Latest PC-Topp.NET Developments
Published 08.08.2016

EFI Corrugated Open House in Nürnberg During FachPack 2016

Will you be attending this year’s FachPack show in Nürnberg / Germany? If so, don’t miss our

EFI Corrugated Open House at the EFI Nürnberg office from Sept 27th to 29th, 2016

If you are in town for this trade show, why not take the opportunity to drop in at our Nürnberg office? Join us for:

  • Live demos of the new EFI Corrugated Packaging Suite featuring MES at its core with scalable components and certified digital workflows that meet every function of your business including:
    • MES: manufacturing execution system at the core of your business processes
    • EFI CorrTrim: corrugator scheduling
    • EFI CorrPlan: order promising & plant scheduling
    • EFI CorrTrac: roll stock inventory & usage tracking
    • EFI WIP / FG Tracking: warehouse management
    • EFI Shipment Planning: truck planning & shipment tracking
    • EFI CorrLink: data collection
    • EFI CorrDisplay: Large format dynamic live information dashboards
  • Chatting and networking
  • Coffee, drinks, and snacks (including happy hours in the evenings)

Transportation from the FachPack venue to our office and back will be provided. Simply give us a call at +49 (911) 1203 1500, and we will pick you up at the eastern entrance to the Nürnberg Convention Center (NCC Ost).

If you’d like to stop by at our Open House event, please send us a short e‑mail to

We’ll be delighted to welcome you to our office! See you in September!

If you have any questions, we will be happy to help you.
+49 (911) 1203 1500

Categories: General

Published 18.12.2015

Windows Update Causes Problems with PDF Reports

Since the deployment of Microsoft Windows Update KB3102429 on Dec 8, 2015, SAP Crystal Reports haven’t been working correctly on Windows PCs with this update installed. The problem is said to be caused by font updates for Azerbaijani and Georgian currency symbols rolled out in this update.

Since the PC‑Topp PDF reports use Crystal Reports, the system won’t be able to generate them anymore if this Windows update has been installed on your server.


Is Your Server Affected, too?

To find out, click a PC‑Topp link that is supposed to create a report. Do you see an error message like this instead of the PDF file you expected?

Error Message due to Crystal Reports Problem

If you do, then yes, unfortunately update KB3102429 has been installed on your server.


What Can You Do About It?

Currently the only known fix is to uninstall and block the update. To do so, please follow these steps:

  1. Get rid of the update
    1. In your Windows system, go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features > Installed Updates 
    2. Find update KB3102429, select it and press “Uninstall”
       Uninstall Windows Update KB3102429
    3. Reboot the server.
  2. Make sure the update won’t be accidentally reinstalled in the future Unless you exclude update KB3102429 from installation it will be installed again the next time Windows updates are searched and installed on this machine. To keep this from happening,
    1. Go to Control Panel > All Control Panel items > Windows Update and search for updates
    2. Click on “Important Updates”
    3. Find update KB3102429 in the list and right-click on option “Hide Update”
      Block Windows Update Uninstall Windows Update KB3102429

Once you have gone through these steps, your PC‑Topp PDF reports will work again, and you are safe from future hassle with update KB3102429

Should you have trouble running through the procedure explained here, or face any other problems, please call us at +49 (911) 994000 or send us an e-mail to

Published 12.10.2015

Meet us at FEFCO in Barcelona

FEFCO Technical Seminar Are you going to attend the FEFCO Technical Seminar this year? If you do, be sure to come over to see us! We will be present at the stand of our partner RTS (booth no. 82), and we’ll be delighted to meet you there for a chat and a drink! Take the opportunity to talk to us face to face and to tell us about any questions or problems you may have – we may find answers together. We hope to see you in Barcelona!

Meet us at FEFCO

Categories: General

Published 11.10.2015

Benefit from Quality Checks at the Corrugator, too

Quality Checks at the PC-Topp Corrugator Terminal PC-Topp quality checks are a powerful feature for maintaining high product standards that helps you to save money and increase customer satisfaction. Have you noticed that this versatile functionality already familiar from the PC-Topp Machine Terminal is now available for the corrugator as well? With corrugator specific quality checks set up, the Corrugator Terminal prompts the operator for quality checks too, and records the results in detail. Those checks can either simply record confirmations that a check has been made (including result, time of execution, and who did it). Or they can be used to collect a variety of more complex values for process control analysis. The PC-Topp quality checks are fully configurable. They offer a lot of options for the criteria and the parameters to check, when and how often a check will be required, what will happen if it fails etc. You can fine-tune them to uncover very specific problems in your production. And you can generate PC-Topp reports specifically showing the check results for the corrugator, either summarized or in detail.

Read more on what the PC-Topp quality checks can do for you or get examples for possible quality check conditions at the Machine Terminal (some of which don’t apply for the Corrugator Terminal but will give you an idea of the check mechanisms).

Published 09.10.2015

Enter Corrugator Quality Checks Right Where You Perform Them

Quality Checks at the single facers with the PC-Topp Corrugator Terminal PC-Topp offers yet another interesting option for quality checks at the Corrugator Terminal: You can do location specific checks directly at the single facers and / or the stackers with it.

Place a dedicated Corrugator Terminal at every single facer or stacker to perform and record specific checks applying only to this specific location at the corrugator. This greatly helps to improve the quality assurance workflow because now the crew member who does the check needn’t walk all the distance to the central terminal anymore to input his check results. He can record the check right where he did it which saves time and prevents falsified check times in the statistics (which occur if checks are recorded only some time after they actually been performed).

