direct file reading or some combinations there of?
RFID TAGS/BARCODES — We may be using RFID Tags in the future. We will start with tags on a single line and expanded out later. We're currently using barcodes and my question is, will the UniSoft CELLS WORKFLOW software support both barcodes and RFID Tags.
NPI — Can CELLS WORKFLOW be our platform for NPI for (1) data entry and (2) document control?
- Data Entry — Through the task list (data items table) the revision and lab reworks (tracking fixes for design issue's) can be tracked. In addition, failures and historical issues can be archived for analysis later. Daily export of inventory through SQL query statements can easily be customized by the user to arrange and export data in a variety of formats (excel spreadsheets, charts, active server pages, etc.).
- Document Control — Through the documents table in the database, links can be established to control document delivery through the CELLS WORKFLOW front end. Use any HTML or PDF or other popular document formats directly. Also overlays and manufacturing instruction sheets can be generated in the Unisoft ProntoVIEW-MARKUP module.
SUB-ASSEMBLIES — Can CELLS WORKFLOW manage our box built manufacturing requirements?
ERP EXCHANGE — Can CELLS WORKFLOW interface to Peoplesoft ERP?
INVENTORY — I am a distributor of many different plastic products that we receive directly from multiple manufactures. I need to know if CELLS WORKFLOW can help me manage my inventory? We receive product direct from the manufacturer on pallets and my problem is that we currently do a walk though paper inventory at the end of the day to find out how much product we have a stock and where our in-process orders stand. We need to know how much product is at receiving, how much is on our packing floor being prepared for shipping, what is in our shipping warehouse and what has actually been shipped. The additional problem is that the pallets contain varying amounts of units. Sometimes the full pallet is shipped, other times the pallet is broken down and single or multiple units are shipped to various clients. Also we need to track damaged goods at incoming and other problems and defects throughout our process. Additionally we need to track return materials from our clients and associate those materials with the original shipment.
At present we do not have PC's throughout the warehouse and plan to manually put entries into CELLS WORKFLOW off our paper tickets. Later we will implement barcode scanners at key stations.
SERIAL NUMBERS — We are HEX serial number based. Can CELLS WORKFLOW track hex serial numbers?
SECURITY/COMPLIANCE — One question that arises from an FDA perspective is how does your system get around signatures? The FDA are very reluctant to have operator barcodes scanned in as proof of inspection, operation completed etc. Any views?
MACHINE INTERFACING — Can data for production equipment such as CNC, placement, AOI machines, functional test equipment data, etc be downloaded to the CELL system (GEM interface, …)?
CELLS WORKFLOW CONTROL TABLES — Can the user do the route configuration for error proofing (e.g., Units that go to rework are routed back through inspection)?
LABELING — Can end product packing label be configured as per user requirements, output to printers, software (Codesoft, loftware, …) supported?
SPC/REPORTS — Can SPC graphs, Pareto charts be plotted for any of the process step in a Manufacturing setup.
ROUTING/TRAVELER — Machine part loading: the system needs to track what lot code of material goes into a specific assembly.
ERP EXCHANGE — Can CELLS WORKFLOW be customize to exchange information with an ERP? For example SAP ERP for traceability to component lot codes, etc.
SPC/REPORTS — I need to analyze and report on the data that CELLS WORKFLOW collects. How can I do this?
ROUTING/TRAVELER — Can CELLS WORKFLOW create a route/process plan for a product that consists of series of steps? Ideally, we will be able to name these steps the way we do today, with 4 char sector, 4 char oper, and 4 char process type.
ROUTING/TRAVELER — Can CELLS WORKFLOW identify "recipes" for each step? Create a 12 character lot i.d. that will follow a certain route/process plan?
WORK ORDER/LOT — Can CELLS WORKFLOW assign 25 serialized units to the lot
WORK ORDER/LOT — How is this initial set up of lot and units automated?
WORK ORDER/LOT — Will CELLS WORKFLOW be able to split lots? For example, take half the units in LOT01 and put them in child lot LOTC01? Be able to merge lots?
MACHINE INTERFACING — is there an API in CELLS WORKFLOW? We want a separate program of ours, the automation program at the manufacturing tool, to be able to talk to the MES and find out what step we're at, auto log lot in/out.
ROUTING/TRAVELER — Can CELLS WORKFLOW mark units in a lot as scrapped out?
ROUTING/TRAVELER — Can CELLS WORKFLOW mark units in a lot as "bought" by engineering for analysis?
WORK ORDER/LOT — Can CELLS WORKFLOW assign status to lot at any time: Active, Ready, Held?
DATA ENTRY/COLLECTION — Does CELLS WORKFLOW allow the operator to enter comments at each step - ability to customize that screen?
