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Latest Update


ProfitFab version 29.1

May 23rd, 2024 Allen Grosser

Version 29 updates

Related files attachment

We have added the ability to attach files related to various areas. You can now attach files (using the button with the camera icon) to Part Routing, Quotes, Orders, Blanket Orders, Job Part Routing, Scrap/In-House Non-Conformance, Invoices, RMAs, and RMA Line items.

We have also added the ability to define related file types. You can set this up by going to the Setup pull-down menu and selecting Lists option. Previously, the fixed list of file types was Snapshot, Movie, CAD, CAM, Text, and Other. When a type was chosen that was not Other, the program made use of specific programs that would be used to open those files. Since the paths to the programs was fixed, it could create problems in the sense that every user had to have access to the same programs using the exact same path. The Other type was added to allow any file of this type to be opened using Windows settings covering the file type based on its file extension. For this reason, it has probably become the most used file type since it could open excel spreadsheets, word documents, PDF documents, CAD drawings, or any other type of file that you were linking to. Now you can create your own list of file types and they can be as descriptive as you need them to be. For example, you could have file types like

Drawings

Specifications

Setup Instructions

Vendor Quotes

Performance Evaluations

 

and any other types that would make sense to you. Once you have set up your list, you can choose the type for your existing files and going forward for all file connections that you make. Regardless of what you call the file type, the program will still make use of Windows file associations and the extension of the file. So any .xlsx files will open in Excel, .docx will open in Word, .pdf will open in Acrobat, etc..

 

One additional place that you may attach files is to the system itself. The camera button has been added to the main program and also to the shop clock module. Here you can attach documents that apply to your company as a whole. These could be parts of your HR manuals, certification manuals, company procedures, or anything that you want your employees to be able to access easily from within the program.

 

Attaching files can now be achieved with drag and drop. If you have a Windows Explorer window open to the location of the file you wish to attach, you can drag the file anywhere onto the Part Related Files Form and the path to the file will be entered into the path field for you.

 

Files attached to jobs, parts, etc. may be viewed or opened in the shop clock, however, you cannot attach files, change file attachments, or delete them in the shop clock. You must be in the admin program to make changes to what files are attached. Keep in mind that if a file can be opened in a program to which editing is possible, it will be possible to actually make changes to the file itself from the shop clock. If you do not wish to allow this, you can save files in a read-only format such as PDF, or you can use network security to set permissions on the files to read-only.

Changes to the Scrap  and RMA modules

We have changed some of the wording in the Scrap module. It is now also being referred to as the In-House Non-Conformance module. The field previously referred to as At Fault has been changed to Source. This is to remove any negative connotations associated with potentially blaming employees for causing scrap. The Source field also now includes an option to name the Vendor as the source of a problem. This can occur mostly from outside vendors who return parts to you that do not meet required specifications.

We have added the ability to create either an RMA (for customers) or a vendor NCM from the Scrap/In-House Non-Conformance module. If the source of the scrap is selected as Vendor, then you can create a Vendor NCM record to track performance of your service vendors. If the Source is selected as any other option, aside from Unknown, you can create a customer RMA from the form.

There is a new field named Problem that can be selected for tracking specific issues. The list of choices available for this field will depend on whether the scrap is being tied to the customer or the vendor. In the List setup (Setup pull-down menu, Lists option) you can set up specific problems you are tracking in your quality manual. This gives you the ability to run reports to track your history of specific problems.

When creating an RMA from a scrap record, a new RMA will be created unless there is already on open RMA for the customer. In this case, the scrap record will create another line item in the existing RMA. By default, the RMA line item will be checked as being found internally before sending to customer. However, in a situation where the customer has received the parts and returned them to you, you can create the scrap record first and uncheck the box about being found internally. The Customer Product Return Form (RMA line item) will be opened and some of the fields will be prefilled with data from the scrap record. You will still need to fill out the remaining fields to make the record complete.

Another change to the RMA module will allow you to create a rework order for the parts on the RMA. After filling out the necessary fields, there is a Create Job button that will create a customer order for the parts being reworked. Once you verify the order is complete, it will create the rework job based on the data coming from the RMA.

Changes to Part Inspection module

The button on the part definition originally labeled as SPC has been relabeled as Insp Data. This is to more correctly identify what we are using it for. We are using this module as a place to set up required measurements on parts and a place to record the measurement data. We have added some fields for extra measurements, and increased the decimal precision to which measurements may be made to 6 decimal places. The Reference field has been increased to 15 characters for better descriptions.

Inspection data can be entered from either the admin program or from the shop clock module. We are keeping track of the person who enters the data. If entered from within the admin program, the person logged in will be entered as the person entering the data. In the shop clock module, we are using the employee. There is a Quick Inspect button in the shop clock and to enter that area, the employee must enter their employee ID and their password, if a password is set up. In order to access this area, the employee must be allowed access, and this is done by a check box on the Employee Form on the Clocking Options tab.

When accessed in the shop clock module, the employee must select a job to enter measurements on. Clicking the button for the Job Number, a select table will open showing all jobs actively clocked in at that time. Jobs that have data measurements set up will appear with job number highlighted in red. If a measurement is made that is outside of the tolerance, and message box will open indicating this and asking the employee to verify the measurement or to re-enter the value (in case it was entered incorrectly). Measurements that are outside of tolerance will be highlighted in red so that they are easily identified.

Measurement data can be exported to an Excel spreadsheet. You can filter the data export by a date range or for a single job. By default, the data is sorted based on the Reference field. If you are looking at data where there are multiple measurements made for each part, the data can be resorted in Excel by the Date and Time fields and then by the Reference field so that each set of measurements shows up as a group. This is because a set of measurements will always have the same Time stamp for a single part. You should take care when naming the reference fields. If you combine pure numeric values mixed with alphanumeric values, the default in Excel is to treat them differently, and this includes the sorting of the data. So having references such as 1, 1A, 1B, 2, 2A,… might cause Excel to treat them differently. It will still work, but you will have to tell Excel to treat them accordingly.

