Monday, 29 October 2012

Finding infrequently used formulas and making them obsolete.

As time goes by most sites tend to find they have an ever increasing number of formulas which can become quite difficult to manage effectively and can make searching for specific formulas more difficult.  ColorPoint provides the ability to mitigate this problem by making formulas obsolete which removes them from search results while still allowing them to be viewed and re-introduced if necessary.  Sometimes it can be hard to decide which formulas should be made obsolete and time consuming to make a large number of formulas that can’t be selected in a single search obsolete.

The solution

ColorPoint Manager contains an administrative level feature that shows which formulas have not been used since a given date and allows you to make them obsolete all at once.  This feature can be launched by going to Admin menu and selecting ‘Obsolete unused formulas’
From here you will be presented with a textbox the date you want to use to define which formulas you consider to be obsolete.  By default we say that if a formula hasn’t been used in the 2 years before today then there’s a good chance you might not need it in the immediate future either.  You can of course adjust this date to increase or decrease the number of formulas being made obsolete.  Pressing the ‘Find Formulas’ button will start the process of looking for formulas which haven’t been used in the specified time frame.  This step may take a moment depending on the number of formulas on the system but you can see progress as it goes and cancel the operation at any point.

Why are designs there?

When you make a formula obsolete it means that you can no longer create jobs from any design that contains a formula which is obsolete, so the designs box shows you which designs will be made obsolete as a result of the selected formulas being made obsolete.  If there is a design that you know you will be using in the near future then if you un-tick it then the formulas it contains will also be automatically un-ticked as well.  Similarly formulas can also be un-ticked directly if you know you will need them soon.
Once you have selected the appropriate formulas and designs are ready to proceed, you simply press the ‘Make Obsolete’ button which will show you a confirmation dialogue asking you if you wish to continue.  The process of making formulas and designs obsolete may take a little while depending on how many items are being processed.

How do I get them back?

If it turns out that you do need to use one of the formulas you made obsolete then reintroducing them is a simple process.  On the formula page select ‘Include’ from the obsolete drop down in the filter panel which will include all obsolete formulas in the search results.
Once you have found the formula you want to use simply double click it and then select ‘Re-introduce Formula’ from the menu on the left hand side. 
This procedure can also be used to re-introduce designs that are obsolete.  If a design you wish to re-introduce contains obsolete formulas you can open the formula easily by right clicking them from the design’s items screen and choosing ‘Open’.

How often do I need to do this?

How often you need to run this will depend on how many formulas you create and whether the formulas you create are often re-used or not.  We generally recommend having no more than 1000 non-obsolete formulas on the system at any given time but if you’re under this number it may still be a good idea to check ever year or so simply to make the number of formulas more manageable.

what if need more than 1000 non-obsolete formulas?

While it is possible that you may need more than 1000 non-obsolete formulas on your system you may be surprised at how few formulas you’re using on a regular basis.  Even if you are using a large variety of formulas only formulas that you haven’t used in years will be suggested so the screen will not suggest making anything obsolete if you’ve used it recently.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Adding Returns Using Barcode Scanner

Booking returns into CPC using a barcode scanner is the simplest and most efficient method of booking in returns. To use this method you need printed dispense labels containing a barcode of the dispense batch number and a barcode scanner.


Go to the Returns screen from the main menu. This screen automatically intercepts any scanned barcodes and checks if they are dispense batch numbers.

Place the vessel on the scale and scan the barcode of the product to return. If the barcode is recognised as a valid dispense batch, the Add Return screen will be displayed as below:


The details of the dispense will be completed automatically, including the original dispense vessel empty weight, the formula code and job number (if the original dispense was booked to a job). The total scale weight will be read and the net return weight will be calculated based on the original empty vessel weight.

Enter a return location if required.

Press the Save button. You will be prompted to print a return label if required.

You will be returned to the main returns list ready to book in another return.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Backup Methods

There are numerous options for archiving backups from CPM to external systems. Please contact Rexson with any details needed to set up your preferred solution.

External Drive

The simplest method is to plug in an external hard disk or flash drive. A script is available to automatically mirror the content of C:\SqlBackup\CPM to your external drive.

