Modern Machine Shop Highlights MERLIN and Caron Engineering’s Productivity Partnership

Burlington, ON, Canada – September 29, 2014 Astrix Networks Inc., operating as Memex Automation (TSX-V: OEE) (“Memex” or the “Company”), the global leader of manufacturing M2M productivity solutions, is pleased to announce MERLIN is profiled in the September issue of Modern Machine Shop alongside Caron Engineering’s multi-axis adaptive control manufacturing methods.

The article: Tool Monitoring for Multitasking Machines, describes Caron Engineering’s five multi-axis adaptive control machining methodologies and MERLIN’s ability to monetize the improved processes in real-time.

Caron’s adaptive control methods are highlighted as improving production within the machining envelop.  MERLIN is highlighted as improving production within and outside of the machining envelop by calculating capacity utilization plant-wide.  As a result, MERLIN gets the Caron voice of process and the plant’s capacity utilization data to the engineering and management teams in their respective business intelligence tools, on any device.

“Making tool data available to third party software applications such as shop floor machine monitoring opens doors to many possibilities such as plant-wide data-driven decision making and integrated automation,” said Mr. Caron.   “With Caron and MERLIN, manufacturers can understand plant capacity in real-time, down to the accelerometers measuring vibration in spindle bearings, servo-drives and other machine components that can adversely affect cutting conditions, by the second,” said David McPhail, CEO, Memex Automation.  “Literally, MERLIN and Caron deliver the equivalent of the holy grail of manufacturing in a way that generates up to 400% IRR,” said McPhail.

About Memex Automation Inc. 

Memex Automation (TSX-V:OEE) is the leader of 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. On April 15th 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.  Microsoft picked MERLIN to be its mid-market ERP machine connectivity solution. Mazak, North America’s largest original equipment manufacturer of machine tools, purchased MERLIN to manage its plant and published in Automation.com a 42% increase in utilization of the monitored production machines.  Mazak now offers MERLIN on its price list.  Okuma America Corporation, a world leader in CNC machine tools, announced on April 1st Memex Automation became a Partner in THINC. For more information, please visit: www.memex.ca.

Contacts: 

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

Investors
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 press release, please click here.

Modern Machine Shop article highlights Memex’s productivity partnership with Caron Engineering

Proactive Investors – September 29, 2014

Memex Automation (CVE:OEE) says its MERLIN product which works to improve manufacturing efficiency has been profiled in the September issue of Modern Machine Shop, alongside Caron Engineering’s adaptive control manufacturing methods.

The article describes Caron Engineering’s five multi-axis adaptive control machining methodologies and MERLIN’s ability to monetize the improved processes in real-time, said Memex.

The MERLIN device monitors production and capacity utilization on the shop floor, improving profitability, reducing waste and ensuring compliance with regulations. It enables customers to address production bottlenecks as they happen, converting idle time back into production and ultimately improving throughput and increasing income from plant operations.

MERLIN is highlighted in the article as improving production within and outside of the machining envelope by calculating capacity utilization plant-wide, through the measurement of overall equipment effectiveness. As a result, MERLIN gets “the Caron voice of process and the plant’s capacity utilization data” to the engineering and management teams in their respective business intelligence tools, on any device, the company said.

“With Caron and MERLIN, manufacturers can understand plant capacity in real-time, down to the accelerometers measuring vibration in spindle bearings, servo-drives and other machine components that can adversely affect cutting conditions, by the second,” said chief executive officer of Memex, David McPhail.

“Literally, MERLIN and Caron deliver the equivalent of the holy grail of manufacturing in a way that generates up to 400% IRR.”

Memex’s product was recently described in a case study by Mazak, which said that Merlin-related efforts to reduce downtime yielded a 42 percent improvement in utilization for the monitored machines.

In addition, Mazak also reduced operator downtime by 100 hours per month, while 400 hours per month of previously outsourced work was returned to the company.

To see the full article, please click here.

MERLIN Profiled as the Canadian Productivity Gap Eradicator

BURLINGTON, ONTARIO, Sep 26, 2014 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — Astrix Networks Inc., operating as Memex Automation (OEE) (“Memex” or the “Company”), the global leader of manufacturing M2M productivity solutions, is pleased to announce MERLIN is profiled in the September issue of PLANT magazine.

The cover article: The Internet of Everything: Connected technologies bridge the shop floor to the top floor and provide major benefits to maintenance, efficiency and productivity, describes how Canadian Manufacturers can eradicate the productivity gap with MERLIN.

