Wednesday, August 27, 2014

MAN - Modern Application News M2M Articlen on M2M

This is a very well written article on MAN - Modern Application News titled:
Below is the opening introduction:
"Mathematician and 19th century inventor William Thomson's timeless advice made sense in the 19th century, but applies just as well today to the North American manufacturing industry: "If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it." Yet according to Dave Edstrom, past Chairman of the MTConnect Institute, approximately 95% of manufacturing machines are not monitored. By monitoring all types of machine tools and associated processes, shops can improve communications to increase production and profit."

The article goes on to discuss The Last Meter:

"MERLIN is a hardware and software solution that solves that "last meter" of connection that manufacturing companies need. It monitors machines across the facility and analyzes where the bottlenecks are happening and where the company can make improvements. MERLIN also provides real-time dashboards of plant operations performance indicators for all to see."
Below is a GREAT example of what are doing with MERLIN at Mazak:
"Mazak installed MERLIN on 15 machines at the Florence plant and so far have yielded a 42 percent improvement in utilization for the monitored machines. In addition, Mazak reduced operator overtime by 100 hours per month and 400 hours per month of previously outsourced work was returned to Mazak.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lake Tahoe and San Francisco Vacation 2014

We had a great vacation with my lovely bride of almost 31 years, Michael, Tim and we picked up John.  John's fiancee Janet joined us in Lake Tahoe as did Janet's brother Jeff.

Below is the walk thru of the house we stayed at in South Lake Tahoe:

Above is Emerald Bay at Lake Tahoe.

Above is Tim playing with his iPhone 5 while on a boat...

Below is Julie

Michael and I drove the boat.

Above is John relaxing on the front of the boat.

Below is Tim tubing:

Below is Michael tubing:

Below is John tubing.

Below is the boys throwing the football off the boat and trying to catch before they land in Lake Tahoe

Below is a photo from the deck of our house in Lake Tahoe.

Above is Michael and Tim sitting around the fire pit that we had on our dock

Below is Janet and John on our deck relaxing after dinner

Michael is eating above the burgers he cooked for us one night and below Tim is watching Jeff cook the brownies he made.  Jeff is a former marine, a professional rock climber/instructor and finishing his mechanical engineering degree this year in San Diego.

Below is John and Michael

Above is (from left to right) Julie, me, Tim, Michael, Alina, Gabe, John and Janet at the GREAT House of Prime Rib in San Francisco.

Above is the restaurant Caffe Sport that Neil Groundwater introduced me to in the late 1980s on a trip out to San Francisco for Sun Microsystems.  We had an absolutely incredible meal.  Even Tim said it was amazing.  Scoma's is  still #1, but Caffee Sport is #2 in my book in SF.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Spending The Day on the Chesapeake Bay with Garry Jakoby

Long time friend and Sun employee - Garry Jakoby - invited us to spend the day with him on his 41' yacht last Saturday.  What a GREAT day!  Perfect weather and a perfect time.  Thanks Garry!

Above is Garry, Julie and me at the Annapolis Yacht Club

Below is Julie and Garry on the yacht.

Above is the famous Thomas Point Light House we went by on the way to have lunch at St. Michaels

Below is St. Michaels

Above is pulling in to St. Michaels.  Garry controls this 41' yacht better than I can control a car.

Below is Kent Narrows restaurants.

Below is the bridge at Kent Narrows.  We had a great lunch at The Crab Claw.

Above is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Below is the Annapolis area near Spa Creek

Above is Garry's yacht and below Julie and I are having a drink at "Ego Alley" in Annapolis

Spending The Afternoon With Dick Morley - Priceless

In 2000, Dick Morley and I gave talks at AMT's Annual Meeting in Puerto Rico.  I was speaking on the Internet and Dick was giving one of his incredible talks on manufacturing. Dick and I had lunch in Puerto Rico and we discussed open source and manufacturing.  When I got back to the DC area, I sent Dick a copy of Eric Raymond's book, The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

Fast Forward 14 years.  Dick is now a Director at Memex Automation. When I asked how we were asking Dick to help Memex Automation, outside of the duties of being a Director, we were not working with Dick as closely as I would have thought.  I told Dave McPhail, our CEO, that I would like to reach out to Dick.  Thomas Smeenk, our VP of BD at Memex Automation, reached out to Dick.  Dick was very generous and said he would enjoy it if I made the trip up to New Hampshire to visit him.

