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TOPS Pro Tutorial


Package Design and Palletization

Introduction..................................................................................................1
Getting Started .............................................................................................2
General Overview ........................................................................................3
Control Panel .........................................................................................4
Menu Bar ...............................................................................................5
Windows Toolbar...................................................................................6
Template Toolbar...................................................................................8
Button-Style Menus ...............................................................................8
Package Design Sequence Area.............................................................9
Shortcut Buttons ..................................................................................10

Exercise #1: Perform a Simple Analysis ..................................................11


Exercise #2: Perform a Complex Analysis ...............................................23
Exercise #3: Perform a Knockdown Analysis ..........................................48
Exercise #4: Design the Output From an Analysis...................................58
Exercise #5: Publish an Analysis to the Web or Network........................63
Exercise #6: New CASY Features............................................................66
Exercise #7: Design a Mixed Pallet...........................................................71
Exercise #8: Design a Mixed Tray ............................................................77

TOPSePAC ................................................................................................85
®
TOPS Pro Tutorial
Introduction
Thanks for your interest in the TOPS Pro Demonstration (Demo) software.
TOPS Pro is designed to meet the most advanced needs of the packaging
professional. However, this tutorial is designed to give a general
overview of the primary functions of the software. The tutorial does not
explore the full range of the TOPS Pro software capabilities, but is
designed only as a basic tutorial that walks you through the core of the
system.

™ Getting Started: Walks you through the process of installing the


TOPS Pro demo software and logging into the system.

™ Exercise #1: Perform a Simple Analysis: Walks you through on


how to find the optimal solution for loading shipcases onto a pallet.

™ Exercise #2: Perform a Complex Analysis: Walks you through an


analysis to find the optimal solution for loading bottles into a carton,
into a shipcase, onto a pallet and onto a truck. You’ll also use the
CASY (Create A Shape Yourself) system to design a custom-shaped
can and tray.

™ Exercise #3: Perform a Knockdown Analysis: Walks you through


a knockdown analysis to find the optimal solution for loading
knockdown (collapsed) boxes onto a pallet.

™ Exercise #4: Design the Output from an Analysis: Walks you


through the process of designing what information will go into your
printed output and what that output will look like.

™ Exercise #5: Publish an Analysis to the Web or Network: Walks


you through the process of publishing an analysis to the Web or to a
local network, where other people can view the analysis.

™ Exercise #6: New CASY Features: Gives an overview of the new


primary shapes and shape functions in CASY.

™ Exercise #7: Design a Mixe Pallet: Walks you through on how to


create a mixed pallet.

™ Exercise #8: Design a Mixed Tray: Walks you through on how to


create a mixed pallet.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 1


If you experience problems or difficulties while using the TOPS Pro
software, please call the TOPS Technical Support Department or your
TOPS sales representative at (972) 739-8677.

Getting Started
This section of the tutorial walks you through the installation process and
gets you logged into the system. To install the TOPS Pro demo software,
follow these instructions:

1. Start Windows.

2. Insert the TOPS Pro CD into your CD-ROM drive.


Note: For more information on installing the software, please refer to
the installation sheet included with the software package.

Follow the instructions on the screen until the installation is complete.

3. Double-click on the TOPS for Windows DEMO icon.


System Response: The User Login panel appears, as pictured below.

4. Select the user group you belong to and click on the Login button.
System Response: The Control Panel appears, as pictured on page 4.

Congratulations! At this point, the installation is complete and you've


logged on. Now you're ready to go to work with TOPS Pro. First, we'll
walk through a General Overview, where you'll get acquainted with the
Control Panel and the layout of the system.

After you're familiar with the primary elements, then we'll walk through
some real-world packaging analyses. These exercises will demonstrate
the ease and flexibility with which TOPS Pro generates a number of
detailed solutions for the packing professional.

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General Overview
Before you start using TOPS Pro, let's get acquainted with the primary
features and functions of TOPS Pro, as listed below:

™ Control Panel: The primary window in the system that allows you to
select the type of analysis you want to perform, the stages to be used in
the analysis, and the dimensions of each stage.

™ Menu Bar: Provides a number of pull-down menus that allow you to


perform common tasks such as setting print parameters, changing
languages and defining stages in an analysis.

™ Windows Toolbar: Contains a number of icons that allow you to


perform standard, commonly used functions.

™ Template Toolbar: Contains a number of buttons that give you easy


access to analysis templates set up in the system.

™ Button-Style Menus: Allow you to set up a Package Design


Sequence, in which you select the various stages to be used in an
analysis.

™ Package Design Sequence Area: The area on the screen in which


you define a series of stages that comprise an analysis. For example,
you might set up a sequence in which you analyze how to best load
shipcases onto a pallet.

™ Shortcut Buttons: Allow you to view solution panels for an analysis


record or calculate solutions for an analysis.

Let's discuss these features in more detail.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 3


Control Panel

When you login to the system, the Control Panel appears, as pictured
below. The Control Panel contains all the primary features of the system:
Menu Bar, Windows Toolbar, Template Toolbar, Package Design
Sequence Area, Button-Style Menus and Shortcut Buttons.

Menu Bar Package Design Sequence Area

Windows
Toolbar

Template
Toolbar

Button-Style Menus Shortcut Buttons

The Control Panel is the primary panel in the system. It is the working
area from which you will select the type of analysis you want to perform,
select the stages to be used in the analysis and define the dimensions of
each stage.

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Menu Bar

The Menu Bar, pictured below, provides a number of drop-down menus.


These menus provide options that allow you to perform common tasks,
many of which are duplicated on the Button Bar and Shortcut Buttons.

The list below gives a brief description of the eight menus on the Menu
Bar:

™ File Menu: Allows you to create new records, open existing records,
save records and set up print parameters.

™ Edit Menu: Allows you to copy text and images to the Windows
clipboard, as well as work with secondary pallet patterns.

™ View Menu: Allows you to view graphic images in a number of


formats: 3-D, front, side, split screen, quad screen and others.

™ Define Menu: Allows you to define parameters for new products,


cartons, shipcases, pallets, vehicles, etc.

™ Tools Menu: Allows you to revise your TOPS Pro configuration, the
language used in TOPS Pro (TOPS Pro is used worldwide), stacking
strength parameters, color selections, etc.

™ Export Menu: Allows you to export different types of graphic files


(.bmp, .tiff, .jpeg), analyses, product reports, etc.

™ Supervisor Menu: Allows you to perform supervisor functions such


as login/logout tasks, access approval and denial, template setup, etc.

™ Help Menu: Allows you to display Help information for all features
and functions in the system.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 5


Windows Toolbar

The Windows Toolbar, pictured below, contains a number of icons that


allow you to perform standard, routine functions.

The table below and on the next page outlines each icon in the Toolbar
and its corresponding purpose.

Windows Toolbar

This Icon... Allows You To Do This

New Analysis: Clears the Package Design Sequence


area and allows you to start a new analysis.

New Based on Predefined Template: Opens the Open


Analysis dialog box and allows you to select a
predefined analysis template.

Open: Opens the Open Analysis dialog box and allows


you to select an analysis.

Save: Saves the analysis.

Print: Prints the analysis.

Previous: Takes you to the previous step in the Package


Design Sequence for an analysis.

Next: Takes you to the next step in the Package Design


Sequence for an analysis. If there is no next step, this
icon takes you back to the Package Design Sequence.

Cancel to Package Design Sequence: Cancels out of


the active analysis and takes you back to the Package
Design Sequence area, where you can start over.

Design CASY Primary Package: Opens the CASY


Primary Package Screen.

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Windows Toolbar (cont.)

This Icon... Allows You To Do This

Design CASY Shipping Case/Tray: Opens the CASY


Shipping Case/Tray Screen.

MixPro Mixed Pallet Editor: Opens the MixPro Mixed


Pallet Editor, used to create mixed pallets.

MixPro Mixed Tray Editor: Opens the MixPro Mixed


Tray Editor, used to create mixed trays.

Modify Primary Pack Parameters: Opens the


parameters dialog box for the appropriate primary
package (bottle, can, etc.) in the Analysis View.

Modify Intermediate Pack Parameters: Opens the


parameters dialog box for the appropriate intermediate
packer (, etc.) in the Analysis View.

Modify Shipcase Parameters: Opens the Shipcase


Parameters dialog box in the Analysis View.

Modify Unitload Parameters: Opens the Unitload


Parameters dialog box in the Analysis View.

Modify Vehicle Parameters: Opens the Vehicle


Parameters dialog box in the Analysis View.

Switch to Related KD Analysis: Not currently active.

Switch to Related Box Analysis: Not currently active.

Show CASY: Serves as a toggle switch to turn on or off


the CASY graphics display.

Stacking Strength: Opens the Stacking Strength dialog


box.

All Stages Enhanced View: Opens an All View pane


with all stages of an analysis in the Analysis View.

Flying Toolbar: Serves as a toggle switch to turn on or


off the Flying Toolbar.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 7


The Windows Toolbar provides a direct link to the parameters dialog
boxes. In previous releases of TOPS, if you were in the middle of an
analysis and needed to modify parameters for a shipcase, for example, you
had to cancel out of the analysis, go back to the Package Design Sequence
Area and access the dialog box from there.

Now, the Toolbar has icons that take you directly to the parameters dialog
box for primary packages, intermediate packers, shipcases, unitloads and
vehicles. You can modify those parameters without losing your place in
the analysis process.

Template Toolbar

The Template Toolbar, pictured below, gives you easy access to analysis
templates set up in the system.

Notice the first button in the toolbar to the


left. This template button shows four stages
of an analysis: Can/Cylinder-Shipcase-
Pallet-Vehicle.

If you click on this button, TOPS Pro


automatically inserts the corresponding
icons in the Package Design Sequence Area.

As you set up the stages that make up an


analysis, TOPS Pro allows you to save the
analysis as a template and add it to the
Template Toolbar. For more information,
please refer to “Exercise 1: Perform a
Simple Analysis.”

Button-Style Menus

The Button-Style Menus, pictured below, allow you to set up a Package


Design Sequence with the various stages to be used in an analysis.

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As you can see, there are six Button-Style Menus, each of which
represents a stage of an analysis and has a corresponding icon. In the
figure above, the six active stages are bulk, film bag, carton, shipper,
pallet and truck.

Each menu contains a list of items that allow you to define the stages of an
analysis with any combination of items you need. To select an item, click
on that item in the list, then click on the button at the top of the list. As
you select each stage, the corresponding icon will appear in the Package
Design Sequence Area of the Control Panel. To remove an icon from that
area, simply click on the button again.

