Memex Automation’s Partner Distribution Channel Delivers New Business

M2M Daily – February 4, 2015

Astrix Networks Inc., operating as Memex Automation (TSX VENTURE: OEE) (“Astrix”), the global leader of manufacturing M2M productivity solutions, is pleased to announce that during its first quarter fiscal 2015, ending December 31, 2014, Astrix has recorded 61 customer orders.

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% 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%.

About Astrix Networks Inc.

Astrix Networks Inc., operating as Memex Automation (TSX VENTURE: OEE) is the leader of manufacturing Machine to Machine (M2M) productivity solutions and the measurement of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (“OEE”) in real-time. MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) generates OEE metrics, enterprise-wide, plant by plant, machine by machine. MERLIN is an award winning solution (Frost & Sullivan and Plant Engineering & Maintenance). Mazak, the largest machine tool builder in the world, uses MERLIN in its plant in Kentucky and re-sells MERLIN. Okuma America Corporation, a world leader in CNC machine tools, has Memex Automation as a Partner in THINC. Microsoft selected MERLIN to be its mid-market ERP machine connectivity solution. Memex is known for offering a complete shop floor communications platform. For more information, please visit: www.memex.ca.

To see the full article, please click here.

Memex Automation’s Partner Distribution Channel Delivers New Business

BURLINGTON, ON–(Marketwired – Feb 4, 2015) – Astrix Networks Inc., operating as Memex Automation (TSX VENTURE: OEE) (“Astrix”), the global leader of manufacturing M2M productivity solutions, is pleased to announce that during its first quarter fiscal 2015, ending December 31, 2014, Astrix has recorded 61 customer orders.

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% 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%.

About Astrix Networks Inc.

Astrix Networks Inc., operating as Memex Automation (TSX VENTURE: OEE) is the leader of manufacturing Machine to Machine (M2M) productivity solutions and the measurement of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (“OEE”) in real-time. MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) generates OEE metrics, enterprise-wide, plant by plant, machine by machine. MERLIN is an award winning solution (Frost & Sullivan and Plant Engineering & Maintenance). Mazak, the largest machine tool builder in the world, uses MERLIN in its plant in Kentucky and re-sells MERLIN. Okuma America Corporation, a world leader in CNC machine tools, has Memex Automation as a Partner in THINC. Microsoft selected MERLIN to be its mid-market ERP machine connectivity solution. Memex is known for offering a complete shop floor communications platform. For more information, please visit: www.memex.ca

Contact Information

Memex Automation
Leanne Rattray
Communications Specialist
Phone: 905-635-1540 ext. 103
Email: Email Contact

David McPhail
CEO
Phone: 519-993-1114
Email: Email Contact

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Software Update: The Value of Virtual Plant Monitoring

Manufacturing Engineering: What can a plant-floor monitoring system do for shops today?

Dave McPhail: The achievable goal is real-time situational awareness and complete visibility of operations, or connected manufacturing. The vast majority of manufacturers today do not measure the results of their shop-floor operational efforts in real time. With a disconnected manufacturing model, they have little or no real-time data to drive excellence and profitability.

ME: Why don’t more manufacturers use monitoring?

McPhail: 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.

As the results of our early adopters are validated and shared, we are seeing the market open up dramatically. At last September’s IMTS show, our booth was booking a new lead every two-and-a-half minutes and we are now scaling up all areas of our company to meet demand.

ME: How much does it cost to start a shop-floor monitoring program?

McPhail: The cost depends on the method of connection required to access the data generated by the shop-floor-resident manufacturing equipment. For new equipment capable of talking intelligently via Ethernet and using an electronic protocol such as MTConnect or OPC, the cost is $2750-$3500 per monitored asset installed. If the equipment is considered legacy and a hardware adapter is required, the cost is closer to $5000-$5500 per monitored asset installed.

