Thursday, December 31, 2015
My oldest son John, who works at Facebook, just asked me if I knew Ian Murdock. I told John that I knew Ian from his days at Sun Microsystems when he was hired to come in to help guide the open Solaris movement. He created the Debian Linux operating system that was named after his wife Debra and himself. I was very saddened to hear of Ian's passing as he was only 42.
As Ian stated at his blog:
"I worked at Sun Microsystems, where I led Project Indiana, the effort designed to lower barriers to adoption of the Solaris operating system that led to the OpenSolaris distribution. OpenSolaris, in turn, led to Solaris 11. (Alas, Oracle discontinued OpenSolaris itself in late 2010.) Later, I ran the developer program and worked on cloud computing."
Ian was brilliant and one of the nicest guys you would ever meet. This is a big loss for all who knew Ian and for the Linux community.
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 9:23 AM
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
The Z06 has been getting hammered ever since the Motor Trend’s “Driver’s Car” tests at Laguna Seca Raceway.
Tadge Junchter, Corvette Chief Engineer, addressed exactly what happened with Torque News.
I am going to have to start reading Torque News, because I was not aware how much this site digs into important issues.
Below is a snippet on Torque News and the article is well worth reading.
"General Motors has found that in many cases of 2015 Corvette Z06 owners having overheating issues, there is air in the cooling circuit of the intercooler unit. These air pockets can cause the intercooler to function less efficiently, so before sending the car off to Motor Trend for the driver’s car testing, the car was fully serviced and the intercooler’s coolant system was checked to be clear of air. However, when the technician hooked everything back up after completing the standard check-up, he or she did not correctly hook up the wiring harness for the intercooler unit. It was connected well enough that the Corvette Z06 ran fine leading up to the Motor Trend track tests, but it was loose enough that it caused the intercooler system to fail at times.
This caused the intercooler system of the new Corvette Z06 to stop functioning correctly and when intake air temperatures climbed through the roof, the LT4’s PCM cut power to protect the engine from the high temperatures. As a result, power was greatly reduced, leading to the decreased performance and Pobst comparing the most track capable Corvette to the 1962 Ford Falcon.
In short, because a technician didn’t plug in a harness correctly, the Corvette team got an unnecessary black eye via the poor performance of the C7 Z06 in the Motor Trend top driver’s car contest."
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
I have known Joel Neidig of ITAMCO for seven years now and he just continues to impress me with his creative thinking and execution. He is a true thought leader in manufacturing and ITAMCO is doing some amazing things with MTConnect and Google Glass.
Just one example is the industrial pump they made for New Orleans that can pump out an entire olympic size swimming pool in six seconds. You read the right, six seconds! Whey they first powered it on in the Indiana town it caused a brown out :-)
Below is a 13 minute video that shows what a leader is doing in manufacturing. You can tell by the crowd reaction that they were very impressed with Joel's talk!
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 2:23 PM
Thanks to DG for sending this to me when we were discussing how people do not do the math on what they should really fear in life.
The blog is titled:
Published by Steven Novella under Neuroscience
Below is a snippet:
"What We Fear?
Psychologists have identified five basic fears, out of which most other fears are based. They are: fear of death, mutilation, loss of autonomy, separation, and “ego death” which is the fear of humiliation or shame.
Despite the obvious adaptive function of fear, many people fear the wrong things, meaning that their fear and anxiety is not proportional to actual threat. This mismatch is maladaptive, so why is it the case?
For example, people generally fear flying more than driving.
Meanwhile, in the entire history of aviation about 13,000 people have lost their lives, the same amount as die on US roads every 4 months. Another way to look at the probability, which is perhaps a bit more intuitive, is that you would have to fly every day for about 14,000 years before having a greater than 50% chance of crashing. That’s pretty reassuring.
Why do so many people worry about the (statistically) wrong things? There are a couple of reasons."
I really enjoyed this article and here is a final snippet below. If more of us followed this advice, there would be a lot less worry and a lot less power that politicians would have talking nonsense on what people should fear.
"Optimally our fears would be proportional to the actual risk they pose. Actually I think there are three basic factors that should be taken explicitly into account when considering the appropriate level of fear and what to do about it. The first is the probability of the negative even occurring. The second is the consequences of the negative event. The third is the cost (expense, inconvenience, trade-offs) of taking steps to prevent or mitigate the negative event."
Monday, December 28, 2015
Mazak, Cisco and Memex teamed up to create the SmartBox.
The SmartBox addresses the three big problem that manufacturing has today:
- The ability to connect legacy machine tools, sensors, (turn it into MTConnect), do it securely and provide award-winning software to view what's happening on the plant floor.
