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

NTMA – The Record

Kuss Filtration Deploys MERLIN IIOT Manufacturing Software in USA, China, Brazil Factories

March 2016 — NTMA- The Record,VOLUME 37 / NO. 3

In 2008, Cisco first used the term “Internet of Things”, or IoT, to describe the intelligent connectivity of smart devices by which objects can sense one another and communicate. The data shared between these devices offers the potential to profoundly change how, where and by whom decisions about our physical world are made.

Manufacturing companies craving competitive advantage are actively seeking ways to implement machine-to-machine connectivity their shop floors. They refer to this movement as the Industrial Internet of Things, or IIoT. IIoT adoption accompanies a changing of the guard in manufacturing plants. New managers consider technology an everyday appendage, not an exotic novelty. So while it’s true that there’s a herd mentality in manufacturing that can stifle innovation, it’s also true that the herd is starting to move.

So how do manufacturing companies adopt IIoT? It starts on the shop floor with technology that equips industrial machines with the necessary interfaces for connecting, collecting and analysing manufacturing data. To do this they need a proven framework for plant-wide and multi-plant communications. That framework will in turn provide actionable information for machine operators, factory managers, engineers, production managers and senior management to dramatically improve productivity and profit.

Kuss Filtration Inc., a global filtration product OEM, has embraced IIoT with MERLIN Enterprise Edition for a multi-plant rollout of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) software. MERLIN will be used in Kuss factories in the USA, China, and Brazil. The purchase includes 43 licenses of MERLIN and is a follow-on to a 10-license sale in June of 2015.

MERLIN is an IIoT shop-floor-to-topfloor communications platform that connects industrial machines and 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 Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). 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.

“Kuss is committed to quality through our operating management system and use of Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing techniques, which has earned us the ISO/TS 16949 certification in addition to many awards and recognitions for design, innovation and product excellence,” says Kuss Filtration’s President and CEO Hasnain Merchant. “MEMEX’s MERLIN has proven itself, and now we intend to enhance our manufacturing excellence and profitability with MERLIN in three of our factories.”

Kuss will use MERLIN to extend its reputation for unparalleled quality and innovation. The company has over 60 years of experience providing air and liquid filtration solutions to a diverse global market. Today, Kuss Filtration is comprised of six locations in the U.S., Brazil, Europe and China strategically placed to service its growing global customer base.

“Kuss Filtration is a great example of a world-class company embracing the power of our MERLIN communications platform,” says MEMEX CEO David McPhail. “MERLIN proves that the Industrial Internet of Things isn’t a theory. IIoT is an implementnow competitive advantage for the smartest factories on the planet.”

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To Measure Is To Know – MTConnect book

The world’s first book on MTConnect, an open and royalty-free interoperability standard and the application of open systems in manufacturing has been released and it is titled,  MTConnectTo Measure Is To Know”.  Written by Dave Edstrom, CEO/CTO of MTConnect, the book discusses the many lessons learned in the world of open systems and the value this means to the manufacturing industry.

Dave Edstrom has spent over 35 years in the computer industry.  He helps the reader understand that MTConnect is not just an evolution in manufacturing, but that it is a revolution, a true game changer.  “MTConnect will be more important in the 21st century for manufacturing than CNC was for manufacturing in the 20th century” said John Byrd, former president of Association Manufacturing Technology,   (MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know. Ashburn: Virtual Photons Electrons, 2013. pg xiii).  MTConnect is making the dreams and desires of generations of manufactures possible.  Machine tool builders and manufacturing equipment providers alike all want to see the same goal of different devices having a common connection on the plant floor.  With MTConnect, anything is possible.

A few excerpts from the book:

“Only one to two percent of all shops monitor their shop floor.  The ability to know what is happening on your shop or plant floor anywhere, at anytime, is vital to the manufacturing process.  As a comparison, the next time you go in for a surgery, tell the surgeon that you want to save money and not monitor any of your vital signs.  Drop me a note and tell me what the surgeon tells you.  Then why is it that 98% to 99% of all shops don’t bother monitoring their shop floor?

Think of MTConnect as the Bluetooth of manufacturing that makes it easy to get information off your manufacturing equipment.  MTConnect is not an application, but it makes it very easy for applications to read data in a common and universal format.

Different Devices, Common Connection.
(MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know. Ashburn: Virtual Photons Electrons, 2013. pg xii).

“The process of standardization is always a political struggle with winners and losers.  The primary winners will be those companies that understand it is co-opetition (competition and cooperation) that drives thriving markets.  The primary losers will be those companies holding on to proprietary solutions at all costs.  With a standard screw, you could now have standard tools, standard assembly lines, and the growth of mass production.”
(MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know. Ashburn: Virtual Photons Electrons, 2013. pg 3.)

“If we look at the manufacturing companies that are embracing open thinking and open collaboration, these companies report secondary benefits in morale as their employees typically tell their management that they have a much higher job satisfaction.”
(MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know. Ashburn: Virtual Photons Electrons, 2013. pg 22).