To make an informed cost decision, manufacturers need to understand the value created by effectively monitoring their shop-floor assets. Memex Automation customers typically experience IRR [internal rate of return] greater than 400%, which means that the average payback is measured in mere months.

Using Memex’s MERLIN Operator Portal, operators are empowered with tools needed to quickly solve problems, boosting shop-floor productivity.

ME: What new monitoring tools from Memex Automation can help shops today?

McPhail: We call our award-winning technology MERLIN, an acronym for Manufacturing Execution Real-time Lean Information Network. Our solution includes both connection hardware, if required, and visualization software that, for the first time, allows manufacturers to really see exactly what transpires on their shop floors, in real time, by the second.

MERLIN enables the synthesis and contextualization of three data sources. The first data source is the shop-floor equipment that produces the product. This could be any piece of resident shop-floor manufacturing equipment, such as CNC machines, punch presses, saws, injection-molding machines, packaging equipment, robots, and PLC-controlled equipment. It could also be a “virtual machine,” where the process is completely manual, such as assembly or packaging.

The second data source is the shop-floor personnel that operate the equipment, and perform related tasks. Our MERLIN Operator Portal (MOP) supports a new paradigm in manufacturing where the equipment operator is as valued as an intrinsic resource. Our customers have proven that if the operator is empowered and given the tools to assist in solving problems as they arise on the manufacturing floor, productivity dramatically improves.

The third data source is ERP/MRP. In most manufacturing shops, these complex systems are not directly tied to what is happening on the shop floor. They hold vast amounts of data about sales orders, raw material availability, delivery dates, outsourced vendors/suppliers, costing, and scheduling. In a disconnected manufacturing model, the data that they are presently fed from the shop floor is manually entered, usually well after the fact, which hinders their ability to influence time-sensitive outcomes and make critical decisions.

A connected manufacturing model offers the ability to automatically drive and influence inventory, and procurement, based solely on what is happening in real-time on the shop floor. Another benefit is transparent scheduling visibility based on exactly what has been produced by the company’s manufacturing operations without the delay associated with manual data entry.

ME: What specific metrics are most critical for shops looking to improve productivity?

McPhail: The new buzzword in manufacturing today is OEE. OEE is a distillation of the six-sigma principles of waste, and is the product of three ratios. The first ratio is Availability, which is defined as actual run time/total 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 companies see the largest and quickest improvement for the effort expended. MERLIN measures nonproductive time into 20 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 also extremely helpful in improving a company’s overall OEE score. World-class OEE is 85%, which is 95% in each of these categories multiplied by each other. It should be duly noted that the average manufacturing customer we engage with believes its OEE is approximately 65%, when the actual post-MERLIN-implementation initial benchmark is closer to 32%. Once the shock of that typical OEE gap is fully understood, within a few months a MERLIN customer’s OEE improves dramatically. We have several customers that have started at 32%, and attained world-class OEE of 85%.

ME: How can using financial OEE, which you described at MTConnect’s conference, help improve shops’ bottom line?

McPhail: Financial OEE, or F.OEE, 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!

New Releases

SigmaTek Systems LLC (Cincinnati), a developer of nesting software, has released its updated SigmaNest Version 10 for users of plasma, laser, punch, oxyfuel, waterjet, router, knife, tube/pipe and combination cutting machines.

The updated SigmaNest Version 10.2 software adds a Split Window for simultaneously viewing different areas of the workspace.

The updated SigmaNest software adds a number of new features and enhancements that make machine programming even more effective and easy. SigmaNest 10.2 offers a Split Window that allows simultaneously viewing different areas of the workspace. Users can also manually nest parts across the split windows and onto other sheets. This capability provides quick nesting of parts onto multiple sheets. The new software adds several other enhancements including laser destruct; center of gravity tabbing; a quick search parts, sheets, and work order list; horizontal line cropping; and punching enhancements.

