Real-Time Performance Drives Food Manufacturing Efficiency

It is vital in food operations whether complying with HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) or ISO 22000 standards, that Operations Managers are able to view plant performance data in real-time, anywhere, anytime. The ability to select data functions to display must be possible whether viewed on any PC on the company LAN/WAN, or via the Web. Tracking production in real-time to ensure goals are met and to minimize Work-in-Process are essential to optimize food safety and production.

Original article published online by International Food Safety & Quality Network.  Link to original article.

North American Manufacturers Fight Back

Aerospace Manufacturer Héroux-Devtek Takes Advantage of Memex Automation OEE+DNC System to Fly Productivity Higher

Kitchener, ON – North American manufacturers are fighting back. Two Canadian-based companies are teaming up at a meeting of the Canadian Tooling & Machining Association today to demonstrate a manufacturing automation system that unites islands of unconnected information and typically leads to an increase in plant floor efficiency from large industrial machine tools that can cost as much as $3 million each.

Burlington, Ont.-based Memex Automation Inc. is demonstrating the company’s real-time industrial machine monitoring and control technology at the Kitchener, Ont. plant of aircraft landing gear, aerostructure and industrial component manufacturer, Héroux-Devtek. The cost of a Memex Automation system is $4,000 per machine.

With ten plant locations across Canada and the United States, publicly traded Héroux-Devtek recorded 2009 revenue of $330 million and is based in Longueuil, Que. Last week the company announced a $26.5 million investment over five years at its Kitchener plant to install highly automated precision equipment for producing medium-size to large landing-gear components. The Ontario government will make a contribution of almost $4 million under an innovation and competitiveness program.

“The North American manufacturing industry is like the reality TV show Survivor, and it’s low productivity that must be voted off the island to ensure success,” said Dave McPhail,” President and CEO of Memex Automation.

“Memex unites the islands of machine automation, establishing a fully-connected, enterprise-wide manufacturing nervous system that gives real-time visibility of plant floor production metrics and the ability to adapt and control each machine based on the intelligence collected. The benefits of internetworked machine monitoring leads to increased productivity, which in turn usually leads to an increase in plant floor efficiency.”

Memex Automation manufacturing technology, referred to as an Overall Equipment Effectiveness plus Direct Numerical Control (OEE + DNC) system, is attached directly to each machine tool.

Operating as an Ethernet-based network that bi-directionally communicates to all of the plant’s machines, Memex Automation provides local memory, embedded software, high speed network connectivity, real-time automatic machine state and utilization data collection with adaptive, Web-based control. The overall system architecture is based on the latest Lean Manufacturing principles, thereby leveraging the two most highly prized assets any company has available – its personnel and the equipment they operate.
Every machine tool in each plant, or in every plant, can be monitored from any Web-based computer located anywhere, from the plant manager’s office to the CEO suite. In fact, Héroux-Devtek’s CEO Gilles Labbé initiated a company-wide mandate to look at OEE devices that automatically track machine utilization and this led to the purchase of Memex Automation’s comprehensive OEE + DNC solution.

If one machine presents unique downtime issues the inputs can be adjusted to pinpoint the problem, thereby saving valuable troubleshooting time and effort. And new functionality introduced in 2010 sends automated email or SMS text alerts to PCs, smart phones, or the cell phones of supervisory staff.

The alert system is fully customizable and extensible throughout the organization. In this case a message is automatically sent to the right people in the plant who can help fix the problem.

The Memex hardware and software system toolset can connect to any machine in a plant including CNC machine tools, conventional or hydraulic punch presses, injection molding machines, and manual processes or machines.

NOTE TO MEDIA: Reporters and producers interested in seeing Memex Automation in action are invited to attend today’s CTMA and Héroux-Devtek event in Kitchener, Ontario. A dinner and talk by Memex Automation Inc. will follow at the Holiday Inn, Kitchener, on 30 Fairway Road, South, starting at 5:30PM.

For more information, please contact:

Jill McCubbin
Conversation Architect
market2world communications inc.
Office: (613) 256-3939


Dave McPhail
President and CEO
Memex Automation Inc.
Office: (866) 573-3895

Official Invitation

Customer Perspective on Benefits of OEE

There is always interesting new benefits of OEE from a customer perspective especially as it relates to a positive experience for operators and people on the shop floor. A recent interview dug up these golden nuggets:

“We now have a tool to communicate to the people on the shop floor that our performance can improve.”

“The OEE data provided improves human as well as machine-to-machine communications.”

“We believe we can use Memex data to motivate employees with a shared understanding of how we can be more productive, and that’s what it’s all about.”

“Our biggest differentiator is productivity and OEE helps us identify areas to improve our efficiency.”

“Machines are islands of unconnected information – like having a group of office PCs, each with different software – now we can network machines together, just like networking an office.”

“We had passive OEE with manual clip boards and now we have active OEE, visible in the plant.”

“The key to better productivity is not just to track performance, but to act on problems in real-time.”

