Wireless Data Collection Choices

The Portable Manufacturing Assistant is an untethered plant floor concept that interfaces Visual EstiTrack with many more handheld and wireless devices. Handheld devices throughout the plant now connect wirelessly to Visual EstiTrack in real time to initiate terminal server sessions. As virtual Windows sessions, the connection and response is fast and efficient.

The Portable Manufacturing Assistant is an untethered plant floor concept that interfaces Visual EstiTrack with many more handheld and wireless devices. Handheld devices throughout the plant now connect wirelessly to Visual EstiTrack in real time to initiate terminal server sessions. As virtual Windows sessions, the connection and response is fast and efficient. The untethered user sees actual program screens for key EstiTrack operations such as physical inventory, time collection, shipping and receiving, purchasing, quality control, service and maintenance activities, and customer contact management. Using resized, existing screens that support those functions, Visual EstiTrack provides a real-time environment for handheld device users. The Portable Manufacturing Assistant brings wireless connectivity between Visual EstiTrack and any plant task in which a user would employ a handheld device. Using the terminal server client in the Pocket PC 2002 operating system, handheld devices operate as thin clients in the EstiTrack system via wireless LAN. The company uses 802.11 B, a wireless standard having both good throughput and good range. The Windows CE-based pocket PC technology is employed in EstiTrack for its wireless LAN technology. Using the terminal server feature in Windows 2000 Server, EstiTrack is capable of multiple Windows sessions running simultaneously. Authorized workers can be anywhere in the plant and wirelessly begin a terminal server client session. They are recognized as locally attached terminals and are capable of running a program as though they were sitting at a desktop terminal. The company will use a Palm-based device in conjunction with Symbol's bar code extension.