CADENAS Part Solutions LLC (Cincinnati) on Dec. 5 released the new parts4cad app for users of the cloud-based design and planning tool Autodesk Fusion 360. The app, created by software developer CADENAS GmbH (Augsburg, Germany), gives engineers access to millions of 3D CAD models from more than 400 certified manufacturer catalogs. The desired components can be configured individually and afterwards integrated directly into existing designs in Autodesk Fusion 360, a solution for 3D modeling that is used by designers and engineers to collaborate on product creations. The cloud-based technology in Fusion 360 allows users to access designs at any time and any location with any mobile device and Internet browser. The part4cad app is available for download for $7.99 from the Autodesk Exchange Apps store. For more information, see http://tinyurl.com/parts4cad.

Acquisitions

ERP developer Epicor Software Corp. (Austin, TX) announced Jan. 5 that it has completed its acquisition of privately held ShopVisible LLC (Atlanta), a cloud-based retail order-management and digital commerce solutions. No financial terms were disclosed.

The acquisition, announced Dec. 11, 2014, expands Epicor’s position as a leading provider of extended omni-channel solutions for midsize and large retail chains. ShopVisible customers include global and domestic retailers and manufacturers such as 3M, Liberty Hardware, Tempur-Pedic, Bluemercury, Hue, Atwoods, and Plow & Hearth.

ShopVisible’s multitenant Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) software will complement Epicor’s offerings in retail transaction, enterprise and analytics systems, and the acquisition will become part of the Epicor Retail suite of solutions. Software Update is edited by Senior Editor Patrick Waurzyniak; e-mail pwaurzyniak@sme.org.

This article was first published in the February 2015 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine.

To see the full article, please click here.

Determining the Connection Between Real-time Income and Plant Performance

Frasers – Network affiliate of Canadian Manufacturing.com – December 15, 2014 – There are two questions that anyone in manufacturing management needs to know – “How well is my plant running?” and “Am I making money?”

Manufacturing management needs a proven methodology to determine the profit dollar value of their decisions, connecting the plant floor to the income statement in real-time. Financial Overall Equipment Effectiveness (FOEE) can accurately quantify where a manufacturing company is making or losing money on a per part and per machine basis.

The foundation for Financial OEE starts with the metric Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). OEE is defined as Availability multiplied by Quality multiplied by Performance. For example, world-class OEE is 85 per cent with each of the three factors being at 95 per cent. While OEE is certainly an important metric, it tells management absolutely nothing about the financial side of manufacturing. If you don’t know the relationship of the financials to OEE, the ability to laser target where to start to maximize profit potential is non-existent.

The bridge across OEE to Financial OEE is constructed with a few key planks that can be visualized as connecting the specific details on what is happening on the shop, at the per part level, per machine or manufacturing asset basis, to your income statement.

On the shop floor side of the bridge are the following inputs into Financial OEE:

  • Data generated by the manufacturing equipment and the operator input panel;
  • A mechanism to get data off your manufacturing equipment, such as MTConnect, FANUC FOCAS, OPC or any of a number of proprietary protocols and methods; and
  • Manufacturing Execution System (MES) or Manufacturing Operations Management System (MOMS).

Manufacturing management and operators alike are using shop floor monitoring systems to track the making of parts to improve their equipment utilization. As plants and shops start to utilize real-time data to monitor their shop floors, the next logical question is: “What are the financial impacts of the decisions that occur on the manufacturing floor?” In order to answer that question, we need to build the other side of our Financial OEE bridge.

On the financial side are the following inputs into Financial OEE:

  • An ERP system that has financials broken down to the individual part and manufacturing asset level and associated job-costing data;
  • Product standards and product-specific manufacturing data by product and by workstation; and
  • A shop Application Programming Interface (API) that is used to speak bi-directionally with ERP systems and other data silos.

There are many ERP systems being used today in shops and plants. The ability to speak to these systems in real-time in a bidirectional fashion is critical to the success of Financial OEE.

The true benefits from Financial OEE come when questions such as the following are asked, and ultimately answered, by a thorough understanding of this key FOEE relationship.

