The BellHawk DEXBox shop-floor data collection software is used to exchange data between BellHawk and shop-floor process control and test equipment as well as with RFID portals and fixed-station barcode scanners.
The DEXBox software runs in a ruggedized Windows IIOT processor and consists of a special version of our MilramX software, which manages the information exchange with BellHawk, plus custom Data Transfer Objects (DTOs) that handle the translation of shop-floor data, such as the detection of an RFID tag on a specific RFID antenna, to the world of BellHawk, where the RFID tag detection translates to the movement of a specific container of material or asset.
These DTOs can capture data from the computers or PLCs used to run test stands, for inclusion in BellHawk's materials tracking and traceability history record. They can also take test or process control parameters for a specific work order operation and feed these to the shop-floor equipment, so this data does not have to be manually entered.
Where there is no buffering of the data output from the shop-floor equipment, such as is often the case with fixed station barcode or RFID tag readers, then we use a small ruggedized industrial IIOT computer to capture the data. This data is then picked up from the data capture computer by the DEXBox and relayed to BellHawk.
The DEXBox enables interaction between BellHawk, running in a remote data center, and shop-floor equipment running in one or more buildings. Even when BellHawk is run locally, the DEXBox serves to buffer data transferred between shop-floor equipment and BellHawk, so that this interaction does not interfere with rapidly responding to shop-floor data collection and barcode scanning using mobile computers.
One big benefit of the DEXBox architecture is the ability for KnarrTek to preload all the needed software into the DEXBox and any associated IIOT processors and then ship these to the clients site, ready to plug in. Then, provided that these processors have an external Internet connection, the staff of KnarrTek can remotely test and maintain this software for each client, as if it were any other "Cloud" based computing asset.