Bausch & Lomb manufacture contact lenses in their Waterford manufacturing facility.
The process is highly automated with very little human intervention. The manufacturing
machinery collects data on all of the manufacturing parameters, including yield
at various stages throughout the cycle (approximately 100 different fields). This
information is presented in a flat file structure that is of little benefit for
analysis purposes. The files are saved automatically to a specific location at the
end of every shift.
The brief was to develop a system that would automatically detect the creation of
the files in the specified folder and process the data. The data requires processing
to split it by Date, Manufacturing Line, Process Position, Defect Type etc and highlight
any data that didnât meet specification.
The solution was to develop a service that was installed on the server. The service
uses a filewatcher service that constantly monitors a folder where the datafiles
are dropped by the manufacturing system. When a new file is detected, the service
starts the processing: it extracts the required information from the files, transforms
the data into the required structure and then saves it to the database.
Services run, in general, without a user interface because there is no necessity
to interact with the operations that are being executed. To view the data and generate
reports etc., a user interface was developed to interact with the data held in the
database. This solution solved the issues in an effective, efficient manner:
- There was no longer a need to manually import large numbers of individual files
into Excel to view the data
- There was no longer a need to re-organise and aggregate the data to perform analysis
- The data was stored in a secure environment and gave more visibility to interested