Memex has hardware and software in the SmartBox. We have our Ax760-MTC and MERLIN (our shop floor monitoring platform). At Memex, we refer the ability to connect to anything on the shop floor as addressing "the last meter" and we are recognized experts in this area. Memex's MERLIN is award winning - Manufacturing Execution Real-time Lean Information Network - is what turns this into actionable intelligence for manufacturing operators, manages and CxOs.
Below is a photo of the SmartBox that appeared on Mark Albert's (Modern Machine Shop Editor) blog on October 30th, 2015. The title of Mark's blog is appropriately titled, "What's So Smart about the SmartBox?" Mark does a great job discussing what makes up the SmartBox.
Mark brings out five key points in his blog about the SmartBox and is well worth reading.
The SmartBox is about the size of a medicine cabinet.
I am just writing about SmartBox now, while it was announced in October, because I wanted to wait until I had time to give more justice to this huge announcement and it was a little closer to the time it would be shipping. I am sure I will be writing more about this exciting product.
Below is our (Memex Inc.) announcement in October on a game changing technology called SmartBox. I highlighted the many key points of the SmartBox.
"The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) just got real for manufacturing productivity. Later this month, Mazak Corporation will showcase MERLIN software from MEMEX Inc. (TSX-V: OEE) with hardware from information technology (IT) leader Cisco in what is described as a collaborative platform called SmartBox.
Developed by Mazak, SmartBox will launch in front of metalworking managers and C-level executives on October 27-29 and November 3-5 at DISCOVER 2015. This Mazak Technology and Education event takes place at the company’s North American Manufacturing Headquarters in Florence, KY. Click here for Mazak’s October 15 press release on SmartBox.
Mazak is an industry-first launch platform for easy and highly secure entrance into the Industrial Internet of Things. SmartBox builds on MEMEX’s strategic partnership with Mazak Corp., which earlier this year named MEMEX to its exclusive Value Inspired Partner (VIP) program.
“The SmartBox collaboration realizes the IIoT vision on the factory floor,” said MEMEX’s CEO David McPhail. “We’re thrilled to be participating in this powerful combination with Mazak and Cisco. As well as MERLIN software, we are contributing our easy-to-deploy Ax760 hardware adapters to SmartBox. They enable every machine on the shop floor, old or new, to become web servers that utilize the MTConnect® manufacturing communication standard.”
Using MTConnect® as its foundation, SmartBox connectivity of machines and devices allows for enhanced monitoring and analytical capabilities including advanced cyber security protection. SmartBox represents a huge leap in digital integration across manufacturing.
“With the development of SmartBox, Mazak continues to drive toward its iSMART Factory concept and connecting today’s shops to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to achieve levels of efficiency and productivity never before realized,” said Brian Papke, President of Mazak. “And while our concept centers around open connectivity and the Internet, we at Mazak believe it is our moral obligation to also provide customers the highest level of security possible with SmartBox. As with all the technology we develop, Mazak has first implemented SmartBox into our own operations before expecting customers to wholeheartedly embrace the system.”
The power of SmartBox will be demonstrated at DISCOVER 2015 in one of the automated cells as part of Mazak’s own manufacturing operations. Each of the cell’s four machines are outfitted with a SmartBox and sensor array package, giving event attendees a firsthand look at the device in action within an actual manufacturing environment and network.
Mazak developed SmartBox to work with any machine regardless of make, model or age and will offer it in various configurations/kits based on the scenarios and challenges in which the units will be used. The device physically mounts to the side of machines without having to integrate into a machine’s electrical cabinet. With several standard input/output connecting ports, SmartBox lets users quickly and easily connect any standard off-the-shelf sensors to the system for machine data gathering and condition monitoring. One SmartBox may service several machine tools along with other associated manufacturing equipment, depending on the application.
At the heart of SmartBox is Cisco’s Connected Machines solution, based on the IoT System, designed specifically for industrial environments and equipped with an MTConnect software agent. Using a fog computing model, MTConnect runs directly on the ruggedized Cisco Industrial Ethernet (IE) 4000 switch, providing MERLIN software’s real-time visibility and insights into data right on the factory floor.
MEMEX’s MERLIN software installed in Mazak’s factory allows for monitoring analytics of machines, test stands and other equipment within the plant. The Cisco hardware is designed to help prevent any issues with unauthorized access from both directions – to or from the machines and equipment within a network. SmartBox satisfies the highly critical security concerns of IT departments when connecting legacy equipment to a plant’s main network for the purpose of gathering manufacturing data via the MTConnect protocol.
