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Smarten Up

April 2016, Machine Metrics | Quality, Kip Hanson

When I started on the shop foor, machine tools were dumb. Communication levels weren’t determined by protocols or baud rates but by which machinist could yell the loudest. NC programs were loaded from paper tape, tool offsets made with a hammer, and part quality results recorded on handwritten forms.

What a change a few decades make. Today’s technology allows shops to monitor virtually every aspect of production, from what tools were changed yesterday to how many minutes the spindles sat idle last week to what jobs are running on which machines right now. So much has changed, in fact, that some say the next industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, is upon us.

Getting everyone on the same page

One proponent of this revolution is David McPhail, president of industrial communications platform provider Memex Inc., in Burlington, ON, who counts Mazak Corp. among key global customers for the company’s flagship product, Merlin. McPhail points to data driven manufacturing and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) as two examples of the technology companies can leverage to improve productivity and part quality, if only they have the will to overcome fear of the unknown.

“Change of any kind is hard, especially when people don’t understand the technology behind it,” he says. “But when someone thinks to themselves, ‘if I don’t do anything, then there’s no risk,’ it brings about the worst kind of paralysis. Manufacturing companies must learn to embrace technology if they are to gain a competitive advantage.”

Those advantages are numerous. Lights out production, shorter lead times, improved tool life—the list goes on. One often-overlooked benefit of integrated machine communication is better part quality, says McPhail.

Click here to read more: Smarten Up

Towards a Service – Oriented Business with Connected Machines

March 7 , 2016 – Doug Bellin

Mazak Corporation is pulling ahead of its competitors with an innovative connected machine deployment. A global leader in the design and manufacture of machine tools, Mazak has partnered with Cisco and machine – to – machine solutions provider MEMEX Inc. to drastically improve digital integration across all its processes.

To see the full article please click here

Homeyer Precision Manufacturing Co. chooses MERLIN for an IIoT rollout

IIot Software Introduced to factory

March 1, 2016 – Manufacturing News

Homeyer Precision Manufacturing Co. has purchased MEMEX’s MERLIN Enterprise Edition for a plant rollout of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) software in Marthasville, MO. The sale includes 23 licenses of MERLIN for overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and direct numerical control (DNC), plus nine MERLIN MTConnect hardware adapters for legacy CNC manufacturing machines.

Homeyer Precision Manufacturing is led by its President Herb Homeyer, who is also Chairman of the Board of The National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA). “A passionate business leader, he founded his company in 1990 with a belief in the power of American manufacturing – and a commitment to bring a new level of service to his industry,” said a company spokesperson.

“IIoT is a powerful trend, and MERLIN makes IIoT real by equipping industrial machines with the necessary interfaces for connecting, collecting and analyzing manufacturing data in real time,” said Homeyer. “Our manufacturing team did their homework before choosing MERLIN. One of the things that most impressed us is how no machine is left behind regardless of make or vintage. MERLIN can be implemented quickly on our factory floor without costly integration services or associated time lags. With this real-time visibility, we look forward to a significant boost in overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).”

“We are honored to be implementing MEMEX’s IIoT technology in the factory of a visionary manufacturing leader like Herb Homeyer,” said MEMEX CEO David McPhail. “With a correct focus on achieving business value versus simply counting connected devices, IIoT represents no less than the next industrial revolution. The previous three industrial revolutions were mechanization powered by steam engines in the 1800s, mass production powered by electricity and the assembly line in the early 1900s, and automation powered by computers in the late 1900s. Ushering in the fourth industrial revolution, IIoT is powered by the Internet and software applications like MERLIN.”

MEMEX’s flagship software product, MERLIN, is an IIoT shop-floor-to-top-floor communications platform that provides manufacturing analytics in real time. “Specifically, MERLIN delivers a 10%-50% average productivity increase, and earns 20%-plus profit improvement based on just a 10% increase in OEE,” said a MEMEX spokesperson. “It consistently achieves payback in less than four months with an internal rate of return (IRR) greater than 300%, and connects to any machine, old or new, utilizing native MTConnect other protocols, or MERLIN hardware adapters for older machines.”

For more information contact:

MEMEX Inc.

3425 Harvester Rd., Ste. 105

Burlington, ON Canada L7N 3N1

905-635-1540

info@memexoee.com

www.memexoee.com

To see the article please click here

20% More Profit – For Free

The Modern Machine Shop magazine’s 2012 “Top Shop” survey results indicated that the median point of “other” machine shops (approximately the bottom 90% of shops sending in >350 surveys) was at a financial performance level seventy six percent below the TS median point for profit per machine.  Couple this with the information that TS are 150% more likely to apply Theory Of Constraints TOC methodology in their business/operating decisions and that TS are data driven.   Why is this an advantage?