MERLIN, which generates up to a 400% IRR upon installation in manufacturing plants, is featured alongside Google’s $3.2 billion purchase of Nest and Apple’s, Samsung’s and Sony’s Internet of Everything consumer-based wearables.

“A sector that will truly benefit is manufacturing,” wrote Matt Powell, Assistant Editor, Plant. “Convergence is the key work here,” said Victor Woo, Cisco. “We have to bridge information within the business by connecting the shop floor to the top floor,” said Woo. “It’s true,” said David McPhail, CEO, Memex Automation. “Mazak, the world’s largest machine tool manufacturer, in the July Edition of Automation.com, described a +42% increase of machine utilization by connecting the shop floor to the top floor using MERLIN,” said McPhail. “Our clients regularly detail to us IRR’s of more than 400% because they’re using our solution to connect their plants to their management teams in real-time,” said McPhail. “This Plant article is spot on the money because it describes how Canadian manufacturers can move from the disconnected to the connected manufacturing environment; eradicate the Canadian productivity gap; uncover the hidden plant; and, generate more production and income from operations using the same labour and equipment,” said McPhail. “That’s how these IRRs are generated,” he added.

About Memex Automation Inc.

Memex Automation (OEE) is the leader of 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. On April 15th 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. Microsoft picked MERLIN to be its mid-market ERP machine connectivity solution. Mazak, North America’s largest original equipment manufacturer of machine tools, purchased MERLIN to manage its plant and published in Automation.com a 42% increase in utilization of the monitored production machines. Mazak now offers MERLIN on its price list. Okuma America Corporation, a world leader in CNC machine tools, announced on April 1st Memex Automation became a Partner in THINC. For more information, please visit: www.memex.ca.

Contacts:

Sales
John Rattray, VP Sales and Marketing
Phone: 905-635-0590
Email: john.rattray@memex.ca

Investors
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 press release, please click here.

Memex says clients regularly claim IRRs of more than 400% using MERLIN

Proactive Investors – September 26, 2014

Memex Automation (CVE:OEE) says its MERLIN product which works to improve manufacturing efficiency has been featured in the September issue of PLANT magazine.

The cover article of the issue describes how Canadian manufacturers can eradicate the productivity gap with MERLIN, said Memex.

The hardware and software solution generates up to a 400 percent IRR upon installation in manufacturing plants, according to the company, and is featured in the article alongside Google‘s $3.2 billion purchase of Nest as well as Apple‘s, Samsung’s and Sony‘s “internet of everything consumer-based wearables.”

The Merlin device monitors production and capacity utilization on the shop floor, improving profitability, reducing waste and ensuring compliance with regulations. It enables customers to address production bottlenecks as they happen, converting idle time back into production and ultimately improving throughput and increasing income from plant operations.

The company’s product was recently described in a case study by Mazak, which said that Merlin-related efforts to reduce downtime yielded a 42 percent improvement in utilization for the monitored machines. In addition, Mazak also reduced operator downtime by 100 hours per month, while 400 hours per month of previously outsourced work was returned to the company.

“Our clients regularly detail to us IRRs of more than 400% because they’re using our solution to connect their plants to their management teams in real-time,” said CEO of Memex David McPhail.

“This Plant article is spot on the money because it describes how Canadian manufacturers can move from the disconnected to the connected manufacturing environment; eradicate the Canadian productivity gap; uncover the hidden plant; and, generate more production and income from operations using the same labour and equipment.

“That’s how these IRRs are generated,” he added.

To see the full article, please click here.

To read the PLANT magazine article in full, please click here.

Tool Monitoring for Multitasking Machines

Modern Machine Shop – September 26, 2014

Machine tools designed to combine milling, turning and other metalworking processes have remarkable potential for efficiency and productivity. Completing parts in one pass across a multitasking machine streamlines production by eliminating multiple setups, avoiding errors when parts are refixtured and performing several operations simultaneously. Multitasking machines also are well-suited for running unattended or having one operator oversee multiple units.

By their nature, multitasking machines tend to be complex and sometimes difficult to understand, however. They follow a variety of configurations—mills with turning, lathes with milling, twin-spindle machining centers and three-turret lathes are a few examples. Additional axis motions such as a rotating milling head (B axis) and turrets on a cross-slide (Y axis) compound this complexity.

And multitasking machines impose distinct challenges to cutting tool usage and management. For example, multitasking machines may have a limited number of stations for cutting tools on the tool turret or automatic toolchanger. Certain cutting tools may be called upon for both milling and turning operations. A worn or broken tool that interrupts a multitasking machine may have the same effect on productivity as unplanned downtime on two or more single-purpose machines.