  • What continuous improvement path or roadmap should I take to improve my performance to maximize profits?
  • Where in the manufacturing operation should I start?
  • What specific activities make the biggest impact to maximize profits?
  • What is the ROI for effort expended?

Financial OEE allows leadership teams to see exactly how much “hidden factory” exists. Current profit will be more accurate and future profit projections based on projected volumes and upcoming product mixes will be much more realistic.

To read the full article, written by David McPhail, president and CEO, Memex Automation, and Dave Edstrom, CTO, Memex Automation, please click here.

To read the full article from Frasers, please click here.

Rick Mosca Joins Memex as Chief Operations Officer, USA, and Subscribes to Latest Non-brokered Private Placement

Burlington, ON – December 11, 2014 – Astrix Networks Inc., operating as Memex Automation (TSX-V: OEE) (“Memex” or the “Company”) has closed a non-brokered private placement totaling $348,000. A total of 2,900,000 Units were issued at a price of $0.12 each (“Units”). Each Unit is comprised of one common share in the capital of the Company (a “Common Share”) and one-half of one common share purchase warrant (a “Warrant”). Each whole Warrant entitles the holder to purchase one Common Share at a price of $0.16 at any time prior to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on December 12, 2016.

In connection with the private placement, the Company paid a finder’s fee on certain subscriptions of 6% of the proceeds raised via brokers and issued broker warrants (the “Broker Warrants”) equal to 6% of the number of Units sold. The total fees paid were $9,744 in cash and 81,201 Broker Warrants. Each Broker Warrant entitles the holder to purchase one Common Share at a price of $0.16 at any time prior to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) on December 12, 2016. All securities issued are subject to a hold period, which will expire on April 12, 2015. The closing is subject to receipt of final approval from the TSX Venture Exchange.

As part of this placement, the Company’s newest Executive, Rick Mosca, now Chief Operations Officer of Astrix Networks America Inc., subscribed for 13% of the placement. Mr. Mosca is an IT executive with special expertise in leading all facets of business including client facing revenue development, sales channel development, applications development and enterprise systems delivery.

“I first became aware of Memex through my relationship with AMT as a member of the Technical Advisory Group of MTConnect,” explains Rick Mosca. “With a multi-year line of sight of the MTConnect products in development, it became clear to me that MERLIN is the most complete and robust forward and backward compatible solution. Based on my experience and industry knowledge, I am convinced that MERLIN has the potential to become the industry leading MTConnect-based MES solution, and I am thrilled to be joining this team as its American COO.”

“It is with great pleasure that I welcome Rick Mosca to the Memex senior management team as the COO of our American subsidiary,” reports David McPhail, CEO. “Rick brings with him a wealth of global experience and a proven track record of building effective, profitable and lasting relationships at the CXO level within the Fortune 500.”

About Memex Automation

Memex Automation (TSX-V:OEE) is the leader of manufacturing Machine to Machine (M2M) productivity solutions and the measurement of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (“OEE”) in real-time. OEE is the measurement of plant-wide capacity utilization. MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) generates OEE enterprise-wide, plant by plant, machine by machine. As published in Automation.Com in July 2014, by using MERLIN in its 800,000 square foot Kentucky plant, Mazak, the largest machine tool builder in the world, increased the utilization of its own machines by 42%, and now offers MERLIN on their price list. Okuma America Corporation, a world leader in CNC machine tools, announced in April 2014 that Memex Automation became a Partner in THINC. On April 15, 2014, PEM awarded the Company the 2014 Plant Engineering & Maintenance Award for ‘Best Company Under 50 Employees.’ Frost & Sullivan awarded MERLIN its 2013 Technology Innovation Leadership Award for Machine Monitoring. Microsoft picked MERLIN to be its mid-market ERP machine connectivity solution. For more information, please visit: www.memex.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Memex Automation Inc.
John Rattray, VP Sales and Marketing
Phone: 905-635-0590
Email: jrattray@memex.ca

Thomas Smeenk, VP Business Development
Phone: (905) 536-3138
E-mail: thomas.smeenk@memex.ca

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation services provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

To see the full article, please click here.

