Modern Machine Works

  • Complete system automation including keystroke macro insertion
  • Ability to interface barcode scanners to touch screen PCs and a mainframe system
  • Date and time stamp capabilities
  • Durable system with no additional hardware

Modern Machine Works has been engineering precision shafts and crankshafts for over 60 years and has proven itself the industry source and standard.

Employee data collection

Modern Machine Works in its commitment to improving quality control needed a shop-floor system of employee identification and security. This system had to be both accurate and efficient as well as rugged to standup to the rigorous environment of a machine shop. An auto-ID system with bar coded badges supplied to all employees was decided upon. The bar coded data was used to gain access to a labor data collection system. It was decided that harsh-environment resistant touch-screen computers would be used as these are less likely to be damaged than conventional PCs. Hence five 386sx/20 IBM compatible touch-screen terminals were installed on the factory floor.

How to input scanned data directly into touch-screen computer application?

Welch Allyn model BCR-6480 bar code readers/decoders with RS232 output were chosen to scan the employee ID badges as they are high quality and of durable stainless steel. The touch screen computers are connected to a Novell V3.11 network and run a custom Windows application that provides a real-time graphical front end to an Oracle V6.0 database. The problem was getting the scanned data into the custom Windows application from the RS232 bar code scanners. Keyboard (“hardware”) wedges were considered but they are not designed to interface with Windows applications and cannot support Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) to Windows programs. Also a plug-in hardware wedge would have been inconvenient and easily damaged on the factory floor.

The WinWedge provides the perfect data collection solution

Hence it was decided that WinWedge Standard would be the perfect solution. The scanned data from the employee badges is transmitted serially to WinWedge and it transmits the data directly sending keystrokes or by DDE into the Windows application. With WinWedge they get complete control over all input including data parsing and filtering, keystroke macro insertion and date and time stamping.

This accurate and efficient system – bar code scanner, touch screen computer application and the WinWedge – provides an easy-to-use and effective means of security and employee identification at Modern Machine Works.

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