Pushed from ColorPoint

The system backups are run daily on CPM and the last 7 are kept. The backup script has a command to copy these files to a network folder every day after the backup runs. To enable this all we need to do is set the folder location in an environment variable. The script automatically removes older backups from the network folder, so you may want to copy out the most recent once a week for long term storage if needed.

Please advise Rexson of the backup location either as a UNC path (e.g. \\server\folder-for-backups) or as a mapped drive (e.g. X:\folder-for-backups). As long as the user running the scheduled task for the backup has permission to write to this location, the backups will take place automatically.

Pulled by a task on your Network

If the previous method is not suitable for your infrastructure then backups can be retrieved directly from CPM. The folder C:\SqlBackup is shared. The CPM sub-folder contains automated backups and CPM-User contains user initiated ad hoc backups. The local user account CustomerAdmin can be used for authentication.

An sshd server runs on CPM. This can be configured to allow SFTP access to the backups. 

Other Methods

Backups may also be sent from CPM via FTP/SFTP by Rexson Agent. This is a paid add on.

Monday, 28 May 2012

ColorPoint Console 1.6 Recirculation Program Control

From CPC version 1.6 onwards the button to turn the main recirculation program on ColorPoint on or off has been moved from the recirculation settings page to the main configuration page along with an info panel on the configuration page showing the current recirculation state as shown above.

When the button was on the page for a particular pump's setting it was easy to confuse the use of the button as being only for that pump.

The new button indicates the recirculation state that pressing the button will achieve, e.g. "Recirc  ON" will turn on recirculation when it is already off and "Recirc  OFF" will turn it off when it is currently on.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Showing View Columns in ColorPoint Manager

In ColorPoint Manager many views are lists of entities such as materials, formulas or returns. These list views can be customised to show only the information you require, in your preferred order.

To show or hide list view columns simply right-click on any column header in the list. This presents you with a list of available columns. Those with check marks will be visible, those without will be hidden. Repeat this process until the columns you wish to display are all selected.

To change the order of columns, simply click on the column header and drag the column to a new position. A small dot will appear between the headers showing where the new position will be when you release the mouse.

These settings are stored on a per user basis, so changing this on one login will not change how any other users views the data.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Delete Items From The Dispense Queue

The dispense queue holds dispense requests for the user. These requests can be dispensed in the order they were added to the queue, or the operator may choose to dispense the requests in any order.

When a dispense completes and the operator presses the "Next" button one of two things will happen. If there are any further dispense requests in the queue, the next item in the queue will be presented to be dispensed. If there are no further items in the queue, the operator will be shown either the job list or formulation list, depending on the source of the last dispense.

Sometimes items may be added to the queue that are no longer needed. In this case there are two ways to remove them.

Removal via ColorPoint Console

On the dispense page the queue button shows how many items are currently in the queue and provides access to the queue page.

Press the View Queue button.

In the dispense queue page navigate to the items you wish to delete and then press the delete button. If you want to empty the queue completely, keep pressing the delete button until you are returned to the job or formulation list. This ensures that all items, even the item at position 0 (currently selected on the dispense page) are removed.

Removal via ColorPoint Manager

In ColorPoint Manager open the Dispense Queue using the button on the tool bar.

The delete button can be used to remove individual items from the queue. Note that the item currently selected to dispense is shown as on the head and cannot be deleted remotely. To delete this item always use the delete button on the console.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

How to alter Recirculation Parameters


  1. Insert ‘Master’ Key
  2. Select ‘Configuration’
  3. Select ‘Operations’
  4. Select Valve number to be altered
  5. Select Recirculation
  6. Adjust Pressure, if required (1 is the lowest pressure with 15 being the highest)
  7. Adjust On time, if required (this is the period the pump operates for: 1-15 x 5 minutes)
  8. Adjust Pause time, if required (Period of time delay between starting next pump)
  9. Repeat for additional changes to pumps
  10. Select save to confirm changes

To check changes


  1. Select Materials
  2. Tab down to required material
  3. Select Vessel Contents
  4. Select Recirc (Pump will run for 2 mins. and can be interrupted by selecting Recirc timer button.
  5. Once alterations have been made and confirmed remove the Master key and return the Operator key