Build 21.4.3 has now been released (04/07/13).
This build has been tested in-house, however we cannot guarantee it to be problem free.
Please trial the new system before committing to it.
NOTE: To install this release you must be running version 21.3.12 or higher, if you are not already running that you must first upgrade to 21.3.12 before you can upgrade to 21.4.3. Version 21.3.12 can be downloaded from the download section.
The major changes in this release are:-
- The scheduler has been enhanced to introduce four new features:
- Container merging – the merging system has been enhanced to provide for merging of side-effect containers. The term ‘side-effects’ is referring to methods that create more than one output. In such methods the ‘trunk’ of the method is referred to as a ‘container’. Merging these can lead to tighter schedules in some circumstances.
- Lot size – a ‘lot size’ can be associated with a step in a method. When this is set, it tells the planning system to break up large quantities into ‘chunks’ of at least the lot size and to run those chunks in parallel for the purposes of allocating resources. This means if there are resource choices available several chunks can be running at once and thereby reduce the elapsed time required. This is similar to the ‘max batch’ feature but applies to a single step within a works order and only affects resource allocation.
- Cost of delay – a new default has been introduced (“Delay Cost Per Day” in the XP class) that adds a nominal cost to a job that is being delayed waiting for a resource to become available. This is only significant when there are resource choices available and some choices are available sooner than others. In this context, setting this default will bias the ‘best’ choice picking towards solutions that do not have to wait as long, even if other choices are slightly cheaper.
- Time tolerances – Match-IT already has the ability to set tolerances on material quantities that you consider ‘good enough’, e.g. if a method calls for 110mm of a material and you have a piece in stock that is 109mm, if the tolerance was 1mm it would be considered ‘good enough’. This notion of ‘close enough’ has been extended to resource times. You can now set a tolerance percentage against setup and run times in your methods (or choose to use a global default – “Setup time tolerance” in the MC class and “Run time tolerance”). The factory setting is 5%. What this means is when the planning system is looking for, say 2 hours of time, and it finds a slot of 1 hour and 55 minutes it will be treated as “close enough” and consider the time allocation to be complete (5% of 2 hours is 6 minutes). This is reflecting the fact that in the ‘real-world’ time actually spent rarely exactly matches the method. This tolerance feature helps to stop small (un-usable) time slots being created and thus makes your overall schedules tighter.
- The notion of a ‘theme’ has been introduced. This provides an easy way to change your font and colour options as a ‘unit’. There are four themes pre-installed:
- Modern – is the new theme recommended to provide the most stable experience (plain white window backgrounds)
- Classic – the theme as it was in the previous release (blue gradient coloured window backgrounds)
- Legacy – the theme as it was originally (using MDI and grey coloured window backgrounds)
- Custom – this is initially just a copy of ‘Modern’, but you can edit it to your preferences. This is recommended rather than edit the other themes (which you can do if you wish).
There is also a ‘None’ theme. This just exposes your previous system level defaults. This is the theme initially set after an upgrade. The theme can be changed by editing the “Look And Feel Theme” default (in the ZW class).
- For some time Match-IT has moved away from using the Windows MDI system (Multiple Document Interface). If you prefer this way of working it can be re-instated by setting the “Use MDI conventions” default (in the ZW class). This can also be set in the theme, and is so set in the ‘Legacy’ theme.
- The units of measure system has been enhanced to introduce the notion of ‘preferred units’ when showing/entering material quantities in the works order system. The preferred units are those implied by how you choose to format a quantity for the material involved. For example, if the material reference units are ‘Each’ but you choose to format it using weight (e.g. using %B – total weight), then the preferred units will be weight.
- By far the biggest change is internal: we have moved to a more modern dialog rendering engine (Clarion for Windows version 8) and re-factored the internals to allow for future plug-in replacement of the dialog drawing system. You will notice a number of minor visual differences as a result of this, but nothing significant from a usage point of view.
- The report designer (List-&-Label) has been updated to the latest version (18).
- A new setup program is now used to create the Match-IT installation program (Setup Builder version 7). This allows the setup programs to be digitally signed so you can be assured they have not been tampered with when you download them.
- Some internal changes have been made as a step towards offering a system using an SQL back-end.
- When run under a 64-bit version of Windows, Match-IT can now make use of twice as much memory (4GBytes instead of 2GBytes).
- Pressing Ctrl-F5 or Alt-F5 will not only force the form to update but will also clear all Match-IT’s internal caches (local copies of database records). This is useful if you know some other station has changed something and you want to see the changes immediately. (This is not necessary if you are using the notifier system.)