SpoolFab and The CS3000 Scanner


Track fabrication stages by using a CS3000 Barcode Scanner alongside SpoolFab.

Using the Motorola CS3000 Companion Scanner with SpoolFab

The first step is to launch SpoolFab and select Help/Print Barcode Reference Sheet. The Reference Sheet contains a series of barcodes along the lines of the example below. Each code, S31, S32 etc. represents a production Stage. Note that with the CS3000, the Start and Clear barcodes are not used.

The first five production Stages (see example below) are always the same. The remaining Stages are simply a list of all user-definable status headers that contain the word “Date”.

S31 Chk date
S32 InFab date
S33 Hydro date
S34 PWHT date
S35 Complete date
S36 Cut Date
S37 Fab. S.B. Comp. Date
S38 S.B. Weld Comp. Date
S39 Fab Comp. Date
S40 Weld Comp. Date
S41 Dimension Check Date
S42 X-Ray Comp. Date
S43 PT Comp. Date
S44 MT Comp. Date
S45 UT Comp. Date
S46 PMI Comp. Date
S47 Client App. Date
S48 Ship to Site Date
S49 Req. on Site Date
S50 Final Weld Date
S51 Final Fit Date

Note that if Fit Date, Weld Date, Final Weld Date, and Final Fit Date stages are present in the list of Status Headers, those dates will be written to the status table automatically, based on data entered via the drawing. You would therefore probably not want to use barcode scanning for these particular stages.

It is possible for a client to have its own data folder and hence its own list of status headers, but the barcode reference sheet is always based on the status headers in the main Data folder, i.e. the one directly under the Clients folder.

The status headers in a client Data folder and the main Data folder can be different, but obviously you can only scan for stages listed in the main Data folder, as only these are listed on the Barcode Reference Sheet. To the extent that main and client-specific status headers contain the same stage descriptions, the status updating process will handle them correctly, even if they occupy different field positions. For example, if Cut Date is listed as Field 3 in the main data folder and Field 10 in a client data folder, the status table will still update correctly in both cases.

Once you have verified that the main status headers include all the desired stages, you may want to print several copies of the Barcode Reference Sheet, one for each station where you will be scanning.

Before using the CS3000 for the first time

Scan one barcode (any one will do) and connect the CS3000 scanner to a computer. Use Notepad to view the contents of \Scanned Barcodes\Barcodes.txt in the scanner. The last line of Barcodes.txt shows the scan you just made. If it does not reflect the correct date and time of the scan, set the scanner’s date and time by scanning the appropriate codes as shown in the CS3000 user manual. To do this you will need to (a)print out the relevant two pages from the manual and (b) disconnect the scanner from the computer.

Clear the scanner, either by deleting Barcodes.txt or by holding down the minus key on the scanner for seven seconds.

Scanning Procedure

Power up the CS3000 and scan the appropriate stage code from the reference sheet. For example, if you are about to scan a batch of spools for which X-Rays have just been completed, scan the X-Ray Comp. Date barcode on the reference sheet. Then scan the drawings to which the stage code applies. You can then scan a different stage such as Ship to Site and then scan the drawings to which that status applies, and so on. The scans are stored in the CS3000. Each scan adds a timestamped line to Barcodes.txt.

The Plus button is used to make a scan. If you scan the wrong drawing by mistake, you can undo that scan by scanning that same drawing again, but by pressing the Minus button instead of Plus. If you accidentally scan the wrong stage code, you do not need to undo that scan, just scan the correct stage code before scanning any more drawings.

Downloading the CS3000

Connect the CS3000 to a USB port. If an AutoPlay window pops up, dismiss it. Select Help/Download CS3000. SpoolFab will read \Scanned Barcodes\Barcodes.txt from theCS3000 and process it to create Data.txt. After the data has transferred, you will be given the option of immediately updating the job status. Alternatively, you can come back later and select Help/Update Job Status. SpoolFab will also delete BarCodes.txt from the CS3000, so it is ready to go for the next time you need it.

CS3000 at a Different Site

When a CS3000 barcode scanner is downloaded, it is treated exactly as if it were a flash drive containing a file called Barcodes.txt in a folder called Scanned Barcodes. The file Barcodes.txt is deleted when the download takes place.

If for some reason you do not wish to download the CS3000 directly, you can simulate its presence by copying the Barcodes.txt file into a folder called Scanned Barcodes in the root directory of a regular flash drive. You do not even have to use a flash drive; the Scanned Barcodes folder can be on any drive A: through Z:, so you could even place it on the C: drive, for example.

Multiple Scanned Barcodes Folders (paragraph added 2022-12-15)

SpoolFab looks for a folder A:\Scanned Barcodes, B:\Scanned Barcodes, C:\Scanned Barcodes etc. in alphabetical order. This means that if folder C:\Scanned Barcodes exists, SpoolFab will not check for D:\Scanned Barcodes, E:\Scanned Barcodes etc.