Memex is mentioned in the acknowledgements

“Huge thanks to Dave McPhail, president of Memex Automation.  Dave is a great guy, and so is his business partner, John Rattray, who is the vice president of sales and marketing, as well as the whole Memex Automation team.  Thanks as well to Bob Hansen of R.C. Hansen Consulting for his help at [MC]2 2013 and educating me on OEE”
(Dave Edstrom, MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know. Ashburn: Virtual Photons Electrons, 2013. pg 209).

There is a paperback version that is available at Amazon.

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.

IMTS 2012 Sep 10-15

IMTS2012 Team

IMTS2012 Team


IMTS2012 Pan

IMTS2012 Pan

The International Manufacturing Technology Show is the largest manufacturing trade show in the North America, with more than 2,000 exhibitors and over 100,000 visitors. The event is held every two years in September at McCormick Place, Chicago.  Memex saw a wave of business at the show and directly afterwards, all looking for machine monitoring and OEE tools.

Manufacturing journalist TR Cutler profiles the OEE Calculator

Manufacturing journalist, TR Cutler, recently profiled the OEE Calculator by Memex Automation for Industrial Electronics Today.

The leading OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) Calculator, quantifies the increase in Income From Operations (IFO or EBITDA) for Same Sales Volume and Sell Everything scenarios for various improvement criteria. The OEE ROI calculator is a very preliminary ‘rough cut’ analysis tool for developing a business case (to engage real-time manufacturing performance data for shop floor machines in manufacturing plants). Part of the reason Calculator is ‘rough’ is because a Plant average is used for several important parameters such as OEE, shift output, and quality rate.

Much greater precision can be developed by using actual OEE data differentiated by product run and by work station. Future monitoring and proactive use of the information provided by an installed system significantly improves accuracy of alternatives; these data assists leadership teams in setting direction and focus to maximize results quickly. Rattray noted that, “First Look results are generated using Small, Medium and Large preselected productivity improvements to show the range of possible results.”

The current input values in the OEE Calculator, use hypothetical but realistic values for a machine tool plant. It is estimated that for most manufacturing plants, the Calculator results have a confidence level of eighty-five percent (85%), plus or minus three percent (3%.)

The OEE Calculator does not apply the Theory of Constraints (TOC) therefore, if the proper application of tools and OEE improvement is not achieved at the constraint, then the increase to IFO is also limited. The quality factor usually has more impact than Availability or Speed Factor for bottom line improvement. When waste or scrap is improved, OEE improves; the result, less material needed. It is important to apply Lean Six Sigma techniques to your manufacturing operations, so as to achieve significant results. Memex offers services in this area, as documented in our website.

Memex suggests that users of the OEE Calculator, “Closely account for the change in material since it determines the new amount of total units made and applies the base case unit material cost to the total number of new units required to make the good units for the associated scenario.” The Calculator zeroes all of the improvement parameters and individually examines what one (1) OEE point improvement is worth for Availability, Speed Rate, and Quality. This data provides the user an approximation of financial impact on IFO for types of improvement activities.

Memex Automation Talks Benefits of Direct Numerical Control Software

Originally published online by SBW!RE.  Link to full article here.

According to John Rattray of Memex Automation, “By monitoring assets such as tooling, raw materials, Work In Progress, computers, vehicles and any moveable assets, companies can know quickly, exactly, and securely where assets are located. Direct Numerical Control Software (DNC) improves machines operational performance and increases shop floor productivity.”

DNC Software for Windows 7, Vista, Windows XP and others is a 32-bit multi-threaded communications & file management system allowing simultaneous upload and download to multiple CNC controls. It includes a CNC Editor, Backplotter and many other utilities and features. DNC Software is easily connected to CAD/CAM systems over industry standard networks and is available in a Client-Server configuration. Besides machine tool DNC communications, other shop floor data can be collected from shop terminals, tool pre-setters, bar code equipment or SPC systems.

Memex Launches Ax9150 Universal Machine Interface (UMI)

A Platform for Manufacturing Plant Wide Productivity:
Connect any Machine to Monitor & Control with OEE + DNC

Memex Automation introduces CNC connectivity with Machine Monitoring & Control OEE+DNC which will deliver productivity enhancements and can reduce operating costs and increase profit.
Ax9150 UMI is the first product to utilize this revolutionary way part programs are managed on your factory floor.
Easy installation on any control with configuration utility and our proven, patent-pending, Dynamic Computer Aided Machining (DCAM) is incorporated in the Ax9150 UMI.
Software for OEE+DNC can be in the package.
Old machines can now perform at today’s standards with features like: Local CNC Memory; SD + Flash Memory; support for all makes + models of machines; powered by machine (12-24V), magnetic mount; 8 – 24 Inputs + 4 Digital Outputs.
Integrated OEE+DNC for Virtual Manufacturing, Connects to any ERP business system, with extensive reporting, including web based viewing and alerts to your email, PDA or Phone.
Onboard DNC & extensive firmware, Embedded OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), Ethernet connectivity, OPC capable connections all for Machine Monitoring & Adaptive Control.
If you can Measure it — then you can Manage it