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May 1, 2000

4 Min Read
The missing link in computer integrated manufacturing

What if there was a group of affordable software and hardware products with a common infrastructure, a common language, and a universal human interface that creates single-point access (SPA) for communicating with everything in an injection molding plant—every manufacturing cell, every machine or device in any cell, and every other analog or digital device in a shop regardless of its manufacturer, national origin, operating code, communications protocol, age, interface type, sophistication, or anything else?

Now there is. MSI Cell-Net is its name, and it is unobtrusive. It allows everything in a plant to work independently in its own world and with its own control system. It replaces nothing. It simply allows universal connectivity. The real-time data it gathers can be seamlessly shared with all of a company’s computer-based databases, such as Oracle or SQL-Server. It also provides linkages to CAD/CAM/CAE and to such information systems as MRP or ERP.

Of equal importance, this real-time information also can be shared instantaneously with suppliers, with customers, or with any other person or company a molder wants to share it with, worldwide, through the Internet. The system’s common language is TCP/IP over Ethernet. Its universal user interface is a familiar, nonintimidating, configurable Web browser—either Microsoft Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.

Information-age Molding
For more than 20 years many have tried to make the dream of true computer integrated manufacturing a reality. Until now, a major problem has been the absence of a means of freely communicating with different types of devices of varying levels of sophistication from different manufacturers. MSI Cell-Net provides the missing link. No one need be handcuffed by any single supplier’s communications system or standards any longer.

MSI Cell-Net uses VVoIP, which is voice and video over Internet protocol. Simultaneously, all the parties involved online can see what is actually happening, live; review the real-time process data; discuss actions to be taken over the phone or through instant messages; and watch the results. Text messages can even alert a traveling user of details down to a single failed thermocouple via a PDA, pager, cellphone, or e-mail system.

Though it operates well at 28.8K, MSI Cell-Net is optimized for a 56K connection. All shop-floor connections are through standard CATV cables. Wireless data transfer is optional.

A typical system consists of the following:

  • Arachnid. Small connection units for digital devices with serial ports of any type, and for analog/digital devices without any communication means by converting them to a common Ethernet connection.

    MSI Cell Portal. A PC on an industrial platform running open-architecture CNOS (MSI Cell-Net Operating System) software that processes all the connected device information and provides the human interface while in the cell.Oculus Vision System. Four or more small plug-and-play digital video cameras; more expensive zoom/wide-angle cameras can be used; microcams that can explode views of parts up to 200 times also are available.MSI Cell-Net Server. Connects any number of MSI Cell Portals together for SPA to all connected shop-floor devices; allows access to the collected information from elsewhere; biometric fingerprint-identification technology is used for access security on both the server and the cell portals.

Connected Assets Add Value
MSI Cell-Net is from American MSI. As have all of its products, MSI Cell-Net has been fine-tuned by American MSI interacting with purchasing, accounting, manufacturing, engineering, and processing-oriented individuals from some of its biggest customers. Some of those involved in this case were Baxter Healthcare, Becton-Dick-inson, Hewlett-Packard, Owens Illinois, and Nypro.

Applications for MSI Cell-Net extend far beyond injection molding. It has the potential to increase the value of connected assets in any manufacturing environment relying on the efficient use of capital, human, and material resources. MSI Cell-Net provides a universal network to deliver real-time mission-critical data with speed and accuracy.

Decision making can be accelerated, even in today’s complex, extended supply chains. It promotes worldwide remote troubleshooting. It exponentially distributes the intelligence of experienced problem solvers, while obviating the need for expensive and time-consuming travel. As you might imagine, it has the as-yet undreamt of potential to fundamentally change the nature of manufacturing as we now know it.

Entry level, midrange, and high-end versions of the MSI Cell-Net software are available, depending on the specific requirements and scope of a manufacturing operation. Software application modules can be upgraded or customized online in real time. Systems can be purchased at a flat fee per installation. They also are available through technology leasing arrangements upgradeable every three years. Pricing information will be released at NPE 2000.

Contact information
American MSI Corp.
Moorpark, CA
Fred Humbert
Phone: (805) 523-9593
Fax: (805) 523-0575
Web: www.americanmsi.com
E-mail: [email protected]

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