“The company grew much faster than anticipated due to our reputations and word of mouth as we completed one successful project after another.”
Due to increased competition manufacturers have strived to automate as much as possible. Today, there is much more production, quality, traceability, and defect data requirements to increase efficiency, minimize warranty and quality returns, prevent vehicle safety issues, and manage the day to day operations. Team Ray Technologies is highly involved in the integration of the advanced automation equipment along with being a developer and integrator of advanced testing algorithms. Rockware Corp provides PC based solutions that Team Ray Technologies can integrate with resident control systems for advanced testing and traceability operations. Rockware Corp also provides shop floor management software, integrated by Team Ray Technologies, to provide assistance for monitoring and managing production, quality, traceability, scheduling, preventative maintenance, day to day operations, and continuous improvement objectives.
The concept for Rockware started over two decades ago while Brothers Chris and Ryan Ray were working as project engineers in the food processing industry. After a year or two of 3D AutoCAD and project management, they were introduced to PLCs and SCADA systems and immediately knew it was the area they were most passionate about.
The brothers officially started Team Ray Technologies and initially provided all types of engineering along with custom software for just about anything. “The company grew much faster than anticipated due to our reputations and word of mouth as we completed one successful project after another,” says Chris. Being natural problem solvers, troubleshooters, and solution providers, the duo armed with their technical knowledge have the innate ability to filter out frivolous inputs and focus on only mission-critical aspects of any type of issue or project.
The company’s Rockbox IO product started out as a single junction box to connect to outputs of a single injection molding or other types of cycling machine. It originally required 4 inputs to be able to generate signals for cycle data collection. “Based on customer requests, we now provide boxes with 16, 32, 64, and 128 inputs to centralize and reduce cost and complexity,” explains Ryan. “We have simplified our algorithm to only need 1 or 2 (with Auto/Manual signal) inputs to provide accurate cycle data collection.” The brothers developed a new product called Rockbox RIO which uses Remote I/O blocks mounted to each Machine that connects back to a centralized Rockbox RIO via Ethernet versus hardwired I/O like the Rockbox IO. It also allows for devices like RFID readers to be connected for detecting what mold is in each machine. Machine IO for cycle collection can be connected to applicable IO Block on each machine. On the other hand, the Rockbox T&T platform they have engineered allows them to create a new application, modify an existing application, or create custom hybrid solutions in which they provide PC with a PLC packaged in a common enclosure in a feasible amount of time and for a feasible amount of money.
In an instance, a Custom Injection Molding firm needed to replace an aging and malfunctioning Mattec system. “We were able to import much of the Part and Job data from Mattec into Rockware. Most operators were able to use the system with no or very little training,” elucidates Ryan. The system provided job order scheduling, material need and used report, scrap and lot number entry for traceability, production report including run time versus downtime, and a real-time color-coded by status interface with hyperlinks or buttons to all other interfaces.
Rockware Corp. and Team Ray Technologies are in the process of moving into a new location and are planning on deploying a data center for hosting Rockware systems along with developing a Training and Certification program for Rockware Integration. “We are working to allow other companies other than Team Ray Technologies to integrate Rockware IMM and Rockbox products,” says Ryan.