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What is Roll Tracking
What is in TRAQ Manager?
What are Web Services?
Does .NET applications look like Web Applications?
What is RFID?
What is Fault Tolerance?
How long does it take to bring the system up after a failure?
What is TRAQ Internet?
What is fax on demand?
Does TRAQ Manager run on MS-SQL and Oracle?

This document is intended to answer some of the most common questions concerning roll tracking and TRAQ Manager in particular. This document assumes that the reader has some familiarity with the paper industry and the reader possesses a basic conceptual understanding of computer terminology and operating systems such as Windows.

What is roll tracking?

Roll tracking is the process of scheduling and managing the flow and routing of the paper produced by a paper mill. This process usually begins at the dry end of the paper machine, where the jumbo reel of paper is actually wound. The tracking process ends when the rolls, pallets and reams of paper are loaded on vehicles to be shipped to the customer. TRAQ Manager is a computerized roll tracking system. It uses computers to track rolls from the time they are ordered right up to their final shipment.

Roll tracking systems are commonly known as Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES).

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What's in TRAQ Manager?

TRAQ Manager is Wrapmation's roll tracking system running on industry standard PCs and operating systems. TRAQ Manager tracks manufacturing processes and production from order entry to shipment. The system can include software modules for:

  • order entry
  • production planning/office
  • shipping/office
  • laboratory (Quality Data)
  • paper machine dry end
  • winder
  • rewinder
  • super calendar
  • re-reeler
  • sheeter and cutter
  • palletizer
  • coater
  • wrapline
  • automatic storage and retrieval systems
  • beater/pulper
  • clamp trucks with radio terminals

Wrapmation also provides most of the hardware necessary for implementation, including PCs, environmentally protective enclosures, printers, barcode scanners and radio terminals for clamp trucks.

TRAQ Manager integrates Man Machine Interfaces (MMI) such as WonderWare that interface with conveyors, Automatic Storage / Retrieval Systems and wraplines to manage the movement of the rolls throughout the entire mill.

TRAQ Manager does not track pricing information. This is left to third-party ERP and accounting type of packages .

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What are Web Services?

Web services are a new technology that makes it easier for different business software applications to talk with each other. Where the traditional web allows any person with a browser to visualize data published by an Internet site, web services allow any computer program equipped with the right interface to connect to any other program on the Internet that has been set up as a web service. The client program can then get data from the program providing the web service or ask it to perform some useful business task or transaction.

The different applications that communicate via web services may be:

  • owned by the same organization, by different organizations, or by different departments within the same organization
  • connected by any kind of private or public network, provided that it runs on Internet protocols
  • confined behind firewalls or open to the public Internet
  • running on a server, a PC, an embedded system or a mobile device
  • written in different programming languages and developed at different times for different purposes by different vendors or in-house IT departments

All web services rely on one key standard, the XML data description language. XML is key because it provides a common format for the data that is exchanged by the different applications connecting through web services. Most web services also require the following basic, widely supported standards:

  • SOAP, a protocol (specially designed for web services and running on top of familiar web protocols) that helps XML data to flow smoothly between applications
  • WSDL, a standard way of telling an application that wants to use a web service what to expect
  • UDDI, a standard way (not always used) for applications to locate specific web services they wish to use

More details about Web Services can be found at Web Services FAQ

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Does .NET applications look like Web Applications?

No. .NET is an enabling  technology for applications to exchange data. The look and feel of .NET application is no different from any other Windows application.

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What is RFID?

What is RFID and how can we implement this in our mill. RFID technology has been hailed as a next-generation bar code, allowing companies to handle inventory more efficiently.

An RFID "tag" is a special radio frequency emitting microchip that can wirelessly broadcast information about itself, such as its location and its origin. Each tag--experts say there could be billions of them within the next several years--has a unique number, or electronic product code.

There are many applications for RFID to track mill inventory. First, if RFID tags are installed into the core at the core cutting room, we can identify the size and type of each core. A whole rack of cores can be scanned by waving a antenna over the rack. The cores can be scanned as they are inserted into the winder to ensure the core types and sizes match the planned patterns. Then an antenna installed at the wrapline can be used to identify the roll at the wrapline -- eliminating the traditional coretags. It may also be possible to equip the clamp truck with antennas that can scan the RFID tags in the core. Customers can check-in rolls by scanning the RFID tag at receiving and consumption.

