Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tuesday, June 9--Bob Pierce on “Manufacturing Automation powered by VFP – Part 1.”

Our next meeting will be Tuesday, June 9. Bob Pierce will present “Manufacturing Automation powered by VFP – Part 1.”

Smooth-On Inc., with $50 Million annual production recently moved into a much larger facility to accommodate our growth.  It was decided that we take the opportunity to modernize the operation using automation controlled by Visual FoxPro.  In our process we use 600 chemicals to produce 1400 formulas that go into 6000 finished goods that are sold globally through our distributer network, and ecommerce.  I will explain why VFP was selected for this project, some of the pitfalls of that choice, and the complexities of interaction with pumps/valves/ mixers/sensors in the real world.  There was quite a bit of planning and advanced preparation. But not unexpectedly a lot of nuance we didn’t anticipate and a number of things we missed altogether.  Although the process is not complete, we are well on our way; In Part 2 I will discuss further developments including full formula automation and automation of the pack out process.