What Makes FreePoint Technologies Unique?

Just like any other product or service, there are multiple companies that provide machine monitoring solutions which provide a way for manufacturers to track machine outputs. However, just like with any other product or service, not all solutions are created equal. FreePoint Technologies has been able to consistently beat out competitors by providing technology that can connect to any machine, deploy in a single day, and costs less.

In this blog, we are taking the opportunity to highlight the areas that make FreePoint Technologies unique and why we are continually being selected as manufacturers’ preferred machine monitoring solution.metal case freepoint solutions getfreepoint.com phillips screw heads mounting holes grey and white gradient background i/o freepoint technologies

1. The Ability to Connect to Any Machine

Our patent-pending technology allows us to connect simply and non-invasively with all machines, regardless of brand, type, complexity or age. Along with the 1914 Vertical mill we have connected to the internet, here is a sample of several of the machines we’ve connected so far:

  • CNC Routers
  • Sands
  • Grinders
  • Clampers
  • Lathes
  • Mills
  • Saws

The simple notion of connecting to any machine gives us a huge advantage over competitors that are limited to only being able to connect to new/specific machines. What does this mean for our customers? They don’t have to wait to purchase the newest machinery in order to start monitoring and improving their machining processes.

2. On-Premise or Cloud Stored Data

storage in the cloud freepoint technologiesWhen it comes to storing the data collected from the various machines, we give our clients two options; storing the data locally on their premise or storing it in the cloud. While both ways have different advantages, we make sure you are able to store and view the data the way you prefer.

Users can then access the information from various devices including their phones, tablets and computers. This makes it extremely easy to access your machines’ output information wherever you are.

3. Deploys in One Day

FreePoint Technologies is the only machine monitoring software that can be deployed in a single day. Installation of ShiftWorx takes around 3 hours per machine and immediately after it is installed, it starts collecting data. This provides tremendous value to our clients as the sooner they have key information from their machines, the sooner they can make better decisions based on that data.

4. Advanced Reporting

The reporting available from our machine monitoring software is simple to read, yet contains all the key information a machine operator would require. It features various reports on OEE, part count, downtime, job reports & more. All the information can be seen in real-time so operators and managers can quickly identify any issues that may arise.

5. Dedicated Team of Developers & Support 

Customer Support FreePoint TechnologiesWe have a team of 10 developers that continually work on creating new features for our software that better service our customers. We constantly take the feedback given from our clients and integrate their ideas into our updates. Our large development team also means that should support be required, we have the resources and manpower to fix the issue in an extremely timely manner.

6. 90-Day Trial Period

If all of the previously mentioned features didn’t convince you to use our machine monitoring software, our 90 day trial period should do the trick. For all new clients, we offer a risk-free trial period to try our software. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, we will refund your investment. As a testimony to our machine monitoring solution and the service we provide, as of this date, we have not issued a single refund.

To learn more about FreePoint Technologies or to schedule a call, email info@getfreepoint.com.

Top 3 Questions We Get Asked (With Answers)

At FreePoint, we often get asked a variety of questions surrounding our machine monitoring solution. Over time, we’ve noticed the top 3 questions asked most frequently are:

Question #1

Can we connect with ERPs and other data systems?

Absolutely! Our data is stored in common, open and easily accessible data formats, making it easy to connect the FreePoint data to any other systems or to import data from other systems into FreePoint’s ShiftWorx system.

Question #2

What do operators and the people on the floor think of machine monitoring? (Is this more of “big brother” watching?)

Most of the operators and employees on the shop floor know that they are being measured, however, they aren’t aware of their ‘score’ according to their supervisors. From our experience, many of the employees feel that the current metrics by which they are being measured are not the true measurement of their efforts and contribution. With a machine monitoring system such as FreePoint, operators are empowered and engaged when they are able to view their performance metrics in a real-time feed.

Question #3

Should we implement machine monitoring now or wait until after we make other improvement efforts or investments?

Machine monitoring should be implemented BEFORE making any other improvements or investments so that you can properly measure the true beneficial effect of the changes you plan to do. The FreePoint system is an easy to deploy, cost-effective solution allowing you to establish an empirical baseline now, against which the benefit of all future changes and investments can be calculated.

Bonus Question

What machines can your machine monitoring solution connect to?

Our patent-pending technology can connect simply and noninvasively with all machines, regardless of brand, type, complexity or age.