Having one Corrugator Terminal per single facer has the added value that those terminals can be configured to display the material combination instead of the schedule by default. Like that, operators always have the required types and quantities of paper in view so they can prepare the next paper change or roll size change well in advance.

And because PC-Topp filters the quality checks by location at the corrugator, the operators only get to see those quality checks that need to be done at their station. This saves them the trouble of having to pick out “their” checks from the list in the quality check tab, making their work easier and less error prone.

Published 02.10.2015

Did You Know that Quality Check Results Are Shown on the PC-Topp Production Card as Well?

clip_image002The PC-Topp Production Card is a handy instrument for getting all information on an order and its production history available in PC-Topp in one single PDF document (and ready for saving outside the system, printing or emailing at that). Part of this comprehensive information is the overview of quality checks for each machine the order has been produced on, including the corrugator. This gives you a quick and easy way to assess an order’s overall quality standard and the issues it has caused, as well as to see at a glance whether all its scheduled quality checks have really been performed.

Get more information on the PC-Topp Production Card

Read all articles of our “Did you know” series

Published 14.09.2015

First PC-Topp Webinar in October

webinar From now on, depending on customer demand and development milestones, we will offer free webinars on certain PC-Topp functionalities to our customers where they can learn how to put the featured components to best use.

Our first webinar will be about the new Corrugator Scheduling module presented in the PC-Topp May newsletter. Grasp the opportunity and register now to get a free in-depth introduction to new Corrugator Scheduling by our experts.

Topic: New PC-Topp Corrugator Scheduling
Time: Oct. 8, 2015
  2:00 p.m. UTC+2 (will be held in French) Register
  4:00 p.m. UTC+2 (will be held in English) Register

We are looking forward to welcoming you at our first PC-Topp webinar! You will find the announcements for future webinars in the PC-Topp newsletter.

Categories: Corrugator Scheduling

Published 13.09.2015

Analyze enterprise-wide performance with ease

clip_image002Today we want to call your attention to a PC-Topp module that has been around for a while and has a lot to offer: If you are part of a multi-site enterprise and need to monitor the performance of all plants belonging to your company, PC-Topp Group-Wide Reporting can be a powerful tool for you. Learn more about the vast possibilities this feature holds in store. Read more

Published 13.09.2015

More PC-Topp Production Reports

The number of reports available in PC‑Topp is growing steadily, and we’d like to acquaint you with the reports created in the recent past, in case you have missed them so far. Meet the Production by Machine Sequence Report, the Corrugator Quality Check Shift Report, the Downtime Overview, and the Shift Fact Sheet.


Production by Machine Sequence

Production by Machine Sequence

This report gives you an overview by machine sequence showing quantity, area, weight, and percentage of orders going from one machine to specific machines in the machine sequence. It lets you easily see the typical workflows in your plant, and which machines are most used. You can find the report on the Statistics page, in the Plant section, under “Production Summaries”.


Quality Check Shift Report

The Quality Check Shift Report is now available for the corrugator(s), too. As its conversion predecessor, it comes in two versions:

Quality Check Shift Report The Quality Check Shift Report gives you a summary of the quality checks executed during the selected day(s) and shift(s), sorted by program / combination number. It contains a summary per quality check with execution times and results which makes it very easy to see at glance if a program has done OK or not. The report is concluded by a shift summary so you can quickly skim over just the most relevant information.

Detailed Quality Check Shift Report The Detailed Quality Check Shift Report for the Corrugator provides a more in-depth overview of the quality checks executed during the selected period. It shows execution times and full results of all checks for all checked values as well as personnel details. This report version comes with a shift summary, too.

Both versions of the Corrugator Quality Check Shift Report can be accessed on the Statistics page, in the Corrugator section, under “Shift Reports”.


Downtime Overview

Downtime Overview This report lets you output a list of downtime causes for the selected period of time, showing downtime duration per machine and totals for each downtime cause. The list is ordered by downtime group which is great for generating downtime reports by custom group like e.g. mechanical or electrical causes (provided you have downtime sets configured). You’ll find it in the Statistics page under Plant > Production Summaries.


Shift Fact Sheet

Shift Fact Sheet The Shift Fact Sheet gives you all relevant information on shift performance at a glance. A machine speed diagram analyzes shift performance visually, and the production figures for the selected day and shift(s) are shown in a summary for quick reference, and a detailed list of orders produced during this period. Personnel data and downtimes are listed as well.

This report is available for corrugator and conversion machines alike and is located under Conversion resp. Corrugator > Shift Reports.

Published 12.09.2015

Did You Know You Can Easily E-Mail Any Production Report in PC-Topp?

E-Mail Production Reports in PC-Topp

PC-Topp provides a very convenient free feature for sending production reports by e-mail straight from the system. Using the Event Messaging system, PC-Topp can automatically send reports at user defined intervals. E.g. for checking performance regularly, you can make the system send you shift reports after every shift change, or every Monday at 10:00 a.m. etc. Another option is to manually e-mail a report from its report page for later reading, archiving, or forwarding.

