I work in the maint. dept of a manufacturing
facility. I do the Autocad drawings that the
maint. men use to fix and build things. I also
take care of the work orders that the operators of
the machinery hand in to use when a piece of equip
We currently have a paper based work order system
that is very primitive. It is a form where the
operator fills out the top half with date, name
piece of equip and what the problem is. Then...
when the maint. man has resolved the problem....
he is to describe what he did, the date fixed, and
how long it took. Then.... I get the form and
type all the info into a MS Access database so we
can pull reports out of it.
Needless to say...... there are many potential
problems with such a paper based system. People
fill out the wrong dates... or wrong codes for the
equip.... or maybe the paper just plain does NOT
get to my hands where I can type the info into the
database. Or maybe the hand writing is hard to
What we are investigating is how to improve this
system. What we envision is placing a few PC's on
the shop floor where any operator could walk up to
them and enter the problem in direct. Then a
printout would be produced that is handed to a
maint man. Then the maint man could fill in the
paper as to what was done and give it to me.....
or enter the resolution straight into a PC like
the operator did.
We already have in place a MS Exchange server and
Outlook 98 on all the PC's on the network. We
have been told that we could make a form in a
public folder such that the operator could fill
this in and it would then be emailed to a special
mail box, and then use VBA to "pull" the info off
the form and into and Access database.
The other option is to use a web server, CGI,
etc..... where the operator could fill in a form
thru a browser and the data inputted into a
I do NOT know much abt any of this technology.
Matter of fact... I really don't know the
difference between a web server (intranet?).....
and a MS Exchange type system. <sheepish grin>
Could someone please point me to a web page the
explains the diffs between both approaches in
Also..... what method would you advise leaning
towards and why?
The people on the shop floor are NOT computer
savvy and we like the idea of them using a browser
rather than Outlook. However.... we already have
Exchange in place.
As with all things there are trade offs both ways.
I am just hoping some of you more experienced
people would kindly enlighten us and give us some
knowledge and perspective. Thanks!!
BTW.... we are NOT against buying something off
the shelf as longs as it wasn't thousands of
dollars. Hundreds of dollars would be better. <G>
At least to see if the idea is workable.
We are somewhat worried that no matter how easy we
make this done electronically..... that the people
on the shop floor will refuse to use it and
continue to fill out paper or report problems word
of mouth. <G>
PS: I am posting this in the Linux newsgroup as
well as others cause I know this intranet stuff
can all be done easily using Linux, Apache, CGI,
Perl, MySql, etc..... altho I do NOT know how. <G>
Anyway.... I want Linux users input on this also
as that is an option with us too. <G>