Are your machines as productive as they can be? This tool can find out.

Frasers – Network affiliate of Canadian Manufacturing.com – December 11, 2014 – “If you can measure it, then you can manage it.” That’s the motto of Burlington, Ont.-based Memex Automation, a leader in the connection, monitoring and management of machines, sensors and processes in manufacturing.

The company’s MERLIN OEE tool monitors machines in real-time.

“To be able to visualize how quickly your machines are operating allows you to react quickly to situations,” the company says. “Measuring what actually happens on the shop floor allows you to fine tune your processes using Lean manufacturing techniques. By applying the Theory of Constraints principle to monitoring and identifying a constraint, you can improve operator productivity and satisfaction by helping them perform faster, reduce their data collection overhead, all by using automatic and accurate tracking systems. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) is the key performance indicator that drives this machine monitoring process forward.”

There are many clear benefits to machine monitoring. Users can see the productivity and increased profitability as it happens in real-time, and identify problems fast. This can increase plant-wide productivity in the range of 10 to 50 per cent. Dashboard metrics are available for everyone on the shop floor to see, and it’s a time-saving, money-saving solution that will increase productivity and profitability in the long run

MERLIN is designed to monitor every machine in your shop — CNC machines, non-CNC machines, fabrication centres and manual processes — all tied together in a production process manufacturing execution system.

MERLIN OEE solution software can find every little area for improvement in your cycle times to best utilize your machines. It knows when the machines are in cycle and when they are not in cycle, and what is causing the machine to slow down. While most companies believe they are operating to their full capacity, it turns out they are, in fact, far from it. MERLIN OEE will show you that there is always room for improvement, and you will always be able to operate faster, and more efficiently, than you already are.

If you can identify the constraints (where the bottlenecks are happening in the production process), then you can improve your throughput and increase your overall profitability.

To see the full article, please click here.

Magellan Aerospace sees huge savings thanks to new Manufacturing Execution System

Frasers – Network affiliate of Canadian Manufacturing.com – December 12, 2014 – Alignment and automation are key success factors for Magellan Aerospace. But the Kitchener, Ont.-based company was experiencing a challenge: its standalone machines were not reaching production targets. There were far too many downtime events happening on the shop floor — so much that the company was at the point of considering buying another machine to make up for the missed targets. Shop floor supervisors would manually record information regarding the start and end times, and quantity produced during the shift, but the information didn’t provide the detail that was needed.

Magellan’s relentless pursuit of excellence led it straight to MERLIN, a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications platform by Memex Automation. MERLIN (Manufacturing Execution Real-time Lean Information Network) can use MTConnect and other protocols to connect the shop floor to the top floor, so that anyone with a need to know can use its information to increase production and income from operations, all while raising Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) to world-class levels.

Magellan met with Memex Automation’s executive team in 2011, and installed the MERLIN hardware and software on various machines at its Kitchener plant. Jonathan Ung, the continuous improvement co-ordinator in charge of tracking the plant’s progress with MERLIN, gathered some very promising ROI results.

“We deployed MERLIN on our FMS/Makino cell,” said Ung. “There are four robot-controlled CNC machines in the cell, and we also outfitted three standalone CNC machines configured in a cell-like environment. The standalone machines utilize the MERLIN Ax9150 hardware board along with the G55 handheld scanner, giving us visibility of the machines that we previously did not have. The Makino cell has the MERLIN Operating Portal deployed on it, which gives us detailed machine information right on the shop floor. We feed MERLIN with work order and product standard data directly from our CINCOM ERP system.”

The MERLIN data indicated there were far too many downtime events occurring. Magellan shared this information with its team, and with the help of the MERLIN software, was able to reduce those downtime events from 400 hours per month to 100 hours —  a net increase in machining capacity of 100 hours per month per machine.

