HavenTechnik is a software and hardware technology and solutions provided based in Olivedale, Gauteng South Africa.
HavenTechnik delivered, in August 2019, custom software which enabled data capture from a local, PC based terminal to be posted to a web based warehousing application. Toxzen, a web applications developer based in WilroPark, Gauteng required a reliable application which would interact with a scale and a bio-metric sensor. These two hardware elements were interfaced to terminal running Windows 10.
The browser based warehousing application, as part of the order picking process, only allows known users to process a pick sheet. A biometric (fingerprint reader) is used for user enrollment and authentication, and the weight of the pallet being packed is provided as the serial output from a digital scale.
The biometric sensor is used to firstly enroll the authorized users and then verify them each time they processed a pick sheet. Since the weights of the product being loaded onto the pallets are known and can be averaged, the system would be able to determine, within variance, if the pallet was the correct weight. When the pallet is not the correct weight, finalizing the completed pick sheet can be suspended until corrective action is completed.
The custom software is in the form of a secured, system tray application. Running out of sight, this ensured minimal interference with other PC based operations, and security on the app ensures end users would not be able to alter its operation once running.
When the web application required interaction with either of the two hardware elements i.e. either the biometric sensor or the scale, a get request is used to initiate the system tray application. This method of data extraction is secure, since no change is made to the system and no change can be affected. The get request only retrieves information and posts back. The system tray application manages the interaction with either of the two hardware elements. This includes their availability, initialization, data capture and managing the response ensuring a reply to the get response is handled expediently before a time out.
To ensure that the web-based application can interact intuitively with the local machine, the get request return also provides status and error messaging. This provides useful confirmation details when an operation occurs successfully, but also diagnostic data when there are errors.
For example, if biometric verification failed explanatory details are provided in the AJAX return. Also, if for example the comport encountered an error, the AJAX return would detail the relevant system messaging.
This intuitive, new form of where hosing application offers many benefits to customers namely improved security and accuracy on delivery as well as the potential to reduce shrinkage.
The system tray application written in .NET, incorporated the intuitive use of one HavenTechnik’s embedded products during development and testing. Since site access to an electronic scale was not possible, a DEVCC V40 was used to simulate the scale. Basing the output on the protocol used by the scale, a true to life facsimile of data was generated. This sped up development and enabled potential scenarios to be tested to cater to the varied outcomes of day to day operations.