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Starplex Scientific

Company Facts

  • Location: Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada, and Cleveland, Tennessee, United States
  • Industry: Manufacturer of plastic containers for the health care and food and beverage industries
  • Web site: www.starplexscientific.com

"Epicor Mattec gives us peace of mind because we know how our floor is performing, what we're currently doing, and how we're doing it."

Gary Deans, Director of Operations | Starplex Scientific


Starplex Scientific, a manufacturer of plastic containers for the medical, health care, and food and beverage industries, operates two molding, assembly and warehousing facilities located in Etobicoke, Ontario and Cleveland, Tennessee. A long-time customer, Starplex Scientific has continuously improved efficiencies with Epicor Mattec. "Years ago we decided we wanted to enhance our machine, scrap and production monitoring," says Gary Deans, director of operations at Starplex. "We wanted to move away from manual data entry and record keeping and take that next step towards better operating efficiency." After a thorough evaluation process, Starplex chose to take that next step with Epicor Mattec.

Real-time data, real-time display and insight

Starplex uses Epicor Mattec to monitor its various departments, including injection molding, injection blow molding, extrusion blow molding, and assembly.

"One mouse click in Epicor Mattec shows us, on a machine-by-machine basis, the current status of our shop floor, what has to be done, where we can improve, and our future requirements," says Deans. "Epicor Mattec doesn't slee

Deans is quick to add that the real-time shop floor information has been an invaluable management tool. "Epicor Mattec is my computer screensaver. You can't hide downtime." 

Deans is quick to add that the real-time shop floor information has been an invaluable management tool. "Epicor Mattec is my computer screensaver. You can't hide downtime."

The system's networking capabilities allow Starplex department managers from both sites to discuss the previous day's efficiency report generated by Epicor Mattec. They discuss exceptions that fall below what they consider their standard operating efficiency. "At a glance, Epicor Mattec's color-coded highlights indicate anomalies and potential trouble points. From there we can drill down and find out what the issue is."

Reducing scrap, eliminating waste

Because of the medical nature of its products, Starplex doesn't use reclaimed scrap. It is imperative that they maximize the amount of virgin resin it turns into a saleable product.

"We use Epicor Mattec to identify areas of unnecessary waste or excessive scrap," says Deans. "As long as our personnel on the shop floor record the proper scrap codes using the Epicor Mattec touchscreen machine interface unit, we can focus on mitigating the top issues. We are able to continuously improve our processes until we've eliminated the key causes. All we're left with is a minimal amount of true waste from our startup or purging. Before Epicor Mattec I felt our scrap rate was excessive. With Epicor Mattec we've seen a dramatic decrease in our scrap, year over year."

Maintenance, reliability and quality

Starplex uses Epicor Mattec data to maintain machine reliability. The system records the running status of all its machines, which allows Starplex to analyze downtime, understand the reasons why a machine is down, and eliminate or mitigate it. All of this happens in real-time, which means operators and managers can work together to head-off problems, or solve them immediately.

"We use Epicor Mattec for preventative maintenance, and to a certain extent, predictive maintenance," says Deans. "Epicor Mattec logs every hour that a machine runs. Through machine history or industry standards we can determine the length of time between services. If we find that we have parts wearing out after 2,000 hours, we update our preventative maintenance program so that those parts are changed every 1,500 hours so that we don't experience unscheduled downtime."

Starplex can also calculate whether it is time effective to initiate a repair on a blocked cavity or damaged cavity. "We can determine quickly, based on the length of time required to repair the cavity versus the length of time for the run, which option [stopping for repairs or continuing the run] is more effective in getting quality parts to the customer in a timely manner."

"I have a saying," says Deans. "That's to 'Work smarter, not harder-don't fight the machine, and don't fight the mold,' which means you can't make a quality part if either your machine or mold are in need of service. Epicor Mattec helps us do exactly that."

Shop-to-top, and enterprise-wide collaboration

According to Deans, "Epicor Mattec is so important to Starplex that all personnel have access to it from their desktop computers and can see the real-time display on an LCD screen on the shop floor."

The accounting department uses Epicor Mattec for depreciation calculations of machines; the maintenance department uses it to justify preventative maintenance and capital acquisitions; the shipping department uses it to see what jobs are currently running and forthcoming; and the customer service department uses it to provide customers with an estimate of when their job will be complete.

Asked to sum up his experience, Deans says "Epicor Mattec provides us with visibility to the entire organization, from the shop floor all the way up to the president. We have been able to optimize cycle efficiencies through the uptime, downtime and cycle time information it collects. Epicor Mattec gives us peace of mind because we know how our floor is performing, what we're currently doing, and how we're doing it. We've been awarded contracts based on our facility, and Epicor Mattec plays a key role in our facility. Epicor Mattec provides us with accurate, real-time information for smart decision making."

About Epicor

Epicor Software Corporation is a global leader delivering business software solutions to the manufacturing, distribution, retail, and service industries. With more than 40 years of experience, Epicor has more than 20,000 customers in over 150 countries. Epicor solutions enable companies to drive increased efficiency and improve profitability. With a history of innovation, industry expertise, and passion for excellence, Epicor inspires customers to build lasting competitive advantage. Epicor provides the single point of accountability that local, regional, and global businesses demand. For more information, visit www.epicor.com .

Success Highlights:


  • Implement a manufacturing execution system (MES) for live, accurate monitoring of machines, production and scrap


  • Epicor® Mattec MES, with real-time production and process monitoring


  • Instant access to real-time production information
  • Reduction of scrap
  • Improved machine maintenance
  • Improved cycle efficiency