Note: Be aware that there are a few duplications in the button-style


menus that should be clarified.

™ Carton Icons: There are two Carton icons. The Box Carton icon
(green) displays the Carton Parameters dialog box. The Intermediate
Pack Carton icon (blue) displays the Intermediate Pack Parameters
dialog box.

™ Tray Icons: There are two Tray icons. The Intermediate Pack Tray
icon (blue) displays the Intermediate Pack Parameters dialog box. The
Shipper Tray icon (yellow) displays the Shipcase Parameters dialog
box.

™ Bag Icons: There are two Bag icons. The Film Bag icon (green) and
the Shipper Bag icon (yellow) both display the Bag Parameters dialog
box. However, you'll use the first Film Bag icon to design a bag that
contains a product. You'll use the Shipper Bag icon to put a bag onto a
pallet.

™ Bottle Icons: There are two Bottle icons. The Bottle icon (green) and
the Shipper Bottle icon (yellow) both display the Bottle Parameters
dialog box. However, you'll use the first Bottle icon to design a bottle
that goes into a shipcase. You'll use the Shipper Bottle icon to design
a bottle that goes onto a pallet.

Package Design Sequence Area

The Package Design Sequence Area is the area on your screen in which
you define a series of stages selected to perform an analysis. For example,
let's say you selected six stages from the Button-Style Menus: bulk, bag,
carton, shipper, pallet and truck. The corresponding icons will appear in
the Package Design Sequence Area, as pictured here.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 9


The icons you see in this figure are often referred to, respectively, as the
Bulk Parameters icon, the Bag Parameters icon, the Carton Parameters
icon, the Shipper Parameters icon, the Unitload Parameters icon and the
Transit Vehicle Parameters icon.

This represents a Package Design Sequence in which you'll find the best
solution for this analysis: bulk product into a bag, into a carton, into a
shipcase, onto a pallet and into a truck.

Next, when you click on any of these icons, a dialog box will appear and
allow you to define the parameters of that particular stage in the sequence.
For example, when you click on the Bottle icon, the Bottle Parameters
dialog box appears, and you'll tell the system precisely how your bottles
are designed in terms of dimensions, weight, shape, etc.

Shortcut Buttons

The Shortcut Buttons, as pictured below, allow you to view and calculate
solutions for an analysis.

Let's briefly define these shortcut buttons:

™ View Button: Allows you to display and view the solution panels
(Analysis View) for a selected analysis. This function becomes active
only after an analysis has been completed.

™ Calc Button: Allows you to calculate solutions for an analysis. After


you've selected all the stages for the analysis and defined parameters
for each stage, the Calc button tells the system to generate all possible
solutions for the analysis, given the data you entered.

If you click on the Calc button and your analysis is incomplete – you
forgot to enter a necessary detail – TOPS Pro automatically displays
the appropriate dialog box and prompts you to enter the missing data.
If you've simply made changes to the analysis, the system allows you
to look over the changes you made before you continue.

10 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


Exercise #1: Perform a Simple
Analysis
In this exercise, you'll perform a very simple analysis: carton into a
shipcase onto a pallet. This analysis is considered simple because it
involves only three stages – carton, shipcase and pallet.

Objective: Find the optimal solution for loading cartons into shipcases
and onto a pallet.

In this analysis, the various stages have these general characteristics:

™ Each carton measures 6 inches long, 2 inches wide and 4 inches high.

™ Each shipcase measures 12 inches long, 10 inches wide and 8 inches


high.

™ Each shipcase weighs 25 pounds.

™ You’ll use three pallet types to calculate a solution – GMA (Notched),


Europallet and GMA (Metric-Block). The pallet measures 48 inches
by 40 inches.

™ The load of shipcases will not exceed 60 inches high.

™ The load of shipcases will not exceed 9,999 pounds.

™ The load of shipcases will not exceed four layers.

To perform this analysis, you'll start from the Control Panel and work
through four simple sets of procedures, in this order:

1. Define the Package Design Sequence.

2. Save the Package Design Sequence as a template.

3. Define the carton parameters.

4. Define the shipcase parameters.

5. Select pallet types and define the unitload (pallet) parameters.

6. Generate possible solutions, make a decision and save the analysis to a


folder.

7. Email the Stacking Strength Board Combo List.

8. Send the analysis to Microsoft Word.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 11


Step 1: Define the Package Design Sequence

To define the Package Design Sequence, start from the Control Panel and
follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Carton button.

2. Click on the Shipper button.

3. Click on the Pallet button.


System Response: The Carton, Shipper and Pallet icons appear in the
Package Design Sequence area of the panel, as pictured below.

Step 2: Save the Package Design Sequence as a


Template

The shipcase-to-pallet sequence is a routine analysis that you’ll perform


frequently. TOPS Pro allows you to save this analysis as a template and
add it to the Template Toolbar.

To save the Package Design Sequence as a template, follow these


instructions:

1. Go to the Menu Bar and open the File Menu.

2. From the File Menu, click on the Save As Template option.


System Response: The Analysis Save As dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

3. In the Description field, enter the name of the new template (e.g.,
Carton-Shipcase-Pallet).

12 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


4. Click on the OK button.
System Response: TOPS Pro saves the new template to the database
and adds it to the Template Toolbar. The next time you want to
perform this analysis, you’ll simply go to the Template Toolbar and
click on the template button for the analysis.

Note: To display the Template Toolbar on the Control Panel, go to


the Configuration dialog box and select the Display Template Buttons
option.

Step 3: Define Carton Parameters

To define your carton parameters, follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Carton icon in the Package Design Sequence Area.


System Response: The Carton Parameters dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

2. Use the following fields to define the carton parameters. Use the Tab
key to move from field to field.

™ Carton: Select Fixed.


™ Length: Enter 6.
™ Width: Enter 2.
™ Height: Enter 4.
™ Vertical: Check the box to the right of the Height field.

As you enter parameters, a Graphic Online Display (g.o.d.) feature


appears in the bottom, right of the panel. This feature shows how the
carton will look as you change dimensions. This feature allows you to
visually inspect your work and correct flaws as you go along.

3. After completing the shipcase parameters, click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores your carton parameters to
memory and redisplays the Control Panel.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 13


Step 4: Define Shipcase Parameters

To define your shipcase parameters, follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Shipper icon in the Package Design Sequence Area.


System Response: The Shipcase Parameters dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

This dialog box allows you to define parameters of the shipcase in a very
precise, thorough manner. In addition to the general dimensions outlined
in the objective of this analysis, you'll also define these parameters:

™ The flute type is a C flute.


™ Shipcase dimensions are measured from the outside.
™ The 8-inch height is the dimension vertical to the pallet.

2. Use the following fields to define the shipcase parameters. Use the
Tab key to move from field to field.

™ Flute: Use the default (C Flute).


™ Dimensions: Use the default (Outside).
™ Length: Enter 12.
™ Width: Enter 10.
™ Height: Enter 8.
™ Case: Enter 25.
™ Vertical: Check the box to the right of the Height/Slack field.

As you enter parameters, a Graphic Online Display (g.o.d.) feature


appears in the bottom, right portion of the panel and shows how the
shipcase will look as you change dimensions. This feature allows you to
visually inspect your work and correct flaws as you go along.

3. After completing shipcase parameters, click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores your shipcase parameters to
memory and redisplays the Control Panel.

14 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


Step 5: Select Pallet Types and Define Unitload
(Pallet) Parameters

To select the pallet types to be used, follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Pallet icon in the Package Design Sequence Area.


System Response: The UnitLoad Parameters dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

2. Select the Multi Pallets option, then click on the Select Pallets button.
System Response: The Select Items dialog box appears, as pictured
below.

Notice that the dialog box is divided into two windows:

™ The window on the left (Available Pallets) includes a list of pallet


styles available to be used in the calculation.

™ The window on the right (Selected Pallets) includes a list of pallet


styles that have been selected to be used in the calculation. (The GMA
(Notched) pallet is selected by default.)

TOPS Pro Tutorial 15


In this exercise, you’ll select three pallet styles to be included in the
calculation – GMA (Notched), Europallet and GMA (Metric-Block). The
GMA (Notched) pallet is already selected by default.

3. Click on the Europallet style.

4. Click on the Add button.


System Response: TOPS Pro adds the Europallet style to the
Selected Pallets window.

5. Click on the GMA (Metric-Block) style.

6. Click on the Add button.


System Response: TOPS Pro adds the GMA (Metric-Block) style to
the Selected Pallets window.

At this point, the Selected Pallets window includes three pallet styles –
GMA (Notched), Europallet and GMA (Metric-Block).

7. When your pallet selections are complete, click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores the selected pallet styles to
memory and redisplays the UnitLoad Parameters dialog box.

This dialog box allows you to define the parameters of the load to be
placed on your pallet – i.e., the particulars of how the shipcases will be
loaded onto the pallet. For the purposes of this demo, we'll only use a
handful of these options.

Remember in the objective of this analysis, the pallet is a standard GMA


(notched) pallet, which measures 48 inches by 40 inches, and the load of
shipcases will not exceed a height of 60 inches high, a weight of 9,999
pounds or more than four layers of shipcases. In addition to these
measures, we'll also define these parameters:

™ The maximum overhang of the load is 1 inch long and 1 inch wide.

™ The maximum underhang of the load is 15 inches long and 15 inches


wide

8. Use the following fields to define the shipcase parameters:

™ Maximum Height: Click on the field and enter 60.


™ Maximum Weight: Use the default (9999).
™ Maximum Layers: Click on the field and enter 4.
™ Maximum Overhang/Length: Use the default (1).
™ Maximum Overhang/Width: Use the default (1).
™ Maximum Underhang/Length: Use the default (15).
™ Maximum Underhang/Width: Use the default (15).

16 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


9. After completing the unitload parameters, click on OK.
System Response: TOPS Pro stores your unitload parameters to
memory and redisplays the Control Panel.

Step 6: Generate Possible Solutions, Make a


Decision and Save the Analysis to a Folder

To generate the possible solutions for this analysis, follow these


instructions:

1. Click on the Calc button.


System Response: TOPS Pro uses the defined parameters – carton,
shipcase and unitload – and generates all possible solutions for the
analysis. TOPS Pro displays the Analysis View, which is comprised
of three panes, as pictured below.

This Analysis View is organized into three panes:

™ Shipcase Solution View Pane: This pane, in the top, left portion of
the screen, displays a graphic of what the selected shipcase solution
looks like – i.e., how the cartons have been loaded into the shipcases.

