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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. “Years ago we decided to enhance our machine, scrap, and production monitoring,” said Gary Deans, director of operations at Starplex. “We wanted to move away from manual data entry and record keeping and have better operating efficiency.” After a thorough evaluation process, Starplex selected Epicor Advanced MES.

"Epicor Advanced MES 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

Real-time data, display, and insight
Starplex uses Epicor Advanced MES to monitor its various departments, including injection molding, injection blow molding, extrusion blow molding, and assembly. “One mouse click in Epicor Advanced MES 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,” said Deans. “Advanced MES doesn't sleep. It captures everything we need 24/7.”

The system allows Starplex department managers from both sites to discuss efficiency reports generated by Advanced MES. “Epicor Advanced MES' color-coded highlights indicate anomalies and potential trouble points. From there we can drill down and find out what the issue is,” Dean said.

Reducing scrap, eliminating waste

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

“We use Advanced MES to identify areas of unnecessary waste or scrap,” said Deans. “By logging scrap codes using the Advanced MES touchscreen machine interface unit, we can focus on mitigating issues. We are able to continuously improve processes until we've eliminated key causes. All we're left with is a minimal amount of true waste from our startup or purging. With Epicor Advanced MES we've seen a dramatic decrease in our scrap.”

Maintenance, reliability, and quality

Starplex uses Advanced MES data to maintain machine reliability. The system records the running status of all its machines-which allows Starplex to analyze and mitigate downtime. All of this happens in real time, which means operators and managers can collaborate to avoid problems or solve them immediately.

Advanced MES logs every hour a machine runs. If we find we have parts wearing out after 2,000 hours, we update our preventative maintenance program so those parts are changed every 1,500 hours,” said Deans.

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 is more effective in getting quality parts to the customer in a timely manner.”

Enterprise-wide collaboration
According to Deans, “Advanced MES is so important to Starplex 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 Advanced MES 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.

Advanced MES provides us with visibility to the entire organization. We have been able to optimize cycle efficiencies through the uptime, downtime, and cycle time information it collects. Advanced MES 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 Advanced MES plays a key role in our facility. Advanced MES provides us with accurate, real-time information for smart decision making,” Deans concluded.

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:


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



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

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