About the Company
MEMEX Inc. is a leading Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology platform provider that connects to any machine and delivers real-time manufacturing productivity metrics. Industrial strength MERLIN software provides Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) efficiency metrics in real time, from shop floor to top floor. MERLIN connects to any machine, old or new, utilizing MTConnect, other protocols or hardware adapters. The MERLIN magic delivers a 10% to 50% average productivity increase so that any manufacturer can achieve world-class standards of excellence. Based on just a 10% increase in OEE, customers see profit improvements of 20%-plus and payback in less than four months. For more information, please visit: www.memex-inc.com."
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
"MERLIN's ability to connect every CNC machine on our factory floor despite make or origin utilizing the MTConnect communications standard for industrial equipment is integral to our efforts to further improve our quality and productivity," said Mark Heasley, President at Aero Pacific. "Direct, real-time communication from our production equipment will give us a strategic advantage with our customers. We are deploying MERLIN in all three of our plant facilities and look forward to seeing its impact."
MEMEX's flagship software product, MERLIN, is an industrial-strength shop-floor-to-top-floor communications platform that provides efficiency metrics 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 or hardware adapters for older machines.
"After more than 50 years in business, Aero Pacific is a legendary name in California's aerospace and advanced manufacturing industry," said John Rattray, MEMEX's Vice President of Sales. "We are proud to see them join more than 100 leading manufacturers like Mazak, Magellan Aerospace and Milwaukee Tool in recognizing MERLIN's unique ability to realize the promise of the Industrial Internet of Things by connecting the shop floor to the top floor."
About MEMEX Inc.
Memex is a leading Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology platform provider that connects to any machine and delivers real-time manufacturing productivity metrics. Industrial strength MERLIN software provides Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) efficiency metrics in real time, from shop-floor-to-top-floor. 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 or hardware adapters for older machines. For more information, please visit: www.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.
Phone: 905-635-1540 ext. 201
Email: Email Contact
Phone: 905-635-1540 ext. 216
Email: Email Contact
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 8:52 PM
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Memex Inc. Releases Fiscal 2015 Year End Results With Record Annual Revenue 115% Higher Than the Previous Year
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 8:54 PM
(CNN) - "Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Peace Prize Laureate is speaking out about Donald Trump's stance on Muslims.
During an interview, she was asked about Trump's suggestion of a ban on all Muslims entering the United States.
Malala reacted saying, "The more you speak about Islam and against all Muslims, the more terrorists we create."
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 8:22 PM
Sunday, December 13, 2015
Trickle-down economics is voodoo economics as the great George H.W. Bush once said.
I really enjoyed this article titled, "Trickle-Down Economics Must Die. Long Live Grow-Up Economics" by Scott Santens.
Below is a snippet:
"Every extra dollar going into the pockets of low-wage workers, standard economic multiplier models tell us, adds about $1.21 to the national economy. Every extra dollar going into the pockets of a high-income American, by contrast, only adds about 39 cents to the GDP. These pennies add up considerably on $26.7 billion in earnings. If the $26.7 billion Wall Streeters pulled in on bonuses in 2013 had gone to minimum wage workers instead, our GDP would have grown by about $32.3 billion, over triple the $10.4 billion boost expected from the Wall Street bonuses.Yeah, you read that right. In 2013, by giving huge bonuses to those on Wall Street instead of low-wage workers, we actively prevented the creation of about $22 billion in additional national wealth. In 2014, we did the same thing, but to an even larger degree, preventing about $23 billion in additional national wealth that would have otherwise been created, had those billions in bonuses been distributed to low-income earners instead."
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 8:14 PM
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Matt Ferner nailed this in his article,
"Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency who came up through intelligence positions in Iraq and Afghanistan, says that the George W. Bush administration's Iraq war was a tremendous blunder that helped to create the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or ISIS.
"It was a huge error," Flynn said about the Iraq war in a detailed interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel published Sunday.
"As brutal as Saddam Hussein was, it was a mistake to just eliminate him," Flynn went on to say. "The same is true for Moammar Gadhafi and for Libya, which is now a failed state. The historic lesson is that it was a strategic failure to go into Iraq. History will not be and should not be kind with that decision."
Friday, December 11, 2015
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
I am absolutely sick and tired of these politicians, who do NOTHING about the issue of mass shootings and come out after these terrible mass shootings and state, "our thoughts and prayers...."
IF these politicians actually have thoughts, then they should DO something about this and not JUST talk.
IF these politicians, who are doing NOTHING, then they should hope there is NO God, because IF there is a God, these politicians will be asked the question when they die, "you had the ability to change this and you did NOTHING?!?!"
The New York Times has the article,
As stated in this article:
"Opponents of gun control are saying, as they do after every killing, that no law can unfailingly forestall a specific criminal. That is true. They are talking, many with sincerity, about the constitutional challenges to effective gun regulation. Those challenges exist. They point out that determined killers obtained weapons illegally in places like France, England and Norway that have strict gun laws. Yes, they did.