More details about RFID can be found at RFID FAQ

UPM RFID is a supplier of paper industry standard RFID systems at RFID for paper industry

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What is fault-tolerance?

Fault-tolerance a generic term for a concept of having a computer system that can survive the loss of a part of the system and yet still maintain data integrity and system functions, possibly in a limited capacity.

There are many approaches to achieving fault tolerance but there is no single best solution.  Each solution has it advantages and disadvantages and these must be weighed to come out with a solution that best meets your needs.  

Wrapmation does not have a single fault tolerant solution so we do not force you to adopt our solution.  We customize a fault tolerance solution for each system that best fits your needs. 

We do have one main criteria for selecting a fault tolerant solution.  We insist that the solution is based mainstream industry standard and the solution is non-proprietary. 

The following describes some typical solutions that are available:

Solution one

Use two (or more) servers in simultaneous operation. One server is designated as the primary. This primary server is responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the system. The secondary server or servers (or mirror server) is constantly updating itself with information from the primary server, thus the term mirroring. Its data is an exact duplicate of the primary server's data. If the first server malfunctions for any reason, then the secondary server takes over for the primary, and begins servicing the system. Depending on the technology this transfer may be manually done or completely automatic.

During this time, the (former) primary server is repaired or replaced. Then it becomes the secondary server once it is returned to service.

Solution two

Another fault-tolerant technology uses a computer with redundant components. If any component (power supply, disk drive, CPU, fan, etc.) fails, a stand-by component automatically takes over.

Solution three

 Clustering uses several computers that share an array of disk drives.  These computers shares the work load.  The array of disk drives consists of several drives in a RAID configuration so that if one drive fails, the array continues to work without any loss of data.  If one computer in the cluster fails, the others automatically assume the load of the failed computer.  

Wrapmation implements highly fault-tolerance in its system installations because we understand that roll tracking is critical to the operation of the paper mill.

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How long does it take to bring the system up after a failure?

In most cases, a workstation failure is resolved by either a reboot or a replacement of the workstation

In rare cases of server failure, a back up server takes over the load.

If a total disaster should happen, such as a fire destroying a computer room, a remotely installed back up server is receiving a differential backup from the main servers every 10 minutes. This server can be promoted on line within minutes losing the last 10 minutes of transactions (rolls loaded, orders entered). These transactions are simply reentered and everything continues to run without the main servers.

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I've heard talk about TRAQ Internet. What is it?

TRAQ Internet is Wrapmation's web-enabled component of TRAQ Manager. TRAQ Internet allows the user to access information via the world-wide-web, the Internet or an Intranet. The user has access to the same information and in virtually the same manner as when accessing the system from a local terminal. The only major difference is that the information is now available to anyone who has web access to the Internet …anywhere in the world! This is all possible due to HTML and Java applet technology. Wrapmation is on the leading edge of information technology, and was founded in order to make this technology available to the pulp and paper industry.

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What is Fax-on-Demand?

Fax-on-Demand is the concept of calling up a fax server using a touch-tone telephone, requesting certain documents, and then specifying a fax number where you would like to receive them.

In operation, it's simple: the user calls up the TRAQ Manager fax server and navigates through menu options by pressing appropriate keys on the touch-tone keypad. When users have selected one or more documents or reports that they wish to receive, they supply the telephone number of a fax machine where these selected documents or reports are to be sent. Once this is done, the user hangs up and waits for the documents to arrive. It's automated and it's practical. It also eliminates the need for special equipment or software at the user's site. Training is much easier than it would be using alternative methods of information transmittal.

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Does TRAQ Manager run on MS-SQL and Oracle?

Oracle and MS-SQL are excellent products with proven stability and wide acceptance. 

TRAQ Manager run natively on MS-SQL or Oracle using SQL stored procedures and triggers.

Compatibility with other databases such as DBII is not a problem since Wrapmation has developed drivers can read and write to DB II and other databases. These drivers work either directly or via ODBC

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"Touch Tone" is a registered trademark of AT&T
"Windows® is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.

LAST UPDATED: 2007-02-23

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TRAQ Manager and Load at Departure are trademarks of Wrapmation Inc.
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