October 30, 2019
Why Upgrade Your ProFicient Software?
Are you living with older InfinityQS software? Let’s face it, every company has their own reasons for not going through the upgrade process. Sometimes it’s the downtime involved—shutting down whole sections of your operations to load new software…sometimes it’s the learning curve—many customers fear that upgraded software means outdated employees. Things are running smoothly, so why should I interrupt the flow?
But there are many reasons to upgrade existing software. This blog, we hope, will shed some light on those reasons, and inspire some customers to upgrade and take advantage of the improvements we’ve made. And when you’re as proud of the product you produce as we are (ProFicient™
), you tend to want to share your enthusiasm.
Our Quality Software is Always Improving
InfinityQS is always improving our quality management software systems, whether it’s ProFicient™
. Makes no difference, they each get the best of our developers’ skills and experience. And we hear what our customers say and incorporate their input into the changes we make, too.
What we’d like to focus on in this blog is the myriad ways in which you can benefit by taking the time to upgrade your ProFicient software…to version 5.4. Let’s go!
So Many Reasons to Upgrade
The reasons to upgrade are plentiful and compelling. If I had to narrow it down to one phrase, I think I’d say, “technology improves over time.” As we all know, technology is constantly evolving—who’d have thought the simple telephone would turn into a smartphone, enabling us to connect with more people than ever before and provide access to just about any type of information at a moment’s notice? Or how central it would become to our lives? Or that we’d all be streaming the TV shows we love rather than huddling around the box at a specific time on Thursday night? Well, quality management software technology is constantly evolving, too, and we do it all for you.
What I’d like to do here is lay out the four biggest reasons to upgrade that you simply can‘t ignore. Here’s the list:
- Data Collection – Data is key in improving quality. Now collect data in more ways, and more efficiently, than ever before.
- Data Visualization – Get more people involved in quality, now serve quality performance content to your entire team.
- Data Analysis – Our new analysis tools help you find and correct quality problems faster.
- Validation and Verification – New tools help you to validate your quality system or verify key data and actions.
Let’s walk through these improvements one at a time, and you’ll see why you should upgrade your quality management software now.
Improved Data Collection Capabilities
Are you collecting all the data you need? The most current version of ProFicient, 5.4, contains the following data collection improvements:
- Timed and triggered data collection
- Fully-automated data collection
- Acceptance Sampling – Special data collection method
Timed and Triggered Data Collection
Does this sound like something you might need, or find useful? Dynamic Scheduler™
(DS), our data collection software, generates automatic data collection “reminders” for your operators. Operators are busy people. They no longer need to worry about forgetting a data collection. Reduce the burden to your operators. Let them plan their work more effectively so they never miss collecting the data you need.
My colleague, Eric Weisbrod, InfinityQS VP of Product Management, speaks at length about data collection in this blog series
Fully-Automated Data Collection
Our Data Management System™
(DMS) supports the automated data collection needs of any company that does high-volume or high-speed manufacturing, or just wants to reduce human error. When bottles or cans (or whatever package you use) are moving at high speed, hundreds or thousands rushing by at any given moment, it’s difficult (or impossible) to capture the quality data you need.
By automatically collecting data, you ensure more consistent and accurate data. Let’s face it, humans make mistakes…or just can’t keep up. Cut down on those errors or give yourself a chance to get the data you need by taking data collections automatically, and from just about any device imaginable.
Here’s a partial list of potential data sources, from which InfinityQS quality management systems can accept data:
- OPC – DA and UA
- Flat files
- Serial, RS-232
- GE Historian
Acceptance Sampling in ProFicient has been around for a long time…but now it’s been enhanced. We’ve added some new plans to the expansive list of plans from which you can select. We’ve made it easier to switch rules, if you so desire. And you now can create a plan of your own.
My colleague Jude Holmes, InfinityQS Client Solution Engineer, says that “Acceptance Sampling, combined with statistical process control (SPC) techniques, can provide a serious boost to your organization’s process improvement program.” Find out more in a detailed look at Acceptance Sampling in a recent blog
The trend in software is toward more graphics. Nobody wants to have to read tons of text to get to the point anymore. It’s inefficient and you miss things. (We don’t tend to overlook things like red for stop and green for go.) ProFicient is embracing this trend with our new add-on dashboard tools.