Get more information on the PC-Topp Event Messaging system

Read all articles of our “Did you know” series

Published 12.08.2015

Save Space on Your Labels with 2D Barcodes

label-2d-thumb The PC‑Topp Label applications have lately seen many enhancements for better performance (e.g. faster start-up and search) as well as for extended design and printing options. One of the biggest news is that they now support two-dimensional barcodes. So you can print labels with barcodes in PDF417, DataMatrix and QR Code format in addition to one-dimensional barcodes which offers considerable advantages.

2D barcode formats allow encoding a larger amount of data but at the same time require much less space than one-dimensional barcodes. This opens up a new freedom in organizing the information on your pallet labels to you: You can reduce the size of the barcodes in your designs in favor of other important elements, or stuff the information contained in several cumbersome, space consuming one-dimensional barcodes into just one 2D barcode. You could even go as far as bundling all the data on your label into a single, neat, small 2D barcode.

As a nice add-on, both one-dimensional and 2D barcodes can now automatically be formatted conforming to EAN / GS1 standard. The functionality converts data with bracketed identifiers to EAN / GS1 format, including group separators (FNC1) where needed. This feature does away with the need to write two versions of your encoding to get a human readable version along with the barcode itself.

Categories: Pallet Labeling

Published 10.08.2015

Managing the Look of Your Labels Has Become Easier

PC-Topp Label Designer: Embedded Labels Another handy new feature is the support of so-called embedded labels. This is very useful for information snippets that must look the same in all labels, typically e.g. the company logo and address, a barcode for internal use, or the label footer with standard informational text like “If you should find fault with this product please let us know”.

You can define such snippets as embedded labels and hook them into your pallet label designs. E.g. you could create am embedded label called header.pld where you define what the header of all labels should look like. And then you embed header.pld in all your label designs and position it where the header should be. Like this, you can make sure that all standard design components in every single label look exactly alike – no more trouble with e.g. the standard logo being larger, smaller, or distorted by mistake in some label designs. And you will never have to revise all of your label designs again if such an included component has to be modified: You change just the embedded label, and the change is automatically made in all designs that make use of it.

Categories: Pallet Labeling

Published 07.08.2015

Did you know the Label Print Service Can Communicate with the PC-Topp Event Messaging System?

PC-Topp Event Messaging System Supports Label Printing Related Events If some label printing related action goes wrong, you can make sure that the mistake doesn’t go unnoticed by making the Label Printing Service send an alert message to a predefined recipient. Currently, the system supports alerts if there is a problem with a printer or with the Print Service queue, or if the Label Print Service is suspended or stopped. PC-Topp can send the alert by e‑mail or text message, or it can even switch on an alarm device like a police light.

Published 16.07.2015

Special Summer Offer: 30% Off on Roll Size Optimisation!

30% Off on PC-Topp Roll Size Optimisation until Aug. 31, 2015

Call us on +49 (991) 994000, send us an e-mail to, or get in touch with us via our Feedback Page

Published 15.07.2015

No more clumsy old LED displays for plant information

PC-Topp HD TV Monitors: Conversion Machine

With our PC‑Topp HD TV Monitor screens, keeping everybody on your team informed and motivated for top performance is easier and cheaper than you may think. The PC‑Topp Monitors represent a new state-of-the-art generation of large format digital display panels, designed to take the place of the simple alphanumeric info boards typically used in industry environments. They show live information in sophisticated personalized screen designs large enough to be easily readable even from a distance and can be used for displaying live production key data, important messages, alerts etc. wherever required, e.g. at the corrugator, the conversion machines, the palletizer, in Shipping, in the supervisor office, or in Sales. Read more…

Download the HD Monitor DataSheet (0,9 MB PDF file)

Categories: Production Monitors

Published 14.07.2015

Did You know the PC‑Topp Machine Terminal Order Monitor?

PC-Topp Machine Terminal Order Monitor If you frequently wish you could keep the current order’s detailed information in view alongside the other tabs at the Machine Terminal, why not make use of PC‑Topp’s capability of displaying the order tab separately on an extra screen?

All you have to do to have your wish granted is plugging in a second monitor at the Machine Terminal PC, getting an inexpensive license, and configuring the display options. Contact us to have the necessary changes made.

Published 11.07.2015

Did You Know File Attachments for Articles and Customer Complaints?

Document Upload for PC-Topp.NET Articles and Customer ComplaintsIf you want to attach extra reference materials to articles or to customer complaints too, PC‑Topp offers the same file upload functionality as for Extra Customer Information for both, along with a comment. Currently those files are accessible only via the PC‑Topp Machine Terminal but they will soon be available in the conversion machine schedule just like the Extra Customer Information.

Published 09.07.2015

Make Your Date Codes More Meaningful

Date codes in PC-Topp.NET Conversion Machine Scheduling The Conversion Scheduling page has seen even more innovations lately: To make PC‑Topp’s date code symbols (the tiny numbers next to the due date signaling special delivery conditions) more expressive and useful, you can now make the system show them as little colored icons. And even better, you can add a descriptive text to each of them that will be displayed as a tooltip on mouse-over.

The meaning of those numbers can be freely assigned, i.e. you could e.g. define that number 1 means one day of tolerance, number 2 means express delivery within 2 working days etc.

And even better, we plan to add enhanced “if-then” conditions to an order’s due date. You can then instruct the system to consider an order on time if it is ready e.g. within one day of its due date.

