TRACE HOOD – INDUSTRIAL PROCESS TRACKING APPLICATION
The Project consisted in developing a system capable of tracing the passage of products in laminar flow hoods. The system had to be capable of collecting the information directly at BioMérieux’s production sites, then sending it and storing it on a central platform that would carry out its operation.
Total project duration: 3 months
The total cost of the project was 100 man-days.
Details of the project :
BioMérieux wanted to trace all the products that have to pass under laminar flow fume hoods during their production process. The objective of product traceability is to be able to more “specifically” control certain batches in the event that a threshold is exceeded during the periodic inspection of the fume hoods.
The needs to which the application had to respond are :
- To allow the input/scanning of information on products and fume hoods directly from the field.
- Ensure the routing of information from the field to a central database
- Enable the exploitation of results
Development of a complete system including :
- An embedded information capture application (running on Psion terminals)
- A heavy client type communication interface between the terminals and the central platform
- A web application for data presentation and exploitation
For the realization of the project, 3 persons have been allocated :
- 1 project manager and functional manager
- 2 development engineers
This contract was executed entirely with Tana Corp resources dedicated to the project.
Main characteristics of the client
A global player in the field of in vitro diagnostics for over 40 years, BioMérieux offers diagnostic solutions (reagents, instruments and software) that determine the origin of a disease or contamination to improve patient health and ensure consumer safety.
BioMérieux’s distribution network is present in more than 150 countries. The company is listed on Euronext Paris with sales of more than one billion euros per year.
Conduct of the project
Advice and support role provided throughout the project
- A real force of accompaniment: The organization of the project gives a primordial importance to the quality of the accompaniment, to make the customer benefit from the expertise and the know-how capitalized by Tana Corp on its projects of the same type.
- Consulting strength : Our solid experience on management applications in the field of distribution and fixed-price projects has enabled us to provide the customer with the best market practices in this field. Moreover, Tana Corp is a force of proposal in the highlighting of functional options likely to bring a strong functional added value.
- Expertise on mobile application: A large part of the application being developed on mobile/embedded hardware, Tana Corp brought all its knowledge on the adaptation of the application ergonomics on a “small” screen in order to improve productivity.
Proposed methodology to validate the project steps from a client’s point of view
Proposed project reporting
A monthly steering committee enabled us to steer this long-term project in close collaboration with the client.
Tools chosen for the project management
Project Management: MS Project
Incident follow-up : BugX (based on Mantis) http://www.mantisbt.org/)
Version and configuration tracking: SubVersion (http://subversion.tigris.org/)
Business processes covered by the solution
- Manual or scanned barcode entry of products and fume hoods
- Centralization of collected information
- Consultation and use of information
- Purging obsolete information
What were the most difficult features to implement ?
The PsionWorkabout embedded terminal used by BioMérieux has a single communication interface (RS232) via a manufacturer’s driver. As part of the communication interface between the mobile terminal and the central platform, we had to develop an overlayer of the manufacturer’s driver in managed code (VB.NET).
Technical platform elements
Software package, software or development languages used
After analysis of all the constraints, Tana Corp proposed the realization of a custom application, based entirely on a Microsoft :
- Microsoft .Net Framework, VB.NET language
- ASP.NET with AJAX
- SQL Server 2005 Express
- IIS 6 Web Server
- SIBO / OVAL
Reasons for the choice
- Microsoft .Net Framework with C#: development platform allowing an excellent cost/delivery time/quality implementation ratio.
- ASP.NET and AJAX: scripting languages allowing the development of WEB interfaces with a high level of ergonomics.
- SQLServer 2005Express: free, high-performance database server, perfectly adapted to the target data volume.
- IIS 6 Web Server : Microsoft’s Web server for ASP application hosting
- SIBO / OVAL : operating system and SDK for the development of the PsionWorkabout Pro mobile terminal.
Share of pre-existing developments used on which the Supplier has capitalised to complete the project
- Libraries of AJAX interface elements already developed internally by Tana Corp.
Challenges and key success factors
- Ergonomics: daily use of the application in a production context, rapidity of screens and interfaces.
- Robustness: the mobile terminals and the communication interface with the central platform run 24 hours a day. It is important that the applications run continuously without human intervention or loss of data.
Today, the developed application is in production and fulfils its role to the full, thus contributing to production safety.