Below is from Dick's homepage at

"Dick Morley is best known as the father of the programmable controller and is the leading visionary in the field of advanced technological development. He is also an entrepreneur whose consistent successes in the founding of high technology companies has been demonstrated through more than three decades of revolutionary achievements. Mr. Morley is the recipient of the Franklin Institute's prestigious Howard N. Potts Award and is an inductee of the Automation Hall of Fame. He holds more than twenty US and foreign patents, including those for the parallel inference machine, the hand-held terminal, the programmable logic controller and magnetic thin film. Currently, he is the Chairman of the Board of National Center of Manufacturing Sciences (NCMS), Director at Large for the Society Manufacturing Engineers (SME) and a member of the Manufacturing Advisory Board for Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI).
Using his studies in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a springboard, Dick Morley has become an internationally recognized pioneer in the fields of computer design, artificial intelligence, automation and technology trend forecasting. As an inventor, author, consultant and engineer Dick Morley has provided the Research and Development community with world changing innovations.

For many years, Dick Morley was a contributing columnist to Manufacturing Systems Magazine. He has also written articles for magazines and journals worldwide including Manufacturing Automation Magazine. In recognition for his ground breaking contributions, Mr. Morley has received numerous awards and honors from such diverse groups as Inc. Magazine (Entrepreneur of the Year), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (Albert M. Sargent Progress Award)"

I flew up to see Dick this past Tuesday the 19th.  We discussed mostly physics - which was fascinating for me.  We then went into a variety of topics and then discussed Memex Automation and where we should take the technology.

Above is Dick and I having lunch at a GREAT restaurant near his house called, Parkers Maple Barn.  Dick drew out on the back of the placemat how he invented the PLCBelow is a photo of that placemat. That was a lunch I will never forget.

Below is Dick in The Barn after we got back from lunch.  I gave him a copy of my book (on the table) MTConnect: To Measure Is To Know, since MTConnect is very important to Memex Automation and manufacturing.  It was a GREAT day and I am extremely glad that Dick wants to work closely with me and Memex Automation!

Corvettes at Carlisle 2014

I met John Meyer and Mike Geldner up at Carlisle, PA for the annual Corvettes at Carlisle 2014.

Below is the MONSTER 2015 Corvette Z06!  650hp! We were there for the official introduction at the grandstand by the GM team.

Below is John Meyer and me with one of John's groupies that follow him around whenever he is in public.  In my next life, I want to be John Meyer! :-)

Below is a C2 Corvette with an LS9 supercharged engine.  638hp in a 1960 class Corvette.  Very cool!

John in 2015 Corvette Stingray coupe below.

Me in 2015 Corvette Stingray coupe below.  The plan is to sell my 1998 C5 next year and then take museum delivery in the fall of 2015 for my 2016 Corvette Stingray.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Astrix Networks Inc. $2,000,000 Private Placement Oversubscribed

This was released last week.


Astrix Networks Inc. $2,000,000 Private Placement Oversubscribed

BURLINGTON, ONTARIO--(Aug. 11, 2014) - Astrix Networks Inc., operating as Memex Automation ("Astrix" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:OEE), announces it has closed the second and final tranche of a private placement. Oversubscribed, the total gross proceeds raised was $2,000,000, including the proceeds of the second tranche of $1,172,498. A total of 16,666,664 Units were issued at a price of $0.12 each ("Units"), including the second tranche placement of 9,770,814 units Each Unit is comprised of one common share in the capital of the Company (a "Common Share") and one-half of one common share purchase warrant (a "Warrant"). Each whole Warrant entitles the holder to purchase one Common Share at a price of $0.16 at any time prior to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on August 9, 2016.

In connection with the private placement the Company paid a finder's fee on certain subscriptions of 8% of the gross proceeds raised and broker warrants (the "Broker Warrants") equal to 8% of the number of Units sold. The total fees paid were $116,880 in cash and 974,004 Broker Warrants. Each Broker Warrant entitles the holder to purchase one Common Share at a price of $0.16 at any time prior to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on June 24, 2016 for those granted in the first tranche and prior to 4:00 p.m. on August 9, 2016 for those granted in the second tranche of the private placement.
All securities issued are subject to a hold period, which will expire on October 24, 2014 for those issued in the first tranche and December 9, 2014 for those issued in the second tranche of the private placement. The closing is subject to receipt of final approval from the TSX Venture Exchange.