For example, in Figure 23 above, the graphic corresponds to Solution


1, which is highlighted in the Shipcase Solution List. If you select
Solution 5 in the Shipcase Solution List, the Shipcase Solution View
pane displays a graphic for Solution 5, and so on.

™ Unitload Solution View Pane: This pane, in the top, right portion of
the screen, displays a graphic of the selected unitload solution – i.e.,
how the shipcases have been loaded onto the pallet.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 17


™ Solution List Pane: This pane, at the bottom of the screen, displays a
list of the best 50 (if there are 50) solutions generated for the analysis,
along with a variety of basic information for each solution.

The Solution List corresponds to the active Solution View pane. If the
Shipcase Solution View pane is active, the Solution List shows
shipcase solutions. If the Unitload Solution View pane is active, the
Solution List shows unitload solutions.

2. Select a shipcase solution, then click on the Next button.


System Response: The Analysis View redisplays, as pictured here.

In addition to the Solution View pane and Solution List pane, notice a
third pane, the Statistics View pane. This pane, in the top, right portion of
the screen, displays detailed statistics for the selected unitload solution.

3. Select a unitload solution.

4. Click on the Save icon to save the analysis record.


System Response: The Analysis Save As dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

18 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


Notice three things about this dialog box:

™ The Description field allows you to save the analysis with a specific
title.

™ The Folder field provides a drop-down box with a list of folders. You
can save the analysis into any of these folders; Main Folder is the
default. The window below the Folder field displays a list of folders
and analyses that have been saved to a selected folder.

™ The New Folder button allows you to create a new folder and add it to
the database.

5. In the Description field, enter the name of this analysis.

6. To create a new folder, click on the New Folder button.


System Response: The New Folder dialog box appears, as pictured
below.

7. Enter the name of the new folder (e.g., John Smith).

8. Click on the OK button.


System Response: TOPS Pro saves the new folder to the database
and redisplays the Analysis Save As dialog box. The new folder (John
Smith) is now listed as part of the Main Folder.

9. To save the analysis to the John Smith folder, click on the John Smith
folder.

10. Click on the OK button.


System Response: TOPS Pro saves the analysis to the selected folder.

Revise Parameters for an Analysis

To revise any parameters for an analysis that has not yet been generated
(you've not yet clicked on the Calc button), follow these instructions:

1. Click on the appropriate icon in the Toolbar.

2. Use the dialog box to make the necessary changes.

To revise any parameters for an analysis that has already been generated,
follow these instructions:

TOPS Pro Tutorial 19


1. Click on the appropriate icon in the Toolbar.

2. Use the dialog box to make the necessary changes.

3. Click on the Calc button.


System Response: TOPS Pro uses your changes to generate a new set
of solutions.

Step 7: Email the Stacking Strength Board Combo


List

TOPS Pro Version 5.X allows you to access the Stacking Strength Board
Combo List from an analysis and email it to other users. To use this
feature, start from the Analysis View and follow these instructions:

1. From the Windows Toolbar, click on the Stacking Strength button –


.
System Response: The Stacking Strength dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

2. Define stacking strength parameters on the dialog box.


Note: For detailed instructions, please contact TOPS Pro Technical
Support.

3. After completing the stacking strength parameters, click on the OK


button.
System Response: The Stacking Strength Results Screen appears, as
pictured on the next page.

20 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


4. Go to the Windows Toolbar and open the Tools Menu.

5. Select the Email Stacking Strength option.


System Response: TOPS Pro automatically launches your email
application, converts the Stacking Strength Board Combo List to an
HTML file and attaches it to the email.

6. Send the email to the appropriate users.


System Response: TOPS Pro closes the email application and returns
you to the Stacking Strength Results Screen.

Step 8: Send the Analysis to Microsoft Word

TOPS Pro Version 5.X includes a feature that uses a Word template to
convert an analysis directly to a Microsoft Word file. Each template is
defined by a number of items – Product, Intermediate Pack, Shipcase and
Unitload – and a number of views – 3D, Plan, Side and Front. TOPS Pro
uses these templates to retrieve specific information from an analysis and
present that information in the form of a Word document.

Note: TOPS Pro provides a template – Simple.dot – from which you can
create your own custom Word templates. For instructions, please contact
TOPS Technical Support.

To send an analysis to Word, start from the Analysis View and follow
these instructions:

1. Go to the Windows Toolbar and open the Export Menu.

2. Select the Send to Word option.


System Response: The About MTOPS dialog box appears, as
pictured on the next page.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 21


3. Select a template from the Template window.

4. Click on the OK button.


System Response: TOPS Pro launches Microsoft Word and uses the
selected template to create a Word file. When Word opens, the active
document consists of information from the analysis, based on the
selected template.

22 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


Exercise #2: Perform a Complex
Analysis
The second analysis you'll perform is more complex and involves more
stages, but TOPS Pro makes it an easy process. Suppose you work for an
oil change service company and need to determine the best way to
package oil cans, put them on pallets and ship them via truck.

Note: Because these oil cans are shaped more like bottles, we’ll use bottle
parameters and refer to the cans as bottles.

Objective: Find the optimal solution for loading bottles into a carton, into
a shipcase, onto a pallet and onto a truck.

In this analysis, the various stages have these general characteristics:

™ The bottles are contained in six-packs.


™ Each six-pack unit sits in a tray with dividers.
™ Each shipcase contains four six-packs.
™ The pallet is a standard pallet.
™ The truck is a standard truck.

To perform this analysis, you'll start from the Control Panel and work
through eight simple sets of procedures, in this order:

1. Define the Package Design Sequence.

2. Define the bottle parameters.

3. Define the intermediate pack tray parameters.


Note: Be aware that two types of trays are available – the
intermediate pack tray (blue icon) and the shipcase tray (yellow icon).

4. Define the shipcase parameters.

5. Define the unitload (pallet) parameters.

6. Define the transit vehicle (truck) parameters.

7. Generate possible solutions and make a decision.

8. Design custom styles for the bottles and trays to dress up the display.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 23


Step 1: Define the Package Design Sequence

To define the Package Design Sequence, start from the Control Panel and
follow these instructions:

1. Click on the New button to clear any work from the Control Panel.

2. In the Carton list, click on Bottle.


System Response: The Carton icon changes to a Bottle icon.

3. Click on the Bottle button.

4. In the Intermediate Packer list (blue icon), click on Tray.


System Response: The Packer icon changes to a Tray icon.

5. Click on the Tray button.

6. Click on the Shipper button.

7. Click on the Pallet button.

8. Click on the Truck button.


System Response: The Bottle, Tray, Shipper, Pallet and Truck icons
appear in the Package Design Sequence Area, as pictured below.

Step 2: Define Bottle Parameters

To define your bottle parameters, follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Bottle icon in the Package Design Sequence.


System Response: The Bottle Parameters dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

24 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


2. Use the following fields to define the specific bottle parameters. Use
the Tab key to move from field to field.

™ Body Shape: Select Rectangular.


™ Body Length: Enter 4.25.
™ Body Width: Enter 2.63.
™ Neck Diameter: Enter 0.7.
™ Height: Enter 9.
™ Neck Height: Enter 1.
™ Shoulder Height: Enter 2.0.
™ Vertical: Check the box to the right of the Height field.

Notice that as you enter the bottle parameters, the g.o.d. feature illustrates
how the bottle will look with each added dimension. This feature allows
you to visually inspect your work and correct any flaws as you go along.

3. After completing the bottle parameters, click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores your bottle parameters to
memory and redisplays the Control Panel.

Step 3: Define Intermediate Pack Tray Parameters

To define your intermediate pack tray parameters, follow these


instructions:

1. Click on the Tray icon in the Package Design Sequence Area.


System Response: The Intermediate Pack Parameters dialog box
appears, as pictured below.

2. Use the following fields to define the specific tray parameters. Use the
Tab key to move from field to field.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 25


™ Case: Use the default (New).
™ Style: Select Tray (Shrink Wrap).
™ Flute: Use the default (F Flute).
™ Sizing: Select Values.
™ Values: Enter 6.

Note: At this point, we don't know the dimensions of the tray, so we


won't enter any values for length, etc. Instead, we'll select New in the
Case field, which directs TOPS Pro to design a tray with the
dimensions to accommodate whatever number of bottles are placed
inside it.

Note: The Sizing field gives you two options: (1) define a range of
bottles to place in a tray or (2) define a set value of bottles to place in a
tray. Because your bottles are arranged in six-pack units, a set value,
we'll select Values in the Sizing field and enter 6 in the Values field.

3. You want the tray to have six-pack dividers, so click on the Dividers
button.
System Response: The Dividers dialog box appears, as pictured
below.

4. Use the following field to define the specific divider parameters:

™ Style: Select (A) 2-Way Cell.

5. After defining divider parameters, click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores your dividers parameters to
memory and redisplays the Intermediate Pack Parameters dialog box.

6. After completing the tray parameters, click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores your tray parameters to memory
and redisplays the Control Panel.

26 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


Step 4: Define Shipcase Parameters

To define your shipcase parameters, follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Shipper icon in the Package Design Sequence Area.


System Response: The Shipcase Parameters dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

2. Use the following fields to define the shipcase parameters. Use the
Tab key to move from field to field.

™ Style: Use the default [RSC (FEFCO 0201)].


™ Flute: Use the default (C Flute).
™ Case: Use the default (New).

Note: At this point, we don't know the dimensions of the box, so we


won't enter values for length, etc. Instead, we'll select New in the Case
field, which directs TOPS Pro to design a shipcase with the
dimensions to accommodate whatever number of trays are placed
inside it.

™ Sizing: Select Values.


™ Values: Enter 4.

Note: The Sizing field gives you two options: (1) define a range of
trays to place in a shipcase or (2) define a set value of trays to place in
a shipcase. We know we want four six-packs (trays) per case, which is
a set value, so we'll select Values in the Sizing field and enter 4 in the
Values field.

3. After completing the shipcase parameters, click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores your shipcase parameters to
memory and redisplays the Control Panel.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 27


Shipcase Database Option

As you work through analyses and create various types of shipcases,


TOPS Pro allows you to save those shipcases to a shipcase database.
Rather than enter shipcase parameters with each new analysis, this feature
allows you to use shipcases already defined in the system.

Notice two things on the Shipcase Parameters dialog box:

™ The Case feature includes a Database option, which activates the


Database feature just below.

™ The Database feature tells TOPS Pro to automatically use shipcases


already set up and stored in the shipcase database. The Database
feature has two options:

− All: Tells TOPS Pro to consider all shipcases saved to the


database when it calculates solutions.

− Multiple: Opens the Select Items dialog box and allows you to
select specific shipcases to be used in calculating solutions.