But at least those countries are trying. The United States is not. Worse, politicians abet would-be killers by creating gun markets for them, and voters allow those politicians to keep their jobs. It is past time to stop talking about halting the spread of firearms, and instead to reduce their number drastically — eliminating some large categories of weapons and ammunition."
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 7:44 AM
Thursday, December 3, 2015
This is great news for someone who just bought a 2016 Stingray :-)
The article at Kelley Blue Book starts out:
"Still King of the Hill
This year's performance car category was crowded with a number of strong contenders ranging from the scrappy and much-anticipated 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata to the pavement pounding 2016 Ford Shelby GT 350. But it was last year's winner, the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, that carried the day on the strength of overall performance that compares favorably with sports cars costing tens of thousands of dollars more. But beyond stellar performance, the 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray offers the kind of comfort and drivability that takes it from a weekend- or special occasion-only fun car to a truly engaging vehicle perfectly suited as a daily driver."
I am really glad to see the Stingray to continue to win these types of awards as I have driven my 2016 Corvette Stingray for only 1,100 miles but I absolutely LOVE IT!
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 7:26 PM
Sunday, November 29, 2015
The History of MTConnect®
April 13, 2011
As President and Chairman of the Board for the MTConnect® Institute, I get asked all the time: "How did MTConnect come about?" It is a story that I love telling and it clearly demonstrates why AMT is such an exceptional association.
In March 2006, AMT asked me to come up with a speaker from Sun Microsystems who also had knowledge of manufacturing to speak at AMT's Annual Meeting in Lake Las Vegas. I went through three such speakers over a six-month period as each one either left Sun on their own or had their position eliminated. After the third speaker left the company, I was out of candidates. I felt embarrassed for both Sun and myself that I let AMT down. When I apologized to John Byrd, AMT's President at that time, for not being able to deliver a Sun speaker, John suggested that I do the keynote. I was more than happy to do this, but I knew little about machine tools. John came up with a great suggestion: I could spend two days at IMTS 2006 with AMT's CTO and VP of Technology, Paul Warndorf, in preparation for the keynote. It was a brilliant idea and I jumped at it. Paul took me around to countless exhibitors to learn about the different technologies and ask questions about them.
After we finished the two days, I met with John and Paul where I made two observations and two suggestions.
- Manufacturing does not have a manufacturing problem. Manufacturing has a computer science problem. The manufacturing industry was like the computer industry back in the mid-1980s. There were too many network protocols and the fight was to own the winning protocol. Back then it was very expensive and you had to place a bet on which network protocol was going to win. It could easily be an additional $700 to enable your PC to be networked in the enterprise. TCP/IP and ethernet eventually won the network battle. When this happened the number of computers networked grew by multitudes, as did the software that would take advantage of the ubiquitous networking. It was the classic story of a rising tide lifting all ships.
- Until you have an open and royalty-free way for these machine tools to speak to the rest of the world, nothing else really matters and manufacturing will just continue to struggle. The technologies are already out there today with XML, http and TCP/IP. There was no need to reinvent the wheel. A usable solution could be built on the de facto internet platform that already existed. Additionally, it was important to avoid the "country club approach" that had failed in the past in manufacturing and other industries — the kind where you charge for the protocol and you charge for each deployment.
- You need an economic wake-up call on why it is important to have an open and royalty-free way for these machine tools to speak to the rest of the world.
- You need someone who has led a revolution or two, since this is what we are really talking about. They asked me who I suggested. I said the only person I would recommend would be Dr. David Patterson of the University of California at Berkeley (UCB). Dave Patterson is a computer pioneer and a true legend in the computer industry. Dave is one of the most recognizable names in computer science. I knew Dave because he was the advisor at UCB to Bill Joy. Bill was a co-founder at Sun and has been called "the Edison of the internet" by Fortune Magazine. Bill is a legendary programmer and system visionary. I also knew Dave from working with him when I was chairman of a futures conference in 2000.
John Byrd asked if I would reach out to Dave Patterson. Luckily, Dave agreed to work on the project provided I come out and brief him and that we work together on both presentations. I was thrilled to work with someone of Dave Patterson's stature. It was like being a high school basketball player and having Michael Jordan say he wants to work closely with you.
Dave and I worked very hard together to create two hour-long keynote speeches. Dave joked that if he knew how much time he was going to put into it, he might not have said yes to me. But our presentations were a huge success. Rick Kline of Gardner Communications came up to me afterwards and said that our presentations were two of the best that he had ever seen in manufacturing. It was great to see that we'd had such an impact.
