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The Centraldev team
The Broadcast Codes Administrator (MACS), is the first product we developed for the car manufacturing industry back in 2008, for our client SoliSYSTEMS. This system orchestrates the complete flow of information from the real time production of vehicles to the various systems and printers used in the plant.
The Broadcast Codes Administrator (MACS) system was required in order to increase the number of parts that the current systems at the plant were able to manage.
At the time we received the requirement, the existent legacy systems at the plant were able to manage only 60 part codes per vehicle.
The plant had the need to increase these value but also have the ability to perform changes in real time to the codes that were configured from the corporate office, in order to replace parts that are equivalent or to make requested changes to the vehicles configuration.
The system also needed to know what parts each vehicle have by default. This information varies every day, according to the corporate office information. So it was needed to automate the input of this information in the system.
The most important part of the system was the communications module which had to receive the realtime information of the vehicles in the different points of the plant, perform the replacement of the codes and then broadcast this information to the other various systems and printers.
It was also important to log all the information that wen through the system, from vehicles information, to parts used in each vehicle, and actions of the users like who made each change, who dismissed an alert or who activated the data files each date.
In order to automate the input of the information for the planned production for each day, the vehicles specifications and the parts for each one, we developed various Windows services that detect when the new files for each day production are copied to a special folder, from the corporate office. This information is read from the files and stored in a database with the proper normalization.
The administration of this information is made with a web application called MACS WEB. This application allows users to review the data received for the vehicles, perform all types of queries and make changes to the part codes, if necessary.
For example, the users can search for a specific set of vehicles that share certain features, by color, position of the driving wheel, transmission type, etc. and apply the changes only to that set of vehicles.
The changes then can be programmed to be applied for a certain number of vehicles in the line, leaving an offset at the beginning and even serialize any number of changes one after the other.The query screen also allows filtering by the detail and export the data found.
This application also allows the users to perform administrative tasks and configuration.
The most important part of the system is the communications module. This is also a Windows service. The communications module is in charge of the reception of the information of each vehicle as it passes through the different achievement points in the plant. This module then communicates with a MACS web service in order to obtain the correct parts for the vehicle. With this information, the MACS constructs a new message, and sends it to the other systems in the plant, according to how it was programmed.
Centraldev also helped actively in the installation and startup of this and other systems in the car plant, in Mexico.
Task performed during the installation included:
Since the MACS resulted so easy and flexible to manage, it soon became a very important tool of the day to day operations of the plant. The system was designed in order to make it easy for other systems to integrate to it and consume the data it manages and at this time, the information that the MACS generates is shared by four other systems at the plant.
From 60 parts that the old system could manage at the begining, the new system is now able to manage 4000 parts and also allows changes and historical records, among more than 50 new features.