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.


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

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

Value of MES in real dollars $15,000 per machine, every year.

Imagine increasing profit $15,000 per machine, sustained every year.  We can do it.

Modern Machine Shop’s “Top Shops” benchmarking survey, 2012 shows immense value for the use of an MES system.  Critical findings of the survey:

“The average gross sales for the Top Shops were 14 percent higher than the other shops.”

“The Top Shops achieve higher spindle utilization and faster setup times because they put a good deal of thought into optimizing shop floor processes and practices.”

“These shops are also more likely to implement continuous improvement strategies to become more effective as well as lean manufacturing concepts to become more efficient.”

Top Shops had a 12.6% better OEE metric than average shops.  A 10% improvement in OEE (capacity utilization) will increase IFO 22% (from the book: “Overall Equipment Effectiveness: A Powerful Production/Maintenance Tool for Increased Profits”, Robert C. Hansen, Pgs 47-56).

Memex’s MERLIN MES is a tool that allows your organization to achieve these results!

The value of MERLIN, using actual KPI measurements to your operation, is significant:

  • A +10%-20% increase in OEE is achieved by our customers following installation, typically within 12 weeks.
  • Using an average of $302,066 in annual revenue per machine and average profitability of 18.9% (Modern Machine Shop, Top Shops – Benchmark Your Machining Business, 2012, page 24*) a conservative 10% increase across 90 machines translates to +$2.7 Million per year increase in revenue and +$500,000 in profit.
  • This means, by machine, a +$30,206 increase in revenue and a $12,000 to $15,000 increase in profit.
  • At a conservative 10% increase in efficiency the breakeven is typically 3-5 months.
  • ROI of 100% in the first 12 months based on profit, or approaching 1,000% when factoring in increased revenue!

*Sponsored by AMT, the survey covered more than 500 manufacturing facilities.

MES is one of the best strategic drivers to obtain a competitive advantage in the manufacturing landscape improving profitability, reducing waste, and ensuring compliance with regulations.  The top 5 summary reasons are here.  For more detail, including ROI analysis tools and Lean Roadmap tools call Memex directly.

1) An MES system should be the highest priority project as it is more important than a capital equipment acquisition.  The value of an MES is significant to the stakeholders of a company far surpassing any other ROI.

2) Plant wide efficiency improvements greater than 10% are normal and drive a company to significant success.

3) Profitability is exponentially improved and sustained every year.

4) ROI typically of 100% in the first 12 months based on profit, a payback typically in the 3-5 months range.

5) Every day a company waits to implement an MES is lost profits that cannot be re-covered.