As with all other Prolink v.4.2 products, ERS now runs as a 64 bit application and service in Windows. This allows the service to take advantage of more memory when querying large resultsets and running deliverables.
This new action type allows ERS to create a task for QC-Mobile users to perform based on trends in the collected data. Task types include simple acknowledgement, entering a note, adding an assignable cause, and adding a corrective action.
New File Operation Action Type
This new action type allows ERS to create, move, copy, or delete a text file. This can be handy for triggering downstream systems or creating a log of activity and attaching it to an email when a trend occurs.
Enhanced Raw Data Export to Excel
Raw Data export types now include Microsoft Excel as an output option. The data in the export is exported to Excel using an independent library that does NOT require MS Excel to be installed on the computer.
The privilege list continues to be expanded at the user group level to include privileges for all Admin screens and more activities in QC-Mobile 4.2.
Instant Export to Excel from UI
ERS 4.2 now contains buttons on the Data View tab and Data Group Preview screen that allow an instant export to Excel.
The application has gotten a face lift including new icons, collapsible panels, larger buttons, and is easier to read on newer higher resolution monitors.
Consolidated User Interface
To simplify the interface that grew in version 3.4, the Scheduler tab was renamed to Deliverables and all deliverables (reports, exports, dashboards, fullviews, snapshots, and triggers) are now created, edited, and scheduled through this interface. This allows a simpler view of all deliverables in one place and reduces the many tabs that had built up in ERS 3.4.
Runs as Application or Service
One of the biggest changes to ERS 4.1 is the ability to run deliverables either in the application or in an ERS Service. ERS services can now be purchased separately for scaled running of lots of deliverables. Unlike ERS 3.4 where all deliverables had to be run manually in the main interface, deliverables are now deployed to either an individual service or a group of services. The services then ensure all deliverables are kept up to date.
Enhanced Administrative Interface
The Administrative tool has enhanced privileges which allow individual users to be administrators without the need to share a single admin password. Privileges then determine which screens receive administrative access to each user. This allows the main administrator to delegate certain tasks to other users without opening up the entire admin interface.
Enhanced Manual Reporting
The manual reporting interface has been overhauled to allow access to all report properties (by report type). Emailing reports also has a new interface allowing administrators to force emails to existing users rather than free form email addresses that could leave the company.
Manual Reporting from Data View tab
Manual reports can now be run at any time from either the Data View or Analysis tabs. In ERS 3.4, they were only available through the Analysis tab.
ERS 4.1 now fully supports opening and running deliverables across multiple QCQ files. The previous version supported opening only one QCQ file at a time.
File lists are a powerful new way to group part files into smaller lists. File lists can be created using static lists, dynamic filtering, or a combination of both. Filters and reports can then be assigned to only query within a file list greatly improving performance.
The flow of Deliverable creation was improved by adding separate popup "Manager" screens for all resource types (filters, data groups, etc). Rather than attempting to create a report only to realize the necessary data group does not yet exist, convenient buttons are available to create the data group from that location rather than requiring the user to back out and start again.
Multilinks are maintained in ERS and are used in QC-Mobile. In ERS, a multilink is one hyperlink that instructs QC-Mobile to launch several windows with different parameters in each. This makes it easy for management to launch a dashboard, full view, and live data from one hyperlink.
To comply with newer security requirements ERS and QC-Mobile now adhere to new password rules set in ERS 4.1. Rules include minimum length, numeric characters, special characters, etc.
Enhanced Audit Log Policy
ERS administrators can now control how large the Audit Log becomes by specifying which activities to log as well as how often the logs are truncated.
This new feature allows certain text strings such as file and template paths to be stored centrally and then referenced throughout deliverables. This makes it convenient to migrate servers or report paths requiring the path to be changed in one place and automatically updated in all deliverables.
This new deliverable type allows users to monitor data collection in QC-CALC. As data is collected triggers can launch, check characteristics for trends, and then optionally run a list of actions. Action types that can be performed include things like sending an email, running a report, and lighting up a stacklight. Actions can be combined in different forms to create a customized rule-based triggering system.
ERS 4.1 now supports communication with the Patlite LA6 stacklight via the network. This marks yet another integration by Prolink with other important players in the industry. Users can now light up physical stacklights throughout the shop floor in response to triggered actions and/or full view hotspot trends.
Beyond the Data View tab, the Analysis tab allows users to query data, run charts, and even drill down to the point level. Manual reports can also be run from this new tab.
Dashboards are a new feature of ERS 3.4 that allow users to create customized images that contain rows and columns of widgets. An expanding array of widget types allows everything from radial speedometer style gauges to histograms and HTML for shop floor visualization.
Similar to Dashboards, Full Views are a visualization tool that allows users to place individual hotspots (in the form of digital blinking lights) over the image of their choosing. This is typically a map of the shopfloor, but could be a matrix grid or any other image. The hotspots are then hooked up to live data and trends and flash when a trend occurs.
Snapshots allow users to import 2D and 3D CAD drawings into ERS, position the part, and then take a snapshot of the part. The user then places callouts on the Snapshot of the part for the various characteristics. Snapshots are then viewed using filters in QC-Mobile.
All items created in ERS (filters, data groups, dashboards, reports, etc) are now owned by the user that created them. Other users can copy the objects into their space and edit their own copies, but cannot change another user's items. This allows ERS to become a multi-user environment where different users run their customized reports and dashboards without affecting other users in the same system.
To improve upon the existing aggregate export in ERS 3.2, a raw data export has been added to ERS 3.4. Raw data export allows the export to an ASCII text file, QCC file, or QCQ file. If exporting to QCC or QCQ, SPC Office Buddy can be automatically launched and an Excel Job run.