To use the Multiple option, follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Multiple button.


System Response: The Select Items dialog box appears, as pictured
below.

Notice two things about this dialog box:

™ The window on the left shows a list of shipcases available to be used


in the calculation.

™ The window on the right shows a list of shipcases that have been
selected to be used in the calculation.

2. Select a shipcase to be used in the analysis.

28 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


3. Click on the Add button.
System Response: TOPS Pro adds the selected shipcase to the
window on the right.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each shipcase to be used in the analysis.


Note: To use all shipcases, click on the Add All button.

To remove a shipcase from the right-hand window, select the shipcase


and click on the Remove button. To remove all shipcases from the
right-hand window, click on the Remove All button.

5. After selecting the shipcases, click on the OK button.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores the selected shipcases to memory
and redisplays the Shipcase Parameters dialog box.

Step 5: Define the Unitload (Pallet) Parameters

To define your unitload (pallet) parameters, follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Pallet icon in the Package Design Sequence Area.


System Response: The UnitLoad Parameters dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

2. Use the default values to define the specific pallet parameters. Use the
Tab key to move from field to field.
Note: Be aware that you can define the dimensions for a non-standard
pallet by using the New Pallet feature.

3. After completing the unitload parameters, click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores your unitload parameters to
memory and redisplays the Control Panel.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 29


Step 6: Define Truck Parameters

To define truck parameters, follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Truck icon in the Package Design Sequence Area.


System Response: The Vehicle Parameters dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

2. Use the default values to define the truck parameters:


Note: Like the pallets, you can define the dimensions for a non-
standard truck by using the New Vehicle feature.

3. After completing the truck parameters, click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores your truck parameters to memory
and redisplays the Control Panel.

Step 7: Generate Possible Solutions and Make a


Decision

This step works a little bit differently than in the carton-shipcase-pallet


scenario. TOPS Pro generates solutions in the same way, but in the first
scenario, there were two decisions to make in the final analysis – which
shipcase and unitload solutions are the best way to go.

In this analysis – bottle-tray-shipcase-pallet-truck – more stages mean


there are more decisions to make. In this analysis, you'll make a series of
decisions that take you from one stage in the Package Design Sequence to
the next. One decision affects the next decision, which affects the next
decision, and so on. We'll walk through the process one step at a time.

To generate the possible solutions for this analysis, follow these


instructions:

1. Click on the Calc button.


System Response: TOPS Pro uses the defined parameters – bottle,
tray, shipcase, pallet and truck – and generates all possible solutions

30 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


for the analysis. TOPS Pro displays the Analysis View, as pictured
below.

Let's look at these three panes one at a time:

™ Intermediate Pack Solution View: This pane, in the top, left portion
of the screen, displays a graphic of a selected packer solution – i.e.,
how the tray is designed and utilized. If you select another packer
solution, this graphic will change accordingly.

™ Shipcase Solution View: This pane, in the top, right portion of the
screen, displays a graphic of the shipcase that corresponds to the
selected packer solution – how the shipcase is designed and utilized.
The Shipcase Solution View is driven by the selected packer solution
and changes in conjunction with the packer solution graphic.

For example, if you select Solution 2 from the Packer Solution List,
the packer solution graphic redisplays to reflect the Solution 2 values.
At the same time, the Shipcase Solution View graphic redisplays to
reflect Solution 2. For this analysis, we’ll focus on Solution 1.

™ Packer Solution List: This pane, at the bottom of the screen, displays
a list of all packer solutions generated for the analysis. In this
example, TOPS Pro has generated two packer solutions.

2. Select a packer solution.

3. Click on the Next button – – in the Toolbar.


System Response: TOPS Pro redisplays the Analysis View with three
new panes, as pictured on the next page.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 31


As you can see, TOPS Pro has proceeded to the next step in the analysis.
We've completed the packer stage of the analysis; now we're ready to
work with the shipcase solutions, which in turn affect the unitload options.

Let's briefly outline these three panes:

™ Shipcase Solution View: This pane displays a graphic of a selected


shipcase solution – how the shipcase is designed and utilized.

™ UnitLoad Solution View: This pane displays a graphic of the


unitload that corresponds to the selected shipcase solution. It shows
how the unitload is designed and utilized.

™ Shipcase Solution List: This pane displays a list of all shipcase


solutions generated for the analysis. In this example, TOPS Pro has
generated five shipcase solutions.

4. Select a shipcase solution. We’ll go with Solution 1 here.

5. Click on the Next button – – in the Toolbar.


System Response: TOPS Pro redisplays the Analysis View with three
new panes, as pictured on the next page.

32 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


Again, TOPS Pro has proceeded to the next step in the analysis. We've
completed the shipcase stage of the analysis; now we're ready to work
with the unitload solutions, which in turn affect the truck options.

Let's briefly outline these three panes:

™ UnitLoad Solution View: This pane displays a graphic of a selected


unitload solution – how the unitload is designed and utilized.

™ Vehicle Solution View: This pane displays a graphic of the truck load
that corresponds to the selected unitload solution. It shows how the
truck load is designed and utilized.

™ UnitLoad Solution List: This pane displays a list of all the unitload
solutions generated for the analysis. In this example, TOPS Pro has
generated two unitload solutions.

6. Select the first unitload solution.

7. Click on Next in the Vehicle View pane.


System Response: TOPS Pro redisplays the Analysis View with three
new panes, as pictured on the next page.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 33


Again, TOPS Pro has proceeded to the next step in the analysis. We've
completed the unitload stage of the analysis; now we're ready to work with
the vehicle solutions, which will complete the analysis.

Let's briefly outline these three panes:

™ Vehicle Solution View: This pane displays a graphic of a selected


truck solution – how the truck load is designed and utilized.

™ Vehicle Statistics View: This pane displays detailed statistics for a


selected vehicle solution.

™ Vehicle Solution List: This pane displays a list of all the truck
solutions generated for the analysis. In this example, TOPS Pro has
generated 20 unitload solutions.

8. Select a vehicle solution.

9. Click on the Save button to save the analysis record.

At this point, now that the analysis is complete, you might want to
print a hard copy of the information generated for the solution. We'll
talk about the printing function in the section, "Design the Output from
an Analysis."

Make a Decision Using the Quad View

As the term suggests, the Quad View divides the Analysis View into four
panes as opposed to three. In this exercise, we'll work through the same
bottle-tray-carton-pallet-truck analysis using the Quad View.
Note: The Quad View is available only for analyses with four or more
stages.

34 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


To generate the possible solutions for this analysis, using the Quad View,
follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Calc button.


System Response: TOPS Pro uses the defined parameters – bottle,
tray, shipcase, pallet and truck – and generates all possible solutions.
TOPS Pro displays the Analysis View with three panes.

2. Go to the Menu Bar and open the View menu.

3. Select Quad Screen.


System Response: The Analysis View redisplays with four panes, as
pictured below.

As you can see, TOPS Pro begins with the first stage in the analysis – the
packer stage – and proceeds in order of the Package Design Sequence.

Let's briefly outline each of these four panes:

™ Intermediate Pack Solution View: This pane, in the top, left portion
of the screen, displays a graphic view of a packer solution.

™ Shipcase Solution View: This pane, in the top, right portion of the
screen, displays a graphic view of a shipcase solution. This solution
corresponds to the active packer solution.

™ UnitLoad Solution View: This pane, in the bottom, left portion of the
screen, displays a graphic view of a unit (pallet) load solution. This
solution corresponds to the active shipcase solution.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 35


™ Packer Solution List: This pane, in the bottom, right portion of the
screen, displays a list of all the packer solutions generated for the
analysis. In this example, TOPS Pro has generated four packer
solutions.

Notice that each pane has a vertical scroll bar at the right edge of the pane.
At each end of the scroll bar is an arrow – a down arrow at the top of the
bar and an up arrow at the bottom of the bar. These up and down arrows
allow you to display a graphic view of each solution for an stage.

For example, notice that in the Intermediate Pack pane, the title bar of the
pane indicates that this is the first of four packer solutions (1 of 4). If you
click on the down arrow on the scroll bar, the Intermediate Pack pane will
redisplay with a graphic view of the second of the four packer solutions.
From there, if you click on the up arrow, the first solution will redisplay.

4. From the Intermediate Pack pane, use the up and down arrows to
select a unitload solution. You can also select a solution from the
Packer List. We’ll go with Solution 1.

5. Click on the Next button in the Toolbar.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores the packer solution to memory
and redisplays the Analysis View with new panes, as pictured below.

Again, TOPS Pro has proceeded to the next step in the analysis. We've
completed the packer stage; TOPS Pro now displays panes for the
remaining stages of the analysis:

™ Shipcase View
™ UnitLoad View
™ Vehicle View
™ Shipcase List

36 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


6. From the Shipcase View pane, use the up and down arrows to select a
shipcase solution. You can also select a solution from the Shipcase
List. We’ll go with Solution 1.

7. Click on the Next button in the Toolbar.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores the shipcase solution to memory
and redisplays the Analysis View with new panes, as pictured below.

Again, TOPS Pro has proceeded to the next step in the analysis. We've
completed the shipcase stage; TOPS Pro now displays panes for the
remaining stages of the analysis:

™ UnitLoad View
™ Vehicle View
™ UnitLoad List

8. From the UnitLoad View pane, use the up and down arrows to select a
unitload solution. You can also select a solution from the Unitload
List. We’ll go with Solution 1.

9. Click on the Next button in the Toolbar.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores the unitload solution to memory
and redisplays the Analysis View with new panes, as pictured on the
next page.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 37


Again, TOPS Pro has proceeded to the next step in the analysis. We've
completed the unitload stage; TOPS Pro now displays panes for the
remaining stage of the analysis:

™ Vehicle Solution View


™ Vehicle Statistics View
™ Vehicle Solutions List

10. From the Vehicle View pane, use the up and down arrows to select a
vehicle solution. You can also select a solution from the Vehicle List.
We’ll go with Solution 1.

11. Click on the Next button in the Toolbar.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores the vehicle solution to memory
and redisplays the Control Panel.

Step 8: Design Custom Styles for the Bottles and


Trays to Dress Up the Display.

In this last step, we’ll design custom styles for the bottles and trays to
dress up the on-screen display. Instead of generic bottles and trays, we’ll
give them a more realistic design. We’ll make a generic bottle look like
an oil can and give the tray a large display area on the front side. We’ll
design these custom styles using the Create A Shape Yourself (CASY)
system.

