Tuesday December 08, 2015

What do automation and going to the restroom have in common?

Topics: Automation

An odd headline, right? That's what I thought too. However, it will make more sense now that you are reading. Imagine the time it takes for a quick stop at the restroom, maybe 5 minutes from your desk and back? Depending I guess on the nature of your visit, that's not important though, nor do I care to know. Ok now, let's pretend you just got up from your desk and headed towards the restroom.

In 2 minutes and 30 seconds, here is what just happened, 105 folders were received and sorted, one path processed 105, 300+ page PDF's by converting to grayscale and mapping the fonts, if needed. In the second path, 105 cover files were resized to match the book-spec and spine size based on variables calculated with the paper type. So, 210 files processed and you just opened the bathroom door to go do your business. Fast forward 2 minutes, you are now washing your hands and heading back to your desk.

Here is what you missed. Your flushing of the toilet has triggered a rush of 1200 XML's to be released from a database. Each XML is a job that the press is going to queue up via a barcode scan. Let's see 210 files but 1200 XML's? The XML's make a copy of the files that they need, based on metadata, rename to the job specific number via ODBC and pushed in to a repository awaiting the scanned barcode. Under 5 minutes to process 1200 jobs? Now that's a good fish story, right??? 

This story is based on actual events, specific names have been left out to protect the innocent. No databases were harmed in the making of these ODBC calls.

Original post: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/quick-trip-restroom-adam-rothenberger

About Adam Rothenberger

Adam Rothenberger

Digital Technical Specialist @ RR Donnelley, family man, vegetarian, Spin Instructor, and fan of everything Notre Dame.

"God, Country, and Notre Dame" - Father Theodore Hesburgh

 

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