ROUTING/TRAVELER — Can CELLS WORKFLOW maintain traceability of what units were in a lot at each step, since this can change through the process?
NETWORK — I need to run CELLS WORKFLOW in a network environment. How do you install clients? Do you just map drives and point to the access location? Give me detail.
DOCUMENTS — 1. Simple one: I'd like a document to appear as the default screen when the operator opens a unit, but I must be missing something simple in the DOCUMENTS table. It seems to ignore my default setting and still shows the circuit boards. Ideally, I'd like text in the left frame and pictures on the right, in the form of HTML documents, depending on the OPERATION taking place. (Later on we'll look at capture of test data).
CELLS WORKFLOW CONTROL TABLES — 2. I understand most of the tables and their relationships, but I need a bit of coaching on configuring a system as we discussed: Top Level Assembly comprised of serialized circuit cards and unserialised parts. I have set up a DATA_ENTRY step at KITTING to record PCB assembly / PCBA Serial Numbers, but I'm unsure how to use $SERIALIZE Operation properly (putting it as a NEXT_STEP seems to have no effect). Also, please help with the removal/replacement of cards during the flow, and the use of $ANYTIME. Also, how do I use the SUB_ASSY table for generic subassemblies? It looks like these are used for specific items. I'm close, but going in circles.
If you arrive at a YN_SERIAL_NO="Y" step, and specify a serial number for the first time, then the system automatically routes the item from the previous step, to $SERIALIZE, and then to the current step, effectively stating that the item got serialized as part of the transition.
$ANYTIME is used to indicate that, for example, a roving inspection can occur at anytime in the process. In the NEXT_STEP database, the OPERATION_ID can be set to "$ANYTIME" to indicate that the NEXT_OPERATION_ID can happen at any time during the process.
The SUB_ASSY table is maintained by the program. It is not a table that you need to set up. It is where we store information about which subassy's have been installed at which locations on other assemblies.
To specify that some sub assembly needs (or optionally needs) to be installed at a particular step, use a DATA_ITEM record to indicate a DATUM_TYPE of SUBASSY. DATUM_DESC is how you tell the tech what to attach, SUB_LOCATION tells them where, eg, "PCI SLOT 4". The system will collect a serial number, and it itself must be an assembly in the system with a serial number, and that serialized unit must be in the "$DONE" state before it can be installed. If you want to track the installation of sub assemblies which are not serialized items in the CELLS WORKFLOW system, just use plain data entry.
You can specify that only certain kinds of sub-assemblies can be installed by specifying the list of ASSY_ID's allowed in the DATUM_MIN field, separated by "" characters. If you leave DATUM_MIN blank, then no ASSY_ID checking is done. Sub assemblies can be removed and replaced just about any time by the FILE | ADD/REMOVE SUBASSEMBLY menu item.
SUB-ASSEMBLIES — 2A. I'd like to route some of the pieces in the kit though a Test operation before they are kitted. Can CELLS WORKFLOW allow me to track subassemblies by themselves? I don't think I can have more than one $START to separate serialized Units's from machined parts (which need only be inspected). This makes my NEXT_STEP table confusing, because a Top Assembly doesn't exist as a serialized item until KITTING, when the pieces are placed in a bin and a top-level serial number is assigned arbitrarily. Note that incoming inspections are not at the "end item" level.
DATABASE — 3. The integration of CELLS WORKFLOW to Oracle may be tricky. It seems that Windows2000 has ODBC drivers for Oracle. Any thoughts? Have Win2000 and CELLS WORKFLOW been integrated before? Not sure if we were clear: Can we use SQL 7.0 or even Oracle as our CELLS WORKFLOW database, to avoid any ODBC difficulty in connecting to our main ERP system?
SUB-ASSEMBLIES — Would you provide some information on how to set up the sub-assembly tracking features?
Next, go to the Data Entry table and enter the process which will use the subassy installation. Enter the Operation ID that you would like to load the subassy at … I would choose the $DONE area which is the final area once a board is complete. One note is that the lower level subassy must be completed (in the $Done area) before it can be allocated into the higher level assembly. Enter the datum ID that you created in the Data Items table. Choose a sub location such as Position 1 (could be numbers or a given name). Finally enter the YN required … this is a flag that prevents the board to go to another area unless a subassy has been installed.
Once you're done and have a board in the $done area choose another board and click on install subassembly and you should see the option of entering a serial number to install. Once done look at the history to see that it has been installed.
SPC/REPORTS — Need to use third party for reports or does CELLS WORKFLOW already have it?
SETUP — Can you estimate the implementation TimeLine (estimated there are six lines for box built — apps with 15 clients each)?