Doug Woods was AMT's Chairman of the Board, leading AMT along with John Byrd. John and Doug suggested that AMT seriously consider our proposal for a common way for machine tools to speak using proven internet protocols. I told my wife that night that I felt great about what Dave Patterson and I had accomplished, but I was not convinced a manufacturing association had the courage to execute this plan to revolutionize manufacturing.
John and Doug proved me wrong. In November, just one month after the AMT Annual Meeting, a small group of us went to meet with Dave Patterson at UCB. Dave brought in Dr. Armando Fox from the Computer Science Department to help lead this effort, since Dave simply did not have the time. Paul Warndorf, AMT VP of Technology, brought in Dr. Dave Dornfeld of UCB's Mechanical Engineering Department to join the MTConnect team. Armando later brought in Will Sobel, who was an Assistant Professor at UCB. It was Will who did the real heavy lifting with MTConnect. It was Will who put countless hours leading the efforts to create the actual spec and writing the adapters, agents, demos and so many things for MTConnect. Will continues to do a lot of the heavy lifting today, but his time is also spent running his new company, System Insights. MTConnect would have never happened without Paul Warndorf's expertise, passion and guidance. Paul has been MTConnect's shepherd, conductor and guiding light.
I am very proud of the work I did with Dave Patterson to lay out the roadmap for MTConnect. That was the seed and I am extremely proud to have planted that very important seed. It was AMT that funded MTConnect. We used the working groups made up of industry experts, which was the exact same approach that Sun used to create Java. It worked for Java and it is working for MTConnect. We pulled together a diverse group of very smart people like Paul Warndorf, John Byrd, Doug Woods, Dr. Dave Dornfeld, Will Sobel, and Dr. Armando Fox and many others to create MTConnect working groups.
John Byrd has said that, "MTConnect will be more important in the 21st century for manufacturing than CNC was for manufacturing in the 20th century." I could not agree more. MTConnect continues to grow at an incredible pace and I know John Byrd will be proven 100% correct.
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 9:42 AM
Monday, November 23, 2015
My father (Slim - nickname I gave him in 1978) and I flew out early on Veterans Day 2015 to pick up my new 2016 long beach metallic red Corvette Stingray at the National Corvette Musuem (NCM). It was the perfect day and half. We did this back in February 2011 when we picked up my 2011 Corvette Grand Sport and took the museum delivery when I called the blog post - Three Perfect Days With Slim.
Thanks to Bill, President of the Old Dominion Corvette Club, for sending me this photo the day I was taking delivery.
Above is me and Slim in front of my Stingray holding my NCM sign.
What was absolutely amazing was running into long time friend and former Sun Microsystems employee - Steve B. Steve was there with his brother-in-law and just happened to be at the NCM when my father and I were there. Steve and I were at Corvettes At Carlisle together this past August where both of us were looking at purchasing a new Stingray.
Above is the front side view and below is the rear view of the Stingray where you can see that the NCM can easily deliver nine new Corvettes on a given day.
We got a great tour of the Corvette Assembly Plant by Larry of the NCM staff. What was SUPER COOL was the 20 assembly plant employees who stopped what they were doing to run over and thank my father, Lt. Col. John K. Edstrom, for his service to his country. He was very thankful and it showed the absolute class of these employees. My father did two tours of duty in Vietnam and is the USAF record holder for CLL (39 years).
One of the very cool things they did for my father is they pulled him off the tour (we had a private tour) and he "birthed" or started for the first time a $105,000 Corvette Z06. As Slim pointed out, "how many veterans get to birth a Z06 ON Veterans Day?"
One of the things we wanted to find was our 2011 brick when I purchased my Grand Sport.
Above is Larry showing me the many different features of the 2016 Stingray. Bill also sent me this photo.
Above is the new brick at the NCM for my 2016 Stingray trip with my father.
What Slim and I wanted to see before we left was the Sinkhole Exhibit. Above are three photos of the Corvettes that could not be restored and below is the glass covering of the 56' hole where the sinkhole bottomed out.
We met Wendell Strode, also a former Vietnam Veteran and the person who runs the NCM, when my father rode out of the NCM in the Stingray.
Below is my father and I leaving the NCM. We drove 400 miles that night and stopped at about 1am and were on the road again by 6:20am the next day. I followed the NCM's advice by keeping the tach between 2 and 3 grand and changing the speed as well as keeping the Stingray out of economy mode as well as keeping rev matching off.
Above the Stingray is safely home next to my 2011 Grand Sport :-)
Above is me on November 11th, 2016 pointing out my and my father's Stingray brick when I was with John Meyer for his delivery of his 2017 Grand Sport.
