Memex Automation Qualifies for up to $800,000 in Funding From FedDev Ontario

FFJournal – March 19, 2015 – Burlington, ON.

Astrix Networks Inc. (“Astrix”), (operating as Memex Automation (“Memex”), the global leader of manufacturing Machine to Machine (M2M) productivity software, has qualified for up to $800,000 in Government of Canada funding directed specifically towards the continued development of its flagship product, MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) software. The funding announcement took place today at the company’s Burlington head office in a joint press conference with Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Gary Goodyear, and local Burlington Member of Parliament, Mike Wallace, along with senior company executives.

The Government of Canada’s repayable contribution, through FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation (IBI) initiative, is aimed at strengthening the innovation ecosystem in southern Ontario by supporting new entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and angel investors.

IBI provides a repayable contribution of up to one-third of eligible costs of a project. A key element to the Memex Automation’s qualification for this initiative was the successful completion of its $2 million non-brokered private placement completed last August, representing two-thirds of the project cost. The company will be responsible for repaying all funds advanced without interest commencing in 2017.

“Advanced technologies are increasingly being adopted by our manufacturers as they seek to improve their competitiveness,” said Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario. “This investment is an example of how our Government is helping manufacturers stay in the region to create new jobs and foster innovation.”

“Memex Automation is changing how manufacturers operate by providing ways to maximize the efficiency of existing machines on the shop floor,” said Mike Wallace, Member of Parliament for Burlington. “Our Government is proud to support this innovative technology that will help businesses in such a key sector of our economy.”

“We are grateful for the support from the Government of Canada’s Investing in Business Innovation initiative from FedDev Ontario” said David McPhail, President and CEO of Memex Automation. “Memex Automation is a high-growth company that is adding knowledge-based jobs in Canada while we transform the productivity of global manufacturing firms with our shop- floor-to-top-floor communications technology. This important funding will be invested in accelerating the development and world-wide customer adoption of our MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) software solution.”

To see the full article, please click here.

$800,000 in Fed Funding for Memex Automation

Shop Metalworking Technology – March 19, 2015 – Burlington, ON.

Memex Automation, a Canadian supplier of manufacturing M2M productivity software, has received $800,000 funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. The repayable loan will allow for accelerated development of the company’s flagship product, MERLIN, and create 16 new jobs at the Burlington, ON, company.

 MERLIN is a shop floor communications platform that enables “shop floor to top floor” monitoring of machine tool performance. The company claims it can increase machine utilization by an average of 10 to 50 per cent, and related income from operations by 20 to 60 per cent.

“Our Government is proud to support this innovative technology that will help businesses in such a key sector of our economy,” said Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency that is providing the loan through through FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation (IBI) program. The program is aimed at strengthening the innovation ecosystem in southern Ontario by supporting new entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and angel investors.

The Government of Canada’s repayable contribution, through FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation (IBI) initiative, is aimed at strengthening the innovation ecosystem in southern Ontario by supporting new entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and angel investors.

IBI provides a repayable contribution of up to one-third of eligible costs of a project. A key element to the Memex Automation’s qualification for this initiative was the successful completion of its $2 million non-brokered private placement completed last August, representing two-thirds of the project cost. The company will be responsible for repaying all funds advanced without interest commencing in 2017.

We are grateful for the support from the Government of Canada’s Investing in Business Innovation initiative from FedDev Ontario” said David McPhail, president and CEO of Memex Automation. “Memex Automation is a high-growth company that is adding knowledge-based jobs in Canada while we transform the productivity of global manufacturing firms with our shop- floor-to-top-floor communications technology. This important funding will be invested in accelerating the development and world-wide customer adoption of our MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) software solution.”

To see the full article, please click here.

FedDev Investments Boost Growing Burlington Companies

AM900 CHML News Talk Radio – March 19, 2015 – Hamilton, ON.

A Burlington company hopes to create 16 jobs, and almost double its workforce, thanks to an 800 thousand dollar federal investment.

