Parata Systems is a young,
dynamic and fast-growing innovator of pharmacy automation systems. Parata's robotic
dispensing systems automate prescription dispensing with 100 percent accuracy. Parata
offers a complete line of retail pharmacy automation, from semi-automated counting
systems to compliance packaging and self-service prescription pickup.
“NSF saved us hundreds of development hours. Our engineers were able to quickly
build robust, extensible C# code that was easy to debug and reuse throughout our
enterprise. NSF’s straightforward mapping from state machine diagram elements
to object classes provided trouble-free code that simplified the complex behaviors
found in our systems.”
-- David Newcomb, Director of Systems, Parata Systems
Learn more about the NSF
UML state machine framework. >>
Parata required a solution that would enable its engineers to design robust
architectures to marry the physical aspects of its machines with its control systems
software. The control systems software needed to be able to manage and synchronize
input from multiple moving parts on the machine, while still running on a cost-effective,
PC-based operating system. In addition, the rapidly growing customer base and evolving
requirements dictated a solution that was easy to modify and maintain going forward.
Parata also needed a design methodology that would enable its engineers to communicate
how the machines function to a widely distributed group of service technicians,
without extensive training sessions or written documentation.
Solution and Results
Parata selected the North State Framework™ solution as the design and
development standard for its control systems.
Use of UML State Machine diagrams during the design phase enables Parata engineers
to architect the control systems software at a much higher level of abstraction
than traditional design methodologies. This abstraction allows engineers to create
more robust software by identifying opportunities for reuse before the software
is written. The event-driven nature of state machines is particular well-suited
to Parata’s control systems environment, as the software must receive and
send commands between multiple, physical moving parts on the machine, and then synchronize
those commands and parts when appropriate.
Parata benefits from NSF’s one-to-one mapping between diagram elements and
classes. Rather than coding being a complex and labor intensive operation, it becomes
a turnkey process that can be completed quickly with few errors. When debugging
is needed, NSF’s built-in trace logging facilities reduce the effort. NSF’s
utility classes for such commonly used functions as threading and timers further
reduce Parata’s development effort, freeing its engineers to focus on Parata-specific
NSF’s true object-oriented classes enable Parata to build complex systems
in a simple fashion, leveraging both class inheritance and composition. NSF's highly
extensible code reduces Parata’s cost for code modifications and maintenance,
and enables its engineers to easily reuse common, but complex components across
a diverse line of machines.
Finally, state machine diagrams allow Parata to effectively communicate the inner
workings of the machines to quality assurance and service staff, without extensive
documentation or training. The actual workings of the systems are reflected in the
latest state machine diagrams.
NSF saved Parata hundreds of development hours and provided a framework for extensive
reuse and maintainability. NSF is now an integral part of every Parata control systems
us to discuss your application. >>
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