Flowcharting, developed mainly by computer programmers, has become a favorite tool of companies striving to comply with ISO's management standards for quality and the environment. Makers of flowcharting software have redesigned their products to create documents that would appeal to ISO 9000, QS 9000, or ISO 14000 auditors. SPSS Inc. (Chicago), for example, has come out with version 4.0 of allCLEAR. This flowcharting software is loaded with task-specific items for ISO standards, as well as new shapes, structures, and templates. Improved outlining in the new allCLEAR instantaneously creates charts as you type lines of text. The outlining window now features a tree-like structure enabling the user to expand and collapse levels to either hide or reveal details. Users can now attach data, notes, and even launchable URL addresses to flowchart shapes to convey more information on any step. And they can import files from other popular flowcharting programs, such as Visio Corp.'s Visio, Corel Corp.'s CorelFlow, and Micrografx's ABC Flowcharter. Another flowcharting program, Axion Corp.'s 4TQFlow+, automatically generates process documentation in word processors.
Last year at Hannover Fair, lots of people were talking about Industry 4.0. This is a concept that seems to have a different name in every region. I’ve been referring to it as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), not to be confused with the plain old Internet of Things (IoT). Others refer to it as the Connected Industry, the smart factory concept, M2M, data extraction, and so on.
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