Published 07.07.2015

More Options for Highlighting Special Orders

Highlighting Special Orders in PC-Topp.NET When an article is run for the first time, you can make PC‑Topp display a little red icon with a number 1 in it in front of this order’s spec number. Originally designed as a hint for the machine operator so he can e.g. take samples or check if the order runs smoothly, this functionality has now been extended: Besides the number 1, you can now use the numbers 2-6, plus a T icon, to flag specific orders. You could e.g. highlight test runs with the little T, assign the number 6 to articles that run for the last time (so the machine crew knows they have to archive the stereo), or create any other marker that you find useful. Additionally, you can enter a description for each icon which is displayed along with it as a tooltip. Icon and text show up not only in Conversion Machine Scheduling, but also in the Order Summary dialog, in Corrugator Scheduling, and at the Machine Terminal.

Published 03.07.2015

View Extra Customer Info Directly in Planning

Extra Customer Information Dialog in PC-Topp.NET Conversion Machine Scheduling If you have difficult customers whose orders have to be handled with extra care, you probably want to warn the machine crew about them. In PC‑Topp you can store a message text and even all kinds of files to illustrate the special requirements of such customers. The system then highlights them with a red customer name in the conversion machine schedule.

This extra information used to be displayed in a tooltip which flickered into view whenever your mouse touched the red letters – whether on purpose because you wanted this information, or just accidentally – which could be really annoying. Besides, the tooltip didn’t show the files that can be attached to the extra customer information.

We thought we’d rather let you decide for yourself if, when, and how much of this extra customer data you want to see. So we have devised a neat little context menu that only pops up if you click on the customer name. (If you want to see all orders of this customer just click one more time.) And as an added value, you now have direct access to the attached files, including a thumbnail preview so you can immediately see what they are about.

Published 26.06.2015

Spot Underrun Orders More Easily in Conversion Scheduling

Underrun Icons in PC-Topp.NET Conversion Machine Scheduling Orders threatening to end up with less than the ordered quantity are something you want to be able to identify as soon as possible. This is particularly hard with split orders but we now have a cure for this problem: In the conversion machine schedule, you will now find colorful little bubbles sitting right in front of the order number of underrun orders (next to the material preparation status icons). Their being only half filled with color signifies that the full quantity ordered by the customer hasn’t been reached yet. They come in pink, orange, and red, telling you how high an order’s risk is to be finished with an insufficient quantity.

Pink means the order has been split, and part of it is still being produced (i.e. no problem so far but keep an eye on it). Orange means that the order will be underrun if all of its parts will be produced as scheduled. And finally, Red says that the order is definitely underrun (i.e. it’s finished but the produced quantity is less than the ordered quantity).

Published 10.06.2015

Did You Know Paper Colors in Program Memory?

Paper Colors in PC-Topp Program Memory Now you can make the Program Memory view in Corrugator Scheduling show the papers of the material combinations in their actual colors. With this visual aid, the papers are better to distinguish from each other. And this in turn lets you group programs with similar paper combinations more easily to avoid unnecessary paper changes.

Published 01.06.2015

Corrugator Scheduling: Production Documents in PDF Format

Corrugator Scheduling Material List and Cutting List Since a while already, the material list and the cutting list in Corrugator Scheduling are available as PDF documents, with a nice design and a clear structure for better overview. For those who might miss them, the classical DOS material list and cutting list are still available too. You can access the new PDF production documents either via the new Corrugator Scheduling program, or via the PC-Topp Corrugator Control page.

Published 20.05.2015

New PC-Topp Corrugator Scheduling

New PC-Topp Corrugator Scheduling Among the things that have kept us busy, the new PC-Topp Corrugator Scheduling application stands out: It is a fully equipped substitute for the classical PC-Topp corrugator scheduling tools that comes with many handy new features and offers significant advantages over the classical programs.

  • The complete planning process is done in a single, unified, well-structured working environment. You can simultaneously view all steps of the planning process as well as smoothly move between them.
  • Program Memory is fully integrated into new Corrugator Scheduling which makes establishing schedules and transferring them to the corrugator a seamless experience.
  • Automatic Optimisation has been enhanced to yield even better results.
  • Many helpful tools make your planning work more comfortable. Now you can e.g. fetch more orders to improve your result anytime or copy and modify cutting lists for easily trying out different planning variations.
  • The user interface is just as easy to understand and operate for planners with long-standing PC-Topp experience as it is for new users.

You will find more in-depth information on this powerful new PC-Topp planning tool here: New PC-Topp Corrugator Scheduling

Categories: Corrugator Scheduling

Published 06.05.2015

Get to Know PC-Topp with New On-line Demos

Wouldn’t you like to learn all about PC-Topp’s benefits and latest features the easy way? As of now, we offer live on-line demonstrations of our proven scheduling and production control system to anyone interested in PC-Topp - whether you are a prospect looking for a software to optimise your production, or an existing client who has questions about new PC-Topp functionalities.

Get in touch with us for an appointment with one of our experts and enjoy a guided tour to our expert solution. You’ll get the opportunity to talk one-on-one to somebody who knows the corrugated industry and its typical difficulties inside out. In your preferred language, our colleagues can help you discover solutions to your specific production problems, introduce you to new PC-Topp functionalities, or demonstrate little known system features for your benefit.

Book an on-line PC-Topp demo now

Categories: General

Published 23.03.2012

Dealing with Underrun Orders at the PC-Topp.NET Machine Terminal

PC-Topp.NET Machine Terminal: Split OrderIn order to optimize work at the PC-Topp.NET Machine Terminal the functionality for splitting an underrun order has been modified.