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 7:12 PM
Saturday, November 21, 2015
I was not a huge fan of Bryce Harper until last year's playoffs when Bryce hit one into McCovey Cove and then one into the upper deck at Nats stadium. All the other Nationals faded last year and Bryce stepped up and continued to be the only Nat stepping up this entire season. At 22, he is in very rare air...
As USA Today stated this past Thursday"
"Why Harper won: “Baseball’s chosen one,’’ as Sports Illustrated dubbed Harper when he was 16, has lived up to the billing six years later. Finally healthy and armed with a smarter approach at the plate, Harper was the league’s most potent offensive force. He finished second in batting average (.330) and walks (124), tied for the lead in home runs (42) and had the majors’ highest on-base-plus slugging percentage (1.109), all the while driving in 99 runs.
Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft and a three-time All-Star before turning 23 in October, showed remarkable maturation as a player in setting career highs in virtually every offensive category. The walks were twice as many as he’d ever drawn, and the home runs represented an improvement of 20 over his previous high mark of 22, set in his rookie of the year season in 2012."
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 9:36 PM
Saturday, November 7, 2015
I had the privilege of speaking with Tim Heston of The Fabricator in his excellent article titled: "Why Machine Monitoring Matters".
Mr. Heston describes the importance of machine monitoring, discusses the beginnings of MTConnect and brings out numerous examples to help the reader appreciate why the time is now with machine monitoring with MTConnect in the world of fabrication makes absolute sense.
Mr. Heston writes:
"When Dave Edstrom speaks at manufacturing events, he likes to challenge his audience. He asks if anyone’s company is practicing lean manufacturing or other improvement techniques. A lot of hands go up. Next he asks how many are monitoring the uptime and performance of their equipment with overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) metrics.
“I then ask, ‘If you are doing either lean or OEE, please raise your right hand and keep it up.’ Then I say the following, ‘Please also raise your left hand if you are monitoring your shop floor. By shop floor monitoring, I do not mean simply counting good and bad parts, nor do I mean simply knowing what color is on the stack light. By shop floor monitoring, I mean the ability to know anywhere and anytime exactly what a given piece of equipment is doing in your plant or shop.’”
Not many raise their hand. He then makes a bold statement. “Unless you have both hands in the air, you might think you are doing lean or OEE, but you are not.”
Edstrom told this story in his book MTConnect: To Measure Is to Know. His point is simple, and it’s nothing new to manufacturing: If you don’t measure something, how can you improve it?"
Mr. Heston brings up numerous examples with monitoring and metal fabrication that are well worth reading and understanding. It is an extremely well written article that I would strongly encourage anyone in fabrication to read!
In the article, Mr. Heston discusses parts of my book, MTConnect: To Measure Is to Know.
"Standardization and Market DynamicsIn his book, MTConnect: To Measure Is to Know, Dave Edstrom recounts the story of William Sellers, a tool builder who back in the 1860s came up with a uniform system of screw threads. Sellers’ screw threads could be easily measured (the 60-degree threads are one-third of an equilateral triangle). The struggle wasn’t over the technical merits of the screw’s design, but whether there should be a standard at all.
Ultimately, a few large machine shops recognized the merits of Sellers’ design, and its popularity ultimately pushed industry to adopt one uniform standard.
As Edstrom wrote, “While the idea of standards was very controversial, it proved to be brilliant, because something as simple as a standard screw created many, many industries.”
As Edstrom said in an interview, “Customers [of machine tool vendors] ultimately will drive this. “They’ll say, ‘I need to know what’s happening on the shop floor, and I don’t want to spend a lot of money per device to get information off the machines in a standard format.’”
Edstrom added that an open standard like MTConnect introduces a kind of Bluetooth functionality to the machine tool world. If you don’t like your Bluetooth-enabled phone headset, you can just buy another one. Similarly, if a shop isn’t happy with its machine monitoring system, it’s free to switch to another MTConnect-enabled monitoring software."
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 2:40 PM
Sunday, October 25, 2015
I read on an article on must watch documentaries for the computer industry and "Something Ventured" came in at the top. As a computer history nut, I have always been that way, but npg really gave me the true appreciation of the importance of the individuals and context of the times (starting back in May 1987), I really enjoyed this documentary on how venture capitalism came about.
This goes into the entire Shockley, Fairchild, Arthur Rock, Gordon Moore, Intel, Tandem, Atari, Nolan Bushnell, Kleiner and Perkins, Georges Doriot (Harvard Professor had a class called manufacturing that was really about how to start a company), Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), Genentech, Home Brew Computer Club, Mike Markkula, Don Valentine, Apple, Radio Shack TRS-80, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Dick Kramlich, Forethought (creator of PowerPoint), FileMaker, U.S. Venture Partners, Macintosh, Cisco, Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack, John Morgridge, and all the great entrepreneurs and venture capitalists that have changed our world.
