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Typical ATS CM4D Usage Senario

1 Database

ATS CM4D uses a relational database that can reside on SQL Server or Oracle Database Server. The ATS CM4D database has been optimized for performance in connection with the use of ATS CM4D software as a tool for data management.

2 Creating Translators and Processing Data

2.1 Creating A Translator

Using ATS CM4D typically begins with creating a translator document for the nominal information of the part or assembly for which data is to be reported. This is done using DataSmith. The translator document will be used to process the data into the ATS CM4D database. The nominal data can be an output of the data collection device or exported from a CAD file. If the file also contains sample results information, the translator document can incorporate actual data as well. If not, a separate translator document can be created at a later time for processing results data. DataSmith can process any data represented in ASCII , or plain text, format.

A translator document is created by opening a data file from within the DataSmith application and creating instructions to identify the needed information within the file. These instructions are built up from terms contained in a set of drop-down menus. The instructions might read 'Locate the - next - character' and 'Mark the - number at current position,' for instance. Once an instruction is created for a single component of text , DataSmith propagates the instruction throughout the remainder of the data file, assigning it to any similar text components. Instructions can be easily copied or edited in point-and-click fashion-useful for creating instructions that are similar to one another.

The information identified within the data file might include the part label, date, operator, features, feature characteristics, and spec limits, for instance. A feature characteristic can be nominal or actual, and might be identified as a position, x-y-z coordinate, effective date and/or time (of an engineering change), distance, angle , or i-j-k vector, for instance. The contents of a data file can be divided into 'header,' 'footer,' 'features' and 'comments.'

Several tools within DataSmith are available to the user to validate instructions during or after creation of the translator document. Colored highlighting of text identifies the components of the data file according to the instructions created. The Overview Window is useful for viewing emerging patterns as features and characteristics are identified, to see whether or not the instructions are identifying the intended information. The Grid view shows the identified features and characteristics in rows and columns, with color-coded cells identifying empty cells and invalid, questionable or successfully processed data.

A single translator document can contain multiple sets of instructions, or configurations, for processing multiple data file formats. Validation instructions can be set up to identify different file formats, for processing data files according the appropriate configuration. This feature is especially useful when using DataSmith Batch for automatically processing data from multiple routines or data collectors into the database. DataSmith Batch is discussed below.

2.2 Processing Data

2.2.1 Processing Data Manually Using DataSmith

Once a translator document is created and applied to a data file, the data can be sent to the ATS CM4D database. To apply the translator document to a new data file, simply open the data file from within the appropriate configuration . If desired, multiple data files can be opened at once within a single configuration for simultaneous processing into the database. Sending the data to the database is a simple 5-step process guided by the Output Setup dialogue box. Upon outputting the data, the Output Summary view generates a record, including an error log if appropriate, of the data processed. The Output Summary can be saved in a log file.

2.2.2 Processing Data Automatically Using DataSmith Batch

Measurement results data can also be processed into the ATS CM4D database on an automated basis using the DataSmith Batch application. DataSmith Batch will monitor one or more selected network folders, or 'inboxes', into which data is output from the measurement device. When data arrives in the inbox, DataSmith Batch will apply the appropriate translator and send the data to the ATS CM4D database where it is immediately available for reporting.

In the event that multiple configurations are used for translating multiple data formats, DataSmith Batch will consult the Validation instructions to distinguish the different data formats and apply the appropriate translator. These Validation instructions are created by the user with the DataSmith.

Upon processing a data file, DataSmith Batch will place it a designated 'outbox', such as a subfolder of the inbox. If there is an error in the data file rendering it unable to be processed, DataSmith Batch will place the file in a designated 'error box,' accompanied by a detailed log file similar to the Output Summary in DataSmith.

3 Creating Templates

3.1 Image Files

Once the nominal data is in the database the next step in using ATS CM4D is typically developing a report template using the ATS CM4D classic interface. The first step of creating a template is usually the importing of a 3-D CAD image for visualization of the part or assembly for which data is to be reported. ATS CM4D accepts 2 formats of CAD file for importation: IGES (.igs file extension) and VRML (.wrl file extension). IGES files are used for viewing wireframe images inside ATS CM4D. VRML files are used for viewing tessellated, or solid, images. ATS CM4D also accepts 2-D image file formats, such as Bitmap, J-peg and Tiff. ATS CM4D does not require an image file to report data.