The new workflow makes for better understanding of what has to be done in case of remaining quantities, easier handling of split orders, and generally improved usability. What’s more, built-in intelligence prevents you from saving incorrect quantities by ensuring that you can only close an order if all quantities are correctly assigned.

In the past the Machine Terminal used to ask if you want to split underrun orders to run the missing quantity at a later point of time, or declare them finished anyway. Thus the total of the remaining sheets either became a new split order or was added to the waste of this order. Those quantities couldn’t be modified.

What’s New?

Now if you want to close an underrun order the system offers you two options:

If there is a large quantity remaining If only a small part of the order is left
PC-Topp.NET Machine Terminal: Split Order - Large Remaining Quantity PC-Topp.NET Machine Terminal: Split Order - Small Remaining Quantity

You can use the convenient one-click Split / Waste functionality assigning the full quantity of remaining sheets

  • either to a newly created order going to stock or conversion
  • or to the waste amount for this order.

Alternatively you can freely distribute the split and waste quantities yourself by entering them manually.

For a quick start guide to the changes to the Close Order functionality in the Palletisation tab of the Machine Terminal please refer to the PDF document


Dealing with Underrun Orders
at the PC-Topp.NET Machine Terminal
Published 23.02.2012

New PDF Order Production Card

PC-Topp.NET Production CardThe PC‑Topp.NET Production Card accumulates all information that PC‑Topp has about an order in one single document. You can have all the order details that you always had to search for in different parts of the system at your fingertips now.

The Production Card consists of three main sections:

  • Basic order data
    E.g. order number, customer name, due date, format, ordered vs. shipped quantity etc.
  • A compact overview of the order’s production steps
    One block of production data per machine that the order and all of its parts have already run on shows the most relevant figures like production date and time, the number of products into and out of the machine, quantities, area produced, downtime, set-up and run time etc.
  • In-depth production information by machine for the order
    Starting with the corrugator, the third section lists detailed production figures including shift and crew information, scheduled vs. good quantities, waste, downtimes and their causes, quality checks with execution times and results etc. for all of an orders runs on the respective machines.

You can access the PC‑Topp.NET Production Card via the “Find Orders in Production History” link. If you prefer to use the old Look Up Orders in Statistics program instead of the Production Card just click the link in the bottom of the page (below “Save as Excel File”).

Categories: Order Management | Reporting

Published 07.12.2011

Machine Terminal: Option to Enforce Completing all Quality Checks before Shift Change

At the Machine Terminal, operators have a set time limit to do a quality check from the moment it has become due.

As it can happen that one or several quality checks become due just minutes before the shift change, PC-Topp allows those checks to be entered by the next crew, after the shift change.

In some environments, however, it may be preferable to force the crew to finish all pending quality checks before they are able to close the shift, so a new setting has been created to do so.

Published 01.12.2011

Define Downtime Cause for Machine Stops at Order End

When a machine stops, the crew has two activities:

  • Prepare the machine for the next order in order to start production again as quickly as possible, 
  • Finalize palletizing and counting the order that has ended and enter the result into the terminal.

By default, PC-Topp assumes that the set-up for the next order starts at the exact moment when the machine stops for the last time in an order. The crew can press the End of Order button (and also the Start Set-Up button) at any time, the ending time of the order is always recorded as the moment when the machine has stopped, and the starting time of the next order equals that time.

However, some customers have a different view:

At the end of the order, the crew takes some time to “remove the old order from the machine”, a time that varies from order to order and should not be counted as part of the next order’s set-up. The next order’s set-up should only start at the exact moment when End of Order is pressed for the preceding one. The time between the moment the machine has stopped and End of Order is considered as a downtime (with always the same cause, e.g. "Downtime at the end of the order").

By entering a "Default Downtime Cause* at Order End" in the PC-Topp.NET DataSet Parameters, that new behavior can be activated. The time between the stop of the machine and the moment the crew presses End of Order is then recorded as a downtime with the corresponding downtime cause taken from that parameter.

* This downtime cause at order end is different from the optional Default Downtime Cause which is automatically assigned to all unspecified downtimes.

Published 30.11.2011

New Report on Ink Color Requirements

PC-Topp.NET Ink Color Requirements ReportThe report gives an overview of orders to produce for the respective ink color codes for the next month, showing day details for the fortnight to come and totals for week 3 and 4.

With this report it is easy to see when there are orders to produce for the respective ink color codes, the quantities to produce and the required ink quantities. In descending order, the figures in the cells give the number of orders, the orders’ total surface area to produce (in 1000 m²) and the weight of the necessary amount of ink (in kg) for the corresponding period.

Categories: Reporting

Published 08.11.2011

New PC‑Topp.NET Machine Monitor

The freshly created Machine Monitor is part of the PC‑Topp.NET HD TV Monitor Framework which consists of screens designed for display on HD TV monitors mounted above the machines on the shop floor.

PC-Topp.NET Machine MonitorThe Machine Monitor lets you keep in view the performance of several machines at a time. It can be configured to display performance data for as many machines as the monitor size allows. In our example, for each machine the current order is shown along with the machine speed, the run duration, the crew leader, and the machine’s performance diagram for the current shift so the supervisor and the machine crews can see at a glance how the machines are doing.

