Innovation Blueprint Series:  Hands-free Lab

In the second edition of our Innovation Blueprint Series, I’ll discuss an innovation that brings quality management services into your clean room environment.  

Quality events that need to be recorded while in a “clean room” environment present a challenge for people trying to perform their job in a manufacturing or lab setting. This innovation allows professionals working in environments where hands-on devices are not readily available or permitted, to easily communicate with their quality managed system in a hands-free mode.  This capability drastically improves worker productivity and process efficiency.  

In this prototype, we created a voice app using Amazon’s Alexa Skills kit.  The digital service facilitates the communication necessary for gathering quality information and creating a quality event in your Quality Management system;  TrackWise or TrackWise Digital.   

The diagram below, illustrates the bi-directional conversation that occurs between the person on the lab floor and their alexa-enabled device.   The voice service is setup to understand the skill and intents that make the conversation possible.  

Once the conversation is complete and all quality input data has been gathered, a call is made from the skill set to invoke a Lambda function which invokes the necessary REST API to create a new record in the quality system.  Upon complete, the user is notified via the voice service of the successful or unsuccessful attempt to create the record in the quality management system.

Upon successful creation of the record in the QMS, the user is notified via the voice service that the entry is complete.    

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Let’s drill down on how we built the Alexa Skill for Track Digital.

From the AWS developer console we created a skill using the custom model approach. We then built the skill by supplying the interaction model and endpoints for the service.  For our prototype, the interaction model looks something like this:  

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You have the option to host your service as an AWS Lambda function  or a web service.  We hosted our service as a lambda function.

For those interested in trying this out temselves, below are a few links to review:

https://trailhead.salesforce.com/en/content/learn/trails/innovate-with-alexa-and-amazon-web-services

https://developer.amazon.com/alexa-skills-kit

For integration to TrackWise or TrackWise Digital, make use of the TrackWise REST APIs or Salesforce APIs to create your quality events.