Vermeer Corporation

January 25, 2013   Case Studies

Industry: Large Equipment Manufacturing

Company Profile

Vermeer Corporation is one of the largest, dynamic, and most successful family owned businesses in Iowa.   From its inception over 60 years ago, Vermeer has been meeting the needs of the Agricultural Industry, providing innovative machines and equipment to more than eight diverse industries around the world.


Vermeer was faced with the daunting task of consolidating operations between all nine of its facilities located on Vermeer Road.  Over time, each facility had evolved into its own operation with separate business units, but all of the facilities lacked visibility on the shop floor.  There was no system in place to measure productivity, labor, utilization and throughput of machines, cells, assembly areas and the facilities in general.  There was also no reporting metrics or quantitative tracking of efficiency of any sort.  Vermeer wanted something that would revitalize the overall enterprise by grouping operations into more logical cells to reduce redundancy and vastly improve the flow of work.


Vermeer understood that in order to manage for efficiency, they first had to measure the actual events at the machine.  They estimated that there was vast potential for improvement, but without imperial data as proof, they would have a hard time getting management on board.  Vermeer was mostly interested in tracking the utilization metric of OEE, and they needed a supplier company that would assist in the installation of the equipment, coupled with a reliable track record in the industry.  The Memex MERLIN was installed on a few machines, and over a short period of time, the resulting data was compared to the initial benchmark data.  The resulting observations were that the operators agreed the Memex MERLIN improved their job by making it easier to collect information automatically, and the certain functions and triggers were not hard to learn, requiring minimal training.


  • Saw increase of 50% in machine utilization very early after system was installed
  • Increase in OEE expected to be 100% overall
  • Reduction of setup time by 60 minutes per shift, directly improving capacity
  • They actually use the data, eliminating any previous guesswork
  • Making better decisions with respect to utilization and capital expenditure