Burlington M-P Mike Wallace was joined by FedDev Ontario Minister Gary Goodyear, in announcing the support for Memox Automation on Thursday morning.

Memex will use the repayable loan to commercialize the latest version of its product which helps manufacturers improve productivity through technology that allows machinery to communicate with each other.

It has about 80 customers, 80% of which are outside of Canada.

Wallace says the investment is about helping companies to be “global competitors”.

A second Burlington company, AdFlow Networks, which specializes in digital signage has received a 100 thousand dollar repayable loan through the same federal program to expand its facilities.

To see the full article, please click here.

Mike Wallace helps federal Minister deliver cheques for $899,093 to innovative Burlington corporations; is there an election coming?

Burlington Gazette – March 19, 2015 – Burlington, ON.

The federal election is expected to take place in the fall – the campaigning has already started.

MP Mike Wallace was in town with FedDev Ontario Minister Gary Goodyear talking about the funds they had made available to two Burlington corporations – Memex Automation, a publicly traded company and Adflow, a very smart technology company that many Gazette readers see and use regularly.

The funds distributed were part of a federal Business Innovation initiative. The funds are repayable and are aimed at strengthening the innovative eco-system of south-western Ontario; a part of the province that took a huge economic hit in 2008 when world financial systems looked like they were going to melt down completely.

Memex was loaned $800,000 and Adflow was loaned $99,093. Why that wasn’t rounded up to the next logical number only a bureaucrat somewhere can explain.

Both companies are rather small but clearly leaders in their fields – Memex has 22 employees – they expect to hire an additional sixteen people with the funds received. while Adflow has 28 employees and will use their funds to expand into larger space.

The Gazette will do full length features on both companies in the near future.

The take away message from the $899,093 the federal government spread around today was that the federal election is beginning to heat up.

Is there more federal money to come?

feddev announcement - burlington gazette

Dave McPhail on the right explains that the piece of equipment others are holding is the device that captures information executives can use to fully understand what is happening on the shop floor of their plants. Mike Wallace, Burlington’s MP admitted that he didn’t fully understand the stuff but was fascinated. Federal Minister Gary Goodyear explained the intricacies to Mike Wallace.

To see the full article, please click here.

CME Congratulates Burlington, ON-based Memex Automation on FedDev Ontario Investment

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters – March 19, 2015 – Burlington, ON.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters congratulates Burlington, ON based Memex Automation on the expansion of their advanced manufacturing software business with $800,000 in funding announced March 19 by FedDev Ontario Minister Gary Goodyear.

“We are grateful for the support from the Government of Canada’s Investing in Business Innovation initiative from the FedDev Ontario,” Memex President and CEO David McPhail said in a release. “Memex Automation is a high-growth company that is adding knowledge-based jobs in Canada while we transform the productivity of global manufacturing firms with our shop-floor-to-top-floor communications technology,” McPhail added.

CME is working with Memex to help them achieve their goal of assisting Canadian manufacturing firms improve their shop floor productivity‎ using MERLIN solutions.

“Manufacturers need to know how productive their systems are on a real-time basis. Memex’s MERLIN software is being used by world leading manufacturers to connect and manage production systems, drive 10 to 50 per cent efficiencies and increase margins,” said Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters President and CEO Jayson Myers. “Ontario manufacturers can access CME’s SMART program to support implementation of ‎data-driven manufacturing software like Merlin.”

For more information on CME’s SMART Advanced Technologies for Global Growth program visit cme-smart.ca

To see the full article, please click here.

Burlington, ON Software Firm Nabs $800K in Federal Funding

Canadian Manufacturing – March 19, 2015 – Burlington, ON.

Memex Automation, a developer and seller of productivity optimization software, has qualified for up to $800,000 in Government of Canada funding to help continued development of its Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network (MERLIN) software.

The funding announcement took place today at the company’s Burlington, Ont. head office in a joint press conference with Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, Gary Goodyear, and local Burlington Member of Parliament, Mike Wallace, along with senior company executives.

