Q&A: Discussing the Industrial Internet of Things with David McPhail, CEO, MEMEX

Jennifer Rideout | Content Subject Matter Expert Manufacturing, Energy & Education | Cisco |April 3, 2017

The manufacturing industry is undergoing a significant shift in how products are made. Cyber-physical systems, made possible by the introduction of a secure IT network to the shop floor, are creating new ways for manufacturers to monitor, analyze and automate processes. The result? Manufacturers are spending less money, while making more, on the factory floor.

At the heart of these cyber-physical systems is MEMEX, a Canadian software and hardware provider based in Burlington, ON. I sat down recently with David McPhail, CEO of MEMEX, to discuss the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), MEMEX’s latest solution and his advice for Canadian manufacturers.

Part one of our conversation is below. Watch this space for part two in the coming days.

Jennifer Rideout: For readers not familiar with MEMEX, describe your company for us.

MEMEX - David McPhail

David McPhail, CEO, MEMEX

David McPhail, CEO, MEMEX: Established in 1992, MEMEX was founded with a vision to improve the way automated machine and production equipment work and connect on the factory floor. Since then MEMEX has proved itself a pioneer in IIoT time and again.

With a comprehensive understanding of the manufacturing industry, we are the global leader in machine to machine connectivity solutions. We have been on the leading-edge of the convergence of industrial trends in Computing Power, Connectivity of Machines, Industry Standards, Advance Software Technology and Manufacturing Domain Expertise.

We are also the developer of MERLIN, an award-winning IIoT technology platform that delivers tangible increases in manufacturing productivity in Real-Time. As a company, we are committed to our mission: “successfully transforming factories of today into factories of the future.”

Encouraged by the rapid adoption and success of MERLIN, we relentlessly pursue the development of increasingly innovative solutions suitable for the IIoT era. Our company envisions converting every machine into a node on the corporate network, creating visibility from shop-floor-to-top-floor.

JR: Tell me more about your solution, MERLIN. What value does it offer manufacturers?

DM: MEMEX’s software and hardware IIoT solution enable customers to achieve tangible IIoT-centric business outcomes. Our MERLIN software suite and connectivity products has enabled manufacturers to achieve upwards of a 50% increase in productivity and a 20%-plus increase in profit, on average. Additionally customers have secured payback in less than four months, which equates to an Internal Rate of Return greater than 300 per cent.

MERLIN provides manufacturing analytics that enable the effective execution of continuous improvement initiatives in real-time. This allows the entire plant operations to be Lean. Furthermore, MERLIN creates the opportunity for a dramatic increase in Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) based on accurate real-time information collected over a communication network connecting all machines, old and new.

MERLIN is the essential link that allows manufacturers to connect machines together in a cost-effective and secure fashion. And it does so while ensuring machines, either in a single plant or multiple plants, are consistently reporting performance data in real-time to all stakeholders – from the shop-floor to the top-floor.

JR: On that note, you recently introduced a new product. How does that build on your existing solutions?

DM: At IMTS 2016, we announced the launch of MERLIN Tempus™ and MERLIN Tempus Enterprise Edition (EE), the next generation of our award-winning MERLIN Manufacturing Execution System (MES).

MERLIN Tempus offers a new generation of tools and a dynamic configurable web-enabled dashboard that provides a complete view of the shop floor. The Enterprise Edition offers complete OEE calculations and other critical metrics, along with a dynamic visual job scheduler. It also empowers customers to seamlessly incorporate future Smart Manufacturing technologies as a part of the overall MERLIN platform.

We developed MERLIN Tempus as an extremely flexible out-of-the-box packaged platform/tool kit solution that is proven, comprehensive and complete with no custom programming required. Additionally, the system includes a robust reporting engine that offers an unlimited number of slice-and-dice data reports, automated report scheduling, and real-time machine alerts via email or SMS.

This translates into fast, low-cost implementation, easy-to-understand OEE metrics, and a rapid ROI.

Watch this space for part two of our conversation, where David will talk about how to simplify the IIoT for factory operators and share his advice for Canadian manufacturers.

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