The Quality Event Dashboard™
enables you to easily monitor quality events across your enterprise with a more intuitive graphical display. The new graphical display includes symbol icons and color-coded process icons, which are hard to miss or misinterpret. And using these icons, you are just a click away from details and control charts.
Our new Control Chart Dashboard™
is a single interface for monitoring production quality on your shop floor. Color-coded alarms are easy to spot. Charts and statistics are a mere click away at all times. And the data viewed are determined by the user’s role.
With the latest upgrade to ProFicient, you can analyze quality data more effectively, accelerating the speed of your troubleshooting efforts when things go awry. And we all know that faster troubleshooting means less downtime and reduced scrap and waste.
Traditional Pareto charts have always tended to be simple and easily understood, a quick way to display defect codes and causes in a bar chart format. These charts have become more powerful analysis tools, now that InfinityQS has developed a new multi-level Pareto chart. This powerful diagnostic tool now enables you to select up to six levels for analysis. With this robust and sophisticated tool, you can display defect codes by shift, customer code, employee, lot number, part, or any other descriptor that has been tagged to the data. Analysis and problem solving just became easier.
Box & Whisker plots are another good way to visualize process and quality performance. In this latest iteration of ProFicient, we’ve included a new multi-level Box & Whisker plot. With this powerful tool, you can compare quality across lines, sites, lots, processes, products, and more. And, like the new multi-level Pareto, you can select up to six levels for analysis.
In addition, we’ve added new cumulative sum (CUSUM) control charts. As you probably know, CUSUM is a sequential analysis technique typically used for monitoring change detection. This handy tool will help you highlight process shifts and enable you to respond faster when issues arise.
And, lastly, we’ve enhanced ProFicient’s charting capability with more X-axis plotting options, including sampling by ID number and date/time.
Compliance, Validation, and Verification
The latest ProFicient upgrade also includes role-specific toolbar commands. Now system administrators can align each individual user’s views to their responsibilities. Utilizing this feature, helps you ensure that your users focus only on things for which they are responsible.
Included in this latest upgrade are electronic signatures. This new capability supports regulatory compliance by enforcing two-user sign-offs on data entry.
To help you better verify labels, artwork, UPC codes, and more, the latest upgrade includes a new validation tool—String Compare
. Using this feature, you enter or scan a bar code during data entry, and the new value is automatically compared with the known value.
This new validation tool also supports on-screen approvals and verification reporting.
And, lastly, the new upgrade includes new date code
verification, which simplifies the workflow for operators. Operators can compare a date code with the scanned or entered package value, including “Best By” date. This verification is, of course, automatically calculated by ProFicient. And it’s easy to set up, since it uses the same on-screen verification and reporting as the String Compare feature.
A Cloudy Closing
So, with all these benefits and capabilities in mind, we urge you to take the time to upgrade your ProFicient software to the latest version. Here’s where you can read the details
about what’s in the upgrade.
Why is this closing “cloudy,” you ask? Because we know that upgrading can be a major impediment to many of you, and you wrestle with the idea of taking the time to do it. Hopefully, after reading this blog, you have discovered a new capability that you’d rather not live without. If you have, yet you still balk at upgrading, we offer you a cloud option: we call it ProFicient™ on Demand
(or PoD). If you want to lower your company’s total cost of ownership for quality management software, PoD is the way to go.
The cloud version of ProFicient contains the same robust functionality as the on-premises version
, with the added bonus of…wait for it…drum roll please…no upgrades! That’s right! InfinityQS maintains the system and performs the updates
When a change or improvement is made to the system, you automatically receive it. No fuss, no muss. You always have the latest version! No servers to buy or maintain (which means hardly any IT costs). And last, but certainly not least, PoD includes Dynamic Scheduler, the Quality Event Dashboard, and the Control Chart Dashboard. Why wait?
Take advantage of the technology at your fingertips today: contact one of our account managers (1.800.772.7978 or via our website
) for more information.