The Government of Canada’s repayable contribution, through FedDev Ontario’s Investing in Business Innovation (IBI) initiative, is aimed at strengthening innovation in southern Ontario by supporting new entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and angel investors.

IBI provides a repayable contribution of up to one-third of eligible costs of a project. A key element to the Memex Automation’s qualification for this initiative was the successful completion of its $2 million non-brokered private placement completed last August, representing two-thirds of the project cost. The company will be responsible for repaying all funds advanced without interest commencing in 2017.

“Advanced technologies are increasingly being adopted by our manufacturers as they seek to improve their competitiveness,” said Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario. “This investment is an example of how our Government is helping manufacturers stay in the region to create new jobs and foster innovation.”

“This important funding will be invested in accelerating the development and world-wide customer adoption of our MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) software solution,” said David McPhail, president and CEO of Memex Automation.

Memex Automation develops software to measure Machine-to-Machine (M2M) productivity and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (“OEE”).

To see the full press article, please click here.

What Lies Ahead in Real Time

Fabricating and Metalworking Magazine – February 25, 2015

The Institute of Supply Management (ISM; Tempe, AZ) national report says that U.S. manufacturing expanded in January for the 20th consecutive month in a row. The January PMI® registered 53.5 percent – any reading above 50 percent indicates that the manufacturing economy is generally expanding. As part of this growth, machine monitoring and network automation throughout the shop floor is seeing an aggressive uptake in all sorts of hardware adapters, CNC memory upgrades and DNC software used by discrete manufacturers in the aerospace, machine tool, metal cutting, custom machining and food processing sectors.

But the area we’re seeing the most demand in by far lies in manufacturing execution system (MES) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications, those real time platforms that can quickly and cost effectively isolate productivity issues so that everyone from the shop floor to the top floor is able to understand what must be done to maximize efficiency. This magic of technology solves the last meter connectivity challenge and includes both connection hardware, if required, and visualization software that allows manufacturers to really see exactly what transpires on their shop floors, in real time, by the second.

The possibilities for real time machine-to-machine conversations came into much wider view with all the buzz around the Internet Of Things (IoT) last year. IoT got top billing in countless business magazines and news programs watched by manufacturing executives. That megatrend helped drive home the fact that real time situational awareness and complete visibility of operations, or connected manufacturing, is an achievable, affordable goal with a meaningful return on investment.

International Data Corporation (IDC; Framingham, MA) predicts that by 2016, 30 percent of manufacturers will invest substantially in increasing visibility and analysis of information exchange and business processes. I personally believe that number is modest and will actually be closer to 50 percent – which is still too low! Even with affordable technology available to them, the vast majority of manufacturers today still do not measure the results of their shop floor operational efforts in real time. They know if you can measure it, then you can manage it, but up to now it has been cost prohibitive.

There are an estimated 16 million computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines worldwide, and three other machines for each CNC on the average factory floor. This 64-million-machine universe is sometimes referred to as the realm of “dark assets” due to the fact that by some estimates less than 5 percent of these machines are connected to the industrial internet. With a disconnected model, manufacturing companies have little or no real time data to drive excellence and profitability.

As with anything new that challenges the present status quo, adoption rates are contingent on manufacturers sharing their successes with others. Most manufacturers purchase and adopt new equipment and processes by identifying and benchmarking their performance against that of their peers. Yet, if these so-called dark assets started conversing with each other and reporting their data, they could add up to $15 trillion to global GDP by 2030, according to research conducted by General Electric. Think about that.

The key measurement many manufacturers focus on is OEE (overall equipment effectiveness), a distillation of the six sigma principles of waste that is the product of three ratios. The first ratio is Availability, which is defined as actual run time / total scheduled time (including downtime). The second ratio is Quality, which is defined as good parts produced / total parts produced (including rejects / scrap). The third ratio is Performance, which is defined as actual part-to-part runtime collected / theoretical part-to-part runtime.