Design a Custom-Shaped Bottle

To design a custom-shaped bottle to make it look like an oil can, start


from the Control Panel and follow these instructions:

38 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


1. Click on the CASY Primary Package icon – – in the Toolbar.
System Response: The CASY Primary Package Screen appears, as
pictured below.

2. Use your mouse to click on the left edge of the work unit (on the left)
and mark off four distinct sections, as pictured below.

Notice that the display unit shows four clearly defined sections.

3. One by one, click on each marker on the left edge of the work unit and
drag it toward the center of the unit; leave the last marker (flush
bottom) where it is. Use the figure on the next page as a guide.

When you drag a marker from the left, the point on the opposite side
moves toward the center as well to give the figure symmetry. This
defines the overall shape of the sections that comprise the oil can.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 39


When you’ve moved the markers, the work unit should look similar to
the one pictured below.

4. At this point, you can fine-tune the shapes of each section of the oil
can if you wish. In this exercise, we’ll go with the default primary
shape (Round) for each section of the oil can. The can should look
like the one pictured on the next page.

Note: TOPS Pro allows you to select a primary shape for a selected
section of a work unit. Right-click on a section of the work unit, then
use the small menu to select a Primary Shape.

5. Next, we'll position the spout off-center, flush to the right side of the
oil can. Click on the center marker for the spout section and drag it to
the right; use the figure below as a guide. When you’ve dragged the
first section flush right, the work unit will redisplay as pictured on the
nest page.

40 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


6. Notice that in Figure 50 above, there’s a disjointed space where the
spout section meets the neck section of the can; it needs a smoother
transition. CASY allows you to smoothly transition from one section
to another when one section is off-center.

Right-click in the neck (second) section on the work unit.


System Response: The small menu appears.

Select the Primary Shape option.


System Response: The submenu appears.

Select the TransTop option.


System Response: The work unit redisplays with the spout and neck
sections of the can joined seamlessly together, as pictured below.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 41


At this point, the design is complete. If you want, you can assign colors
and bitmaps to individual sections of the can.

7. If you’re satisfied with the oil can, name it and save it to the database.
In this exercise, we’ll name it OILCAN. As you work with primary
packs, the oil can will be included in the list of CASY-style options.

Design a Custom-Shaped Tray

To design a custom-shaped tray, start from the Control Panel and follow
these instructions:

1. Click on the CASY Shipcase/Tray icon – – in the Toolbar.


System Response: The CASY Shipcase/Tray Screen appears, as
pictured below.

2. When the CASY Shipcase/Tray Screen opens, the front side of the unit
is active by default, so we’ll work with that side first. The front needs
six markers along its top edge, which we’ll use to design the display
window. The top left and top right corners serve as two of the
markers.

One by one, click on each marker on the top edge of the tray to
position the other four markers. The work unit, with six markers
across the top edge, should look like the one pictured on the next page.

42 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


3. For markers 3 and 4, drag the markers downward; use the figure below
as a guide. When you’ve moved these markers into the right positions,
the work unit should look like the one pictured below.

4. Now that the display window on the front side of the tray is complete,
repeat the same process to design a display window for the back side
of the tray.

5. On the left and right sides of the tray, we want to create holes to serve
as handles for the tray. To create a hole in the left side of the tray,
click on the Left icon on the Toolbar.
System Response: The CASY Shipcase/Tray Screen redisplays with
work unit representing the left side of the tray.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 43


6. Right-click inside the work unit.
System Response: A small menu appears.

Select the Create Hole option.


System Response: The system inserts a box, which represents the
hole, on the face of the work unit.

Resize the box (hole) to the appropriate size and move it near the top
edge of the work unit. The left side of the tray should look similar to
the one pictured below.

7. Now that the hole on the left side of the tray is complete, repeat the
same process to design a hole for the right side.

8. CASY allows you to select and insert a bitmap onto any side of the
tray. To insert a bitmap, select a side (front, back, left or right) to
make it active.

Right-click inside the work unit.


System Response: The small menu appears.

Select the Insert Bitmap option.


System Response: A dialog box appears with a list of bitmap files.

Select the bitmap file you want to insert and click on the Open button.
System Response: The system inserts the selected bitmap onto the
active side of the tray. You can resize the bitmap as you like and drag
it to any position on the active side.

In this exercise, we’ll insert a TOPS bitmap on the left and right sides
of the tray. After all the design elements are complete, the tray should
look similar to the one pictured on the next page.

44 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


9. If you’re satisfied with all the elements of the tray, be sure to give it a
name and save it to the database. In this exercise, we’ll name it
TRAY001. Now, when you’re working with intermediate packers,
this tray style will be available in the list of CASY-style options.

Display CASY Styles in the Analysis

As you’re working through an analysis, TOPS Pro gives you the capability
to display your work using the custom-shaped bottles, trays, etc. you
designed with the CASY system. Let’s go back to the analysis and the
first Analysis View in the process, as pictured below.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 45


To display CASY designs in the analysis, follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Show CASY icon – – in the Toolbar.


System Response: This turns on the Show CASY mode.

2. Click on the Modify Primary Pack Parameters icon in the Toolbar.


System Response: The Bottle Parameters dialog box appears.

3. From the CASY Style drop-down list, select OILCAN.TPR, which is


the file that represents your oil can.

4. Click on OK.
System Response: The Analysis View redisplays with the generic
bottles now shown as CASY oil cans, as pictured below.

5. Click on the Modify InterPack Parameters icon in the Toolbar.


System Response: The Intermediate Pack Parameters dialog box
appears.

6. From the CASY Style drop-down list, select TRAY001.TSC, which is


the file that represents your tray for display.

7. Click on OK.
System Response: The Analysis View redisplays with the generic
trays now shown as CASY die-cut trays, as pictured on the next page.

46 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


At this point, the exercise is complete.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 47


Exercise #3: Perform a Knockdown
Analysis
One frequently used analysis is the knockdown (KD) analysis, in which a
box has been collapsed flat. In a KD analysis, you'll usually take a bundle
of collapsed boxes and load them onto a pallet. The dimensions of the box
have obviously changed. TOPS Pro allows you to account for the
knockdown by entering the dimensions of a box after it has been collapsed
flat.

Note: The Knockdown button, located on the Carton Parameters dialog


box, will automatically calculate these dimensions for you. However, the
Knockdown button is used only for RSC-style boxes.

Objective: Find the optimal solution for loading bundles of collapsed


boxes onto a pallet after one or more boxes have been collapsed.

In this analysis, the various stages have these general characteristics:

™ Each KD carton (box) measures 16.75 inches long, 14.5 inches wide
and 0.5 inches high.

™ Each bundle is configured as a shipcase that contains 20, 25 or 30


collapsed boxes.

™ The pallet is non-standard, which means you'll design a new pallet


tailored to your needs.

To perform this analysis, you'll start from the Control Panel and work
through four simple sets of procedures, in this order:

1. Define the Package Design Sequence.

2. Define the carton (KD box) parameters.


Note: Be aware that two types of cartons are available – the box
carton (green icon) and the intermediate pack carton (blue icon).

3. Define the shipcase (bundle) parameters.

4. Define the unitload (pallet) parameters.

5. Generate possible solutions and make a decision.

48 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


Step 1: Define the Package Design Sequence

To define the Package Design Sequence, start from the Control Panel and
follow these instructions:

1. Click on the New button to clear any work from the Control Panel.

2. Click on the Box Carton (green icon) button.

3. Click on the Shipper button.

4. Click on the Pallet button.


System Response: The Carton, Shipper and Pallet icons appear in the
Package Design Sequence area of the panel, as pictured below.

Step 2: Define Carton (KD Box) Parameters

To define your carton (KD box) parameters, follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Box Carton icon in the Package Design Sequence Area.
System Response: The Carton Parameters dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

This dialog box allows you to enter parameters for a collapsed box.

2. Use the following fields to define the KD box parameters. Use the
Tab key to move from field to field.

™ Length: Enter 16.75.


™ Width: Enter 14.5.
™ Height: Enter 0.5.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 49


3. After completing the carton parameters, click on OK.
System Response: TOPS Pro stores your carton parameters to
memory and redisplays the Control Panel.

Step 3: Define Shipcase (Bundle) Parameters

To define your shipcase (bundle) parameters, follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Shipper icon in the Package Design Sequence Area.


System Response: The Shipcase Parameters dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

This dialog box allows you to define the parameters of your shipcase in a
very precise, thorough manner. In addition to the general dimensions
outlined in the objective of this analysis, you'll also define these
parameters:

™ The shipcase is a new case.


™ The style is bundle (invisible).
™ Shipcase dimensions are measured from the outside.
™ For sizing purposes, maximum cartons along the length, width and
depth of the shipcase are 1, 1 and 100, respectively.

2. Use the following fields to define the shipcase parameters. Use the
Tab key to move from field to field.

™ Case: Use the default (New).


™ Style: Select Bundle (Invisible).
™ Dimensions: Use the default (Outside).
™ Vert: Use the default (Height).
™ Sizing: Select Values.
™ Values: Enter 20, 25 and 30.

50 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


3. Click on the Options button.
System Response: The Shipcase Options dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

This dialog box allows you to further define the sizing of the shipcase
(bundle).

4. Use the following fields to define the sizing of the shipcase:

™ Max Cartons along Length/Cartons: Enter 1.


™ Max Cartons along Width/Cartons: Enter 1.
™ Max Cartons along Height/Cartons: Enter 100.

5. After completing the sizing parameters, click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores your sizing parameters to
memory and redisplays the Shipcase Parameters dialog box.

6. After completing the shipcase parameters, click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores your shipcase parameters to
memory and redisplays the Control Panel.

Step 4: Define Unitload (Pallet) Parameters

In this exercise, let's assume that your bottling company needs to send
palletized knockdowns to another location. Your company uses a unique,
non-standard pallet not included in the TOPS database. Therefore, we'll
use TOPS Pro to create a unique pallet with the following characteristics:

™ The pallet measures 50 by 50 inches, and has a height of 5 inches.

™ The pallet weighs 65 pounds.

™ The pallet is a stringer pallet with flush alignment and single-face


construction.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 51


™ The deck board dimensions are standard for a stringer pallet.

™ The pallet has a maximum overhang of 3 inches along the height and
width.

To define your unitload (pallet) parameters, follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Pallet icon.


System Response: The UnitLoad Parameters dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

2. Use the following fields to define maximum overhang:

™ Maximum Overhang Length: Enter 3.


™ Maximum Overhang Width: Enter 3.

3. Click on the New Pallet button.


System Response: The Define Pallet dialog box appears, as below.

