"The art of fiction is to invent things that are not true. Our task is to invent them in such a way that they come true!"
In recent years, the traditional metals market has come under increasing pressure to invest in IT and digitalization by its customers and new emerging technologies. On this long road to digitization, some fiction was sometimes needed to overcome the obstacles faced by metals producers. Together with FutureLab, PSI Metals is constantly working on the functions of tomorrow, which still seem somewhat fictitious today. In a dynamic and visual way, the new PSImetals release 5.16 focuses on flexibility and configurability instead of hard customization. These real innovations of tomorrow and functions on the brink of fiction are already available to PSI’s customers today.
With the new release, PSI offers a list of innovations that are oriented to the needs of the customers in order to help them to enhance their business. In addition to several smaller but valuable further developments, there are five major innovations that are intended to improve the usability, configurability and graphical representation of the PSImetals standard and its project-specific extensions.
What is special about the PSImetals release 5.16?
In Release 5.16 we have several larger and smaller extensions along different process areas. There are five really “heavy” new cross-sectional features that we hope will influence all of our day-to-day projects and further support our product-driven methodology.
What was the aim of the release?
With the new release we increasingly wanted to address the topic of click design and configurability of PSImetals in general. For example, it is a typical behavior when our users want to add an additional view or functionality to the standard screen that is completely project specific. With the new functionality, it is possible to add a button anywhere on the screen and thus link actions to the business logic in a purely configurable manner.
Therefore it was desirable to separate the standard code from the project-specific code?
There has been a big change in our methodology and in the way we implement things and especially in the way we deal with the standard and project-specific codes. With the new release we focus on configurability instead of customization and the possibility for our customers to define their processes independently without changing the standard code.
The PSImetals Flow Configurator is the best example for today's function at the edge of fiction. By simply re-orchestrating the so-called “bricks”, this stand-alone application enables the configuration of the process flows instead of a lengthy implementation effort to customize the packages.
The standard PSImetals version already offers several processes as configurable flows. As a matter of fact, the user has access to a library with all standard and project-specific functions, which are defined as standard and non-standard bricks. A graphical editor supports the user in displaying flows graphically by dragging and dropping a brick into a flow and thus developing individual process flows without affecting the standard code.
Through this consequent separation of PSImetals’ standard functionality and project-specific features, the PSImetals Flow Configurator offers a way of adding custom functionality and avoiding high customization costs. In addition, the GUI-controlled flow configuration creates more visibility and transparency of the business logic.
Combined with the PSImetals Flow Configurator, the introduction of Configurable Actions and View Parameters are the final steps by PSI to making the GUI components such as screens and views fully configurable.
The new PSImetals Configurable Actions function allows the system integrator and/or the end user to add and configure predefined actions to a view without coding. Although it looks like fiction, there is no magic involved. All already defined actions are stored in a system-wide repository that can be enriched by a system integrator with new actions, action groups or go-to actions. They can then be easily added to the views via the GUI configuration.
Hand in hand with Configurable Actions, the PSImetals View Parameters feature enables system integrators in particular to configure certain views without coding and re-deployment of the client. Depending on the view type, the user can set a large number of parameters for a view, such as load mode, filtering mode as well as initial and fixed terms.
The fiction of yesterday and the reality of today is the introduction of the new PSImetals Mobile Logistics Business Screens Material Overview, Location Tracking, MoT Overview, Transport Terminal and Load Overview. With their help, the plant employees now receive mobile support in areas where a full typical production life cycle takes place.
Since the previous mobile applications had some shortcomings, PSI now offers a solution based on the new PSI Web Device Framework (WDF) that is not restricted to specific mobile devices or screen resolutions. Consequently, the new web device framework runs on every mobile device and on every common browser. A responsive design increases the user experience and improves the usability of the applications.
The standard applications provided can be easily enhanced according to customer needs. Furthermore completely new mobile apps can be developed within the WDF. Customer’s fiction are set no boundaries.
The PSImetals Plant Monitor offers configurable graphical data display of plant areas and thus increases its operation efficiency. This requirement was a minor weak point of the PSImetals standard in the past.
The Plant Monitor is based on the PSI Framework components for process control and graphical representation, which in turn are fully integrated with the Click Design functions. By visualizing the current process status in production, different perspectives on the activities within the plant, e.g. insights into the current stock situations, KPIs like current shift OEE, material flow volumes between the lines, etc., can be easily displayed.
Similar to the new PSI Web Device Framework the new Plant Monitor can be seen as a building kit that allows customer solutions within a standard environment. Customer requirements paired with the experience of PSI Application Consultants will push this new way of using PSImetals in new spheres.
The "more" of configurability increasingly requires better management of the associated master and configuration data. The new PSImetals Master Data Management helps users to better organize and control the implementation of these often sensitive changes in an advanced way.
To manage partial changes to master data together with necessary synchronization between development and productive systems, PSImetals 5.16 introduces the concept of Change Sets, which represents a consistent subset of configuration change data. This new feature helps several workgroups to organize changes to master data and to transfer individual Change Sets to other systems. Faster updates without interrupting other areas are the result.
You will find more detailed information about previous releases within the customer area. Please login first. | customer area...