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Smarten Up

April 2016, Machine Metrics | Quality, Kip Hanson

When I started on the shop foor, machine tools were dumb. Communication levels weren’t determined by protocols or baud rates but by which machinist could yell the loudest. NC programs were loaded from paper tape, tool offsets made with a hammer, and part quality results recorded on handwritten forms.

What a change a few decades make. Today’s technology allows shops to monitor virtually every aspect of production, from what tools were changed yesterday to how many minutes the spindles sat idle last week to what jobs are running on which machines right now. So much has changed, in fact, that some say the next industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, is upon us.

Getting everyone on the same page

One proponent of this revolution is David McPhail, president of industrial communications platform provider Memex Inc., in Burlington, ON, who counts Mazak Corp. among key global customers for the company’s flagship product, Merlin. McPhail points to data driven manufacturing and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as two examples of the technology companies can leverage to improve productivity and part quality, if only they have the will to overcome fear of the unknown.

“Change of any kind is hard, especially when people don’t understand the technology behind it,” he says. “But when someone thinks to themselves, ‘if I don’t do anything, then there’s no risk,’ it brings about the worst kind of paralysis. Manufacturing companies must learn to embrace technology if they are to gain a competitive advantage.”

Those advantages are numerous. Lights out production, shorter lead times, improved tool life—the list goes on. One often-overlooked benefit of integrated machine communication is better part quality, says McPhail.

MEMEX - Successful Machine Monitoring

Towards a Service – Oriented Business with Connected Machines

March 7 , 2016 – Doug Bellin

Mazak Corporation is pulling ahead of its competitors with an innovative connected machine deployment. A global leader in the design and manufacture of machine tools, Mazak has partnered with Cisco and machine – to – machine solutions provider MEMEX Inc. to drastically improve digital integration across all its processes.

To see the full article please click here

MEMEX - Machine Monitoring

To Measure Is To Know – MTConnect book

The world’s first book on MTConnect, an open and royalty-free interoperability standard and the application of open systems in manufacturing has been released and it is titled,  MTConnectTo Measure Is To Know”.  Written by Dave Edstrom, CEO/CTO of MTConnect, the book discusses the many lessons learned in the world of open systems and the value this means to the manufacturing industry.

Dave Edstrom has spent over 35 years in the computer industry.  He helps the reader understand that MTConnect is not just an evolution in manufacturing, but that it is a revolution, a true game changer.  “MTConnect will be more important in the 21st century for manufacturing than CNC was for manufacturing in the 20th century” said John Byrd, former president of Association Manufacturing Technology, www.amtonline.org   (MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know. Ashburn: Virtual Photons Electrons, 2013. pg xiii).  MTConnect is making the dreams and desires of generations of manufactures possible.  Machine tool builders and manufacturing equipment providers alike all want to see the same goal of different devices having a common connection on the plant floor.  With MTConnect, anything is possible.

A few excerpts from the book:

“Only one to two percent of all shops monitor their shop floor.  The ability to know what is happening on your shop or plant floor anywhere, at anytime, is vital to the manufacturing process.  As a comparison, the next time you go in for a surgery, tell the surgeon that you want to save money and not monitor any of your vital signs.  Drop me a note and tell me what the surgeon tells you.  Then why is it that 98% to 99% of all shops don’t bother monitoring their shop floor?

Think of MTConnect as the Bluetooth of manufacturing that makes it easy to get information off your manufacturing equipment.  MTConnect is not an application, but it makes it very easy for applications to read data in a common and universal format.

Different Devices, Common Connection.
(MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know. Ashburn: Virtual Photons Electrons, 2013. pg xii).

“The process of standardization is always a political struggle with winners and losers.  The primary winners will be those companies that understand it is co-opetition (competition and cooperation) that drives thriving markets.  The primary losers will be those companies holding on to proprietary solutions at all costs.  With a standard screw, you could now have standard tools, standard assembly lines, and the growth of mass production.”
(MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know. Ashburn: Virtual Photons Electrons, 2013. pg 3.)

“If we look at the manufacturing companies that are embracing open thinking and open collaboration, these companies report secondary benefits in morale as their employees typically tell their management that they have a much higher job satisfaction.”
(MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know. Ashburn: Virtual Photons Electrons, 2013. pg 22).

Memex is mentioned in the acknowledgements

“Huge thanks to Dave McPhail, president of Memex Automation.  Dave is a great guy, and so is his business partner, John Rattray, who is the vice president of sales and marketing, as well as the whole Memex Automation team.  Thanks as well to Bob Hansen of R.C. Hansen Consulting for his help at [MC]2 2013 and educating me on OEE”
(Dave Edstrom, MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know. Ashburn: Virtual Photons Electrons, 2013. pg 209).

There is a paperback version that is available at Amazon.

Top 5 Reasons to use Memex MERLIN MES for OEE & DNC

Serial communications is old outdated technology.  It has slow transfer speeds, it is slow to load today’s big programs into controls, and it is especially unreliable on long distance runs.  MERLIN is built on today’s modern, reliable IT Ethernet network structure.

