At Razorleaf, we’re all about innovative process solutions, and one of our consultants, Dennis Lindinger, recently proved that point. Dennis built custom hardware AND software for Aras Innovator to highlight the power of special purpose Innovator clients. The real-world usage scenario at work here is for accessing shop floor work instructions and logging serialized assembly processes. Keep reading to learn more about what our resident Maker, Dennis, created and how you can leverage it.
If you don’t know much about Aras Innovator, it is the leading Enterprise Open Source PLM platform, and you can learn more about it on Razorleaf’s website or on Aras’ website. Aras Innovator helps engineering and manufacturing companies organize and manage their product-related information. If you don’t know much about Raspberry Pi, you can learn more about it on the Raspberry Pi website. Basically, Raspberry Pi is a single board computer costing roughly $35 and intended to run Linux and to interface with all sorts of other devices (HDMI, USB, GPIO, and more).
So, for the cost of a Raspberry Pi, a few buttons, and a barcode scanner, Dennis set about learning how a dedicated shop floor interface for Aras Innovator might work. Those interested in the Maker movement will recognize the cool factor of how Dennis blended off-the-shelf hardware and software components into something new and unique. You can read more about what Dennis created in this article on the Aras website, but here’s a brief summary:
- The Raspberry Pi acts as a client to the Aras Innovator server, presenting shop floor work instructions to an operator
- The operator uses the barcode scanner to provide input to the Raspberry Pi (ostensibly from scanning a shop order packet) so that it can pull up the correct records in Aras
- The initial work instruction sub-record is presented to the operator on the screen, and then the operator can navigate forward and backward through these sub-records as the assembly/build process proceeds
- The operator can complete the task and assign a serial number to their completed “build”
If you find this intriguing, take a look at Dennis’ custom hardware:
Dennis’ solution for Aras Innovator, including the Python source code that ran on the Raspberry Pi, is available from Aras’ Community Projects site, and you can catch a short video interview with Dennis here. Naturally, you can also contact us to grab the source code, to learn more about what Dennis did, or to talk about how we can help with your innovative PLM-related projects.