Availability is where most shops see the largest and quickest improvement for the effort expended. An integrated MES can measure non-productive time into downtime categories per machine. This allows continuous improvement personnel to rapidly determine root causes of equipment downtime and eliminate them by understanding exactly where to look, and exactly what to change to gain additional manufacturing capacity.

Quality and performance are extremely helpful in improving a company’s overall OEE score. World class OEE is 85 percent, which is 95 percent in each of these categories multiplied by each other. It should be duly noted that the average manufacturer typically believes their OEE is approximately 65 percent, but their actual post-MES-implementation initial benchmark is usually closer to 30 percent to 40 percent. Once the shock of that typical OEE gap is fully understood, within a few months an MES manufacturer’s OEE improves dramatically. For example, we have witnessed shops start at a low of 40 percent and then attain World class OEE of 85 percent.

Manufacturers must understand that cost isn’t a barrier to this dramatic productivity boost. For new equipment that is capable of talking intelligently via Ethernet and utilizing an electronic protocol such as MTConnect or OPC, the cost to implementing an MES is $2,750-$3,500 per monitored asset installed. If the equipment is considered legacy and a hardware adapter is required, and the integration to their ERP system from “Shop Floor to Top Floor,” the cost is closer to $5,000-$5,500 per monitored asset installed. This translates to 1 percent of the overall cost of a machine – less than the cost of tooling for a new machine.

To make an informed cost decision, manufacturers need to understand the value created by effectively monitoring their shop floor assets. Many manufacturers typically experience IRR rates greater than 400 percent, which means that their average payback is measured in mere months, often in many hundreds of thousands of dollars to the bottom line.

The next frontier in OEE is what we call F.OEE, or Financial OEE, which leverages the power of real time shop floor data and accurate costing data trapped in most manufacturers’ ERP / MRP systems. With F.OEE, Income From Operations (IFO), asset by asset, hour by hour, can – for the first time – be calculated, visualized and truly understood. This allows manufacturers to manage their shop floor operations with a new management tool that helps them understand their equipment’s contribution to their monthly income statement in real time, not three weeks after month-end when it’s far too late to modify a manufacturing process.

Think of F.OEE as a universal metric that is well understood by all – money! In other words, F.OEE can be considered the next Holy Grail in manufacturing automation.

By David McPhail, CEO of Memex Automation.

To see the full article, please click here.

Memex Reports Strong Q1 Start

Canadian Metalworking – February 10, 2015

Memex Automation announced that during its first quarter fiscal 2015, ending December 31, 2014, Astrix has recorded 61 customer orders.

The Ontario-based company recorded 61 customer orders, which helped boost the  company’s first quarter earnings. Partner Distributors who have placed orders for the Astrix products include:

  • Mazak, who provided orders for its Fortune 500 type customers, including Lockheed Martin Corp., Raymond Corporation, Oilgear Co., and Witten Company.
  • Newman M2M, who provided orders for GE Power and Energy in South Carolina for 34 of its 300 machines and Sun Hydraulics in Florida.
  • CNC Soluciones, an Astrix partner located in Mexico, provided orders for 19 of its 160 machines from Frisa Aerospace.
  • Pinnacle Machine Tool provided orders for Roadtec in Tennessee and facilitated orders with Fort Walton Machining in Florida as well Mahle USA for 18 of its 300 machines in one of 11 plants.
  • FA Consulting and Technology provided an order from GE Aviation.

“Astrix is very pleased with the amount of orders coming in for the MERLIN OEE machine monitoring solution, especially the increase in activity from our Partner Distribution Channels,” commented Rick Mosca, Chief Operating Officer of Astrix Networks Inc. USA. “Our Partners are responding to the elevated interest in machine monitoring coming from the manufacturing community. Customers who have done their research have concluded that MERLIN OEE is the best enterprise solution on the market. Our Partner Distribution Channel is very busy and we are excited by the surge in activity.”