Systems designed to monitor a tool’s condition, adjust automatically for wear and capture information about the tool’s performance can be especially valuable on multitasking machines. One of the biggest challenges to tool monitoring on a multitasking machine is coping with simultaneous cutting operations.  One system designed specifically to meet this challenge is TMAC-MP from Caron Engineering (Wells, Maine) which stands for Tool Monitoring Adaptive Control for Multi-Process machines.

This system, which includes sensors installed on the machine tool and software installed on the CNC unit, monitors tool performance to detect wear or breakage, automatically adjusts feed rates to compensate for wear (adaptive control), and captures data about tool life. Several tools cutting at the same time can be monitored and controlled equally well, with all data recorded and displayed in a centralized interface. Data from a TMAC-MP system on an individual machine can be transmitted to a shop-wide machine monitoring system, enabling managers to incorporate critical tool data into calculations of overall equipment efficiency.

A Multi-Processing Extension

TMAC-MP is an extension of Caron Engineering’s pioneering TMAC tool monitoring system. It is based on the principle that a machine tool has to work harder to maintain a set feed rate as the edges of a cutting tool grow dull. In other words, spindle horsepower gradually increases as wear occurs. By sensing spindle horsepower output, the system can detect if a cutting tool is worn or broken.

More importantly, the system can be set to react to changes in the horsepower readings. If the power monitor detects evidence of excessive wear, it can signal the machine control to issue an alarm, initiate a tool change to retrieve a fresh spare tool or stop the machining process altogether.

The adaptive control option enables the control to automatically adjust the feed rate to maintain a constant horsepower rating as the tool undergoes normal wear patterns. As a result, the cutting tool performs at its optimum power level, thus extending its life, reducing cycle time, and avoiding stress on the spindle bearings and other machine components. Under this protocol, feed-rate adjustments are made constantly in small increments (typically 1 percent of the programmed feed rate) for a smooth transition that further protects the tool and workpiece surface.

For both monitoring and automatic adjustment, the system’s software can “learn” the normal horsepower draw for a given tool and operation while the tool is cutting. Using this baseline, the user can set limits and establish the preferred response.

The multi-processing enhancement of the system is designed to perform these functions even when multiple tools are cutting at the same time. Essentially, the software was reformatted to be multitasking in its own right. For example, this development enables the system to monitor and control two turning tools cutting simultaneously in an upper and lower turret while a milling tool is doing end work on a part in the subspindle.

Originally developed for a Tsugami Swiss-type lathe and introduced at IMTS 2012, TMAC-MP also includes significant hardware innovations. Most important is the ability to monitor very small tools such 0.004-inch- (0.1-mm-) diameter drills. To this end, Caron Engineering had to develop new strain sensors that can be fully embedded in static toolholders sized for tools this small. The company also developed three-axis and single-axis accelerometers for measuring vibration. Mounted on the spindle or tooling slide, these sensors record vibration in spindle bearings, servodrives and other machine components that can adversely affect cutting conditions.

The system’s user interface was also changed so that machine and cutting tool data can be viewed in a bar graph that shows tool condition and remaining tool life for all tools being monitored. This information can be archived in any structured query language (SQL) database. The software can also be set up to send alarms by email or transmit them as text messages.

The Larger Connection

As valuable as tool monitoring and adaptive control may be for the individual multitasking machine, Rob Caron, president and founder of Caron Engineering, believes that the ability to port data across a network is the most substantial pay off awaiting shops and plants that implement the TMAC-MP system.

“Making tool data available to third-party software applications such as shopfloor machine monitoring opens doors to many possibilities such as plant-wide, data-driven decision-making and integrated automation,” Mr. Caron says. As a first step in this direction, his company is partnering with Memex Automation (Burlington, Ontario).

Memex’s manufacturing execution system, Manufacturing Execution Real-time Lean Information Network (MERLIN) supplies OEE metrics to support performance, productivity and profitability initiatives. The system tracks manufacturing operations bi-directionally from the ERP work order to each machine’s operations. MERLIN connects to all machines on the shop floor using various protocols, MTConnect adapters and/or network conductivity devices.

According to Mr. Caron, TMAC-MP users can use MERLIN’s interface and connectivity to deliver in-machine metrics from the shop floor to the operations and corporate executives, even to mobile devices or other web-enabled systems.

This connection also has the benefit of validating the productivity and efficiency gains delivered by multitasking machine tools, as well as making those machining resources more secure by detecting and preventing cutting-tool-based constraints to their full potential. “Multitasking machines and tool monitoring are more than complementary technologies. They are mutually empowering,” Mr. Caron concludes.

To see the full article, please click here.