But the information available on the Machine Monitor isn’t limited to the example above. The data to be displayed can be easily customized, and personalized versions of the Machine Monitor can be created at relatively low costs. Depending on your individual requirements you could show e.g. the machine schedules, any of the order and shift related performance figures in the PC‑Topp.NET Plant Overview, OEE or performance diagrams from statistics etc. There are few limits to your imagination; you can make the Machine Monitor display just about any production information you find relevant or interesting, as well as text messages, images etc.

More Information on the HD TV Monitor Framework and on implementations done so far:

Published 31.10.2011

PC-Topp.NET Event Messaging System with New Events

Since the introduction of the PC-Topp.NET Event Messaging system one year ago several new event types have been implemented to further increase the scope of situations the system can monitor. PC-Topp.NET can now also send alerts for the following situations.

New Events

  • Supervisor Required
    A user is executing an action requiring supervisor approval, e.g. certain types of quality checks.
  • Call Supervisor
    If a user executes an action that requires authorization by a supervisor a button saying “Call Supervisor” is displayed in the upper left corner of the PC-Topp.NET authentication dialog. Clicking this button triggers a message to the supervisor calling him to the machine where the action has been executed.
  • Overrun of Available Quantity
    More sheets than available have been fed into a machine.
  • No Shift Open But Machine Is Running
    PC-Topp receives a machine counter signal even though there is no open shift on the specified machine(s).
  • User Signs in Who Has to Read the Safety Instructions
    A crew member who is obliged to read the safety instructions signs in at the specified machine(s). For more details on this functionality see the post Protect Yourself from Damages Claims with Safety Instructions Functionality
  • Shift Record Broken 
    A machine crew has surpassed a given record value defined in the settings of one of the machines. This can be an interesting incentive to spur the staff’s competitive spirit.
  • Pallet Label Reprinted
    A pallet label which has already been printed is printed again. An authorized person must confirm that it actually replaces the original label to ensure that there aren’t two identical labels attached to different pallets.
  • Periodical Event
    This event can be used like a scheduler, i.e. you can make the system automatically execute an action at certain intervals, e.g. send the latest shift report at shift end.
  • Communication Control Events
    A Communication Control task cannot be executed, i.e. there is a potential system problem.

(For a full list of all PC-Topp events please refer to PC-Topp.NET Events & Actions: Event Types)

New Option for Sending Event Messages

PC-Topp Event Settings: Send Event Message Only to Users Signed into PC-ToppIn addition to the new events, you can now specify if a PC-Topp.NET alert message should only be sent if the recipient is signed into PC-Topp. This prevents urgent messages or messages that are interesting only within a certain time frame from being sent even though currently there is no one to react.

New Events on Demand

By now the PC-Topp.NET event Messaging system has become a powerful instrument for monitoring a broad range of critical or interesting events in production or in the system. Moreover it can easily be made to meet customer needs by creating specific events tailored to a customer’s requirement. We gladly take any suggestions on further event types at or tel. ++49 (911) 994000

Categories: Event Messaging

Published 24.10.2011

New Report on Work in Progress

PC-Topp.NET Work in Progress Report

There is a new report that gives you a detailed overview over the current work in progress for the conversion machines sorted by flute type. The report shows all orders that currently are in production, i.e. not fully finished.

It contains information about previous machine, order start date, article number, board grade, ordered quantity, number of finished goods and sheets, area and weight, with price per piece and value.

That way you can see at a glance where you need to take action to reduce work in progress.

Published 18.10.2011

Workaround for PC-Topp.NET Issues Caused by Internet Explorer 9 Memory Problem

As a temporary workaround for the Internet Explorer 9 memory hogging problem described earlier, PC-Topp Terminal pages will automatically refresh every 60 minutes, causing a momentary flicker, and potentially displaying the start page of the terminal (and not the page that was last being viewed). We do however watch out for ongoing user interaction and delay the refresh until we are have not seen any user interaction with the page for a reasonable time.

This workaround now makes it possible to use Internet Explorer 9 with PC-Topp's terminal pages without suffering the effects of long term memory loss inside Internet Explorer 9.

However, any other problems Internet Explorer 9 still has will not disappear with this trick, so users may still experience browser failures and similar effects in PC-Topp under IE9, the same effects Internet Explorer 9 users experience in popular Internet services like Google's

Categories: General | Administration

Published 17.10.2011

Optional Automatic Sign-In for Crew Leaders

From now on PC‑Topp can automatically sign in the crew leader at the beginning of a shift. This saves him the trouble of having to sign in explicitly which is sometimes forgotten.

This optional feature can be activated in the Dataset Parameters.

Published 10.10.2011

PC-Topp.NET Issues Caused By Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer 9

When working with PC-Topp.NET in Internet Explorer 9 you may face difficulties like unexpectedly high memory usage or browser crashes.

These are Internet Explorer 9 specific problems; in Internet Explorer 8 PC-Topp.NET is stable and runs with the usual reliabilty.

Microsoft has admitted the memory hogging problem in Internet Explorer 9 (see; concerning the browser crashes a Microsoft statement is still pending.

Our developers are currently trying to find a workaround. However, in the meantime resp. as long as there is no official Microsoft fix we recommend using PC-Topp.NET with Internet Explorer 8. We will inform you via this blog as soon as there is a solution available.


Internet Explorer Add-Ons

No matter which version of Internet Explorer you are using, Internet Explorer add-ons can cause performance and stability problems in PC-Topp.NET.