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 1:30 PM
Saturday, October 24, 2015
I really enjoyed this blog post by Martin Fowler titled: Remote Versus Co-Located Work.
Martin is a great speaker, writer and thought leader in the field of software.
He brings out many great points such as these three snippets below:
"Another factor is that there are so many other factors that make a team work well. If someone is saying they are more effective on a single-site team, that may be because other factors are in play compared to different teams. One way to reduce this problem is to pay special attention to teams that have changed their distribution pattern, such as splitting from single-site to multi-site. Other factors still intrude, particularly since changes in team distribution often mean people will leave or join a team, but I think this yields stronger evidence than comparing totally different teams.
Given this, all I (or anyone) can do is listen to lots of people and make the best judgement I can. I've heard a lot of experiences about teams and locations, including quite a few where teams have changed their distribution pattern (although I haven't heard very much to or from remote-first). The weight of anecdotes leads me to conclude that most teams are more productive when in a single-site model.
The reason for this is the ease of communication. While tools like (video) chat, screen sharing, and the like have done much to make remote work easier, there is still nothing as effective as being able to turn around, see the person you want to talk to, and just be able to speak. Co-location also introduces a huge amount of out-of-band conversations which improves personal relationships. The result is a virtuous cycle of improved relationships and communication. Since communication is such a central part of software development, this is a big impact on productivity."
When people ask me, "why did Sun go belly up?" One of my answers is, "hoteling or work from home killed Sun Microsystems." I would say this because hoteling absolutely killed any sense of teamwork or comradery. This was especially tough when a company is going through layoffs as Sun was at the time.
My feeling on this has been that teams need to be be physically together, but individuals can work from home for stretches at a time when it is more heads-down isolated work.
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 6:06 PM
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Here is the bottom line on Benghazi. There is no there there.
Hillary just became the President of the United States in the November 2016 election. All the Republicans looked like they brought a knife to a gun fight when questioning Hillary Clinton. I am certainly not a Hillary fan, but the Republicans looked like fools today. Warren Buffett called it on May 4th of this year...
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 9:11 PM
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
As the former President and Chairman of the Board of the MTConnect Institute, I have given this 10 minute presentation countless number of times to explain the Three "A"s of MTConnect - the Adapter, Agent and Application.
As a reminder, MTConnect is the open, royalty-free manufacturing communications protocol which fosters greater interoperability between manufacturing devices and software. The MTConnect standard provides connectivity and the capability to monitor and then harvest data from the entire production floor: machines, cells, devices, and processes. The standard makes this possible, because it’s based on XML and HTTP Internet technology for real-time data sharing.
The adapter is the piece of software and/or hardware that sits between the device itself, such as a machine tool, sensor, compressor, any MTConnect enabled device, and the agent. The adapter needs to speak the specific language that the device understands and then convert that to SHDR (Simple Hierarchical Data Representation - a simple time stamped human readable stream separated by "|" symbols as delimiters. The information is sent continuously from the device to the adapter and then to the agent. Please note that the SHDR protocol is not officially part of the MTConnect spec, but in reality, almost all of the adapters use SHDR to speak to the reference agent. The reference agent is the agent that is out at http://github.com/MTConnect that almost all of the implementations out there today use as their agent.
The agent can be thought of as a simple web server that on one side talks to the adapter and the other side talks to applications. The agent is what translates the SHDR and makes it available in MTConnect (XML) format via http (how you access any webpage on the web today such as ESPN.com). The agent responds to simple commands from the apps or applications such as probe, current, sample or asset as examples. The agent has a circular buffer for storing the data that is coming from the adapter. Typically this is about 10 minutes of data.
The app or applications can be anything that wants to get information from the agent on what the MTConnect enabled device is doing. Typically, the app is a shop floor monitoring app such as MERLIN. Apps query the agent and typically store that information into a database as well as make that info available in dashboards, reports, email alerts and countless other ways.
I think these 10 minutes should give you a very nice overview of how MTConnect works and a deeper dive on what happens under the covers for MTConnect with the Adapter, Agent and Application.
As I stated in the webcast, you can learn more at MemexInc.net/MTConnect
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 2:23 PM
Friday, October 16, 2015
These are very exciting times for the world of MTConnect!
Mazak Corporation is collaborating with Cisco and MEMEX to launch a platform “for easy and highly secure entrance into the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT),” called SmartBox.
This technology represents a huge leap in digital integration across manufacturing. Access to real-time manufacturing data is used to improve overall productivity and responsiveness to customer/market changes. Using MTConnect technology as the foundation, SmartBox connectivity of machines and devices allows for enhanced monitoring and analytical capabilities including advanced cyber security protection.
