IQMS app links production to smartphone

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ORLANDO, FLA. (April 16, 1:35 p.m. ET) — Want to monitor your production from your smartphone? IQMS has an app for that.

Even more, IQMS now makes an Android-powered tablet to monitor production from the injection press, as well as the app that everyone from the machine operator to engineers, salespeople and executives can monitor from tablets, smartphones and computers.

“We’ve really increased our mobility capabilities,” said President Randy Flamm.

IQMS, traditionally a software and monitoring specialist in enterprise resource planning and manufacturing systems, rolled out its new apps and its first-ever hardware production during NPE2012 in Orlando.

The company hired 40 more people in 2011 and is in the midst of an expansion at its base in Paso Robles, Calif., doubling its 30,000-square-foot facility with another 30,000-square-foot building next door.

IQMS still has its traditional software and management systems, but during the past few years apps, smartphones and tablets have changed the way people access data and the way that IQMS can deliver that data.

An IQMS app — purchased through its own app store — can build in all the monitoring information that its customers rely on, Flamm said. An app also makes it easier to access that data at any time, from a variety of devices.

New developments in computing equipment, meanwhile, opened the door for the new hardware business.

Flamm noted that IQMS has seen how often its customers needed to buy new touch screens for their press operating systems, simply because of the wear and tear they take during day-to-day use. Thanks to new “plug and play” computer circuits and hardware — along with Google’s open-access Android operating system for smartphones and pads — the business saw an opportunity to invest in hardware production.

The IQMS tablets are housed in a high-impact ABS case to stand up to manufacturing floor use, and run on IQMS’ app format. The tablet and app combination can even be used as a time clock for hourly workers.

Users can also download versions of the app to run on non-Android systems.

An IQMS tablet can also run wirelessly, allowing a company to place it on a forklift, for instance. Forklift drivers can receive an alert that a pallet is ready for pickup, scan the pallet when they arrive and get a message about where it must be delivered.

Customers buy a set number of apps from the store, and each app is linked just to that firm, which provides data security. The company has seen customers ordering up to 60 of the tablets at once since it opened its first sales to existing customers, Flamm said.