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.
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Memex Automation Inc.
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