These days, the data driving your shop’s production can come from multiple systems such as online orders, ERP, MRP, or other software applications. The problem is, these systems are most likely disconnected from each other or drive independent processes within your shop.
So we developed a platform that enables users to seamlessly connect their 3
rd party applications with Microvellum’s automated production processes. Microvellum Server is an information hub that collects, processes, and transfers the data that drives your production environments.
Microvellum Server provides a platform that enables users to link their third-party applications with the automated production processes of Microvellum. It provides a common repository of data that you configure at each site on each computer. It enables unattended batch processing of production reports and machining data. This batch processing accepts input from various sources, creates work orders, and then processes those work orders, all without user intervention. This ability gives you the power to determine where the processor-intensive operations take place. To divert processing to a separate, dedicated channel, allowing more time for engineering and other tasks.
System Requirements & Setup
Before the installation and use of Microvellum Server, you must set up a fully functioning Microvellum environment running on SQL Server. This means in part that your Microvellum system databases must be installed on SQL Server, and you must be able to export a configuration file for use when configuring Microvellum Server 2020.
We recommend that Microvellum Server be installed on the same computer that is running the Microvellum SQL Server database. The Toolbox software or Production module may be installed on multiple local machines using a configuration pathed to the Microvellum Server machine and database. Setting up the paths correctly in the configuration of each local machine enables each one to Create Work Order Remotely, and Process Mapped Parts Remotely. These operations performed remotely on the Server free the resources on each local machine to continue working in Microvellum.
Automated Batch Processing
Microvellum Server provides an automated method of producing manufacturing data for externally created projects. You create the project and define its scope in a third-party app as needed by your company. The reasons for using a third-party app in this way are varied, but it may be that you have other software that data entry personnel use for project creation. Or, the third-party app may be estimating software that produces XML data. Regardless of the exact purpose of the app, Microvellum Server consumes the data it produces and automates its import into Microvellum. Once imported, the actions of creating a Microvellum project, creating a work order, and processing that Work Order, are automated as well.
The objective of providing this automated batch processing is to provide a fast and consistent means of producing manufacturing data for companies with many Users scattered across various physical locations. This ensures that work orders are processed the same for every user, creating consistency throughout your organization.
It is our objective that your company makes the best use of the resources you have available. Creating and processing work order data absorbs a significant amount of computer resources and staff time. The Microvellum Server software allows you to offload computer resource-intensive tasks from your User’s local machines to a separate computer running the Server software. What is the practical benefit? Users spend less time waiting when they create large work orders, and as they process them. You assign those tasks to the Server and keep working productively on the local machines.
Microvellum Server currently supports input from two different sources. First, you may create XML files from a third-party app. These files are held in a queue, and subsequently consumed and processed by Microvellum Server. The Server app then populates the processed work order data to the appropriate database, factory, or work order.
Microvellum Server also supports the Unified Work Order Database type.
Second, multiple users may utilize Microvellum Server to create work orders or process parts data from multiple local computers. For example, you may have two users running Toolbox, and two other users running the Production module. Each of those users may create their own projects, define their work orders locally, and then use the Microvellum Server to create their own work orders, and process the parts in those work orders to the Server queue. From there, the Server software populates the data to the appropriate database, as described previously.
The Microvellum Server software also supports various combinations of work order creation, processing station assignments (either by station auto-assign rules or by manual assignment), and processing mode (auto or manual). Study the flowchart below for a complete understanding of how Microvellum Server interacts with your third-party software producing XML files (if you use such software), and with Microvellum Toolbox and the Production module.
Regardless of the exact track through the software that is best for your company, the result is the same. Accurate reports and G-Code!
Server Processing Flowchart
The flowchart below contains detailed information about how data is processed by Microvellum Server:
Fig. 1 - Microvellum Server Flowchart
As seen in the flowchart, the fundamental Microvellum Server components automate several key functions related to creating projects, producing work orders, assigning processing stations, and processing parts to batches.
Data Processing Terminology Definitions:
Work Order Creation File (WOC): A Microvellum generated file from the client machine that is transferred to a file share location that Microvellum Server (MVS) is monitoring. This file provides MVS the information needed to create the requested Work Order.
Work Order Process File (WOP): A Microvellum generated file from the client machine that is transferred to a file share location that Microvellum Server (MVS) is monitoring. This file provides MVS the information needed to process the newly created Work Order.
XML File: Is a file format (eXtensible Markup Language) that is designed to store and transport data. 3rd Party applications are responsible for generating the XML file. Microvellum software can interpret the XML for: Project Creation, Work Order Creation and Work Order Processing instructions.
Client-Side Processes: Are processes that require human input to trigger the process.
Server-Side Processes: Are processes that do not require human input to trigger the process. Microvellum Server is triggered via a configuration file (WOC, WOP, XML, etc.)
Report Groups: A series of reports that have been configured to automatically print without human triggering. These triggers can happen with both Client-Side and Server-Side processes. Printing can output to a physical printer, or can be output as a file (*.pdf, *.doc, *.csv, etc.)
Queue: A file share location that Microvellum Server (Server-Side), Microvellum Software (ClientSide) and any 3rd Party Software has read/write access.
See Microvellum Server (Reference) in the Microvellum Help Center for a reference article explaining details of the Server software, as well as the options found therein.
See Microvellum Server (Tutorial-Installation) in the Microvellum Help Center for a tutorial showing how to install and configure Microvellum Server.