Changes to Part Costing

We have added fields so that you can now use different markups for outside services. By default, the initial values will be set to the same as the goods markup, since that is always what was used before. But you can now change the markup for services as you see fit.

We also have added the markup fields to the customer. When you enter markups here, any new parts for that customer will be marked up using those values and not the default system values. There is also a button that will allow you to apply the customer markups to all of that customer’s parts.

For outside service operations, we have also added fields to track shipping costs. On the part definition routing form for outside services, we added two fields – Parts per Container and Cost per Container. By entering these values, we can calculate shipping costs for any number of parts on a quote/order/job. The shipping cost will be added to the overall cost of the service in calculators and reports where we are breaking down the cost elements of each part.

JIT Scheduler

We have added fields to help make the JIT Scheduler more accurate in producing dates when a job needs to get into and out of an operation. First, a little background of what the JIT Scheduler is trying to do. We are looking at the scheduled ship date of a job and counting backwards. We back up the number of Global Trail Time days (this is in the System Setup), then we start backing up for each operation. We will back up however many days the operation will physically take. If it takes 5 minutes, that is a day. If it takes 8 hours and 5 minutes, that would be 2 days. Then we will back up a number of days that you set for each operation as a buffer. That could be anything from 0 extra days to however many days you set. At this point we know the last date out, which is the date we started with, and the first date in, which is what have backed up to. Then we go backwards to the previous operation where the last date out is the first date in of the operation we have just finished.

If the operation being scheduled is an outside service operation, we are also backing up the number of lead time days, as well as the number of days set up for shipping. These days are setup on the Vendor Product Form that you can access from the Product/Service form.

Establishing these dates should be helpful in the Whiteboard Scheduler as you can start to see jobs that need to get started at each operation. The dates will be color coded as usual with no color indicating a date that is further out than the ASAP number of days (ASAP Window setting on Schedule tab of System Setup), yellow if it is within the ASAP window from now, and red if the date is today or in the past.

To let us know what days you normally work in a week, there are check boxes on the Schedule tab of the System Setup. If you work Monday – Saturday, you would check those boxes. As we are counting days back, when we hit Sunday we will skip it without counting it. We also have checkboxes tied to your vendors for the days that they work. These boxes are on the Vendor Form. In a situation where your service vendor works Monday – Friday, but you only work Monday – Thursday, when we are counting back days for an outside service based on these two settings. That is to say, we would keep counting back and skipping Friday because even though they may be working, if they ship parts to you, there is no one there to receive them.

We have also added a checkbox to the Default Operations Form that will tell the JIT Scheduler to ignore that operation. You might have multiple operations that are more used to indicate something being done as opposed to actually being production work. If you do not want the JIT scheduler to keep backing up days for each of those operations, this box will allow you to ignore them.

Again, the main reason for the JIT scheduler is to give you a quick and fairly accurate date at which you need to get a job into each operation to keep things flowing smoothly through the shop. The operations manager can use these dates to help decide what jobs need to be worked on when setting up the Whiteboard Scheduler.

Administrative User Changes

User Printer settings have been changed to allow for setting a printer specific to Route Sheets. Originally, the route sheets would print to the printer set for orders. Now you can isolate the printer for the route sheet separate from orders and order acknowledgements. This will be helpful for shops who might print route sheets on different colored paper for their own reasons.

Attendance Time Changes

We have added a field that allows you to force employees to clock in within a specified window of time around their shift times. These fields are on the System Setup on the Schedule tab. In the lower section for the Attendance Clock Grace Times there is an additional set of check boxes. The boxes are labeled 1 and 2. The boxes for 1 will force the shift times and the boxes for 2 will restrict the window of time for them to clock into. Here is how they work:

Box 1 – Force shift times. This has always been in the program and when checked, along with the times in the Early and Late fields, if an employee clocked in at any time within that grace period, the Attendance Report would list their clock in time as the start or end of shift time. This feature presented a problem for shops where you are required by law to pay them if they clock in too early or out too late. So that is why the box 2 option has been added.

Box 2 – Restrict Clock In Window. When these boxes are checked, along with the times in the Early and Late fields, if a person tries to clock in outside of the grace period, they will be given a message that they cannot clock in/out yet. So if you have a shift time from 0700 – 1500 and you have a grace time set for 5 minutes early and 5 minutes late, if they try to clock in at 0645, they will receive a message saying that they cannot clock in until at least 0655.

If you check both sets of boxes with the above parameters, if they clock in at 0655, the Attendance report will show that they clocked in at 0700, but it still will not let them clock in at 0645.

These fields only affect how the times are reported in the Attendance Report. The actual time they clock in/out will still be shown in their time records.

Report Changes

Many new fields have been made available to reports based on customer requests. You can access new fields and add them to existing reports in the Report Designer.

A new report was added for Active Nests. This report will show you all active (not yet closed) nests, listing all jobs, the materials, and the operations tied to the nest. To access the default layout we included with the report, you will need to import it using the Report Designer.

 

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This setup program will install the latest version of ProfitFab. A password is required to install. Customers subscribed to the Annual Upgrade Protection Plan (UPP) can request the password to install.

If upgrading from versions prior to v22 please contact support for assistance before running the update above.

Getting Started Guide


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This document covers the installation and entering of initial information into ProfitFab, and also contains a tutorial which walks you through creating a part definition, quote, order, job, invoice, and using MRP to order material for a job.

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