52 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


Notice that the Define Pallet dialog box allows you to design your pallet
in a very precise manner:

™ The Style options allow you to select the type of pallet you want to
build.

™ The Size options allow you to enter the length, width, height and
weight of the pallet.

™ The Deck Boards options allow you to enter dimensions of the


pallet's deck boards, how much space is between the deck boards, how
high, how many, etc.

4. Use the following fields to define the pallet parameters. Use the Tab
key to move from field to field.

™ Style: Use the default (Stringer).


™ Alignment: Use the default (Flush).
™ Description: Enter Test Pallet.
™ Construction: Use the default (Single Face).
™ Length: Enter 50.
™ Width: Enter 50.
™ Height: Enter 5.
™ Weight: Enter 65.
™ Outside deck board width: Use the default (7).
™ Number of inside deck: Use the default (5).
™ Inside deck board width: Use the default (5).
™ Deck board height: Use the default (1).
™ Stringer Width: Use the default (2).

5. After completing the pallet parameters, click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores your pallet parameters to
memory and redisplays the UnitLoad Parameters dialog box.

At this point, let's say you want all the knockdowns oriented the same
way on the pallet – a one-block pattern. (In a two-block pattern, the
knockdowns are oriented in two ways, and so on.) Because you want
to see only a one-block solution, you need to tell TOPS Pro to
eliminate all other possibilities.

6. Click on the Options button.


System Response: The UnitLoad Options dialog box appears, as
pictured on the next page.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 53


Notice a couple of things about the UnitLoad Options dialog box:

™ The Pattern Styles section provides a list of all types of patterns you
might want to see. To select a pattern style, you click on the box next
to that style, and an "9" marks that style as selected. To de-select a
pattern style, click on the box again, and the box is cleared.

™ When you select a pattern style, the g.o.d. window in the bottom, right
corner of the screen displays a visual of what the selected pattern style
looks like.

7. You want to see only a one-block pattern, so select 1 Block. If you see
any options marked with a "9" as selected, and be sure to de-select
those options.

8. Click on OK.
System Response: TOPS Pro stores your unitload options to memory
and redisplays the UnitLoad Parameters dialog box.

9. If all your unitload parameters are correct, click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro stores your unitload parameters to
memory and redisplays the Control Panel.

54 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


Step 5: Generate Possible Solutions and Make a
Decision

To generate the possible solutions for this analysis, follow these


instructions:

1. Click on the Calc button.


System Response: TOPS Pro uses the defined parameters – carton,
shipcase and unitload – and generates all possible solutions for the
analysis. TOPS Pro displays the Analysis View with three different
panes, as pictured below.

Let's look at these three panes one at a time:

™ Shipcase Solution View: This pane, in the top, left portion of the
screen, displays a graphic of what a selected shipcase solution looks
like – i.e., how the collapsed boxes are bundled. If you select another
solution from the Shipcase Solution List, this graphic will change
accordingly.

™ UnitLoad Solution View: This pane, in the top, right portion of the
screen, displays a graphic of the unitload that corresponds to the
selected shipcase solution. It shows how the bundles are configured
on the pallet. The UnitLoad Solution View is driven by the selected
shipcase solution and changes in conjunction with the Shipcase
Solution View.

For example, if you select Solution 2 from the Shipcase Solution List,
the Shipcase Solution View will redisplay to reflect the Solution 2
values. At the same time, the UnitLoad Solution View will redisplay
to reflect Solution 2.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 55


™ Shipcase Solution List: This pane, at the bottom of the screen,
displays a list of all shipcase solutions generated for the analysis. In
this example, TOPS Pro has generated three shipcase solutions.

Select a shipcase solution.

2. Click on the Next button in the Toolbar.


System Response: TOPS Pro redisplays the Analysis View with three
new panes, as pictured below.

Notice that TOPS Pro has proceeded to the next step in the analysis.
We've completed the shipcase stage of the analysis; now we're ready to
work with the unitload solutions, which will complete the analysis.

All three panes work in conjunction with one another. Let's briefly outline
these three panes:

™ UnitLoad Solution View: This pane displays a graphic of what a


selected unitload solution looks like – i.e., how the knockdowns are
loaded onto the pallet.

™ UnitLoad Statistics View: This pane displays detailed statistics for a


selected solution.

™ UnitLoad Solution List: This pane displays a list of all the solutions
generated for the analysis. For this analysis, TOPS Pro has generated
two solutions for the given shipcase and unitload parameters.

For each solution, this pane displays 15 items of basic information –


case weight, volume, vertical dimension, etc. – which appear in 15
columns across the pane.

4. Select a unitload solution.

56 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


5. Click on OK in the UnitLoad View pane.
System Response: TOPS Pro redisplays the Control Panel.

6. Click on the Save button to save the analysis record.

At this point, now that the analysis is complete, you might want to print a
hard copy of the information generated for the solution. We'll talk about
the printing function in the next section, "Design the Output From an
Analysis."

TOPS Pro Tutorial 57


Exercise #4: Design the Output From
an Analysis
The TOPS Pro software provides much flexibility in the way you design
and print analysis output. After you've decided on your solutions, you're
ready to print a hard copy that shows the information that went into your
analysis.

You'll design the layout of the printout, then decide what type of
information will be included and how that information will be presented
(different graphical views, statistics, etc.). In this exercise, we'll design
the output to have the following characteristics:

™ The output will have a Quad Split page layout.

™ The heading will read "Exercise #2: Complex Analysis."

™ The four areas of the printout will show graphics of the Case 3D View,
the Unitload Plan View, the UnitLoad Dual Plan and the Vehicle 3D
View.

™ The bottom of the printout will show sample text.

To design the output for an analysis, you'll start from the Control Panel
and work through two simple sets of procedures, in this order:

1. Define print parameters.

2. Add text or images to the printed output.

Step 1: Define Print Parameters


To define print parameters, start from the Control Panel and follow these
instructions:

1. Open the analysis record you created for Exercise #2: Perform a
Complex Analysis.

2. Go to the Menu Bar and open the File menu.

3. Select Print Preview, then select Analysis.


System Response: The Print Parameters dialog box appears, as
pictured on the next page.

58 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


Let's take a brief overview of the Print Parameters dialog box:

™ The Page Layout section allows you to select one of eight possible
page layouts:

The Full Page layout allows you to select only one area of the
analysis to print.

The Horizontal Split and Vertical Split layouts allow you to select
two areas of the analysis to print.

The 3 Way Bottom, 3 Way Top, 3 Way Left and 3 Way Right
layouts allow you to select three areas of the analysis to print.

The Quad Split layout allows you to select four areas of the analysis
to print.

™ The Heading field allows you to enter the text of the heading that you
want to appear at the top of the printout.

™ The Areas 1, 2, 3 and 4 fields allow you to select the area(s) of the
analysis from which you want to print information.

Note: Be aware that the number of areas available to select from


depends on the page layout you selected. For example, if you selected
the Horizontal Split layout, which contains two sections, you'll be able
to select from only two areas.

™ The Notes field allows you to enter the text of any notes that you want
to appear at the bottom of the printout.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 59


™ The Show Additional Notes fields allow you to enter information
such as Label Format, Test Weight and Package Quantity.

4. Use the following fields to enter print parameters. Use the Tab key to
move from field to field.

™ Page Layout: Select Quad Split.

™ Heading: Enter "Exercise #2: Complex Analysis."

™ Area 1: Select Case 3D View.

™ Area 2: Select Unitload Plan View.

™ Area 3: Select UnitLoad Dual Plan.

™ Area 4: Select Vehicle 3D View.

™ Notes: For exercise purposes, enter the following text: "This is


where you'll enter any text you want to appear at the bottom of
your printout."

5. If all your print parameters are correct, click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro displays the Print Preview panel, as
pictured below.

Notice the following things about the Print Preview panel:

™ The heading reads "Exercise #2: Complex Analysis" and includes


today's date. The heading also includes a title, if you specified a title.

™ Area 1 displays a graphic of the Case 3D View.

™ Area 2 displays a graphic of the Unitload Plan View.

60 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


™ Area 3 displays a graphic of the UnitLoad Dual Plan.

™ Area 4 displays a graphic of the Vehicle 3D View.

™ At the bottom of the printout, the Notes section displays the sample
text you entered.

™ The Zoom button allows you to magnify the panel and get a closer,
more detailed look at the output.

™ The Print button sends the output to the printer.

™ The Email button allows you to send the analysis report to another
person via email.

6. To print the output, click on the Print button.


System Response: TOPS Pro sends the print preview output to the
printer.

Step 2: Add Text or Images to Printed Output

After you've designed and generated your analysis output, TOPS Pro
allows you to add text or graphic images to the output before you print it.
This is a very easy process that allows you to customize and enhance the
output's presentation.

To add text and images to the output, start from the Print Preview panel
and follow these instructions:

1. Click on the Zoom button.


System Response: TOPS Pro magnifies the Print Preview panel.

2. Click on the area of the output where you want to enter text.
System Response: TOPS Pro displays a four-cornered entry field
with the cursor positioned inside the field. Notice that you can "drag"
the entry field to any position on the screen.

3. In this exercise, enter text as follows:

™ In the first quad (top left), click above the graphic and enter this
text: "Bottles into a Case."

™ In the second quad (top right), click above the graphic and enter
this text: " Cases on a Pallet – Plan View."

™ In the third quad (bottom left), click above the graphic and enter
this text: "Cases on a Pallet – Rotated Layers."

™ In the fourth quad (bottom right), click above the graphic and enter
this text: "Loaded Pallets on a Truck."

TOPS Pro Tutorial 61


4. Drag the text fields so that they're centered at the top of each quad,
above the graphics.

Now that you've entered your text, suppose you want to add a graphic
image to the fourth quad (bottom right).

5. Go to the Menu Bar and open the Edit Menu.

6. Select Paste Pict From File.


System Response: The Select File dialog box appears, as pictured
below.

Notice that this dialog box displays a list of bitmap files.

7. Select the tops.bmp file and click on OK.


System Response: The Print Preview panel redisplays with the
selected TOPS bitmap file inserted into the output.

8. Drag the image to the bottom, right corner of the fourth quad.

9. If all your text and graphics are correct, click on the Print button.
System Response: TOPS Pro sends the analysis output to the printer.
For a hard copy of this output, see the last page of this Tutorial Guide.

10. Click on the Close button.


System Response: TOPS Pro asks if you want to save your changes.

11. Click on Yes.


System Response: TOPS Pro prompts you to enter a filename to be
saved.

12. Enter the name of this file and click on OK.


System Response: TOPS Pro redisplays the Control Panel.

