April 10, 2012
Passing Parameters from the Toolbar: No Stops! No Layovers!
I recently came across the quote by Henry J. Tillman that says ”’Getting there is half the fun’ became obsolete with the advent of commercial airlines.” This quote is funny because it’s true. In order to get the best price, you are more or less forced to take more than one flight, which often doubles the amount of time it takes to get to your destination. Sometimes the layovers are short – occasionally so short you miss the connecting flight – and other times they are so long that you find yourself sleeping in those incredibly uncomfortable airport chairs (ugh). With my job, I fly a lot and I love it when I get a direct (non-stop) flight to wherever I’m going.
I know what you’re thinking, how does this relate to ProFicient SPC software? Well, most of us create InfinityQS projects that are rather dynamic. For example, the operator can click a Part Change toolbar button that opens a window with all of the available parts to select from. To do this there is one click to open the selection window, a layover while you scroll to the correct part, and another click to select the right part. Caution: There is a chance that the operator could click on the wrong part and be forced to repeat the process!
Wouldn’t it be nice to go directly from the toolbar to the part and eliminate the room for error? You bet! Let’s see how this is possible.
The first step is identifying what you want to do; more specifically, you need to decide whether you want to go directly to a specific process or part? Once you’ve made that decision, you’re half-way there.
The pathway in the toolbar for Part looks like this: project name.ipj /part=part name
For Process, the pathway looks like this: project name.ipj /process=process name
Now, where would someone use this feature? Maybe there are only a few parts that run at a specific process. Using the infamous Blue Part / Yellow Part exercise, we make 5 different colored parts (Blue Part, Yellow Part, Red Part, Green Part, and Purple Part) all on the same lathe (Lathe 167).
In this example, the Reselect options for Part and Process in the Data Entry Configuration would be disabled, making the Part and Process static (always the same), but only after the operator selects the part from the toolbar.
To configure the toolbar button, create a button called “Select Part” with the command line: >>menu. The image can be anything, but in the example below, I chose “change part_64.”
The Menu commands would look like this:
The text for the Command line is “turning center.ipj/part=Blue Part”. This command opens the “turning center.ipj” InfinityQS project and makes the Blue Part active. The only change for each of the other Command Lines would be the color of the part (Blue, Yellow, Red, etc.).
The result would look like this:
So the basic procedure on the Data Entry side for this example would be for the operator to select the part first and then click the “Add Data” button to enter data against that part.
Using the same configuration, this button could be placed in a different project all together.
This allows the operator to navigate directly to the project and change the part all in one step. NO STOPS!
Obviously, I chose to demonstrate simple uses for this wonderful feature, but as you can see, it could come in pretty handy. You can also “pass” multiple parameters at one time, such as Part, Process, Test and even Descriptors. Search for “Passing Parameters” in the InfinityQS Help system and give it a try!