There you have it! Answers to the top 3 questions we are asked here at FreePoint. Still need answers or have questions? Contact us here.

Fanshawe Industry Day

Trade Shows Happening in 2017

It is going to be a busy year in 2017! We are excited to announce that we will be attending 5 trade shows throughout the year. If you are attending or plan on attending one of the events, stop by one of our booths or come talk with us to learn how FreePoint Technologies can help your business.

Here is a full list of the trade shows we will be attending in 2017

Impact Manufacturing Summit

Dates: May 7-9, 2017

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada 

Website: http://www.impactspring.com/

Booth #: TBD

 

Wire Process Expo Show

Dates: May 10, 11, 2017

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

Website: http://www.epishows.com/wire/

Booth #:  1253

 

EASTEC Trade Show

Dates: May 16-18, 2017

Location: West Springfield, Massachusetts 

Website: http://www.easteconline.com/

Booth #: 5843

 

APMA Trade Show

Dates: June 14, 2017 

Location: Windsor, Ontario

Website: https://apma.ca/apma-annual-conference-and-exhibition-2017/

Booth #: 139

 

Canadian Manufacturing Trade Show

Dates: September 25-28, 2017

Location: Toronto, Ontario

Website: http://cmts.ca/ 

Booth #: 1128

FreePoint Helps A Customer Increase Their Productivity By 42%

The following case study demonstrates how FreePoint’s technologies were successfully used by their customer to help increase the productivity of a critical machine by 42%.

The customer is a leading international manufacturer and distributor of high quality die sets, components, steel plates, and metal fabrications used in the production of tools, dies, and molds. The following figures demonstrate the impact of FreePoint Technologies’ system.   

During FreePoint’s ShiftWorx training in November 2015 with the client, ShiftWorx tools were used to assess the impact of the company’s recent continuous improvement project with a critical vertical machining centre. In September 2015 the customer implemented a change in their process, and FreePoint decided to use that situation as a training example.

The first chart below shows the active machining time for the machine from October 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016. FreePoint used this period to establish a “baseline” from which to compare the future improvements against. The period was selected for the following reasons:

  • The machine was operated by the same operator for the same shift in a steady fashion for a long period of time
  • The period did not include the traditional vacation period (July and August)
  • Workload varied from week to week and month to month, but a 9 month period leveled out the peaks and valleys.
  • “Zero days” show up on the chart but are excluded from the average calculation.
  • The percentage are based on a 24 hour (or 1440 minute) “day”. They can easily be converted to a shift by multiplying the percentage by 1440 (total for a 24 hour day) and then dividing by the minutes in that shift. (For instance, 11.72% of a 480-minute shift would be 35%)

The chart below shows that on average, the machine operated 11.72% of a 24 hour day, or 169 minutes of “value adding” time on a single 8-hour shift, which equates to 34.2%.

 

For comparison purposes, the following chart shows the summer months – June 2015 and July 2015. There are 3 weeks of inactivity, likely due to holidays or lack of work for the machine. The daily average is down a bit, to 10% of a 24 hour period, or 144 minutes or 30% for the 8-hour shift.

The month of September shows a slight increase over the pre-summer numbers, at 12.75% of a 24 hour period, or 183 minutes of value adding time per day or 38% for the 8-hour shift.

The month of October comes in at 13.46% of 24 hours, or 194 minutes or 40.4% of an 8-hour shift.

And finally, November 2016 (up to November 25th) comes in at 16.76%, or 241 minutes of value adding activity, equal to 50.2% of the 8-hour shift.

This represents a 42.6% increase in value adding machining time when compared to the baseline established for the 9 month period from October 2015 through June 2016.

We had the opportunity to ask the customer some clarifying questions to gain an insight into the effect FreePoint Technologies had on their business.

Q: What problem were you trying to solve?

A: The problem we were trying to solve was to reduce setup times on the machine and to increase the time the machine was working.

Q: What change or changes made the biggest impact?

A: The two biggest changes were that we added setup vises for clamping material, and made changes to our programming. Parts are put in vice and clamped square, reducing setup time on the first side. We also made changes to the program so that the face head was in contact with the material making chips more often. We did this by reducing air passes and reducing program editing by the operator.

Q: How long did it take to implement the change?

A: It took about 2 weeks to implement the changes and we saw results immediately.

For more information on how FreePoint can help your continuous improvement efforts, please contact engage@getfreepoint.comRemember, you can’t improve what you don’t measure!