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Glen Raven Inc.

In 1996, Glen Raven Inc. a yarn company based in Glen Raven, North Carolina, realized that to stay competitive, it needed to modernize its dyeing process. The privately held company sent executives around the country to find the best equipment, then spent several million dollars creating what is acknowledged to be one of the most-advanced dye-house operations in the industry.

Today, Glen Raven's dye house is almost totally controlled by robots, which select the proper yarn spools and then insert and remove those spools from the dyeing chambers. Humans don't touch the yarn until it is ready to be packed.

An integral part of this complex production operation is the programmed link between the process control system and the administrative order control system. This connection was critical because it allowed the production plant to focus on the highest priority orders.

The communication programming was written using the C++ language by an outside contractor. The programs themselves were functional, but lacked technical documentation and object oriented features. Glen Raven did not have programmer on staff that was proficient in C++. This left them in a vulnerable position regarding current programming modifications, as well as future on-call program support for these systems.

Waddell Software Development, LLC was contracted to generate documentation so that future programmers could understand the function, scope and flow of these C++ programs. Appropriate comments describing the interactions of the program segments were added to the code. External documentation will soon be created to speed up future efforts to write new features into the programs, as well as, minimize the time required to upgrade to new versions of the programming language. Furthermore, Waddell Software Development has become familiar enough with the system to provide programming enhancement and debugging on an on-call basis.

Glen Raven Inc. made a substantial investment in the automation of their yarn production facility. They hired Waddell Software to help them protect that investment against costly program interruptions due to the lack of thorough documentation and on-call support.