Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Best Example of MTConnect and StepNC Working Together

This is the best example of MTConnect and StepNC working together.

Just as a reminder (from wikipedia):

MTConnect is a manufacturing industry standard to facilitate the organized retrieval of process information from numerically controlled machine tools.

STEP-NC is a machine tool control language that extends the ISO 10303 STEP standards with the machining model in ISO 14649,[1] adding geometric dimension and tolerance data for inspection, and the STEP PDM model for integration into the wider enterprise. The combined result has been standardized as ISO 10303-238[2] (also known as AP238).

STEP-NC was designed to replace ISO 6983/RS274D G-codes with a modern, associative communications protocol that connects computer numerical controlled (CNC) process data to a product description of the part being machined.

Below are the first two paragraphs to give you a preview of this great work.


When working with StepNC data our team realized that our project could be adapted to use real machining data. MTConnect allows our simultation to be used in much more powerful ways. We envision our project being used in various commercial applications to provide real time monitoring of several machines from one location. Through the use of this software, the efficiency of the manufacturing industry could also be improved by up to or exceeding 15%. The MTConnect data correlates well with STEP-NC data which is our team's main inspiration.

What it does

NC.js is an open source application designed to interpret StepNC data and create a simulation of the described workplan. NC.js has two options that allow the user to either drive the simulation from a StepNC file or instantiate a live viewing instance using a machine that streams MT-Connect data. NC.js utilizes MTConnect data from a live machine to drive a simulation of the machining tool. Then, through associative kinematics, a machine or fixture can be added to the simulation with correct movement in relation to the tools. Real time machining information can be easily compared to the expected result, allowing machining mistakes to be caught in process and corrected, with the eventual goal of mistakes being caught before they happen. The current application is also mobile friendly so that live machining simulations can even be viewed from anywhere by the people who need it most."

Monday, August 29, 2016

Interesting Article on Future of Manufacturing in China

The Washington Post has a very interesting article by Vivek Wadhwa
Why China won’t own next-generation manufacturing
 There are a number of very interesting points  (that I highlighted) .
"China has made this a national priority and is making massive investments. Just one province, Guangdong, committed to spending $150 billion to equip its factories with industrial robots and create two centers dedicated to advanced automation. But no matter how much money it spends, China simply can’t win with next-generation manufacturing. It built its dominance in manufacturing by offering massive subsidies, cheap labor and lax regulations. With technologies such as robotics and 3-D printing, it has no edge."
 Here Mr. Wadhwa nails it:
"After all, American robots work as hard as Chinese robots. And they also don’t complain or join labor unions. They all consume the same electricity and do exactly what they are told. It doesn’t make economic sense for American industry to ship raw materials and electronics components across the globe to have Chinese robots assemble them into finished goods that are then shipped back. That manufacturing could be done locally for almost the same cost. And with shipping eliminated, what once took weeks could be done in days and we could reduce pollution at the same time."
The education issue below can obviously be addressed, but it is interesting that it has yet to be addressed.
"The bigger problem for China is its workforce. Even though China is graduating far more than 1 million engineers every year, the quality of their education is so poor that they are not employable in technical professions. This was documented by my research teams at Duke and Harvard. Western companies already have great difficulty in recruiting technical talent in China. This will get worse because advanced manufacturing requires management and communication skills and the ability to operate complex information-based factories. Ernst predicts that the increasing scarcity of specialized skills may be the Achilles’ heel of China’s push into advanced manufacturing and services."

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mark Albert's Machine Monitoring Is the Gateway to Data‑Driven Manufacturing Article

Mark Albert of Modern Machine Shop wrote a very nice article and created a great video on machine monitoring.

Mark starts the article with:

"Data-driven manufacturing simply means that we can make better decisions about manufacturing processes because computer networks can gather lots of data from connected devices and turn that data into actionable information. Consequently, one of the best examples of data-driven manufacturing is machine monitoring—connecting machine tools and other types of manufacturing equipment to a network such that monitoring software can show what's happening on these machines. Most shop networks use internet technology to link all kinds of connectable devices and control systems together to share data. This is one reason why the term Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is popular right now."

This is a must read for those in manufacturing.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

At IMTS 2016, experience the next generation Smart Manufacturing solutions developed by MEMEX.

At IMTS 2016, experience the next generation Smart Manufacturing solutions developed by MEMEX. With these state-of-the-art technology products take control of your shop floor and optimise efficiency to a whole new level.

At booth E 3368 attendees will be able to witness MERLIN, MEMEX's award-winning IIoT communication platform, reporting Real-Time data from machines.  

Not attending IMTS 2016 ! Click here to Pre-register for information

Discover the optimum tools needed to plan and execute successful Smart Manufacturing strategies, along with other components to enhance machine productivity. 
DNC memory upgrades much more 


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Sunday, August 7, 2016

10 Weeks 6 Days Since Total Hip Replacment - 54 Mile Ocean City <-> Gordons Pond, DE

Julie and I are taking a week long vacation in Ocean City, MD.

It has been 10 weeks and 6 days since my total hip replacement.  I have been out three times on my Trek (first time out was 20 miles, 2nd was 40 miles) and today I went 54 miles. Perhaps it was not a smart thing to do, but the weather was incredible, the hip felt great so I just kept riding.  I stopped and had a great flounder sandwich at Jakes Seafood House in Rehoboth on the way back. I iced down when I got back and the titanium hip feels great.  I still do not have my wind back, which is understandable, but I am ecstatic on how the hip feels and is doing.  I told Julie that it was an "endorphin ride" :-)

I forgot to set my cyclemeter app the first two miles, so that is why it says 52.19 miles.  Here is the link to the cyclemeter summary above that can break everything down in great detail.

