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Two New Devices Focus on Securely Accessing Data in Legacy Machines

April 202016 | Brett Brune | Smart Manufacturing magazine

A trio of Mazak, Memex and Cisco is beginning to sell SmartBox, a device meant to securely manage manufacturing data—information on axes, spindles, temperatures, cutting times, downtimes and part counts, for starters—culled from machines that have been laboring in a sort of silence for decades. At the same time, a pairing of Forcam and Wago plans to release a similar device it calls the PFC100 Industrial MTConnect device before July.

SmartBox uses I/O links to connect machines and produces MTConnect code in real time. It can use an adapter board from Memex and must be connected to a Cisco router, John Rattray, VP of sales and marketing at Memex, said in an interview with Smart Manufacturing magazine at the MC2 conference in Dallas. It can also use Memex’s factory- and machine-shop-floor-monitoring software, Merlin, to map existing signals and analyze and correlate the data so shops and plants can use it to improve productions.

Companies in the aerospace, defense and medical industries welcome the Cisco router requirement because it assuages their network security concerns, he added.

“We’re talking about IP connections in terms of Ethernet connections,” Rattray said. “You don’t need to have all the security in there to make the connection work. However, one customer of ours, DP Tool in New York, had experienced a situation where a guy who was maintaining a machine put in a USB stick into it and a virus on this USB stick spread to the company’s manufacturing network and whole admin network. It cost the company an enormous amount of effort and grief to get that fixed. You can run without security switches. But smart manufacturers are recognizing we need to secure and lock down our shop floor networks.”

The SmartBox has a “level three” managed switch that will shut the device down automatically if a USB stick comes its way or someone unplugs a particular Ethernet connection, Rattray added.

The emerging device from Forcam and Wago has a combined MTConnect adapter and agent inside the device, as well as a built-in security firewall for cybersecurity, Forcam USA Inc. CEO Mohamed Abuali said. He demonstrated a simulation model at MC2, saying it cost less than the trio’s device.

The Forcam/Wago product will cost less than $1,000, he said. And the Mazak/Memex/Cisco device will cost $4,000 on the low end but could be used on four machines, Mazak President Brian Papke said.

Companies using legacy CNCs will soon be able to choose between bolting their new data-retrieving device together with a Cisco network router or a “quicker solution that can connect to any network,” Abuali said. “The alternative [to these two options] is you have to retrofit the machine and upgrade the controller, which can cost thousands of dollars. In many cases, you cannot even retrofit.”

Both devices are intended to help manufacturers around the world connect their machines securely to a network. About 14.5 million machines still lack connectivity, Rattray said.

Of course, the idea is to then analyze the data to make the best decisions possible about manufacturing and machining processes. And some of those decisions can be made without human involvement, to be sure: “For instance, if a temperature sensor starts to rise above a threshold limit, the machine can send an alert and notify people before it fails,” he added.

Merlin lets companies “take data and make it manageable,” said Papke, who serves on the board for MTConnect. Otherwise, companies end up with “digital exhaust.”

“Forcam wants to define real-time production—from any machine of any age,” Abuali said. “That’s a critical state.”

Memex Chief Technology Officer Dave Edstrom is “very pleased to see more of these type boxes come out—because, as the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all ships,” he said.

But he couldn’t stop himself from making a quick comparison with the offering from Forcam/Wago: “The integration of what Mazak is doing with the SmartBox, with Memex and Cisco—making it easier to connect—will resonate very well with manufacturing. You don’t have to sell someone on Memex’s ability to connect anything. And you don’t have to sell anyone on Cisco’s ability to network a lot of devices together and do it securely. So that’s why we think SmartBox is a game-changer.”

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Memex Inc. (OEE) has Products Revolutionizing the Industrial Internet of Things

Stephen L Kanaval |

Overall Equipment Effectiveness is maybe not a phrase you hear that often, but if you manage a shop or a work site, you know exactly what it means. It means that your machines on your floor are running at peak performance. Memex Inc. (OEE) understands this so well that they made it their stock symbol. So, how does Memex do this? The company has created a manufacturing execution system called MERLIN OEE. The MERLIN OEE system is connected directly to the machines on the floor and offers live results and a constantly updating dashboard of metrics. Memex’s MERLIN OEE is all about a company using the machines that they have and making them better by finding the hidden areas of profit loss.

The creation of this unique system has allowed Memex to have four straight quarters of revenue growth. Meme produced a gross margin of $375,000, which was 27% higher than the same quarter in 2015 (cited from press release here). The industrial internet of all things is coming, and if you read Equities.com frequently you know that there are disruptive products out there. Memex is one of these companies that understands how to bridge the last twenty years with the next fifty years. The MERLIN OEE takes older machines and adapts them with software and shows areas where the machine can be improved. These analytics can save companies a lot of money. As a matter of fact here is what Memex says about that:

MERLIN delivers a 10%-50% average productivity increase, and earns 20%-plus profit improvement based on just a 10% increase in 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

Memex has important alliances with Cisco and Mazak. In addition, the MERLIN OEE has been proven in plants like Milwaukee Tool, Magellan Aerospace, Aero Pacific, and many more. And just think, there are over 16 million Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) machine tools installed world wide, what do you think Memex could do for all those companies with its machine monitoring software?

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer

 

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MEMEX @ Mfg4

Mfg4 is the most efficient way for you to see and evaluate the latest Aerospace, Defense, and Medical manufacturing technologies The aerospace, defense, and medical device industries share similar challenges: long project lifecycles, stringent regulations, mission-critical quality control, and a vital need for advanced manufacturing technologies.

Attending Mfg4 2016 provides a unique opportunity to explore the methods and products that are working in these industries and discover how they can be adapted and implemented within your operation. Collaborate with suppliers who already understand the challenges your firm faces and have proven solutions you can put to use immediately.

Nearly every hour on the show floor, professional presentations will provide important insights into each featured industry. Attend keynotes presented by industry leaders and hear how the technologies on the exhibit floor are tackling production issues in innovative ways during the Information Interchange

Attend the MEMEX sponsored smart manufacturing panel along with hearing from industry leaders on topics vital to industry manufacturers, network with peers and find ideas and solutions you didn’t even know you needed.

Meet up with MEMEX representative and discover what the Brilliant Factory means for you along with the tools you need to plan and execute successful strategies for your own digital factory of the future.

Date: 3rd – 5th May, 2016

Time:  Tuesday, May 3

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 4

10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 5

10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m

Venue: Connecticut Convention Center

100 Columbus Boulevard

Hartford, CT 06103

 

Learn more about Mfg4

Register for Mfg4

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.