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Systems for Asset-Management

Mro Mobile Asset Is a mobile frontend and server application for direct support of all relevant processes, required for the asset-management of technical and logistic infrastructure components.

Product Outline

  • Mobile devices are used for realtime data presentation and capture, right on location and comfortable. These data are in turn exchanged with a central relational database, holding asset  objects, involved subjects, process definitions, account definitions etc. Different and multiple mobiles devices are supported, concurrently. Optimal devices are selected for each project in collaboration with the customer.
  • Devices are operatable online and/or offline, therefore they may be used anywhere inside and outside of the maintained facilities and objects, at any time and with or without online access.
  • Mobile devices optionally include an RFID reader/writer and/or a barcode reader installed for object identification.
  • The mobile application presents a condensed and efficient user interface. Derived from login, the active role will determine the exposition of user interface components for the process supported.
  • The user interface is specialized for touchscreen operation. Wherever possible, text entry is avoided by smart components or strongly supported by lookup, autocompletion or other means.
  • As an example of a certified device, take reference at the Symbol® MC50/ 70, a true 'Pocket' device with built-in barcode scanner:

Mromc70_small
http://www.symbol.com/product.php?productID=240&tab=Data%20Sheet

  • A server component (MobileAgent) abstracts the mobile application instances towards the J2EE based IT systems (e.g. SAP) and in turn abstracts these towards the mobile clients. The server provides the necessary technical environment to his connected mobile clients. His most prominent duty is the underlying database interaction.
  • The server component is running within the J2EE application server as an enterprise wide service for all connected mobile devices
  • The Server is combinable with workflow, workgroup communication and other application areas. Dedicated interfaces support and define XML SOAP Services, eMail and database triggers. IP socket protocols exist for system extension.

 

Supported processes and objects

The following processes and objects are supported by the mobile frontend:

  • Inventory Management, material Management objects, stock and container management,  repair, defect aquisition, service request and fulfilment.  Service log, Standard and customer stock movements enabled and associated with part identification (by manual entry or RFID or Barcode)
  • Service order presentation with selection of relevant Logbook entries and their open log notifications. Service Orders, as they are assigned by the WEB application to personnel and/or roles and schedules, are pulled off the work queue by the MobileAgent along with all related, relevant objects required
  • Identification of fully interchangable parts for a specific service order's component (compliance check, according to master configuration data, relevant extracts)
  • Post log notifications towards the Logbook, reading, releasing and completing log notifications for predefined and known notification types
  • Component list maintenance for asset component or subcomponent within related service order
  • Measurement documents


 

 

'Mro Mobile Asset' Benefits

The customer benefits from aquisition speed and accuracy improvements, lowered cost by drastically shrinking paper circulation paths, removing redundant data entry. Users acceptence is high through shortened information paths, simplified IT system presence and realtime information access at any time. Seamless integration into the customer's corporate IT landscape.

System Architecture

The 'Mro Mobile Asset' is built with the two major components MobileAgent (server component) and the mobile instances, running on mobile computers.  The components are loosely coupled across the standard plant network, backboned by the existing wired and/or wireless infrastructure.The server component is hosted within a J2EE compliant application server, e.g. Tomcat 5 or SAP WAS 6.x (6.4 and up), where it is running as a network wide service. It is administered via web pages.

Client application code and device setup is centrally administered and automatically distributed and deployed.The mobile device' health is centrally monitored and a central system is requesting intervention, e.g. on weak battery cycle times (worn batteries, charge capacity significantly dropped).

The strict J2EE implementation and design guidelines ensures independency from database or server platforms of course, still making use of the underlying database performance.

The device client is implemented as a Java application. It is designed as a rich client, which ensures independency from network availability. The application is derived from an application framework, where code is centrally generated by the MobileAgent out of XML application template files and automatically distributed to the devices connected.

MroMobileAgentSAP

The client therefore exposes a very rich and functional user interface, explicitly dedicated to the use cases involved. E.g. Measurement value sets can be entered directly into apropriate diagrams or graphs. Entered scalars, booleans or string values and other facts can be restricted and interdepend on given rules and patterns. The benefit is a high accuracy of captured system data.

Data exchange between client and server is done in XML data files, compressed and encrypted.

Scenarios involved (Examples, to be continued)

  • maintenance or material movement subprocess invocation via RFID, barcode or manual role identification (username / password credentials)

  • material item type and serial number identification via RFID, barcode or manual entry of serial numbers or alike identifiers

  • history lookup for identified items, trackback for identified items

  • tracking of applied process for identified item and potential update of the spare part / item history

  • maintenance instruction manual lookup on demand

  • ratings or measurement parameter details lookup

  • spare parts exchange: unit composition and bookings for used part and spare part

  • material container tracking or verification for badge recording (barcodes/RFIDs)

  • maintenance tool / instrument identification and verification

  • maintenance reponsibility and role identification

  • maintenance workflow instructions lookup  ("You are here", "next step is"...) and transactions ("step done", "entire maintenance done")
  • time tracking/tracing of all maintenance excution and logging steps
  • maintenance instrument calibration status
  • the data exchange (synchronisation) may take place whenever the device is in proximity to a usable channel via IP protocols directly into locally available VPN nodes and can fire next workflow subprocesses immediatly
  • the server synchronizes with IT backbone  applications immediatly and returns any updated or inquired synchronisation object within the same cycle
  • staff communication via email and transfer of business workflow items is possible, digital transactions without requirement for access to a local PC / data terminal
  • staff information update on digital subscription base
  • workflow engine exports relevant subprocesses dynamically onto mobile devices, logs any such export in the history database for legal purposes

RFIDs

  • RFIDs should be of type Generation 2, so international device usage is legal and devices can be moved around the globe.

Barcode

Barcodes are a natural choice for simpler applications. All types of barcodes are supported along with the device in use.

Mobile Devices

The product is hardware and supplier independent. Hardware can be supplied by major device manufacturers like 'Symbol', 'Psion Teklogix', 'Gotive' or others. Devices are themselves target for maintenance and Pocket-Biz therefore delivers a thorough device management solution, which unloads IT departments from specific management issues related to these devices. There is also a property protection mechanism possible, which protects the device from being too mobile.

Mro231_MC9000GwRFIDMropsionWorkaboutPro

 

 
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