62 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


Exercise #5: Publish an Analysis to
the Web or Network
TOPS Pro allows you to publish the results of an analysis to the Web or to
a local network, thus allowing other people to view the analysis. With the
Publish Analysis feature, analyses are collected into albums, which are
created by the user to logically organize one or more analyses.

To publish an analysis to the Web or network, start from the Control Panel
and follow these instructions:

1. Go to the Menu Bar and open the File Menu.

2. Select the Publish Analysis option, then select either the To Web or To
Network option.
System Response: The Publisher dialog box appears in one of two
forms, as pictured below.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 63


The Publisher dialog box is organized into the following sections:

™ Publish Profile: A profile contains one or more selected analyses; the


profile is published to the Web or network. This section allows you to
create a new profile or select an existing profile, as well as specify
whether the profile is published to the Web or local network.

™ Site: Allows you to specify the location to which the profile will be
published.

− With the Web/Internet option selected, the Site section prompts


you to enter information for Address, Remote Path, User Name
and Password.

− With the Local Network option selected, the Site section prompts
you to enter a destination path.

™ Album: Allows you to create a new album or select an existing album


to which the selected analysis will be stored.

™ Analysis: Allows you to select and add one or more analyses to be


published as part of the profile.

™ File Transfer Status: Displays a list of FTP transactions (when


publishing a profile to the Web).

3. In the Profile Name field, use the drop-down list to select the profile
that will be used to publish the analysis.
Note: To create a new profile, click on the New Profile button and
enter the name of the new profile in the Profile Name field.

64 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


To remove a profile, select the profile from the drop-down list, then
click on the Remove Profile button.

4. In the Site section, enter information for one of two options:

− If publishing to the Web, enter the Address, Remote Path, User


Name and Password.
Note: The Show Options button displays three additional
Web/Internet-related fields.

− If publishing to a local network, browse for and select the path.


Note: For specific Site information, please contact your IT
Department.

5. After entering Site information, click on the Connect button.


System Response: TOPS Pro establishes a connection to the
specified site, then populates the Album section with a list of existing
albums stored on the site.

6. In the Album section, select the existing album that contains the
analysis to be published.
Note: To create a new album, click on the New Album button and
enter the name of the new profile in the Profile Name field.

To remove an album from the site, select the album from the list, then
click on the Remove Album button.

7. In the Analysis section, go to the “Available for Publishing” list, select


the analysis you want to publish, then click on the Add button. Repeat
this step for each analysis you want to add to the profile.
Note: To remove an analysis from the profile, select the analysis in
the “Existing Analysis is Selected” list and click on the Remove
button.

System Response: TOPS Pro retrieves images from the selected


analysis, converts the images to XML and HTML files, and sends the
files to the server.

Note: When publishing to the Web, TOPS Pro displays a log of FTP
transactions in the File Transfer Status window. If there is an error
publishing to the Web, this log provides information that might
identify the problem.

8. To save the profile, click on the Save Profile button.


System Response: TOPS Pro saves the profile, including all Site
information, to the database.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 65


Exercise #6: New CASY Features
The CASY function now includes two new primary shapes – Round
Rectangle and Trigger Top – and five new shape functions – Match Top,
Match Bottom, Match Both, Pinch Top and Pinch Bottom.

New Primary Shape – Round Rectangle

The Round Rectangle can be used to design containers like an ice cream
box. Start from the CASY Primary Package Screen and follow these
instructions:

1. Right-click inside the work unit.


System Response: A small menu appears.

2. Select the Primary Shape option, then select the Round Rectangle
option.
System Response: The work unit in the Edit View Display Area
converts to a Round Rectangle shape, as pictured below.

New Primary Shape – Trigger Top

The Trigger Top can be used to design containers like a Windex bottle.
Start from the CASY Primary Package Screen and follow these
instructions:

1. Click on the edge of the work unit to create a section marker. (To use
the Trigger Top shape, the work unit must have a top section and a
bottom section.)

2. Right-click inside the top section of the work unit.


System Response: A small menu appears.

3. Select the Primary Shape option, and then select the Trigger Top
option.
System Response: The cylinder in the Edit View Display Area
converts to a Trigger Top shape, as pictured on the next page.

66 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


New Shape Function – Match Top

The Match Top function makes the top of one section conform to the
shape of the section directly above it. For example, in the figure below
the work unit has a rectangular bottom section and a round top section.

1. Right-click on the bottom section of the work unit.


System Response: A small menu appears.

2. Select the Shape Function option, then select the Match Top function.
System Response: In the bottom section of the work unit, the top
portion of the rectangle becomes rounded to match the section above
it, as pictured below.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 67


New Shape Function – Match Bottom

The Match Bottom function makes the bottom of one section conform to
the shape of the section directly below it. For example, in the figure
below the work unit has a rectangular top section and a round bottom
section.

1. Right-click on the top section of the work unit.


System Response: A small menu appears.

2. Select the Shape Function option, then select the Match Bottom
function.
System Response: In the top section of the work unit, the bottom
portion of the rectangle becomes rounded to match the section below
it, as pictured below.

New Shape Function – Match Both

The Match Both function transforms both the top and bottom portions of a
work unit section. For example, the figure below shows a work unit with
three sections – a round top, an oval middle and a rectangular bottom.
The Match Both function will transform the oval middle section to match
both the round top section and the rectangular section.

68 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


1. Right-click on the middle section of the work unit.
System Response: A small menu appears.

2. Select the Shape Function option, then select the Match Both function.
System Response: The oval (middle) becomes rounded where it
meets the round top; the oval (middle) takes on a rectangle shape
where it meets the rectangular bottom, as pictured below.

New Shape Function – Pinch Top

The Pinch Top function transforms a section of any shape and gives its top
edge a pinched shape. The Pinch Top function is useful for designing
tubes of gel, sunscreen, etc. In the figure below the work unit has a round
top section.

1. Right-click on the top section of the work unit.


System Response: A small menu appears.

2. Select the Shape Function option, then select the Pinch Top function.
System Response: The work unit transforms with a pinched top, as
pictured below.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 69


New Shape Function – Pinch Bottom

The Pinch Bottom function transforms a section of any shape and gives its
bottom edge a pinched shape. The Pinch Bottom function is useful for
designing tubes of toothpaste, etc. In the figure below the work unit has a
round bottom section.

1. Right-click on the bottom section of the work unit.


System Response: A small menu appears.

2. Select the Shape Function option, then select the Pinch Bottom
function.
System Response: The work unit transforms with a pinched bottom,
as pictured below.

70 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


Exercise #6: Design a Mixed Pallet
TOPS Pro features a module known as MixPro Pallet, which allows you to
design a pallet for display with any number of different size boxes. In this
exercise, we're loading a pallet for shipment to a warehouse store, where
the pallet will be displayed directly on a busy aisle. This mixed pallet
load includes several shipcases of snack foods – 15 cases of chocolate
bars, 32 cases of peanut bars and 30 cases corn chips, all of which have
different shipcase dimensions.

To design a pallet for display, you'll start from the Control Panel and work
through four simple sets of procedures, in this order:

1. Select and define a pallet.

2. Create new shipcases.

3. Add the shipcases to the pick list.

4. Define the unitload (pallet) parameters.

Step 1: Select and Define a Pallet

To select and define a pallet, start from the Control Panel and follow these
instructions:

1. Go to the Toolbar and click on the MixPro Pallet Design Editor icon –
.
System Response: The MixPro Screen appears, as pictured below.

2. Click on the Pallet button.


System Response: The Pallet Parameters dialog box appears, as
pictured on the next page.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 71


3. Use the following fields to define the pallet parameters:

™ Pallet: Use the default (GMA [Notched]).


™ Length Overhang: Use the default (0).
™ Width Overhang: Use the default (0).
™ Maximum Height (Including Pallet): Enter 56.
™ Weight: Use the default (0).

Step 2: Create New Shipcases

Suppose you want to load some specific type shipcases, but they're not
included in the shipcase list. MixPro allows you to create new shipcases
to meet your needs. To create new shipcases, follow these instructions:

1. Look at the shipcase list and decided which items you want to load
onto the pallet. In this exercise, we want the mixed pallet load to
include chocolate bars, peanut bars and corn chips.

Notice that the initial shipcase list does not include any of these items.
In this case, MixPro allows you to create new shipcases for these
items.

To create a new shipcase, click on the New button.


System Response: The Define Shipcase dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

72 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


2. Use the following fields to define the three shipcases:

Chocolate Bars Shipcase

™ Shipcase: Enter Chocolate Bars.


™ Length: Enter 16.
™ Width: Enter 12.
™ Height: Enter 10.

Peanut Bars Shipcase

™ Shipcase: Enter Peanut Bars.


™ Length: Enter 12.
™ Width: Enter 6.
™ Height: Enter 12.

Corn Chips Shipcase

™ Shipcase: Enter Corn Chips.


™ Length: Enter 10.
™ Width: Enter 9.
™ Height: Enter 10.

System Response: The MixPro Screen redisplays with the name of


the new shipcase included in the shipcase list.

Step 3: Add Shipcases to the Pick List

Once your shipcase list is complete, you're ready to add items to the pick
list. The pick list allows you to select items for loading onto the pallet.
To add shipcases to the pick list, follow these instructions:

1. Select an item from the shipcase list and click on the Add button, or
double-click on the item.
System Response: MixPro adds the selected item to the pick list.

2. Repeat this step for each item you want to select to the pick list –
chocolate bars, peanut bars and corn chips.

Step 4: Load Cases Onto the Pallet

To load cases onto the pallet, follow these instructions:

1. From the pick list, double-click on an item to be loaded onto the pallet.
In this exercise, we’ll select the chocolate bars first.
System Response: A graphic of the selected shipcase appears in the
g.o.d. (graphic online display) window, located in upper left corner of
the data display window, as pictured on the next page.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 73


2. To load the item onto the pallet, click on the image of the shipcase in
the g.o.d. window and drag it onto the pallet.
System Response: The system copies an image of the shipcase to the
pallet area, as pictured below.

In the figure above, you can see that the shipcase is sitting a few inches
from the closest edge of the pallet. We want the case to sit flush in the top
left corner of the pallet. The Snap feature allows you to position the
shipcase flush against any part of the pallet you choose.

3. Click on the red X to activate the Snap feature, then click on the Ê
button. Click on the shipcase and drag it to the top left corner of the
pallet.
System Response: The shipcase moves flush into the corner of the
pallet.

