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MDSI Wins 2001 Technology and Business Vision Award from Start Magazine

Creators of OpenCNC® software win again with WinMotion™ software

CHICAGO, IL—For the second time in three years, Manufacturing Data Systems, Inc. (MDSI) has won the Start Magazine Technology and Business Award for Vision in the category of small business. The T & B Vision Awards are presented to companies who are transforming the manufacturing industry through technology and business innovation and the leveraging of Microsoft® Windows technologies. Based on judging by an independent panel of industry analysts, the winners were recently announced at ceremonies in Chicago.

A recipient in 1999 for its OpenCNC software CNC, MDSI received the award this year for expanding its groundbreaking all-software motion technology into the general motion control industry. In WinMotion™ software, MDSI has created another paradigm shift in industrial automation: machine control built from an open, configurable software motion architecture that operates across all kinds of machine tools as a universal machine operating system–unrestricted by proprietary hardware or motion control cards.

Judging was done by an independent panel of industry analysts, including Sally Albright, Albright Consulting, San Clemente, California; Laurie Balch, Dataquest, San Jose, California; David Cahn, AMR Research Inc., Boston; Julie Fraser, Industry Directions, Framingham, Mass.; Dan Miklovic, Gartner, Inc., Stamford, Conn.; Kevin Prouty, AMR Research, Inc., Boston; and Dick Slansky, ARC, Dedham, Mass.

In selecting MDSI's open-architecture, all-software control technology, the analysts made the following comments, which are included along with profiles of this year's winners in the September issue of Start:

"MDSI has been a pioneer in the area of PC-based controls with a pure software CNC," said Dick Slansky, senior analyst, ARC Advisory group, Dedham, Mass. "By expanding their software-only control solution to general motion control (GMC), they can now offer a complete PC-based control solution that will enable collaborative manufacturing beyond just machine tools."

"MDSI continues to break through the control-system barriers of proprietary hardware with WinMotion software-based solutions that offer great benefits in production and cost of ownership," said Julie Fraser, principal and director of market strategies, Industry Directions, Framingham, Massachusetts.

WinMotion, like OpenCNC, provides the following:

  • Soft servo motion control, HMI, a soft PLC (IEC-61131-3), machine diagnostics tools, and data server in a single software application without using any motion control cards or proprietary hardware
  • Continuous data from a machine–including maintenance, production, and quality data, in real time, without specialty hardware–via integrated patented technology
  • Sub-millisecond hard real-time performance on Microsoft® Windows NT® running from a single processor on a standard PC
  • An open, published Application Programming Interface (API), which allows users to rapidly integrate third-party technologies such as vision systems, bar code readers, or sensors

MDSI’s software CNC and software motion control based on Microsoft standards enable the fast and efficient integration of third-party Windows-based software applications such as SCADA, MES and ERP systems through industry standard OPC interfaces. The company's support of Microsoft Windows development environment has allowed third party developers to build application specific solutions independent from MDSI.

"Integrating manufacturing and production systems into the greater corporate enterprise network has long been a dream for the industry. Initiatives of companies like MDSI will lay the groundwork for reaching that vision in the not-too-distant future," said industry analyst Laurie Balch, Dataquest, San Jose, California.

About MDSI

Manufacturing Data Systems, Inc. supplies Internet-enabled, open-architecture software motion control applications that increase manufacturing flexibility and enable agile manufacturing for the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) and General Motion Control (GMC) markets. The company's soft GMC and soft CNC products reduce machine tool control costs, increase productivity, extend the productive life of machine tools, and leverage the Internet for real-time data collection and remote diagnostics. Unlike traditional hardware or proprietary-based motion controls, MDSI's soft motion solutions use no proprietary hardware or motion control cards.

MDSI's foundation soft motion technology provides a common and open control across virtually any kind of machine tool–from gantry robot loaders to five-axis machine tools, and from transfer lines to semiconductor fabrication equipment.

MDSI’s business strategy emphasizes technological and price/performance leadership, hardware independence and comprehensive customer-support. The company’s customers, spanning many industries, include BAE Systems, Boeing, Briggs & Stratton, Caterpillar, Cessna Aircraft, Dana, Detroit Diesel, Emerson Electric, Flowserve, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, General Motors, Halliburton, Lockheed–Martin, Tecumseh Products Company, Teledyne, Textron, and Vickers.