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Tecumseh Products Chooses MDSI's OpenCNC as its Control Standard Worldwide

Global manufacturer Signs Master Purchase Agreement with MDSI for Several Hundred OpenCNC Software Licenses

ANN ARBOR, MI—OpenCNC® software, a software-based CNC control, will be running on hundreds of machine tools in Tecumseh Products Company factories worldwide by the year 2000, it was announced today by Manufacturing Data Systems, Inc.™ (MDSI™). The two companies signed a master purchase agreement in which MDSI will immediately provide several hundred OpenCNC software licenses to Tecumseh Products for implementation. Because OpenCNC is an unbundled, hardware-independent software CNC, Tecumseh Products can begin aggressive integration of the software into their manufacturing systems without delay, using an integration team they have already established for this purpose.

"The breadth of this commitment from Tecumseh Products–multi–year, corporate–wide, and on a full range of machine tools worldwide–is a strong validation of our technology," says Lawrence H. Schultz, president, MDSI, "as is Tecumseh's establishment of an integration team to handle implementation of our software into their machine tools. The hallmark of our unbundled software product is that our customers are free to schedule, package, and integrate the software throughout their plants, themselves. Tecumseh is an outstanding company with a visionary philosophy towards manufacturing."

The commitment enables Tecumseh Products Company, a $2 billion global manufacturer, to standardize its control technologies across a complete range of applications, replacing numerical controls (NCs) and traditional programmable logic controllers (PLCs)—on a full range of machine tool types including lathes, mills, grinders, dial machines, and transfer lines. Tecumseh Products intends to use the MDSI software CNC control technology on new machine tools, as well as existing equipment.

"OpenCNC has already run tens of thousands of hours on a wide variety of machines in Tecumseh plants since 1995," said James F. Curley, corporate director, manufacturing engineering, Tecumseh Products, "and it has proven to be a reliable, quality product. We are confident that MDSI has created a software control technology that will increase the flexibility and agility of our factories and take us to the 21st century."

The core of MDSI's OpenCNC is a patented technology that gives manufacturing managers and machinists the ability to view, analyze, collect, and distribute significant machine tool events such as cycle start or program end, in real time. To have access to specific and accurate data on the performance of every machine tool provides manufacturers with the precise information they need to run their operations more efficiently and cost-effectively.

"MDSI's OpenCNC empowers manufacturing engineers and machinists by giving them access to real–time data from their machine tools," Curley said. "And because OpenCNC allows us to standardize our control technologies—across all types of machines—we'll cut costs to a fraction of those incurred with traditional controls. Our complete satisfaction with this product enables us to adopt OpenCNC as our corporate-wide machine control technology".

OpenCNC is the only production-proven, unbundled software–based CNC machine tool control on the market. Unlike traditional CNC controls, OpenCNC uses no proprietary hardware or motion control cards. The entire control is delivered on a disk. Because it's unbundled software that runs on off–the–shelf PCs, manufacturers are not locked into proprietary arrangements for hardware, control repair, or control upgrades.

Tecumseh Products Company of Tecumseh, Michigan, is a $2 billion global multinational corporation with 17,000 employees. The company produces mechanical and electrical components such as hermetic compressors for air conditioning and refrigeration products, engines and power train components for lawn and garden applications, and pumps. Tecumseh Products has 31 facilities and eight million square feet of manufacturing space. Its products are sold in over 100 countries around the world.

Manufacturing Data Systems, Inc. supplies factory automation software and services that increase manufacturing flexibility and enable agile manufacturing. The company's primary product is OpenCNC, a software-based CNC control that reduces machine tool control costs and extends the productive life of machine tools. MDSI's business strategy emphasizes technological and price/performance leadership, hardware independence and comprehensive customer support. The company's customers, spanning virtually every industry, include Boeing, Caterpillar, Dana-Spicer, Detroit Diesel, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Lockheed-Martin, Tecumseh Products, and Teledyne.

OpenCNC is a registered trademark of Manufacturing Data Systems, Inc. MDSI and the MDSI logo are trademarks of Manufacturing Data Systems, Inc. All other brand or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.