“Multiply that by the hourly machining cost and Magellan was able to capture real savings of over $30,000 per month against an initial price of $20,000 for MERLIN,” said Ung. “That’s a very satisfying payback on the technology.”

Memex applied its “Roadmap to Success” methodology, a valuable tool to use in analyzing and interpreting the information MERLIN makes available. After completing the corrective actions the Roadmap suggested, Magellan was able to show that MERLIN brought its OEE up from 36 per cent to a sustained 85 per cent. The time spent previously gathering data was decreased dramatically because the data was now available to management and operators.

Magellan now sees there is more possibility for MERLIN on the shop floor. The company believes it is just scratching the surface of MERLIN’s capabilities and is looking forward to seeing what else can be accomplished with the system.

To see the full article, please click here.

Building Towards Growth

December 5, 2014 – PLANT magazine posted its annual Manufacturer’s Outlook for 2015. Dave McPhail, Memex Automation’s CEO, was once again part of the magazine’s panel of industry experts discussing the growth outlook for Canada’s manufacturing sector.

Regarding confidence among manufacturer’s, in a survey done for the 2015 Outlook, 60% of those surveyed are cautiously optimistic about the coming year while 29% see market conditions as “very favourable.”

To read the report, please download the pdf here.

To visit PLANT’s website, please click here.

Boosting Machine Tool Productivity

Canadian Metalworking Magazine – November 2014

From cutting edge to common sense. This article explains how monitoring machines can solve a lot of issues on the plant floor and increase productivity.

To see the full article, please click here, and flip to page 34.

Mazak Unveils Next Generation iSMART Factory Concept

Modern Machine Tools – November 24, 2014

Yamazaki Mazak headquarters in Aichi, Japan, has recently announced its new forward-thinking Mazak iSMART Factory concept. A dynamic, ongoing and limitless concept, the next-generation iSMART Factory represents Mazak’s all-encompassing manufacturing vision. Mazak will eventually designate all ten of its manufacturing operations as iSMART Factories, the first being the Oguchi factory in Japan and now the North American factory in Florence, Kentucky.

The Mazak iSMART Factory uses advanced manufacturing cells and systems together with full digital integration to achieve free-flow data sharing in terms of process control and operation monitoring. In the iSMART Factory, the MTConnect® open communications protocol works with process support software and provides connectivity and the capability to monitor then harvest data from all the different production floor machines, cells, devices and processes.

Through PCs and portable electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets, both management and manufacturing easily access the same real-time manufacturing data to improve overall productivity efficiency and responsiveness to customer/market changes.

“For Mazak, iSMART Factory is a vision – the complete digital integration of the factory with state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, automation and advanced manufacturing practices. The name establishes a philosophy – a credo of sorts for Mazak that is unique to our operations but symbolizes our commitment toward the ultimate smart factory,” said Brian Papke, president of Mazak Corporation. “While the name is new, our U.S. factory has long demonstrated a commitment to growth and technological advancement, with a critical part of that strategy being such factors as plant-wide connectivity, automation and optimized production flow. At Mazak, benefits have and continue to be significant increases in machine utilization, shorter throughput times, elimination of non-value added operations, Production-On-Demand capability and more efficient part machining.”

In Kentucky, full simultaneous 5-axis, Multi-Tasking and DONE IN ONE® machining technologies, advanced automation that allows for different machines within the same cell and innovative machining systems highlight Mazak’s North American iSMART Factory operations. Also under the iSMART Factory umbrella in Kentucky, a fully automated paint line provides the versatility to completely change over from one color to the next very quickly and will be digitally monitored through the same technology.

Additionally, all the various manufacturing systems in the plant are designed for fast changeovers and allow for producing in small lot sizes and with a higher mix of components. The systems are also all integrated to the MTConnect standard, and further advances in 2015 will incorporate the factory floor data with Mazak’s ERP system.

To see the full article, please click here.