To help deliver operational efficiency with production visibility to your manufacturing enterprise, here are the top 5 reasons to work with the award winning Memex MERLIN for OEE and DNC.

1)  Memex MERLIN is a true Manufacturing Execution System.

  • MERLIN MES is vertically and horizontally integrated across the enterprise.
    • Vertically integrated means that it executes ERP’s planned production schedule.  It takes all the work orders from your ERP system, mirrors them on a machine and manufacturing cell or assembly basis, and at completion (end of work order and end of shift) sends the ERP an upload of actual results on how production actually ran.  This enables a comparison to be made of how the production ran for an accurate time and cost picture.
    • Horizontally integrated means that the complete shop floor flow-line of production is viewed and communicated in real-time.  This enables situational analysis, bottleneck identification, and resources to be allocated (when and where they’re needed) in the shortest period of time –  all with historical, traceable reporting.
    • Integration means objective visibility about utilization.  True OEE metrics, product run and cost standards, and the requirements of the operator for resources (engineering, maintenance, crane, dunnage, 1st off quality check, etc.) can all be communicated to all stakeholders in real-time.

2)  MERLIN is an independent and unobtrusive monitoring solution.

  • Software protocols and hardware network connectivity (if required) that are electrically (optically) isolated from the control.
  • MERLIN does not affect the machine’s performance.  It does not use programs or memory, it simply listens to the machine.

3)  Memex MERLIN system can operate independent of any DNC solution.

  • Any existing DNC solutions in your site can still be used in conjunction with MERLIN
  • Or, if you  prefer, you can use MERLIN’s built in DNC.

4)  MERLIN is built on the latest & proven technology of the Microsoft platform.

  • MERLIN incorporates MTConnect, OPC, Focas and other advanced protocols for machine communication.
  • It is built on reliable Ethernet network (wired or wireless) rather than the older, slower, and unreliable serial based communication technology.

5)  Memex MERLIN system really is the BEST VALUE solution.

  • MERLIN has delivered our customers 10% to 50% or more improvement in efficiency, all thanks to its horizontal and vertical integration,
  • It adheres to ISA-95 standards of machine connectivity and fits with your IT network infrastructure.
  • It is a safe and proven technology that is being used globally.

To find out more about these 5 points, and even more reasons why Memex MERLIN is the best MES solution, contact Memex sales today at 866-573-3895 or via email to salesgroup@memex.ca

To learn more about Memex’s MERLIN, check out these short videos on topics covered in Memex’s OEE Solution Series webinars.

Value of MES in real dollars $15,000 per machine, every year.

Imagine increasing profit $15,000 per machine, sustained every year.  We can do it.

Modern Machine Shop’s “Top Shops” benchmarking survey, 2012 shows immense value for the use of an MES system.  Critical findings of the survey:

“The average gross sales for the Top Shops were 14 percent higher than the other shops.”

“The Top Shops achieve higher spindle utilization and faster setup times because they put a good deal of thought into optimizing shop floor processes and practices.”

“These shops are also more likely to implement continuous improvement strategies to become more effective as well as lean manufacturing concepts to become more efficient.”

Top Shops had a 12.6% better OEE metric than average shops.  A 10% improvement in OEE (capacity utilization) will increase IFO 22% (from the book: “Overall Equipment Effectiveness: A Powerful Production/Maintenance Tool for Increased Profits”, Robert C. Hansen, Pgs 47-56).

Memex’s MERLIN MES is a tool that allows your organization to achieve these results!

The value of MERLIN, using actual KPI measurements to your operation, is significant:

  • A +10%-20% increase in OEE is achieved by our customers following installation, typically within 12 weeks.
  • Using an average of $302,066 in annual revenue per machine and average profitability of 18.9% (Modern Machine Shop, Top Shops – Benchmark Your Machining Business, 2012, page 24*) a conservative 10% increase across 90 machines translates to +$2.7 Million per year increase in revenue and +$500,000 in profit.
  • This means, by machine, a +$30,206 increase in revenue and a $12,000 to $15,000 increase in profit.
  • At a conservative 10% increase in efficiency the breakeven is typically 3-5 months.
  • ROI of 100% in the first 12 months based on profit, or approaching 1,000% when factoring in increased revenue!

*Sponsored by AMT, the survey covered more than 500 manufacturing facilities.

MES is one of the best strategic drivers to obtain a competitive advantage in the manufacturing landscape improving profitability, reducing waste, and ensuring compliance with regulations.  The top 5 summary reasons are here.  For more detail, including ROI analysis tools and Lean Roadmap tools call Memex directly.

1) An MES system should be the highest priority project as it is more important than a capital equipment acquisition.  The value of an MES is significant to the stakeholders of a company far surpassing any other ROI.

2) Plant wide efficiency improvements greater than 10% are normal and drive a company to significant success.

3) Profitability is exponentially improved and sustained every year.

4) ROI typically of 100% in the first 12 months based on profit, a payback typically in the 3-5 months range.

5) Every day a company waits to implement an MES is lost profits that cannot be re-covered.