Greycon -- X-Trim Production Optimization System (VB6)


Greycon is the world’s leading provider of production planning, scheduling and manufacturing execution systems designed specifically for roll-based & flat sheet industries. Greycon has over 30 years of history and operates worldwide with 500 sites in over 40 countries. Our strength is the extensive range of specialist software solutions for Paper & Board, Plastic Films & Flexible Packaging, Nonwovens, Metals and Converting industries supported by powerful optimisation algorithms and a highly experienced team of consultants.

Great Migrations helped Greycon with upgrading their X-Trim product by providing training and support for using gmStudio in-house to implement a highly automated, repeatable custom upgrade solution.

Project Highlights

  • Main objective: migrate Greycon X-Trim optimisation software to C# without losing functionality
  • 70+ inter-related vb6 projects
  • 570K+ source code lines
  • 2 full-time senior developers with initial training from Great Migrations. Additional help of an extra developer near the end of the project.
  • 38 COM components and controls upgraded to .NET replacements
  • Development of custom tools and scripts which were integrated with gmStudio (gmSL transformations and fixes, translating ActiveBar toolbar/menus using custom property bags, etc.)
  • Replacement of original icons with high quality ones, etc)
  • Effort: 1100 person-days

Migrating a world class VB6 application to .NET, with more than 570.000 lines of code, is a challenging task. We chose gmStudio for the project after evaluating several tools available in the market. We don't regret.

Its minimalistic UI may be deceiving as it certainly is one of the most powerful tools available in the market. You can fine tune the desired code output at different levels of abstraction, based on your specific requirements (e.g. map each COM method to a given class alternative and even manipulate the code in a per-instruction level).

We have set high goals for project, including use of generics and custom naming conventions. Some of these features were not there when we started the project (i.e. were developed for us), but we can say we are very happy with the outcome in the end, having met most of our goals. Close communication with Fred, the brain behind gmBasic, made this process smooth. He did an excellent job extending the product to support generics and other enhancements. When facing a difficult problem we would repeat his favourite quote "Yard by yard, life is hard. Inch by inch, life's a cinch".

Of course, there were setbacks. However, whenever that happened, we always had Mark's advice close, not only to suggest clever technical solutions, but also to cheer the mood up!

Andres Meerhoff
Project Manager / Software Architect / Senior Developer at Greycon Ltd