Grow Your Excel Toolbox Today!
Excel is a great tool. An experienced operator can do awesome things by applying some advanced techniques. You can even record Macro’s allowing you to play them back for repetitive tasks. The macro language built into Excel can do a whole lot more than just record and playback actions however. It is a very robust full featured programming language; Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Some pretty amazing things can be accomplished with some programming know-how. That is where I come in. I have been programming VBA for Excel for over 15 years and have some developed some pretty cool things in that time saving a lot of money and time as well as reduce errors. The benefits have been restricted to the company I worked for, however I am now in the position to offer VBA programming services. I believe there is a real need but the benefits may not always be known or obvious. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Want to save time? By automating repetitive or cumbersome activities, valuable personnel time can be saved each time these activities are executed. This can have a significant impact on your business.
Want to save money? When you are using a more expensive software to perform a task Excel can be enhanced to accomplish then money can be saved by reducing the burden on the more expensive software. Example: An expensive CMM program is used to visualize inspection results graphically. A utility could be built in Excel to export the inspection results in IGES which can be imported into just about any CAD package.
Want to reduce errors? Anytime we can reduce manual input or at least validate the input. One way to do this is to create user input forms for data entry. This will potentially speed up the process but also can include functionality to double check values entered as well as verify all necessary input is complete. The other is through automation.
Want to automate a process? Just about any task can be automated. If you are generating the same data or results, the activity should be a candidate for automation. Example: you are importing .csv files and using excel to sort, review, and report the data in some way. This process could be automated and the only thing the user would have to do is select the file for input.
Want to add functionality to Excel? Let’s face it Excel does not do everything. Example: you would like Excel to remove all leading and trailing spaces in an entire worksheet . A program could be written to do this in a single button click.
Below are some examples of what I have accomplished. Most of these examples are based on CMM inspection data. The tools used to create these programs can be used in any industry or activity. The intent is to show the flexibility available using VBA. I am working on generating some additional working or visual examples.
IGES Generator: I developed a program to generate an IGES file from inspection results. This allowed for graphical viewing of inspection date (points and deviation lines) in a CAD program instead of more expensive CMM inspection software. It also allows viewing of graphical results available to anyone with CAD which greatly expands the number of users able to view results. This also reduces some of the burden on CMM programmers and Inspectors. [demo coming soon]
Automated Text File Import: I developed a program to import all .csv files from a folder. The user will select the folder and all .csv files (other file types are skipped) are read in and data in imported into appropriate columns.[demo]
Graphics Results to CAD: I developed programs to directly transfer inspection results from Excel to CAD systems for visualization. This greatly increased the number of users that could visualize the inspections results. [demo]
Statistical Analysis Tool: I developed a program to retrieve inspection results from multiple part inspections. This tool includes a dynamic user interface and functionality to statistically evaluate each individual point or inspected feature as well as including statistical charting. It enables Engineers to evaluate inspection results over time and observe trends. This tool avoided the cost of $100,000 for an alternative product providing similar functionality.
Automatic Form Population: I have developed multiple programs to automatically populate various forms from inspection result data. One example is an AS9102. These programs save a lot of operator input data transfer time and also eliminates user input errors. [demo coming soon]
Automated Graphic Results: I have generated programs to automate deviation mapping. What this does is when an inspection file is read in, the deviations for specific points will populate a sheet that depicts the point location in some way. This greatly saves time manually generating similar results and saves on additional CAD/CMM software costs. [demo]
Automated Email Generator: I developed a program to automate sending emails of inspection results well as text messages to appropriate individuals. It includes a database of users and includes the ability to include attachments.
General Report Formatting tool: I have developed a complete formatting package to provide a consistent platform for reporting and data processing. The tool includes a number of features:
- Reads in Data from 2 entirely different data sources. This enables the evaluation to be the same in multiple platforms.
- Built in filtering to easily evaluate PASS/FAIL criteria and borderline conditions.
- Ability to export point data in a variety of formats (.csv, x,y,z,i,j,k).
- Functionality to email and send text messages when part data is ready for review.
The tools I have developed have saved companies a lot of software cost and countless hours in time. I am happy to evaluate your processes to see where my services might benefit you. If you have a project you would like a proposal on or would like me to evaluate your process and usage of Excel to see where I can help feel free to contact me.