About the Company
Memex Automation (TSX VENTURE:OEE) is the leader of manufacturing Machine to Machine (M2M) productivity solutions and the measurement of Overall Equipment Effectiveness ("OEE") in real-time. OEE is the measurement of plant-wide capacity utilization. MERLIN (Manufacturing Enterprise Real-time Lean Information Network) generates OEE enterprise-wide, machine by machine. On April 15, 2014, PEM awarded the Company the 2013 Plant Engineering & Maintenance Award for Best Company Under 50 Employees. Frost & Sullivan awarded MERLIN its 2013 Technology Innovation Leadership Award for Machine Monitoring. Microsoft picked MERLIN to be its mid-market ERP machine connectivity solution. Mazak, North America's largest original equipment manufacturer of machine tools, purchased MERLIN and published a 42% increase of its machine utilization and now offers it on its price list. Okuma America Corporation, a world leader in CNC machine tools, announced in April 2014 that Memex Automation became a Partner in THINC. For more information, please visit:

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
Contact Information

Thomas Smeenk
VP Business Development

John Rattray
Vice-President Sales

Nathan Rudyk
CEO market2world communications inc.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Day Comedy Died

I will always remember August 11th, 2014 as the day comedy died.  There will never be another Robin Williams....

Saturday, August 2, 2014

13,926 out of 13,950 Peer Reviewed Articles Support Climate Change

There is a great article at Slate by Phil Plait called:

The Very, Very Thin Wedge of Denial

that quantifies global climate change peer-reviewed literature.  Below are a couple of paragraphs the references a National Science Board member's analysis:

"In 2012, National Science Board member James Lawrence Powell investigated peer-reviewed literature published about climate change and found that out of 13,950 articles, 13,926 supported the reality of global warming. Despite a lot of sound and fury from the denial machine, deniers have not really been able to come up with a coherent argument against a consensus. The same is true for a somewhat different study that showed a 97 percent consensus among climate scientists supporting both the reality of global warming and the fact that human emissions are behind it.
Powell recently finished another such investigation, this time looking at peer-reviewed articles published between November 2012 and December 2013. Out of 2,258 articles (with 9,136 authors), how many do you think explicitly rejected human-driven global warming? Go on, guess!"

The article by Phil Plait ends with a wake up message for all of us, but especially the Republican anti-science crowd and the talking heads on Fox News:

"The basic science of global warming is independent of party line. It doesn’t care if you’re left, right, black, white, straight, gay, pro-gun, pro-abortion rights, pro-GMO, or pro-vaccine. It’s real, and it affects all of us. Mission No. 1 is to get people to understand this, and then to get them to elect politicians who do as well."

Friday, August 1, 2014

Mazak uses MERLIN MES and MTConnect at Kentucky plant

Our friends at picked up the Mazak uses MERLIN MES and MTConnect at Kentucky plant success story.

This is a fantastic example of how our technology at Memex Automation is transforming manufacturing.

Below are a few snippets.  Here is the opening:

"July 28, 2014 - The American manufacturing renaissance is in motion at Mazak’s plant in Florence, Kentucky with the help of MERLIN (Manufacturing Execution Real-time Lean Information Network) from Memex Automation. MERLIN is a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications platform that quickly and cost-effectively isolates productivity issues so everyone from the shop floor to the top floor is able to understand what must be done to maximize efficiency."
Below is a quote from a true thought leader in manufacturing and MTConnect,  Brian Papke, President of Mazak:
"Mazak’s IT department started the efficiency drive by implementing the MTConnect protocol to accurately determine machine availability by using Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) as a standard measurement. “This total embrace of MTConnect is intended to make a statement,” said Brian Papke, President of Mazak, who personally drove the project. “We want to be a leader in both promoting and implementing MTConnect.  We want our example to show the importance of moving toward data-driven manufacturing.  MTConnect is an essential part of what makes data-driven manufacturing possible.”
It's a GREAT article and below shows how well Memex Automation did in the selection process:
"Ben Schawe, Vice President of Manufacturing, began the hunt for a commercially available software package that could produce meaningful reports that both production and management teams could act upon. The company formed a task force to evaluate commercially available software solutions.   After an exhaustive search, Mazak selected MERLIN. The evaluation committee included senior executives from President Brian Papke on down, and ultimately they all voted for MERLIN, with 10 out of 10 votes in favor of the Memex Automation product."
Mr. Schawe states just how successful MERLIN has been so far!
"At Mazak, Schawe stated that MERLIN-related efforts to reduce downtime have so far yielded a 42% improvement in utilization for the monitored machines. In addition, his company reduced operator overtime by 100 hours per month and 400 hours per month of previously outsourced work was returned to Mazak. He also praised the advantage of MERLIN’s ability to take the guesswork out of tracking machine utilization. “We can tell at a glance how we are doing, and the basis is in real-time and historical data,” he explained. “There is so much information, accurate and detailed, all easily accessed whereas before we were it was difficult to find information if it was even available,” he added."

The article is very well written and really drives home the power of Memex Automation's MERLIN at Mazak!