BlogSoftware That Delivers

Software That Delivers

By Gary Stokes
August 20th, 2020

WXS stands for “Warehouse Xperience System”. Aptly named for a system designed for user experience. The current capabilities of Pendant Automation’s WXS software fall in-line with a traditional WCS, however it includes not-so-traditional features and benefits. The software will enhance such processes as zone routing, sorter and merge management, scanner integration, machine control, print-and-apply, and weigh and dimension integration, and finally pick-to-light and put-wall management.

A web-based interface that reminds you of an easy-to-use app on your phone can be hosted either locally or through the internet. Hosted through the internet means you can access your data and system on any device with a web browser in any location with internet access. If it’s hosted locally due to heightened security concerns, you can access your WXS user profile as long as you’re on campus or on your company’s VPN.

What does your WXS user profile give you access to? Well, that depends on your role within the organization. WXS’s multi-user, multi-role feature allows you to set up unlimited users within multiple organizations who have access to certain WXS modules based on their role within the company. An engineer might need different modules than a maintenance technician, and an operator’s profile might look different than a programmer’s. An administrator can add users and modify what modules each user can access. If you’re an integrator and want to help your end-user monitor their system, request access for a user profile and keep an eye on things like scanner read rate, monitoring jams via video, and spare parts ordering.

Each user profile comes with a customizable dashboard that allows you to easily see things like “number of good reads” at a scan tunnel or “overall outbound throughput”. If you’re a maintenance technician, you can monitor alarms such as a “manual motor protector tripped”. Each dashboard can be equipped with an “Emergency Stop” button and “Global Start/Stop/Reset” buttons. Other menu items include system details, performance graphs, alarms & events, maintenance, reports, notifications manager, and host interface. System details provides a live graphical representation of the conveyor system showing the status of each conveyor and field device. You can monitor your performance showing actual rates versus your target over a specified time period. You can monitor alarms (things maintenance people care about) and events (things operators care about) with an alarms & events hit list that tells you for example, how many times a jam occurred on lane 3 over a specified time period. In the maintenance module, you can pull up the motor list and set them to “Operator Mode” allowing you to “Start/Stop/Jog/Reset” any motor in the system from your device. You can set up PDF reports to be automatically emailed daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly to show for example, last week’s outbound throughput. The PDF reports are meant to be more informational, whereas the notifications manager keeps you posted on more urgent matters. You can set up text message alerts to notify an operator of a jam or a maintenance person of a PLC loss of communications. Finally, the host interface module allows to access the middleware logs and even includes a scripting editor for messaging updates. Those are all of your base modules. Dependent upon your system requirements, you may also have access to scanner, merge, sortation, zone routing, pick-to-light, put-wall, weigh & dimension, and print-and-apply modules that will allow you to view critical data and modify operations for those processes. For example, you can edit what items should be sent to a specific sorter divert. You can also enter new barcodes for the scan tunnel to detect and specify where it needs to go.

Are your maintenance technicians and operators tired of guessing at the cause of jams? Pendant is now offering through its WXS a “Site Vision” camera system that is triggered by a jam photo eye. Once triggered, the camera records 60 seconds prior to the jam and 60 seconds after the jam occurred. These videos are automatically stored and viewable at any time for teams to go in and determine the root cause of jams. Not only that, but the camera system can be used for security purposes as well with access to live feeds.

Licensing fees. Others have them, we don’t. In developing the WXS, Pendant uses open source code. That gives programmers access to the code allowing them to make system changes as needed to serve the operators, engineers, and maintenance technicians better. Of course, Pendant will help make those changes if requested, but we think it’s nice that the user is empowered to make their own changes as well. The corresponding PLC program is all yours too. No password protection. When you go in the PLC to add a motor to the system, the WXS self-writes the code for the added motor into the Motor Control module so you have immediate access to that motor in the WXS. This eliminates software programming hours when making changes to the system.

Are you interesting in branding your own software solutions for your end-user customers? Pendant is encouraging collaboration on next-gen software solutions that can easily be added as a module to our WXS platform. Let’s work together to solve end-user’s problems with optimization software and a friendly interface. The slogan “Software That Delivers” came from the fact that the software will help end-user customers get packages out of the warehouse and ultimately on the doorstep of their final customers. The software helps end-users physically deliver packages, but it also delivers cool features and benefits to the end-users in the process.

Software That Delivers…

  • Control
  • Simplicity
  • A User-Friendly Interface
  • Open Source Code
  • Zero Licensing Fees
  • Customization
  • Live Graphics
  • Site Vision
  • Collaboration
  • Ownership
  • A Fair Price
  • Execution
  • A La Carte Modules
  • Process Optimization
  • Self-Writing Code
  • Version Control
  • User Empowerment
  • Easily Implemented Changes
  • Visibility
  • Data
  • Automation