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Manufacturing Automation


DSI has brought to bear its expertise in Client/Server computing for many clients over the past ten years and more, including one of the world's leading Scientific and Educational Publishers. The Publisher was seeking a way to automate its manufacturing process following a series of mergers and acquisitions. After a prestigious consulting firm failed in a one-year project to produce a manufacturing system suitable for its needs, the Publisher engaged DSI to design a new system that would improve efficiency and minimize processing costs.


The result was the "School Inventory Manufacturing System", a true Client/Server application utilizing a large scale Relational Data Base Management System (RDBMS) supplied by Oracle. The business processing logic is distributed between the front-end Windows application and stored procedures that reside in the database.

The front-end GUI application is developed in PowerBuilder with a PowerBuilder Foundation Library (PFC). The PFC supports an object-oriented architecture that provides our development team with a powerful set of reusable, pre-built objects and services. Reliance on objects accelerates the development of full-featured object-oriented applications when the objects a reproperly employed. Back-end processing is built on an Oracle 7.3 platform running on Microsoft NT for Servers in a design utilizing stored procedures and triggers.

The School Inventory Manufacturing System provides:
  • Real-time calculations for Book Cost Estimation and Paper Forecasts
  • Communication with vendors by E-mail
  • Optimization of workload distribution to staff based on product type
  • A repository for Vendor Scale Information
  • Maintenance and tracking of both Firm and Tentative Orders
  • Ad-hoc Reporting
  • Interfaces with other systems from desktops (Paradox), to mainframes (CICS/VSAM)
  • A streamlined integration with other business processes.
  • The speed and ease-of-use of the cost-estimating subsystem helps the Publisher's staff to generate accurate cost information instantly.
  • The School Inventory Manufacturing System supports increased productivity through an ease of use that is achieved by the encapsulating all the business rules in an object-oriented structure.
  • By automating and simplifying the manufacturing processing, the application reduces labor, human error, and the paper load.
  • Inclusion of a state-of-the-art ad-hoc reporting tool provides users with the ability to create reports based on their immediate needs.