Two applications are used for importing CAD files into a ATS CM4D document: WireSmith is used for importing IGES files, MeshSmith for VRML files. Both WireSmith and MeshSmith are ATS CM4D products, included with the ATS CM4D Classic interface. Two-dimensional image files can be inserted directly into a ATS CM4D document. Multiple image files can be used in a single template.

3.2 DataSets

After importing an image file into the template, the next step in creating a template is usually to select desired DataSets in order to define the desired DataSource for the document, the desired feature types and feature characteristics within the database, and the desired sample size to be reported. Features may be defined as surface points, holes, slots, vectors, distances or planes, for instance (10 feature types are available). Characteristics may be positions, X-Y-Z coordinates, diameters, widths or lengths, for instance (20 feature characteristics are available), represented as actuals or deviations. Complex statistical calculations may also be defined by using DataStacks, or multiple-level DataSets. Any desired sample size can be selected for reporting.

3.3 Annotations

Once the DataSets are selected, the desired annotations, such as charts, tables graphs, text boxes, shapes, and embedded objects can be created. These annotations will be attached to the 3-D image by leader lines, which are automatically associated with the features they describe, based on the annotation's DataSource (when using 2-D image files, leader lines must be attached manually). Each annotation is a highly customizable object inside the document, able to hold variables, such as statistics, data, alarm notifications, descriptions and labels.

The annotation object can hold as much or as little information as desired, and can take any size or position within the template the user deems appropriate. Any object can also be copied for duplication within the same, or another, template. Any number of annotations can be placed on a single template, and the annotations can be arranged in any manner desired without losing the leader lines and their attachments to associated features within the image (when using 2-D image files, leader lines must be re-attached manually).

A single template can contain an unlimited number of sheets, each containing a separate image file with associated annotations. Any object within a sheet can be used as a hyperlink to another sheet within the template.

4 Viewing Data
4.1 Viewing Data Inside Templates

Once the database is populated and a report template is created, the template can be used for viewing data and printing PDF reports using ATS CM4D Classic, ATS CM4D User and Web Template Control.

4.1.1 Viewing Data Using ATS CM4D Classic and ATS CM4D User

To view data using ATS CM4D Classic and ATS CM4D User, simply browse to the desired template document and open the document from within the application. The template will automatically be populated by data according to the pre-selected query settings.

4.1.2 Viewing Data Using Web Template Control

To view data using Web Template Control (WTC) the template document must first be made a 'managed' document from within ATS CM4D Classic. The managed document will be available to users in PDF format through a WTC web server. Web access to reports is protected by user authentication, controlled from within the Site Manager interface. To view a document, simply go to the designated web page using MS Internet Explorer, browse to the document, and select it. A new PDF document will be dynamically generated, showing the desired template, populated by the latest data according to the pre-selected query settings. If desired, the query settings can be changed and a new report dynamically generated.

4.2 Viewing Data Using ATS CM4Di

To view data using ATS CM4Di, a base document is first created within ATS CM4D Classic. This base document is similar to a template in that it contains formatting instructions for the graphic display of data. However, it is not necessary to create a separate base document for each part or assembly for which data is to be reported. Rather, the base document defines a menu of report types, feature characteristics and statistics that will be available for reporting on any part or assembly from within ATS CM4Di.

Within the ATS CM4Di interface, every part or assembly, or 'routine,' for which the database contains data is represented in a file tree structure. This tree structure is organized to reflect the assembly hierarchy of the database, so that 'assembly' routines can be organized with respect their 'sub-assembly' or 'component' routines. The hierarchy of the database is easily customizable within ATS CM4Di.

A report for a given routine is generated by double-clicking on the node for the desired routine and selecting the desired basic or advanced query parameters from the Query Control dialogue box. Associated annotations are automatically attached to the routine image and arranged according to the view of the image selected. Various tools and menus within the ATS CM4Di interface allow the user to modify the report in point-and-click fashion with respect to the view of the image (by zooming, rotating, panning, etc.), the report type, the feature characteristics reported, the data and statistics displayed, and other advanced query parameters. Finally, the report can be saved off or printed to PDF or a printer.


 

Typical Usage Senario



     



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