Case Study: Machine Monitoring Boosts Output on Vertical and Horizontal Machines

Case Study: Machine Monitoring Boosts Output on Vertical and Horizontal Machines

Increased Utilization leads to Increased Profits at LeClaire Manufacturing

Aluminum Casting and Machining

LeClaire Manufacturing is a sand and permanent mold aluminum casting supplier serving agriculture, marine and recreational vehicles as well as numerous other industries. The family-owned business was incorporated in 1966 but has its roots dating back to the 1890’s. LeClaire also offers a number of value-added services including design and engineering, tool building, heat treating, core making, real-time x-raying, impregnating, anodizing, and machining. And it’s the machining part where recent technology has proven invaluable to operational efficiency and the company’s bottom line.

Large Operations Leave Room for Hidden Problems

Kind of like the bigger they are . . ., the operations at LeClaire have done just that over the years to become one of the largest suppliers of aluminum casting in North America. In addition to the growing foundry operations, the company’s CNC machining areas have also increased to keep pace with the increased flow of castings. The two primary machining departments include– vertical and horizontal machining – which are integral in delivering the finished part to the customer. Between the two departments there are now thirty machines, growing by six total in the three-year period 2021, 2022, and 2023. The problem LeClaire was facing was low machine utilization rates, which at first were pretty much unknown. As with so many companies in manufacturing, when production is working and customers are happy, it isn’t always apparent that there’s room for improvement – you don’t know what you don’t know. “We weren’t fully aware of how many resources were underutilized and how much more we could achieve”, said Ralph Zimmerman, LeClaire Manufacturing Co-President. “So, we made the decision to integrate a machine monitoring platform to provide us with more visibility and help us better analyze runtime and downtime data”, continued Zimmerman.

Heavy Industrial Environment

Adding to challenge is the wide variety of machines that LeClaire was utilizing in both the horizontal and vertical departments. They needed a machine monitoring solution that not only would integrate with a Doosan but also with Haas, Makino, Okuma and others. “The solution had to work for all of our machines, or we would not be able to establish a clear dataset to evaluate each department as a whole and identify areas of improvement”, said Zimmerman.

Enter CADDIS Systems

After looking at numerous machine monitoring options, the best solution came in the form of a durable sealed piece of hardware that enclosed the necessary digital circuitry, which could then seamlessly integrate onto any type of machine and provide all the necessary runtime data needed. These Caddis devices also had the ability to not only capture the utilization data but also trigger alarms via text, email or machine based when the machine was down for an excessive amount of time. These shop floor devices offer three types of connectivity to the LeClaire machining networks – Wi-Fi, Cellular or ethernet. The installations LeClaire chose were combinations of wired-in (to machine controls) and simple stack light connections. With those came a constant stream of machining data, multiplied by the growing number of machines in use. All that information had to be analyzed and presented in a form that operators and managers could understand, interpret, and act upon. “That’s where the part b of the solution came into play, the dashboard”, said Zimmerman of the companion software program. The software, which comes with the purchase of each device, is user-definable and provides common metrics regardless of machine type or brand. Each user can view the data captured by Caddis in several ways such as utilization based on location, department or machine level.

What did we learn?

A lot. “We looked at several things over three years. The number of machines, utilization rates, increases in those rates, what that meant in terms of production hours gained, and then ultimately what that meant to the business on the whole”, said Zimmerman. Here’s what they learned, acted on, and the results (based on a $150 per hour machine rate):

Vertical Machining Department


# Of Machines

Utilization Rate

Production Hours

Production Dollar Equiv.


















+ 17,011

+ $2,551,650

From a utilization standpoint, we saw continuous improvement over the 3 years. In the first year, we had a 10% utilization rate for all our machines. In 2022, we had a 44% utilization rate with only adding two machines to our process. In just one year of using the Caddis platform we had increased utilization by 34%. 2023 our utilization increased to 48% with zero machines added to this department. Still, a 4% increase in utilization percentage.

As far as production hours and dollar amounts are concerned the results speak for themselves. Overall, from 2021 through the end of year 2023, we saw an increase of 17,011 hours of production. We simply take that number, multiply it by $150, which is our per hour dollar amount per machine, we are left with a $2,551,650 increase in production dollars.

Horizontal Machining Department


# Of Machines

Utilization Rate

Production Hours

Production Dollar Equiv.



















+ $3,186,450

Just like the Verticals, we also saw a significant increase in machine utilization after the Caddis integration over the entire three-year study. In the first year, we had a 33% utilization rate for all our machines. In 2022, we jumped up to a 50% utilization rate with only adding one machine to our Horizontals. This was a 17% increase in machine utilization. In 2023 our utilization was 52% with 3 more machines added in the mix. Still, an increase in overall machine utilization percentage. As far as production hours and dollar amounts are concerned the results speak for themselves. Overall, from 2021 through end of year 2023, we saw an increase of 21,243 hours of production, or a $3,186,450 increase in production dollars.

What it means for the business

As we consider all the data, we saw an overall increase in production hours of 38,245. That’s an increase of production dollars in the amount of $5,765,100.

The Full Impact of Increased Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

The Full Impact of Increased Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

What’s the full impact of increased Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) on your manufacturing operations? In a word, it’s potential. With no further Capex or labor investment, a production floor aligns to achieve its full capability by realizing where inefficiencies exist in the current process and then taking steps to reduce them. 

Fractional improvements lead to measurable differences in machine utilization, use of consumable items, operator time, and ultimately throughput. These efficiency gains go straight to the bottom line – profitability – and improve job satisfaction and customer relationships.