Astrix is pleased to report the additional following orders:

  • Cortec Fluid Control of Louisiana has extended its existing license to 20 machines in one of its three plants.
  • Heroux-Devtek Inc. in Quebec has extended its license to all the machines in the Laval Plant, the fourth of its seven plants.
  • Aerofit, LLC in California has also extended its licenses.
  • Beckwood Press in Missouri has given Astrix a purchase order to install MERLIN OEE on an initial machine as it moves towards offering this feature across all of its machine presses.

Astrix Networks Inc.’s flagship product, MERLIN, enables effective machine communication across the shop floor, speeds up production processes, and can increase machine utilization by an average of 10 per cent to 50 per cent. Plants using MERLIN are able to improve output by more than 10 per cent and related Income from Operations by as much as 20 per cent to 60 per cent.

To see the full article, please click here.

Memex Automation Grows in First Quarter

Today’s Motor Vehicles – February 7, 2015

Astrix Networks Inc.’s flagship product, MERLIN, enables effective machine communication across the shop floor, speeds up production processes, and can increase machine utilization by an average of 10% to 50%. Plants using MERLIN are able to improve output by more than 10% and related Income from Operations by as much as 20% to 60%.

MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) generates OEE metrics, enterprise-wide, plant by plant, machine by machine.

Machine tool builder Mazak uses MERLIN in its plant in Kentucky and re-sells MERLIN. CNC machine tool maker Okuma America Corp. has Memex Automation as a Partner in THINC.

To see the full article, please click here.

Memex Automation Grows Partner Distribution Channel

Aerospace Manufacturing and Design – Burlington, Canada – February 6, 2015 – Astrix Networks Inc., operating as Memex Automation, a provider of global manufacturing Machine to Machine (M2M) productivity solutions, recorded 61 customer orders during its first quarter fiscal 2015, ending Dec. 31, 2014.

Partner Distributors who have placed orders for Astrix products include:

  • Mazak, who provided orders for its Fortune 500 type customers, including Lockheed Martin Corp., Raymond Corp., Oilgear Co., and Witten Co.
  • Newman M2M, who provided orders for GE Power and Energy in South Carolina for 34 of its 300 machines and Sun Hydraulics in Florida.
  • CNC Soluciones, an Astrix partner located in Mexico, provided orders for 19 of its 160 machines from Frisa Aerospace.
  • Pinnacle Machine Tool provided orders for Roadtec in Tennessee and facilitated orders with Fort Walton Machining in Florida as well Mahle USA for 18 of its 300 machines in one of 11 plants.
  • FA Consulting and Technology provided an order from GE Aviation.

 “Astrix is very pleased with the amount of orders coming in for the MERLIN OEE [Overall Equipment Effectiveness] machine monitoring solution, especially the increase in activity from our partner distribution channels,” commented Rick Mosca, chief operating officer of Astrix Networks Inc. USA. “Our partners are responding to the elevated interest in machine monitoring coming from the manufacturing community. Customers who have done their research have concluded that MERLIN OEE is the best enterprise solution on the market. Our partner distribution channel is very busy and we are excited by the surge in activity.”

Astrix is pleased to report the additional following orders:

  • Cortec Fluid Control of Louisiana has extended its existing license to 20 machines in one of its three plants.
  • Heroux-Devtek Inc. in Quebec has extended its license to all the machines in the Laval Plant, the fourth of its seven plants.
  • Aerofit LLC in California has also extended its licenses.
  • Beckwood Press in Missouri has given Astrix a purchase order to install MERLIN OEE on an initial machine as it moves towards offering this feature across all of its machine presses.

Astrix Networks Inc.’s flagship product, MERLIN, enables effective machine communication across the shop floor, speeds up production processes, and can increase machine utilization by an average of 10% to 50%. Plants using MERLIN are able to improve output by more than 10% and related Income from Operations by as much as 20% to 60%.

MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) generates OEE metrics, enterprise-wide, plant by plant, machine by machine.

Machine tool builder Mazak uses MERLIN in its plant in Kentucky and re-sells MERLIN. CNC machine tool maker Okuma America Corp. has Memex Automation as a Partner in THINC.

To see the full article, please click here.