Therefore, we advise you to disable all Internet Explorer add-ons like search engine toolbars, social networking tools etc., except those you absolutely need.

You can find instructions on how to disable add-ons here:

Categories: General | Administration

Published 30.09.2011

Downtime Cause Analysis Report

PC-Topp.NET Downtime Cause Analysis ReportThe Downtime Cause Analysis report offers a graphical overview of a selected downtime cause or group on corrugator and conversion machines during a selectable period, including figures as well as total and average downtime duration. It can be grouped by shift, day, week or month. You can select either one specific downtime cause or a group of downtime causes to be displayed.

Published 27.09.2011

New Reports on Machine and Crew Leader Performance

For getting a better overview of the overall performance of machines and crew leaders the following four new reports have been implemented:

Overall Machine Performance

PC-Topp.NET Overall Machine Performance ReportThis report shows performance indicators by machine over a period of one year, with performance per month, totals, and target for the selected year. Performance diagrams illustrate the figures.

Overall Machine Performance by Crew Leader

PC-Topp.NET Overall Machine Performance by Crew Leader Report

This report is almost identical to the Overall Machine Performance report but it additionally shows figures for the crew leaders.

Overall Crew Leader Performance

PC-Topp.NET Overall Crew Leader Performance Report

The Overall Crew Leader Performance report shows performance indicators by crew leader for the selected period compared with average values since the beginning of the year. The report contrasts the crew leader’s monthly performance values with the average of the year. Graphical indicators show if the crew leader performance has improved or changed for the worse.

Published 12.09.2011

Protect Yourself from Damages Claims with Safety Instructions Functionality

Imagine one of the machine operators in your plant has an accident due to issues warned against in the safety instructions provided to the crew. How to prove to your insurance company that he has disregarded or failed to read them?

What It Is Good for

This is where the new Safety Instructions functionality at the PC-Topp.NET Machine Terminal and Multi Machine Terminal comes into play:

  • It forces crew members who haven't signed in at a machine for a certain period of time to take note of important information (e.g. reminders to wear safety clothes, hints on things to keep in mind or changes in the workflow etc).
  • It allows you to prove that a crew member has acknowledged important information so you aren't liable for damages incurred through non-observance.

How It Works

  • Safety Instructions at the PC-Topp.NET Machine TerminalIf a crew member who hasn’t signed in at a machine for the specified number of days signs in at the Machine Terminal a dialog prompts him to read the safety instructions for this machine.
  • This dialog appears if the safety instructions file has been modified, too. Everybody who signs in at the machine for the first time after the modification is prompted to read the changed safety instructions.
  • At the same time the feature demands confirmation by a superior that the person in question has done so, thus guaranteeing that users really view relevant information and don't just skip the dialog.
  • The Safety Instructions feature is best used in conjunction with the PC-Topp.NET Messaging functionality. It can alert the supervisor by email or text message in real time that a crew member has to read the safety instructions, thereby automatically creating written evidence of the procedure.
  • Moreover, when the supervisor comes to the workstation of the person in question to give his confirmation he can print out two copies of the safety instructions, have the person in question sign both, and file one copy in the crew member's personal record.

If the new feature is used as outlined above, your personnel is kept up-to-date on important information, and at the same time the fact that staff members have received this information is fully documented to protect you against unjustified claims.

How to Switch It On

To activate this feature you have to:

  • Upload a safety instructions file to the PC-Topp server via the Machine Settings page (Machine Terminal tab),
  • Define how much time has to pass after the last sign-in of a crew member for the safety instructions to be displayed (in the DataSet Parameters, Machine Terminal tab).
Published 29.08.2011

New Plant Wide Waste Report Available

PC-Topp.NET Waste ReportWe have created a new report which summarizes waste by corrugator and conversion machines, with totals for the whole plant.

It gives production key figures and all incurred waste in finished goods and m² or kg, including detailed waste reasons (if configured).

Published 05.08.2011

Calculate Exact Die-Cut Waste with New Machine Terminal Option

PC-Topp.NET Machine Terminal: Enter Sheet WeightPC-Topp now gives you close control of the amount of die-cut waste occurred during production at the PC-Topp.NET Machine Terminal.

This optional new feature prompts the user to enter the sheet weight before and after production before allowing him to close an order. From the difference between these two figures you can easily calculate the die-cut waste of this order.

In the production statistics, the die-cut waste appears in the PC-Topp.NET Plant Performance Report.

To enable this feature, some PC-Topp parameters have to be modified so if you want to use it please contact the PC-Topp team.

Published 05.08.2011

Capacity Reservations in PC-Topp.NET

PC-Topp.NET Capacity ReservationsIn corrugated plants, a high percentage of all orders comes from a small number of customers who place orders in a regular pattern, but often very late, only a short time before production starts.

Obviously, Sales must keep capacity free for those guaranteed orders until they arrive. With Capacity Reservations, the known required capacity can be reserved machine by machine, and the reserved capacity is automatically released when the actual orders arrive. The TGV Machine Load then shows the remaining free capacity for other orders, and does not create a false impression of too little work where machines are actually almost fully loaded.

Capacity Reservations can be made in several different categories:

Customer Reservations are the most relevant of those categories. The system knows the number of hours to be blocked per week (or per day) for each customer and each machine, and automatically applies the same standard reservations for each new week.

Stock Reservations are an example of other categories for which capacity can be reserved.