Mazak is showcasing the SmartBox technology during its DISCOVER 2015 Technology and Education Event, held October 27-29 and November 3-5 at its North American Manufacturing Headquarters.
The power of SmartBox will be demonstrated in one of the automated cells as part of the company’s own manufacturing operations. Each of the cell’s four machines are outfitted with a SmartBox and sensor array package, giving event attendees a firsthand look at the device in action within an actual manufacturing environment and network.
The SmartBox is another component within Mazak’s dynamic iSMART Factory concept and one that takes advantage of Cisco’s Connected Machines solution to provide insights into machine operations. Advanced manufacturing cells and systems, along with full digital integration, can achieve free-flow data sharing, i.e., process control and operation/equipment monitoring.
The iSMART concept also incorporates Mazak’s SMOOTH Technology working in tandem with the MTConnect standard connectivity protocol.
Mazak also developed SmartBox to work with any machine regardless of make, model or age and will offer it in various configurations/kits based on the scenarios and challenges in which the units will be used. The device physically mounts to the side of machines without having to integrate into a machine’s electrical cabinet. With several standard input/output connecting ports, SmartBox lets users quickly and easily connect any standard off-the-shelf sensors to the system for machine data gathering and condition monitoring. One SmartBox may service several machine tools along with other associated manufacturing equipment, depending on the application.
At the heart of the SmartBox is Cisco’s Connected Machines solution, based on the IoT System, designed specifically for industrial environments and equipped with an MTConnect software agent. Using a fog computing model, the MT Connect software runs directly on the ruggedized Cisco Industrial Ethernet (IE) 4000 switch—providing real time visibility and insights into data right on the factory floor.
The Memex software installed in Mazak’s own factory allows for monitoring analytics of machines, test stands and other equipment within the plant. The Cisco hardware is designed to help prevent any issues with unauthorized access from both directions – to or from the machines and equipment within a network. SmartBox satisfies the highly critical security concerns of IT departments when connecting legacy equipment to a plant’s main network for the purpose of gathering manufacturing data via the MTConnect protocol.
“With the development of SmartBox, Mazak continues to drive toward its iSMART Factory concept and connecting today’s shops to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to achieve levels of efficiency and productivity never before realized,” said Brian Papke, President of Mazak Corporation. “And while our concept centers around open connectivity and the Internet, we at Mazak believe it is our moral obligation to also provide customers the highest level of security possible with SmartBox. As with all the technology we develop, Mazak has first implemented SmartBox into our own operations before expecting customers to wholeheartedly embrace the system.”
The underlying Cisco networking platform helps ensure that IT technicians will be familiar with SmartBox’s operation and can use it to quickly and easily control and manage network security. Also, the hardware allows manufacturers to enable secure machine communications through secure access and identity policy mechanisms. Third parties, such as equipment suppliers, can then log on to a company’s network and access only those machines equipped with a Mazak SmartBox.
“This is great example of how Cisco works with our ecosystem of partners to help customers capture the value of digitization,” said Tony Shakib, Vice President, Vertical Solutions, at Cisco.
“Cisco’s scalable and secure IoT platform makes it possible for partners like Mazak and MEMEX to quickly launch new IoT offerings that provide high-value customer experiences and business outcomes. We’re helping our OEM partners transform their business from selling products to selling industrial services.”
For more information, visit www.mazakusa.com.
To see the article, please click here.
Posted by Photons and Electrons at 2:54 PM
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
There is a nice article by Matt Kranz in USA Today titled, "Another 'Horseman of the Internet' loses its head"
"EMC was one of those stocks you just had to own in the late 1990s and early 2000 - as it was one of the companies nicknamed the "Four Horsemen of the Internet." These companies prospered as their customers bought gear looking to build Internet systems and Web sites. EMC, along with network gear maker Cisco Systems (CSCO), storage maker Oracle (ORCL) and computer systems maker Sun Microsystems were seen as dominating the construction and development of the Internet."
It is funny, because younger folks in tech today don't really believe that Sun Microsystems and EMC were big players.
It is interesting how things might change in the future as Mr. Kranz postulates:
"Investors can only wonder if the current "FANG" favorites, Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOGL), will meet a similar fate."
Monday, October 12, 2015
Below are some ole SUNWers from the left to the right, me, Julie, Barb (Dennis' wife), Joy, Dave and Dennis. We were at Bluemont Winery which has one of the best views of any winery in the country with the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains in the background. Bluemont Winery is at 951' elevation and on a clear day you can see (with a set of binoculars) the Washington Monument 55 miles away as the crow flies. It was the perfect fall day to spend the afternoon enjoying some wine and food with long time friends. We met Sue and had dinner in Purcelleville at Magnolias at the Mill.