One big reason for the TS competitive advantage could be in the data collection and analysis of true OEE by product at each machine in their product flow-lines.  This provides the actual throughput minutes per machine by product and allows an analysis similar to the “Bob’s Bolt Company” (pgs. 250 -260 of “The Constraints Management Handbook” by Cox and Spencer, St. Lucie Press/APICS series, Boca Raton, FL.) The example provides the necessary financial and operating information and examines a Line of Business with 4 products being produced by a series of 3 work stations. (A matrix of 12 ‘throughput minutes required by work station’ data points.)

It goes through the details of determining the best weekly product mix selection based on Market Demand using 1.) Traditional Cost Accounting using Product Profit, 2.) Traditional Cost Accounting using Contribution per Direct Labor Hour, and 3.) Theory Of Constraints and Exploiting the Systems Constraint(s).  The example results were $1508 profit for both methods 1 and 2, however method 3 resulted in $2265 profit, a 50% increase in profits and a different product mix selection!  Perhaps the data points were biased to favor the theme of the book?

To determine the strength of using the TOC approach, the author of this article took the 12 input data points and randomly applied them to the four product flow-lines 25 times and repeated the analysis of the three approaches for each new configuration.  The results were quite enlightening.

In every case, the TOC approach results either equaled the better of the other 2 approaches or exceeded both approaches (12 out of 25 times).  And the average profit using the TOC approach was twenty percent higher for the 25 investigations.

Perhaps you are not doing shop floor auto-data collection and using TOC as an advantage which means you are probably miss-using your existing assets (people, machines, materials) and unknowingly selecting the wrong weekly product mix?

 – Robert Hansen

Author OEE: A Powerful Production/Maintenance Tool for Increased Profits

R.C. Hansen Consulting, LLC.

www.OEE-College.com

 

Top 5 Reasons to use Memex MERLIN MES for OEE & DNC

Serial communications is old outdated technology.  It has slow transfer speeds, it is slow to load today’s big programs into controls, and it is especially unreliable on long distance runs.  MERLIN is built on today’s modern, reliable IT Ethernet network structure.

To help deliver operational efficiency with production visibility to your manufacturing enterprise, here are the top 5 reasons to work with the award winning Memex MERLIN for OEE and DNC.

1)  Memex MERLIN is a true Manufacturing Execution System.

  • MERLIN MES is vertically and horizontally integrated across the enterprise.
    • Vertically integrated means that it executes ERP’s planned production schedule.  It takes all the work orders from your ERP system, mirrors them on a machine and manufacturing cell or assembly basis, and at completion (end of work order and end of shift) sends the ERP an upload of actual results on how production actually ran.  This enables a comparison to be made of how the production ran for an accurate time and cost picture.
    • Horizontally integrated means that the complete shop floor flow-line of production is viewed and communicated in real-time.  This enables situational analysis, bottleneck identification, and resources to be allocated (when and where they’re needed) in the shortest period of time –  all with historical, traceable reporting.
    • Integration means objective visibility about utilization.  True OEE metrics, product run and cost standards, and the requirements of the operator for resources (engineering, maintenance, crane, dunnage, 1st off quality check, etc.) can all be communicated to all stakeholders in real-time.

2)  MERLIN is an independent and unobtrusive monitoring solution.

  • Software protocols and hardware network connectivity (if required) that are electrically (optically) isolated from the control.
  • MERLIN does not affect the machine’s performance.  It does not use programs or memory, it simply listens to the machine.

3)  Memex MERLIN system can operate independent of any DNC solution.

  • Any existing DNC solutions in your site can still be used in conjunction with MERLIN
  • Or, if you  prefer, you can use MERLIN’s built in DNC.

4)  MERLIN is built on the latest & proven technology of the Microsoft platform.

  • MERLIN incorporates MTConnect, OPC, Focas and other advanced protocols for machine communication.
  • It is built on reliable Ethernet network (wired or wireless) rather than the older, slower, and unreliable serial based communication technology.

5)  Memex MERLIN system really is the BEST VALUE solution.

  • MERLIN has delivered our customers 10% to 50% or more improvement in efficiency, all thanks to its horizontal and vertical integration,
  • It adheres to ISA-95 standards of machine connectivity and fits with your IT network infrastructure.
  • It is a safe and proven technology that is being used globally.

To find out more about these 5 points, and even more reasons why Memex MERLIN is the best MES solution, contact Memex sales today at 866-573-3895 or via email to salesgroup@memex.ca

To learn more about Memex’s MERLIN, check out these short videos on topics covered in Memex’s OEE Solution Series webinars.