In this article, you will learn:

  • How to share a serial number, work order number or other dynamic data between apps

Manufacturing apps are meant to improve one operation on your shop floor.

At the same time, many manufacturers want to automatically direct operators to a specific app based on a work order scan or serial number input. They do not want operators to be forced to determine the next operation themselves.

To accomplish this, Tulip recommends that you create a "routing app", or an app that is dedicated to sending operators to the correct app within your account. 

Within this routing app, you can enforce rules around which apps should be accessible to the operator based on the status of the work order.

However, this can also create a difficult experience for the operator. 

  1. The operator would be forced to scan or enter the work order once in order to get directed to the correct app. 
  2. Then, they would need to scan or manually input data again when they open the work instructions app in order to track cycle time around that specific work order.

In order to fix this, you need to be able to pass data from one app to another automatically. You can do this with a "Operator Assignments" Table. This Table tracks the active work order or serial number based on the badge ID of the operator.

You can also do this on a station by station basis. But, in this example, we will organize the active assignments by operator.

Here is how we will do it:

  1. Create the "Operator Assignments" Table with 2 fields: ID and active work order/serial number.
  2. Create a "routing app".
  3. When you want to direct the operator to a new app via a "Complete" button, store the work order or serial number in the "Operator Assignments" Table.
  4. When the operator opens the second app, you will be able to automatically load the correct value from the "Operator Assignments" Table. It will be saved when the app is completed. 

Let's get started! Before using this tutorial, you should first read the "Overview to Tables" and build your first Table with this guide. This is an intermediate-level tutorial.

Creating the Assignments Table

Create a new Table called "Operator Assignments". It should have two fields:

  • ID (text)
  • Work Order ID (text)

It will look like this.

You can use any unique identifier for the second column, like batch number or serial number.

Next, you will need to write the logic to do one of two things:

  1. If the operator's ID already exists in the Table, overwrite the assigned work.
  2. If the operator's ID does not exist in the Table, create a record and assign them a specific work order ID.

Create A Routing App

There are many ways to create a routing app, but the fundamental logic is the same:

  1. Operator scans or inputs a unique ID on the first step
  2. Based on that input, the app presents the status of that work order/serial number/batch number
  3. The operator selects the operation they would like to complete. The app does not allow them to proceed unless certain operations have been completed beforehand.

You can determine the app design and logic. Here is how to write the logic for the "Complete" button that sends an operator to the correct app. There may be multiple "Complete" buttons in your routing app, and you will be able to similar logic on each one.

First, create a record placeholder called "Operator Assignment" so you can load a record.

Second, use the "Create or Load" action under "Table Records" to ensure the trigger logic will work whether the operator is receiving their first assignment or if they are starting a new job.

Use the badge ID from the active operator via "App Info" as the ID for the table record.

  • "Table Records" "Create or Load Record" by ID: "App Info" "Badge ID" into: "Operator Assignment"

Next, update the value of the work order ID field using a variable from the app. In this case, the variable is called "work_order_ID".

  • "Data Manipulation" "Store" data: "Variable" "work_order_ID"
  • location: "Table Record" "Operator Assignment" "Work Order ID"

Finally, complete the app and send the operator to the correct app. In this case, the app is called "Machine Auditor". 

  • "App" "Complete Then Change To" "Machine Auditor"

Loading The Correct Value In A Second App

The operator will now press "Begin" and open a second app. You will want to ensure that the correct work order info is tied to that usage of the app.

To do this, add a trigger that fires on the opening of the first step. Then you will be able to load the correct work order number based on the badge ID again.

First, add a record placeholder called "Operator Assignment", just like the previous app.

Then, create a trigger and load the record based on the badge ID under "App Info". This trigger is very similar to the one in the app above.

  • "Table Records" "Load Record" by ID: "App Info" "Badge ID"
  • into: "Operator Assignment"

Now, the work order ID from the previous app will be available via the field in the loaded Table Record.

Testing The System

To test this, add some Table Record text to the first step of the work instructions app (second app).

Select the "Operator Assignment" placeholder.

Then, open the routing app in the Tulip Player. Enter a work order ID, and select the correct button to be sent to the second app. Ensure the correct details are populated on the first step.

Further Reading

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