This article will walk you through using MachineMetrics workflows to automate adding cards to a Kanban board in Trello using the automation tool Make. Both Make and Trello have free versions, so as long as you have MachineMetrics, you can get started building your own right away!
There are endless things you can automate by leveraging the right tools. Just using Make and Trello, you could create an inspection board for operators to request inspections from your quality department. Or a maintenance board for when someone categorizes a downtime as "Maintenance Required". Maybe you want a board that alerts supervisors when a machine has been idle for an extended period of time? All of those will be easy to setup with what we'll cover below.
Topics covered in this article:
- Overview Video
- Trello Setup
- Getting started: Make.com
- Send Data: MachineMetrics
- Data: MachineMetrics to Make.com to Trello
The first thing we're going to do is make a Trello board. If you're not familiar with Trello, it's an excellent tool for creating simple Kanban boards and has a great deal of automation power.
If you don't have a Trello account, sign up for one now at https://trello.com/. The free version works just fine for what we'll be covering in this article.
1. Once your account has been created, click the Create button at the top of the screen and select Create Board.
2. Enter a Board Title in the window that appears. The Workspace and Visibility settings don't matter. Press the Create button at the bottom of the window.
3. You should be automatically taken to your new board with your cursor already in a text field for creating a new List. Create at least one List, for mine, I made three since I'm imagining this board being used for tracking new, ongoing, and completed tasks.
4. We're done in Trello for now! Let's move on to Make.
Getting started: Make.com
Make is a tool used to automate actions between different software. It has hundreds of prebuilt connections to popular applications like Trello. This is perfect for anyone wanting to create some quick automation. It can also handle very complicated logic if you want to go even deeper!
We're going to use Make to receive data from MachineMetrics, then create a Trello card based on that data.
Just like with Trello, you'll need to first sign up for an account. Head to https://www.make.com/en and do so now. Once you have an account, follow the steps below.
1. After signing into Make, you should be placed on the Organization page that says "My Lab" page across the top. Press the Create a new scenario button at the top right.
2. Click the big plus icon on the following screen and type "Webhooks" into the search bar that appears. Select the Webhooks option.
Note: Webhooks are made up of two components. A trigger and a receiver. Something to send data, and another to catch it. Make is going to be catching MachineMetrics data, so we're creating a webhook receiver.
3. Select "Custom webhook".
4. You've just made your first Make module! But we still need to configure it. Press the Add button in the Webhooks module window.
5. Enter a webhook name that aligns with the data you intend to receive. I named mine "My MachineMetrics webhook" for example. Then press Save.
6. Still within the Webhooks module window, press the Copy address to clipboard button. Don't hit the OK button yet.
We're done with Make for now, though we'll be back soon! Now we need to get data sent from MachineMetrics to our new Webhook receiver.
Send Data: MachineMetrics
Now we're going to send data from MachineMetrics to Make. To do that, let's create a new workflow.
1. Navigate to https://app.machinemetrics.com/app/automations/workflows/all
2. Press the Create Workflow button at the top right.
3. Name your workflow, then set the Trigger to Operator triggers manually.
4. Enter a description. It should be descriptive of when this workflow should be triggered as it will appear when someone views the workflow from the Operator Dashboard.
5. Press Add a New Action and select Webhook.
6. In the "Enter URL" field, paste the URL you copied from Make.
7. Click the Generate button to create a secret.
Note: We aren't going to worry about the secret in this article, but it can be used to secure automations. The URL we're using is quite unique and the most a malicious attack could do is cause some minor inconvenience by creating too many Trello cards.
8. Finish your workflow by pressing the Create Workflow button at the bottom right of the page.
9. The last thing we need to do before going back to Make is to trigger the workflow. Assuming you left your workflow available to be triggered from all machines, open up the Operator Dashboard for any machine.
10. Click the three horizontal bars at the bottom left of your Operator Dashboard, then select Workflows from the menu.
11. Click your newly created workflow to send the data to Make! You should see a "Workflow Triggered" message at the bottom right of your screen if the workflow was successfully triggered.
We're now finished configuring MachineMetrics. Let's navigate back to our Make tab.
Data: MachineMetrics to Make.com to Trello
Now we have everything ready to take the final steps of this automation! All that's left to do is configure our Make Scenario so that it does what we want,create a Trello card.
Back in Make, you should now see a "Successfuly determined" message to the left of the Copy address to clipboard button. This means our Make Scenario caught the data sent from our MachineMetrics workflow. If you don't see this message, double-check that you followed all previous steps.
1. Press the OK button at the bottom left of the Webhooks module window.
2. Hover over the semi-circle attached to the right side of the Webhooks module. The words "Add another module should appear. Click on the Plus icon in the semi-circle.
3. Search for "Trello" in the window that appears. Next, scroll down until you see the Create a Card option, then click on it.
4. In the next window, press the Add button to the right of the Connection field and authenticate your Trello account. If you have any difficulties, see this Make article for help.
5. From the "Enter a List ID" drop-down, choose Select, then from the "Board" drop-down select the board you created earlier in this guide.
6. A new drop-down called "List" will appear. Select your column/List from your Trello board where you'd like the new card to appear.
7. Scroll down to the "Name" text field. Here is where we'll start using some of that MachineMetrics data. Click anywhere in the text field and a secondary window will appear to the left. That is your MachineMetrics data!
Note: MachineMetrics webhooks send data as a JSON object. These objects are organized in nested groups of key - value pairs. For example, the name key contains the machine's name, which is the value
8. For this guide we're going to keep this simple and make the title of our card equal to whatever machine triggered this workflow. Underneath the "machine" section of the data, click name.
9. Feel free to add any other data points you'd like! Maybe a timestamp in the description? Or maybe the message? For this guide, we're going to move on after just entering the name, but there's no harm in doing more. Press OK at the bottom left of the window.
Note: Different workflow triggers in MachineMetrics will send webhooks with different data. The "Downtime categorized as" trigger, for example, contains the notes an operator entered when categorizing the downtime.
10. Press the Save icon along the bottom of the screen within the "Controls" section. It is the far left option and looks like a floppy disc.
11. At the bottom left, click on the Scheduling toggle so it turns from Off to On.
Your Make Scenario is now active! Switch back to your MachineMetrics Operator Dashboard and trigger your workflow once more. If you go to your Trello board, you should now see a new card with the name of your machine. Now that you have the basics, the sky is the limit when it comes to what kinds of automation you'll be able to accomplish using these powerful and free tools.
If you have any questions regarding using webhooks and workflows for automation, reach out to us any time at email@example.com.