“Machine connectivity unites the islands of machine automation, establishing a fully-connected, enterprise-wide manufacturing nervous system that gives real-time visibility of production and the ability to adapt and control each machine.”

“Customers can see and believe in what we’re doing to improve on time delivery because we have traceability of machine operations through OEE.”

Ontario Centres of Excellence Discovery 2010

Named Canada’s Best Trade Show 2010 and 2011, Discovery brings together the best and brightest minds in industry, academia, the investment community and government to showcase leading-edge technologies, best practices and research in Ontario.

Memex Sells its Products Globally

As an international company, Memex sells its products to customers all around the world.  From Australia, Thailand, Korea, Mexico, Turkey, the Middle East, South America, Africa, Europe and of course North America customers utilize Memex Automation products.

Our memory upgrades are in high demand and in some cases for certain machines we are the only supplier in the world. The Memex connectivity tools bringing machines onto the corporate network are highly useful, and coupled with our machine monitoring capabilities we offer exceptional increases in productivity to make our customers more efficient in manufacturing. With over 250 dealers and a strong internal support network, backed by a full warranty, Memex is dedicated to ensuring successful deployment of machine tool utilities.

See us at the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago, September 13-18, 2010, booth E-3868.

Memex Automation participating at IMTS since 1992

Memex Automation invites you to meet us at IMTS 2010, at our booth in the Automation Center, East Building.
Memex is participating at IMTS, as it has for the last 18 years, since 1992, in Chicago for September 13-18, 2010, booth number E-3868 at McCormick Place.

Memex has a medium sixe 20 ft by 20 ft booth and is showcasing it’s advanced OEE+DNC software, Ax9150 Universal Machine Interface, Mx1053 Universal Network Interface for Serial to Ethernet communications and Ax2200 HS-FS File Server hardware.

Advantages of migrating from serial to Ethernet communications on the shop floor

As published in Canadian Metalworking magazine, March 2010.

There is a technological shift going on out on the shop floor that is allowing machines to communicate directly with corporate information systems, generating big benefits for companies by increasing their operational efficiency. Applications are available that provide real-time machine monitoring, acquisition of Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) metrics, dynamic computer-aided machining, automatic synchronization of part programs, DNC, work order
scheduling, and central control of machine operations.

Why Make the Leap?

The Internet has changed how the world gets its information: it’s all about easy access. Manufacturing machines that communicate via serial ports run the risk of being not connected to the information highway and consequently being an unproductive asset. If these machines could be refurbished with advanced communications technology, a company could avoid spending millions on new machines. Furthermore, extracting operational information from all its machines, both new and old, would permit a company to optimize its manufacturing processes. Companies that have moved to the Ethernet report a significant improvement in efficiency and cost savings.

Showcase and Plant Tour at Héroux Devtek with CTMA

CTMA Western Ontario Chapter Plant Tour & Dinner Meeting

Date: May 20, 2010
Time: Tour – 4:00pm / Cocktails & Dinner – 5:30pm
Location: Héroux Devtek, 1665 Highland Road, W., Kitchener, Ontario
Price: $60 Members / $75 Future Members

Join us for a tour of Héroux Devtek that manufactures landing gear and aerospace structural components. The tour will highlight Héroux Devtek’s world-leading capabilities, with demonstrations of real-time machine monitoring and control with OEE+DNC, and the interconnection of these tools with the corporate network.

Cocktails and dinner will follow at the Holiday Inn – Kitchener with a presentation on “Shop Floor to Top Floor Information … in Real-Time” by David McPhail and John Rattray of Memex Automation Inc. This presentation will show how their breakthrough approach to managing the shop floor can yield significant gains in productivity.

Agenda/Registration Form

CEO Level Podcast of Internetworking the Factory Floor

Listen to Memex’s vision in a podcast from IMTS08 trade show (13 minutes, 56 sec)

Memex discusses at a CEO level the merits of “Internetworking the Factory Floor”, applying the Internet model to allow machine to machine communication on the factory floor. Memex suggests the timing is right for changes so as to automate the automation and poses the question about what would it take to have a third shift run unattended and therefore increase efficiency and profitability.

At Memex, we can transform every machine into a node on the corporate network in a real-time manner, providing the power of the Internet in a machine to machine communication efficiency.

NSERC CANRIMT Advanced Research Project

Memex is working with a consortium of universities in advanced research on monitoring and controlling machining processes for manufacturing automation.  NSERC has announced this project for CANRIMT (Canadian Network for Research and Innovation in Machining Technology), see the web site.

This project is focused on modeling, analysis, monitoring and control of machining processes for manufacturing automation. The group is led by mechanical engineer Dr. Yusuf Altintas of the University of British Columbia, and involves Dr. Allan Spence from McMaster University, as well as Ecole Polytechnique and leading private sector companies in the industry. The analysis and deliverables will involve specialized algorithms working with Memex’s Ax9150 Universal Machine Interface hardware board as a component in monitoring and controlling the machines.