Web-Enabled Automated Manufacturing System

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The system is a web based Manufacturing System that enables a Manufacturing company to schedule its manufacturing operations based on the daily update of sales from its dealers. The system is modeled to be used by a Manufacturing company, whose main activity is manufacturing different products & then selling the finished goods through a network of Dealers.

To start with, the Stocks of all the Products manufactured by the company and held in the company warehouse are stored in a Database. The details that are stored include the quantity of each product held with the company dealers who hold the stocks of finished products for sale.

Once the sales figures of Products sold in the past week are entered by the Dealers over the Internet along with the Orders for the next delivery, the schedule for the next week’s production will be drawn up. A report of the required raw materials or parts will be drawn up with the approved suppliers for each & the suppliers will be intimated about the part requirements over the Internet & asked to quote their rates. The message asking for a Quotation will be sent as an e-mail message. Once the rates are quoted, the Order will be placed with the required delivery schedules. 

The system incorporates intelligent Order processing System that checks and intimates the required Higher-ups in the Company about any discrepancies in the Orders that were placed. For example if an Order is placed with a Supplier whose rates are not the least then an automatic Event-generation will send the details of the Order & the person who placed it to the Managers or Directors who are supposed to oversee the process.

Once the parts are supplied the Part Stocks will be updated. Then a production plan will be drawn up taking the Bill-of-materials into consideration. The Bill-of-Materials contains the details of each Product & the type & quantity of Parts required for manufacturing a single unit of the Product. Once the Production plan is approved, the Part Stocks will be updated when the Parts are issued to the Production Department. Once the finished products are available from the Production Department, the Products will be dispatched based on the Orders placed by the Dealers. The stocks with the dealers will also be maintained.

Project Plan

It was decided to use good Software engineering principals in the development of the system since the company had quite a big Dealer network & was aiming to add new Products & Dealers & expand their operations in the near future. So the following Project Plan was drawn up:

1. The Analysts will interact with the current manual system users to get the Requirements. As a part of this the Requirements Specification Document will be created.

2. The requirements Specifications document will contain the Analysis & Design of the system & UML will be used as the modeling language to express the Analysis & Design of the System. According to Grady Booch et al, in The Unified Modeling Language User Guide [UML-1998], “The Unified Modeling Language (UML) is a graphical language for visualizing, specifying, constructing, and documenting the artifacts of a software-intensive system. The UML gives you a standard way to write a system's blueprints, covering conceptual things, such as business processes and system functions, as well as concrete things, such as classes written in a specific programming language, database schemas, and reusable software components”.

3. The Analysis, Design, Implementation & testing of the System itself will be broadly based on the Rational Unified Software Development process. According to Ivar Jacobson et al, in The Unified Software Development Process (The Addison-Wesley Object Technology Series) [USDP-2000], the Unified Software Development Process contains Inception, Elaboration, Construction & Transition as the main Phases, which contain further cycles & iterations. This process will be followed to produce an incremental cycle, which will deliver milestones like the Requirements Specification Document etc., at the end of each of the iterations, Phases or cycles.

4. The Architecture & Technologies will be decided as a part of the Analysis of the requirements.

5. Once the Design is ready the Implementation & Testing strategy of the system will commence. Each will be independent of the other. The implementation of the system itself will be broken down into sub-systems following the Software Engineering principles for the development of robust software.

6. Once the implementation is ready, the System testing will take place. If the system is judged to be stable then Acceptance testing by the Users will take place & once the Users are satisfied the System will be rolled out to the Users & they will be trained on how to use it for an initial period.

The following chapters contain an account of how the Technology & architecture for the system were chosen.

Software Requirements

  • Operating System                      : Windows 95/98/NT/2000
  • Browser                                       : IE
  • Web/Application Server            : Java Webserver 2.0
  • Database Server                        : Oracle 8i
  • Database Connectivity             : JDBC , Microsoft ODBC Driver for Oracle
  • Other Tools & Technologies   : Java (JDK), Servlets (JSDK), JavaMail

Hardware Requirements

  • Pentium Min233 Mhz
  • 64 MB Ram
  • 512 KB Cache Memory
  • Hard Disk 4.3 GB
  • Microsoft Compatible 101 or more keyBoard

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