Capmation helps Park Industries rollout digital solution with DevOps
Park Industries builds high-precision machines for stone and metal fabricators. With over 15,700 machines sold, the company has become North America’s largest manufacturer of stoneworking machinery, with the metal industry not far behind. Part of Park’s success has been driven by investing in state-of-the-art technology in its machines as well as expanding its breadth of digital solutions.
Park Industries wanted to develop a digital solution that allows its customer to make the most of their fabricating machines. The solution, called Park IQTM, would provide real-time visibility into the workings of these machines so users could operate more efficiently and productively.
“We wanted to leverage data from the machines and present it to the customer in a way that allows them to make decisions based on what’s happening within their business or on a specific machine,” said David Lloyd, Director of Information Technology at Park Industries. “It’s something our customers have asked for, and it’s the first product on the market with its comprehensive capabilities.”
Creating the solution would mean capturing vast amounts of data from individual machines throughout the country; pushing that information up into a customer-segregated, cloud-based data lake; segmenting and analyzing the data per machine and user; and then displaying it on an intuitive and user-friendly dashboard instantaneously.
With so many moving parts to manage and so much riding on the success of Park Industries’ industry leading product, the company wanted to follow tried and true development processes. Capmation’s DevOps services provided the tools and workflow that made it happen.
Capmation uses a practice called DevOps (software development and IT operations) to deploy safe, well-tested code to different environments in an automated way. Like its name implies, DevOps is a combination of development and operations because it removes the barriers between those traditionally siloed teams. By incorporating DevOps practices and tools, Capmation helped Park Industries automate processes within the workflow.
As a result, developers and IT professionals were able to combine their efforts into one seamless process using agile practices such as continuous integration, delivery, and deployment. Besides enabling collaboration throughout the entire development pipeline, David said it made processes like product testing easier and more cost effective.
“DevOps helped us simulate data and do testing and validation without having to have a system running on a customer’s machine. The test environment was developed with stimulators, so that allowed us to get testing done quickly and do it without the expense of having to leverage actual machines in the early stages of development,” said David.
DevOps also enabled the team to increase the speed and frequency of deployments by breaking up the development into smaller chunks of code.
In addition, David said DevOps helped him better manage the project and keep track of costs, resources, schedules, and timelines.
“All of the team members tasks and time are recorded in DevOps, as well as all of the reporting that I use to determine if we’re staying on track and meeting our commitments,” he said.
In the long-term, DevOps will make updating the software quicker and less intrusive for customers.
“It allows us to automate the process of updating all of the machines, the dashboard, and the pipelines in the cloud. With a push of a button, it can manage distribution of software across all of our customers’ machines, as well as the dashboard that they will see, without having to stop using the machine or impact their business,” he explained.
Market validation of Park IQTM at the beta stage has been extremely positive and David attributes much of the success to a strong partnership with Capmation.
“Their commitment and their ability to bring the talent that they did was a big part of it. They went above and beyond to help us get this product to market as quickly as we did. I always trust they’re going to deliver what’s needed,” he said.
- Automates the software deployment work flow and all aspects of software development
- Increases speed and frequency of deployment
- Makes software updates easier and more efficient to complete
- Manages all source code version control and code documentation, as well as requirements and task assignment status