74 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


4. We've loaded the first of 15 cases of chocolate bars onto the pallet. To
complete the unitload, follow these guidelines:

Tips for Working with Cases on a Pallet

™ To add a second case to the pallet, hold down the Shift key and click
on the first shipcase. To place the second case on top of the first case,
Shift and click on top of the first case. To place the second case to the
side of the first case, Shift and click on the side of the first case.

™ If you’ve loaded a column, row or layer of cases on the pallet, you can
add another column, row or layer with one click. For example, to add
a layer of cases, hold down the Shift key and click on the top of the
first layer. The system adds another layer on top of the first layer. To
remove a layer of cases, hold down the Alt and Shift keys
simultaneously and click on the layer.

™ To remove (or delete) one or more cases from the pallet, click on the
case(s) and drag it off the backside of the pallet (to the left). The
case(s) completely disappear from the display.

To temporarily remove one or more cases from the pallet – you want
to load it back later – click on the case(s) and drag it off the front side
of the pallet (to the right). The case(s) remain in view on the display.

™ Use the Layer button to have MixPro calculate optional patterns for
the selected shipcase.

Using these guidelines, continue to load cases until you’ve loaded 15


cases of chocolate bars to the pallet, forming a wall along the backside of
the pallet. Your unitload will look similar to the one pictured below.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 75


5. To begin adding the next item onto the pallet (the peanut bars), select
it from the pick list. The case pictured in the g.o.d. window changes to
the newly selected case.

Complete the mixed pallet load until the unitload contains the
following items:

™ 15 cases of chocolate bars


™ 32 cases of peanut bars
™ 30 cases of corn chips

When you’ve finished loading the three different shipcases, the


unitload will look similar to the unitload pictured below.

6. Now that all the shipcases are loaded onto the pallet, you can now use
the alignment buttons to position the unitload on the pallet as you like
– to the top, bottom, left, right, etc. You can also display the labels on
the various shipcases.

Note: The MixPro alignment feature works a little differently than in


TOPS. In MixPro, the alignment moves the entire load; you cannot
select individual cases to align.

7. When your mixed pallet load is aligned the way you want it, you’re
ready to work with the Print Preview feature, tailor the report the way
you like, then print it.

8. Before closing the MixPro feature, be sure to give this mixed pallet
file a name and save the file.

76 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


Exercise #8: Design a Mixed Tray
TOPS Pro features a module known as MixPro Tray, which allows you to
design a mixed-product tray for display with different size packages in the
tray. For example, suppose you’re loading trays to be displayed in a
grocery store, where the tray will be displayed directly on a busy aisle.

In this exercise, the mixed tray includes several different items of nutrition
supplements – cans of protein powder, bottles of Gatorade and energy
bars, all of which have different product dimensions. MixPro Tray allows
you to easily load and place all types of packages onto a tray. These trays
can then be saved and used in MixPro Pallet to create a mixed pallet for
display.

To design a pallet for display, you'll start from the Control Panel and work
through four simple sets of procedures, in this order:

1. Select and define a tray.

2. Create new packages.

3. Add the packages to the pick list.

4. Load the items onto the tray.

Step 1: Select and Define a Tray

To select and define a tray, start from the Control Panel and follow these
instructions:

1. Go to the Toolbar and click on the MixPro Tray Design Editor icon –
.
System Response: The MixPro Tray Editor appears, as pictured here.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 77


Notice the following features on the MixPro Tray Editor:

™ Shipcase Button: Allows you to select a tray template.

™ Package List: Displays a list of packages (or objects) that you can
add to the pick list for loading onto the tray.

™ Add Button: Moves a selected item from the package list to the pick
list.

™ Delete Button: Deletes a selected item from the package list.

™ New Button: Opens the Define Package Info dialog box and allows
you to create a new package/object. Use this function if the package
list does not include the package you need.

™ Remove Button: Removes a selected package from the pick list.

™ Modify Button: Opens the Define Package Info dialog box, which
allows you to modify a newly created package/object.
Note: The Modify function applies only to packages created in
MixPro Tray. You cannot modify packages created in TOPS Pro.
Also, you cannot modify a package that’s already placed onto the tray.

™ Pick List: Displays a list of packages you’ve selected from the


package list. These packages can be loaded onto the tray. The pick
list also tracks the following information for each type of package:
number of packages, length, width and height.

™ Tray Display Window: Displays an image of the tray and allows you
to drag packages onto the tray.

™ Snap Toolbar: Allows you to move the assortment of packages flush


to any corner or side of the tray.

In this exercise, we’ll create a mixed tray that consists of the following
ArmorAll products:

™ ArmorAll spray bottles


™ ArmorAll cloth packets

The first step in this process is to create a new tray designed to hold these
products. We’ll design the tray based on a template designed in CASY.
From the MixPro Tray Editor, follow these instructions:

2. Click on the Shipcase button.


System Response: The Select ShipCase dialog box appears, as
pictured on the next page.

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2. From the Select Shipcase dialog box, click on the New button.
System Response: The Define Shipcase dialog box appears, as
pictured below.

3. Use the following fields to define the tray parameters:

™ Shipcases: Enter ArmorAll.


™ Length: Enter 16.
™ Width: Enter 12.
™ Height: Enter 15.

4. After completing the tray parameters, click on OK.


System Response: The Define Shipcase dialog box closes. The
Select Shipcase dialog box re-appears with the parameters for the new
tray.

5. From the Select Shipcase dialog box, click on OK.


System Response: MixPro saves the new tray to the database.
(MixPro saves the tray as a shipcase.) The MixPro Tray Editor re-
appears, as pictured below, with the new tray name (ArmorAll)
displayed next to the Shipcase button.

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Step 2: Create New Packages.

Look at the package list and decide which items you want to place onto
the tray. In this exercise, we want the mixed tray to include ArmorAll
spray bottles and cloth packets. Notice that the initial package list does
not include any of these items. In this case, MixPro allows you to create
new packages for these items. Follow these instructions:

1. From the MixPro Tray Editor, click on the New button.


System Response: The Define Package Info dialog box appears, as
pictured on the next page.

2. Use the following fields to define the ArmorAll spray bottle:

™ Style: Use the drop-down box to select a tray template (in this
exercise, hairsp.tpr).

™ Name: Enter ArmorAll Spray.


™ Length: Enter 4.
™ Width: Enter 4.
™ Height: Enter 10.

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If you want, you can also define a label for each package and assign
the case a specific color.

3. After completing the package dimensions, click on OK.


System Response: MixPro saves the new package to the database.
The MixPro Tray Editor re-appears with the name of the new package
included in the package list.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 to create the ArmorAll Cloth Packets. Use these
dimensions:

™ Style: Use the drop-down box to select a tray template (in this
exercise, 2alarm1.tpr).
™ Name: Enter ArmorAll Cloth.
™ Length: Enter 8.
™ Width: Enter 1.
™ Height: Enter 10.

Step 3: Add the Packages to the Pick List.

In order to place a package onto the tray, you have to move it from the
package list to the pick list. To move an item to the pick list, follow these
instructions:

1. Select an item from the package list and click on the Add button.
System Response: The system inserts the selected item into the pick
list. A graphic of the selected package appears in the g.o.d. (graphic
online display) window, located in upper left corner of the data display
window, as pictured below.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 81


Note: To change the orientation of the package – for example, position it
on its side or on its end – click on the face of the package you want to face
the floor. Click on the top of the package to rotate 90 degrees.

Step 4: Load the Items onto the Tray.

1. To load an item onto the tray, click on the image of the item and drag
it onto the tray.
System Response: The system copies an image of the item to the tray
area.

Repeat this step until the tray contains six ArmorAll spray bottles.
When you’ve done this, the screen will look similar to the one pictured
below.

2. Repeat step 1 to place 12 ArmorAll Cloth Packets onto the tray. When
you’ve loaded the tray with spray bottles and cloth packets, your tray
will look similar to the tray pictured below.

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3. If the ArmorAll tray is the way you want it, open the File menu and
select the Save As option.
System Response: The Save As dialog box appears, as pictured
below.

4. Select a location where the file will be saved. In the File name field,
enter the name of the mixed tray (ArmorAll).

5. Click on the Save button.


System Response: MixPro saves the tray to the database.

Tips for Working with Packages on a Tray

™ To add a second package to the tray, hold down the Shift key and click
on the first package. To place the second package on top of the first,
Shift and click on top of the first package. To place the second
package to the side of the first, Shift and click on the side of the first
package.

™ If you’ve loaded a column, row or layer of packages on the tray, you


can add another column, row or layer with one click. For example, to
add a layer of packages, hold down the Shift key and click on the top
of the first layer. The system adds another layer on top of the first
layer. To remove a layer of packages, hold down the Alt and Shift
keys simultaneously and click on the layer.

™ To remove (or delete) one or more packages from the tray, click on the
package(s) and drag it off the backside of the tray (to the left). The
package(s) completely disappear from the display.

To temporarily remove one or more packages from the tray – you want
to load it back later – click on the package(s) and drag it off the front
side of the tray (to the right). The package(s) remain in view on the
display.

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™ Right-click to display a small menu that allows you to position a
package on the tray in a number of directions. The first menu provides
the following functions:

− Hgt Vertical
− Len Vertical
− Wid Vertical

For the height, length and width vertical functions, you have four
additional functions:

− Face Forward
− Face Left
− Face Back
− Face Right

Using these guidelines, continue to load packages until you’ve loaded as


many spray bottles as you want to the tray.

84 TOPS User Guide Supplement and Tutorial


®
TOPSePAC
TOPSePAC® is a web-based application that allows users to bring package
design and stacking strength analysis on the road, performing the task
anytime, anywhere, on any platform using an internet browser.

In addition to package design portability and assurance that products are


optimized for shipping, TOPSePAC® provides the following benefits:

™ Lower Total Cost of Ownership: No software to install or maintain.


Reduces IT support costs and enables you to stay up to date with the
latest version of TOPSePAC®.

™ Better Data Management: Central location for storing all data with
no distance or WAN limitations.

™ Easier to Manage: Maintain and manage software configurations and


default data at a single point.

™ Value Added Customer Service: Sales reps can perform package


design and palletization in seconds – all this in front of the customer!

™ Easy Sharing of Data: Give customers and other departments view-


only access to the data.

™ Integration: Analysis and solution data in XML format can be easily


integrated with your in-house, web-based systems.

™ Compatibility: Compatible with all operating systems.

TOPSePAC® is an optional add-on available to TOPS® Pro users with a


network license and MVP subscription. It is also available independently
with a minimum number of license purchase.

To receive more information on TOPSePAC®or set up a trial account,


please contact TOPS® sales team at 972-739-8677 or email us at
info@topseng.com.

TOPS Pro Tutorial 85