Product - BackStaff
BackStaff is a powerful, lightweight industrial instant messaging system that can support your continuous improvement program within your facility. BackStaff extracts data from existing data sources including historians, manufacturing execution systems, custom databases, excel spreadsheets, SCADA application and directly from equipment. It transforms data into meaningful information that can then be acted on. Individuals subscribe to the information that they are interested in.
BackStaff is a feature rich product with easy to configure and use functionality. BackStaff integrates data with a client’s organizational structure.
BackStaff provides an organizational model that is used to defined roles for access to data, editing / configuration and hierarchical structure. The hierarchical structure is used for escalation purposes in the case a user does not respond to an event in a timely manner. The user model includes the ability to add client contact information, including a picture for use in the instant messaging capability. The organizational model is how users are connected or linked to information. They are not linked by their name but rather by their institutional role within the organization – second shift operator, quality inspector, process engineer or plant manager.
BackStaff manages both KPI and Events. Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are used all over the plant. BackStaff provides a uniform method of capturing those KPI’s from process equipment, historian, databases and manual input. The collection of those KPIs can be done ad-hoc (on demand), trigger by time or another event. Production, manufacturing and business events can also be captured. Those KPI’s and events are not only capture but “owned” by different organizational roles with the company, such as the plant manager or the second shift operators. Further, individuals within their roles can subscribe to KPI’s and Events, monitoring and reacting to both good and unfortunate events that occur within manufacturing. The occurrence of events, can trigger an associated task to be assigned to an individual or group of individuals.
Task Management is a key functionality of BackStaff. Tasks can be assigned automatically by the trigger of events or alarms associated with KPI’s. Task can also be assigned manually by a supervisor to a subordinate, selecting from lists of appropriate tasks or a task can be created ad-hoc for an individual. Tasks have due date, priorities, start time, escalation and other parameters built in. These parameters private for the systematic monitoring of events and automatic escalation of an event in the case the task is overdue. The escalation rules are flexible and allow for some customization of the level of escalation and the amount of “overage” on time that triggers an escalation. Tasks management is managed by security to prevent task that a subordinate isn’t qualified to perform a task, to have that task assigned to them. Tasks are manageable through BackStaff’s instant messaging system.
BackStaff instant messaging system is an industrial social network. BackStaff IMS allows users to create groups and join groups if enabled by the administrator. This creates a very collaborative environment allowing users of similar job classes (all mechanics, all second shift employees, all quality management) to share information to the group. All communications are monitored and logged both to prevent improper use of the system but also to associate and create a log of conversation and notes as part of record for a device, piece of equipment, organization or other grouping. The uses of this environment are endless. In addition to plant personnel participating in a conversation, equipment (IoT) can contribute input to the conversation and record. Further, as equipment becomes more aware, it will be possible to direct questions to the equipment regarding performance and status!
BackStaff provides a secure environment with integration to Active Directory or standalone security models. BackStaff’ s collaboration environment can be implemented completely with an intranet.
BackStaff data is written to a MS SQL Server database. BackStaff include many configurable reports that can be filtered by time / date, shift, equipment, process, lot / batch id, process order and other key fields. Some of the reports included are:
Deviation Report – a configurable report showing deviations
Completed Tasks – a configurable report showing all completed tasks
Event Report – a configurable report detailed all events or a particular group of events
BackStaff reports are written SQL Server Reporting Services and can be customized. Additional reports are easily added to BackStaff.
New Advanced Capabilities
IPG is continuing to enhance BackStaff based with features requested by its rapidly growing customer base. Some new advanced capabilities include:
Process TV providing the ability to view in real time process graphics
BackStaff Mobile IMS for Android and iPhones
BackStaff is a very scalable solution for the enterprise supporting many different types of clients and handheld devices. BackStaff support English, Spanish and Portuguese languages. BackStaff supports both Hyper-VTM and VMware®.
BackStaff Server requires:
Java SE 8+
Dual-Core Processor (32-bit or 64-bit)
16GB RAM (requirement vary by usage)
10GB free HD space (requirements vary by usage)
Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Express or above in Standard or Enterprise editions in 32-bit and 64-bit architectures
BackStaff Client requires:
Java SE 6+
Dual-Core Processor (32-bit or 64-bit)
4 GB RAM