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Our Services

Automation and Control

Senior Yasha personnel have cut their teeth on various Automation and Control projects. Our strengths are:

  • using products from multiple vendors, sometimes on the same project
  • working across multiple process disciplines (batch, continuous, discrete)
  • working on specific or all stages of the SDLC
  • assuming various roles as the need arises, e.g. project management or technical lead

Yasha employees have gained these skills by working with, and continuing to work with, some of the giants in the field.

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Interfacing to High Level Systems

Our personnel have developed interfaces to high level production and business systems such as SAP, Lab Systems, Planning Systems, Optimisation Systems, Production Accounting Systems, Management Information Systems (MIS), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and various other third party systems. The interfaces were typically developed using various technologies, including, but not limited to: web services, third party TCP/IP protocols, DCOM, passive push/pull interfaces and custom database business rules (Oracle and MSSQL).

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Interfacing to Lower Level Systems

There are still many PC's out there running custom serial communication or TCP/IP based protocols to third party devices. Because a PC is used, it falls automatically in the custodianship of the IT department. Typically these are outdated PC's (pre Pentium-based technologies) that can no longer be supported. We have relieved several customers of such nightmarish situations, simply by migrating the PC-based drivers to the control layer, where it should be, resulting in a maintenance free, low cost and 100% PLC-based solution

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Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES)

Yasha personnel have worked on two major MES projects. Both involved the design, configuration, coding of the business rules as well as the development of nearly all the interfaces. In addition several custom applications have materialised as part of the deliverables, including a KPI Calculator Engine, a Mapping Tool for integrating diverse systems and an ETL tool for the scheduled aggregation of data from lower level systems into the MES. Yasha personnel are not only comfortable with MES-based international standards, emanating from the likes of the ISA, but have also designed compliant systems from first principles.

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Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

Yasha personnel have extensive experience on OEE. We have worked with existing products as well as engineered OEE based solutions from first principles. The latter is often necessary due to the inadequacy of products on the market, mainly in terms of reliability and the inability of integrating into a customers existing plant model.

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PLC Translation Services

Yasha has successfully created an automatic utility that translates Mitsubishi code to ControlLogix. We will shortly include other utilities, specifically Modicon to ControlLogix and Siemens S5 to ControlLogix. These utilities are used by us to translate code for customers based on an upfront agreed costing structure. As a deliverable the customer will receive an automatically generated code listing. As no translation can ever be 100%, it will be necessary to complete those areas that that could not be automatically generated; these will typically be highlighted with comments. A sanity check and full testing is recommended before the code is deployed.

Let us know of your requirements and we may consider creating such a utility in the near future.

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Utility Billing Applications

Yasha has developed an Eskom Megaflex Billing application for one of its strategic partners in the industry. Although there are a handful of installations at present, the product has great potential that can best be achieved by creating an entirely new generic billing application. Because of better market penetration it will result in a higher quality product for the end-client with better support and licensing options. We are eager to hear from potential clients as to their requirements for such a product.

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Management Information Systems (MIS)

An MIS is a computer based system that can collate business data into information that can be readily used to drive the decision making processes of an organisation. Yasha has worked on several projects where we have created complex business processes and rules, to support the visualisation of information, in either a Microsoft Reporting Services report or even the customer's portal.

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Technical Documentation

A document is an artifact that sits on an end-clients desk long after a project is over; well only if it is worth the paper it is written on. Yasha employees have years of experience in creating technical documentation that is professional and technically accurate. On some projects we have limited our involvement to creating a User Requirements Specification (URS) and Functional Design Specification (FDS) only, leaving the actual engineering to the system integrator. Besides the URS and FDS we have experience with creating most documents that typically arise during the SDLC of an engineering project.

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Technical Auditing (Control and Business Layer)

Based on our solid track record of delivering quality projects, Yasha offers a basic auditing service to clients for projects that are suspected to have a flawed or weak design. The process would involve reviewing all code at both the control as well as the business layer. The standards, the building blocks and the overall design will be vetted for any weaknesses. These will then be documented in a report that will also include suggestions on how to improve the design. Often project houses and engineers only realise that a project is in trouble when the maximum damage has already been inflicted, not only in terms of cost and time, but also in terms of reputation.

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Remote Support

With reliable and cheap bandwidth being the order of the day, it is becoming increasingly possible for companies, even small ones like us, to supply remote support services. Our service will be typically limited to information based systems that have a database component. Diagnostic and monitoring tools tailored for each site will be written that will on a periodic basis monitor the system health. Online checks, database tuning, archiving and backups will also be performed on a defined frequency. Most importantly suggestions to improve the system and keep it current will also be made from time to time; ensuring continuous improvement is the order of the day.

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Database Applications

Yasha engineers have extensive experience in designing and developing business solutions in both MSSQL and Oracle, as well as interfacing to these databases using a plethora of technologies. Often the database is perceived as a store of data rather then as being instrumental to the solution itself.

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Custom Applications (Windows and Web)

When it comes to the development of custom applications, .NET is our development language of choice, particularly C# and VB.NET for windows-based applications and ASP.NET for web development.

Prior to this, our engineers developed extensively in VB6 and C++ (MFC and ATL) and before that in Turbo Basic, Turbo Pascal and ANSI C. So good practices from yore still form an intrinsic part of any code we churn out.

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Serial Communication Drivers

See Interfacing to Low Level Systems
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TCP/IP Drivers

See Interfacing to Low Level Systems
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Project Methodology

A typical Software Engineering or Control and Automation project typically has a Software Design Life Cycle (SDLC), characterised by the following stages:

  • Project Planning
  • Requirements Definition
  • Design
  • Development
  • Internal Testing
  • Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT)
  • Commissioning
  • Site Acceptance Testing (SAT)
  • Maintenance and Support

The relationship of each stage to the others can be roughly described as a waterfall, where the outputs from previous stages serve as the initial inputs for the following stage. These in turn are combined with further information gathered or developed during the stage to produce specific outputs. The artifacts developed or used during each stage as well as the specific stages are largely project-dependent.

At Yasha, we will tailor our methodologies and services according to the size of the project, or the customers existing standards. A key differentiator is our capability to combine both our control layer and business layer skills to create a truly reliable and world class solution.