Above is me in Rehoboth, DE on my way to Gordons Pond.

Above is a panoramic shot in Gordons Pond in the Cape Henlopen area.

I stopped on top of the bridge of Indian River Inlet looking out on Indian Bay.

This is my 8 year old $850 Trek 7500 that I call my "Harley Fatboy" because I replaced the heavy duty cross country wheels that cost $500 because I got sick and tired of popping spokes and I carry enough tools to fix anything.  It's not fast, but it is extremely comfortable and incredibly reliable.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

MEMEX Inc.’s winning streak continues

BURLINGTON, ON–(Marketwired – Aug 3, 2016) – Memex Inc. (“MEMEX”) (TSX VENTURE:OEE) announced today it has received several new orders for its MERLIN Enterprise Edition platform for manufacturing. Pioneer Products Inc. will be installing MERLIN in an 11 Machine initial phase, and both TECT Corp. and Aerofit, LLC., already MEMEX customers seeing success with MERLIN, have extended their adoption with follow-on orders for their facilities.

“The business risk in installing MERLIN is so small and the benefits are so big that it is almost a no loss business decision,” says Frank V. Bailey, COO, Pioneer Products, as he explains one of the key factors that determined the Pioneer Products’s decision to install MERLIN.
“Recognition of the tremendous benefits offered by MERLIN by high quality precision and aerospace manufacturers along with continuous increasing adoption by existing MEMEX clients is a testament of how valuable MERLIN is to the manufacturing sector,” says John Rattray, Vice-President Sales and Marketing at MEMEX Inc. “Accurate data provided by MERLIN enables business to harness the true power of Data-Driven Manufacturing along with achieving positive tangible business outcomes in terms of productivity, profits and payback.”

About Pioneer Products Inc.:
Pioneer Products is a precision CNC machine shop with machining, grinding, plating, heat treating and engineering support for all manufacturing needs. Their 112,000 square-foot manufacturing and office facility features multi-functional machining capabilities with about 100 machines.

About TECT Corp.:
With twelve facilities in the U.S., and with more than 65 years of aerospace experience, TECT Corp. manufactures complex aerostructure components, machined components, parts and complex assemblies from the full spectrum of traditional and aerospace alloys servicing commercial and military aircraft.

About Aerofit, LLC.:
Aerofit, LLC. designs and manufactures high and low pressure fluid fittings and fitting systems for the aerospace, marine, nuclear and other critical industries. Their capabilities span the entire business and production cycle, from feasibility studies to qualification testing and post-manufacturing functional testing.

About MEMEX:
MEMEX, the developer of MERLIN, an award winning IIoT technology platform that delivers tangible increases in manufacturing productivity in Real-Time, is the global leader in machine to machine connectivity solutions. Committed to its mission of “Successfully transforming factories of today into factories of the future” and encouraged by the accelerating adoption and success of MERLIN, MEMEX is relentlessly pursuing the development of increasingly innovative solutions suitable in the IIoT era. MEMEX envisions converting every machine into a node on the corporate network, thereby, creating visibility from shop-floor-to-top-floor. MEMEX, with its deep commitment towards machine connectivity, offers solutions that are focused on finding hidden capacity by measuring and managing Real-Time data. This empowers MEMEX’s customers to effectively quantify and manage OEE, reduce costs and incorporate strategies for continuous lean improvement.

Media Contact
Memex Inc.:
David McPhail, CEO
Phone: 519-993-1114
Email: david.mcphail@MemexOEE.com

Rashi Rathore, Marketing Specialist
Phone: 905-635-3040 ext 103
Email: Rashi.Rathore@MemexOEE.com

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Thanks Tim Edstrom - Outstanding Software Developer - Summer Internship at Memex Inc.

Today is Tim Edstrom's last day as a summer intern for Memex Inc. Tim started for Memex the latter part of May in a 30 hours per week position as a software developer. Tim was up here the latter part of May to meet everyone and then worked remote. (Here is the blog post at MEMEX thanking Tim)

Tim is a very bright young developer who did an outstanding job working on a future software package for our MERLIN Manufacturing Executive System (MES) platform. The software package Tim worked on will be a first in the industry piece of software.

October 1st, 2016 Update:  I could not state this back in August when Tim finished up for MEMEX, but I can now.  Tim wrote the MERLIN Tempus Enterprise Edition (EE) Factor Simulator for us. This is a REALLY big deal because it is the industry's first complete factory simulator that is shipping with a commercial product.  This will be used for training prospects, MEMEX's Sales Reps will use it to demonstration MERLIN Tempus, trouble-shooting systems and many other uses.  That Tim did this over the summer is a big deal.

Tim is finishing up his BS in Computer Science at James Madison University this year and will graduate in May of 2017.

Huge thanks to Tim for doing a great job for Memex's Software Development Group!

Below are a few photos of Tim in his remote office with the crystal globe that we had created to show a token of our appreciation, as well as the Memex Development group lunch that occurred when Tim was in the Memex office during his May visit.

Above is the crystal globe that states, "In Recognition of Outstanding Software Development Presented To Tim Edstrom 2016"

We have a tradition of making the interns/co-ops ( James and Gaurav ) wear the famous Montana's of Canada horns :-) 

Above is the extremely talented Memex DEV Team. From left to right is Ryan, Brian, Doug, Tim, Tim S., Jeremy, Dave, Terry and Anusha (not pictured is Gowtham who was on vacation and Ken who is in Woodstock).  Tim learned a great deal from the Memex DEV team.

Here is me and Tim in the 4th bedroom that Tim used as his office during his summer internship at Memex.

Best of luck Tim!