Machine Metrics fails yet again!


Manufacturers are concerned about shop efficiencies. But they miss it on their choice of efficiency tools.

anther failure

Accurate, actionable data is the keystone of any monitoring system. If you can’t trust the data, then the system is not worth a cent. Arguably, the breadth of data depends on the type of connection to the machine. At the very least, if a monitoring system cannot track the simplest of events, then it should be scrapped. If the system is not flexible in data transformation, then the ability for a user to capture relevant data for their objective is questionable. Most monitoring systems can handle simple vanilla configurations, but almost every manufacturer faces unique circumstances. These include unique combinations of machine tools, follow-on automation, dynamic and flexible shifts, varying breaks with the ability to work into them, inferred conditions, and more. I’m currently talking to yet another disgruntled manufacturer who is jettisoning their current monitoring system in favor of MERLIN Tempus EE (reach out, and I can elaborate further). I spend about half my time picking up the pieces of bad monitoring systems and replacing them with MERLIN. Most other systems cannot even provide reliable utilization, let alone OEE.

MERLIN can collect and state event and process data. It has an impressive metrics list right out of the box:

  1. Downtime
  2. Good Part Count
  3. Machine Reject Count
  4. Machine State and Part
  5. Machine State Count
  6. Machine State Time
  7. Neutral Time
  8. OEE
  9. OpStep Avg Cycle Time
  10. OpStep Avg Part-To-Part Time
  11. OpStep Parts Remaining
  12. OpStep Time Remaining
  13. Performance
  14. Quality
  15. Reject Part Count
  16. Total Part Count
  17. Tool Time (Optional Tool Usage Module)
  18. Tool Count (Optional Tool Usage Module)
  19. Tool Up Time (Optional Tool Usage Module)
  20. Total Time
  21. Up Time
  22. Utilization
  23. Lost Production Dollars

These metrics are available by station, by line, and by facility. Additionally, they are accessible in the following time scales:

  1. Fixed Metric TimeBlock – 1 day
  2. Fixed Metric TimeBlock – 1 hour
  3. Fixed Metric TimeBlock – 5 minutes
  4. Fixed Metric TimeBlock – 7 days
  5. MES OpStep Change
  6. Operator Change

MERLIN processes live data, normalizing and validating it, and generates real-time metrics in memory for fast retrieval. Unlike its competitors that store and then process… garbage in… garbage out.

MERLIN can capture process data, if available, such as temperature, vibration, spindle speed, overrides, amperage, voltage, pressure, as examples. It supports multiple control limits.

MERLIN imports a comprehensive data set for product identification, sales order, work order, part number, product standard, setup time, material conveyance time, cycle time, parts per cycle and cycle per parts, program name, program location, work instructions location, and any other job related data you may want to make available inside of MERLIN.

In fact MERLIN is as close to being SCADA with being SCADA and MES without being MES.

Unfortunately, failed monitoring system deployments cause customers to think every system is flawed. Of course, no system can meet unrealistic expectations, so that is the question I ask first. Then, I ensure that the customer has a champion. Even a bus needs a bus driver. With this approach, MERLIN delivers a comprehensive manufacturing operations management system that meets and exceeds customer expectations.

Don’t let poor results discourage you from pursuing your Industry 4.0 initiative. Let’s talk further!