Create dynamic hierarchical categories to group devices together

XForms Cx includes a flexible hierarchical “categorization” system that you can use to group similar types of devices together.  You could, for example, categorize your devices by device type (e.g., mechanical, electrical, instruments, etc) and have multiple layers of device subtypes (such as motors, fans, conveyors, pumps, etc).  You could also use this feature to categorize your devices by area (e.g., building 1, floor 1, room 1a).  And you could even do both of these types of categorizations at the same time.

Set up as few or as many category types and sublevels that you wish to have

In fact, you could set up as many category types as you wish, organizing your devices in multiple ways, with full drill-down ability from the topmost category all the way down to a category endpoint as deep as you wish.  If this all sounds kinda complicated, it really isn’t.  It’s just hard to explain with words.  Or at least hard for me to explain 🙂

So perhaps it’s easier to explain using bullets and indents, like this:

  • Project XYZ
    • % Complete by Device Type
      • Mechanical Devices
        • Motors
        • Fans
        • Mechanical Valves
      • Electrical Devices
        • Switchgear
        • UPS
        • MCC
        • Digital Valves
      • Instruments
    • % Complete by Area
      • Building 1
        • 1st Floor
          • West Wing
            • Room 1-1
            • Room 1-2
          • East Wing
        • 2nd Floor
      • Building 2

Save lots of time by assigning your devices to these categories, and then assigning form templates (and % complete weights for each) to categories

A big time suck when setting up a Cx project is the time it takes to set everything up.  One of the culprits is the time involved in assigning blank form templates to your devices so that your field technicians pull up the correct forms they need to complete whenever they pull up a device they are about to commission.  The approach to doing this in XForms Cx is to first assign your form templates to your device type categories, and then assign your devices to the device type categories.  This is illustrated below.

View % complete for each category created with a few clicks on column charts

Once you set this up, and the field technicians start commissioning devices, the % complete calculations are performed automatically by the system, based on a simple algorithm explained in this post  These calcs roll up from an individual device all the way up to the topmost group, and you can view these on the Cx dashboard by just clicking on a graph column to drill down to a lower sublevel.

Dynamic grouping means you can move devices in and out of device types with automatic % complete recalcs

Let’s say you made a mistake on the front end when assigning your devices to your categories.  The Cx technician looks for a particular device on his smartphone but notices that its assigned to the wrong device type category (and thus has been assigned to the wrong blank forms).  He can quickly move it to a different category, fill out the correct blank Cx forms, and the system automatically recalculates % complete from the bottom up.  Try doing this in Excel 🙂

While our Cx system is by no means perfect and is still not fully functional, the approach we are taking is an approach of focusing on speeding up the process of project setup on the front end, coupled with automated partial % complete calculations that roll up from an individual device all the way up to the topmost grouping, in an automated and dynamic way.

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