A manufacturer of carbon products approached Current Directions to automate their time and attendance system. They were currently using a system of manual punch clocks. The information from the clocks was key-entered once a week. It was slow, expensive, and open to clerical error. The company was currently using a host Motorola 911 UNIX system and they wanted any new system to be incorporated into the old. They also requested a buzzer signal at the clock stations so employees would know when they might clock out.
An Intermec 9154 crossbar controller was connected to their host Motorola 911 UNIX system with a SYMIX manufacturing software system. SYMIX provided a software module to collect information from the 9154 in a specified format. Three Intermec 9560 transaction managers were connected to the controller. Each employee was given a badge with a unique bar-code identification number. By scanning their bar-code, their arrival and departure times were instantly recorded.
The standard SYMIX compatible IRL (Intermec Reader Language) program that came with the module was enhanced to continuously display the current time, as well as to activate buzzers, controlled by the 9560, at designated times. The Current Directions team also developed and implemented a utility to synchronize the three readers to the UNIX systems clock nightly. Finally, a utility was provided to upload and compile IRL programs directly from the host UNIX platform in order to ease the process of installing updates to the IRL programming.
The new system streamlined both the collection and processing of the time and attendance information. The clerical key-entry is totally eliminated, along with the potential errors that step could create. Any administrative time spent verifying these records has been cut. Because of the greater accuracy, employees have fewer complaints about their paycheck. Because the employees have the convenience of an audible alarm signaling the end of their shift, there is no questioning of the correct time. This easy-to-use system was seamlessly incorporated into the company's existing system. It saved them manhours, money and aggravation.