The Planning Reservation finally allows Planning to keep a safety margin on selected (or all) machines. Contrary to the other reservations, that number of hours is never released automatically, but Planning must do so manually when they feel the time has come.

To let PC-Topp know for which orders it must release a corresponding part of the reservation when the order arrives, the order must be marked by a Reservation Code in the order data transfer. That code can be, for example, S for the Stock Reservations, and C for the Customer Reservations: An order that has a reservation code C for one of the special customers for which there can be reservations (the "Service Customers") reduces the capacity reserved for that customer, an order with an S reserves the Stock Reserve.

(That means that an order for a service customer without the C will not affect the reservation, which is exactly right when a Service Customer places some extra order, which should not reduce the room reserved for the regular orders of that customer.)

The Capacity Reservations page visualizes the reservations and the resulting machine load in a TGV-like timeline as well as in a bar diagram to make it as easy as possible to identify bottlenecks and available capacity.

Published 02.08.2011

Production Summary with Passes and Products

PC-Topp.NET Production SummaryWe have created a variation of the PC‑Topp.NET Production Summary which shows the same data as the original report but gives the number of finished goods in products as well as in passes. (The Production Summary displays passes only.)

Published 21.07.2011

PDF Report on Pallet Requirements

PC-Topp.NET Pallet Requirement ReportThe pallet requirements can now be downloaded in PDF format for printout, emailing etc.

They are available in summary form as well as in full detail in the toolbox of the Pallet Requirements page.

Categories: Palletisation | Reporting

Published 15.07.2011

Better Visibility of Machine Performance on Plant Summary Page

PC-Topp.NET Plant Summary Machine Performance ColorsNow you can see the machine performance on the plant summary page at a glance because the speed is now displayed in different colors. The following colors indicate the relation between actual speed (including downtimes) and planning capacity (defined in the Conversion Machine settings):

  • Red – Actual speed is more than 20% lower than planning capacity
  • Bright Blue – Actual speed is more than 20% greater than planning capacity
  • Dark Blue – Actual speed is within tolerance
Published 13.07.2011

Easier Overview of Quality Checks at the Machine Terminal

PC-Topp.NET Machine Terminal: New Quality Check ViewThe list of quality checks during the current shift at the PC-Topp.NET Machine Terminal has been enhanced so that you can now optionally display it either vertically as usual or horizontally in a more graphical style.

The new horizontal view is rather graphical than textual and therefore more or less self-explaining. With its economical layout, clear organization and color codes, it provides a well-structured overview of the shift's quality checks.

  • The overview can show more quality checks at a time because the quality checks are listed in a timeline, additionally organized by check type (rather than just by chronological order as before).
  • Whether upcoming, pending, or already performed, all quality checks remain in view (whereas in the vertical layout you see mostly the pending and upcoming ones).
  • The status of the quality checks is instantly visible thanks to their color codes which are similar to the PC-Topp order status colors:
    • Yellow – Upcoming quality checks
    • Blue – Due / imminent quality checks
    • Gray – Performed quality checks
    • Red – Expired quality checks
    Additionally, failed quality checks are marked in red, passed quality checks in green:

You can switch the quality checks to the new view in the Machine Terminal tab of the DataSet Parameters page:
PC-Topp.NET Machine Terminal: Quality check display settings

Published 05.07.2011

Suspended Orders Marked in Conversion Machine Scheduling

Due to their pink background color, orders flagged as "Forbidden" by Planning or Sales clearly stand out in the machine schedule of the PC‑Topp.NET Conversion Machine Scheduling page. As of now, you can spot orders flagged as "Suspended" by Planning or Sales more easily, too: They are displayed with a pink order number.

Orders Suspended by Sales or Planning Marked in Pink

Published 04.07.2011

Plant Summary: More Details on Machine Performance

New Detailed View in PC-Topp.NET Plant Summary In the PC‑Topp.NET Plant Summary you can now click the Plus icon in the upper right corner of any machine box to open a dialog displaying more performance figures for this machine.

In addition to the information shown in the machine overview, in this new dialog you will find:

  • More orders from the machine schedule
  • More details for those orders
  • Production times and OEE of the displayed shifts
  • Performance details of the current order
Published 30.06.2011

Users Can Change Printers for Pallet Labels Themselves Now

So far PC‑Topp has allowed only administrators to create and manage the configurations for pallet label printing in the plant (via the classical Pallet Label Assignments program). There can be numerous such configurations for specific workstations, individual users, or groups of users, e.g. for use by planners or supervisors, for printing internal and external pallet labels etc.

However, in everyday work sometimes those configurations must be modified while there is no administrator available, e.g. if the default label printer breaks down during the night shift.

PC-Topp.NET Label Printing Assignment PageTherefore we have created the new PC-Topp.NET Pallet Label Printer Settings page which allows ordinary users to do just that: They can select a different printer for any label printing configuration so they needn't rely exclusively on the system administrator for this simple task anymore. (Only printers preconfigured in the Pallet Label Assignments are available for selection.)

You can find the Pallet Label Printer Settings page in the PC-Topp.NET Service menu.

Published 07.06.2011

Configuration of Color Set-Up Times Extended

In the PC-Topp.NET Machine Settings, you can now configure set-up times for up to seven different ink colors. (Before this was restricted to max. four ink colors.)

This way the set-up time for orders with four or more ink colors can be calculated more precisely than before and thus the total work time calculation is more accurate.

Categories: Order Duration