It starts with a simple, but rugged device paired with a robust software system. The two provide a constant stream of data from the shop floor and a common set of metrics to support the many decisions needed for improvement. The data-driven machine monitoring solution from CADDIS Systems provides visibility to machine operators and managers for a single CNC machine, a machining cell, or an entire production floor. 

The cloud-based system is accessed on any number of screens, computers, and mobile devices of the operator’s choosing. That means real-time visibility where and when it’s needed. If something does begin to go outside of tolerance, visual and audible alarms actuate for immediate intervention to prevent issues from becoming larger problems. The result is the continued ability to reduce machine downtime and prevent / predict maintenance to achieve greater efficiency.

At a time when the pursuit of production reliability often means further investment in technology, adding a machine monitoring system is a simple, yet smart method to use available dollars wisely. It also goes a long way to staying true to customer promises for delivery, controlling costs, ensuring quality, and maintaining trust and confidence.

Seeking out and achieving greater efficiency is a key step in establishing better best practices for sustainability. The productivity improvements from machine monitoring go straight to the bottom line, increasing economy through better utilization of both man and machine and contributing to faster ROI

The flip side of efficiencies gained is inefficiencies avoided such as machine downtime, equipment damage, and additional repair. It’s hard to estimate the cost of problems not encountered other than to equate it to productive time lost. 

With an active system such as CADDIS and an engaged workforce, gains in time lead to prosperity and growth. To see it for yourself, book a demo with one of our experts today.

Industrial Furnace Monitoring

Case Study: Caddis Machine Monitoring Triggers Immediate Intervention to Avoid Massive Repair and Downtime

No Need For A Meltdown

Or a ‘freeze up’, as the case would have been for LeClaire Manufacturing – a single-source sand and permanent mold casting and machining company – when a critical furnace failed within its aluminum die casting operations. These workhorse furnaces run almost continuously in foundry operations providing performance, energy savings and reliability . . . until they don’t. Sometimes those reliable pieces of equipment develop mechanical or electrical problems that go unnoticed, but a failure alarm did not.

“At that moment a text message was sent by the CADDIS System to our foreman and action was taken immediately that saved our bacon”, said Ralph Zimmerman, LeClaire Manufacturing Co-President. “We were able to intervene in literally a matter of seconds after the unit overheated and shutoff”, continued Zimmerman.

Adding Up The Damage

If not addressed, what would have happened next is nothing short of a disaster. After a furnace failure, the unit shuts off and the front of furnace bath freezes, causing a cascading effect of failures. Tallying this up is daunting. It starts a lot of specialized labor to unfreeze the front of the furnace, estimated at $8,000 – $10,000. Next is to save the metal pump, which itself is a $20,000 unit. Then to inspect the lining of the furnace to determine whether it had been damaged, a process that is very difficult to accomplish, and can be hard to fully know. Even fuel costs – for example to melt the metal – are part of the equation. But perhaps the biggest cost is downtime and resulting missed customer orders.

Industrial Furnace Monitoring

LeClaire uses state-of-the-art furnaces for near constant production within its aluminum die casting production facility.

There’s An Upside

It didn’t happen. All these subsequent catastrophic failures were avoided thanks to the continuous and reliable CADDIS System. There was also no delay with the subsequent processes that LeClaire does for its customers. After the parts have been cast, they are heat treated, machined to customer specification, and delivered. LeClaire has CADDIS installed on numerous presses where they track uptime, downtime, maintenance tasks as well as shifts and other key metrics.

Industrial Furnace Monitoring

Operating environments of the CADDIS Machine Monitoring System include all manner of heat and chemistry encountered in today’s manufacturing.

So, What Is CADDIS?

CADDIS is a two-pronged Industry 4.0 solution that uses a shop floor device and an intuitive software platform. The device is housed in a durable and sealed aluminum casting and is designed to work without interruption in even the harshest environments. It connects to any type or vintage of machine relaying user specified data to a central dashboard. That dashboard is the brain of the operation, providing real-time monitoring for continuous observation, improvement, and intervention. The results are increases in uptime, improved Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), predictive maintenance intervals, and most notably in this case avoiding downtime, repair, scrap and missed customer deliveries.

“It’s pretty impressive when you stop and think about it. We were in the middle of our shift thinking all was running perfectly, and then we got a text from the (CADDIS) system, very cool”, said Zimmerman. “We were really able to contain the failure right away and avoid what would have very rapidly become a next-level costly issue”, he continued.

To learn how CADDIS Systems machine monitoring can prevent machine downtime by booking a demo with our team. To start using CADDIS immediately, request a free trial on up to five of your machines.

Happy Thanksgiving From CADDIS!

Caddis Systems continues to be extremely thankful for all we have been blessed with. At Caddis we focus on what is right with the world and strive to do what we can as a company and individuals to make our Country and the world a better place. We are thankful for the opportunity to go to work every day and serve all our amazing customers.

Since Thanksgiving is a day where many different delicious recipes are shared with loved ones, I thought I would share my delicious recipe that is served best from the tailgate of a truck with family, good friends and a variety of adult beverages.

Recipe: Hawkeye Breakfast
Stick of butter
Cut Potatoes
Cut Up Kielbasa
Diced Garlic
Sliced Onions
Shredded Medium Cheddar Tillamook Cheese
Salt & Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes


Machine Efficiency: Industrial IoT

It is essential that today’s manufacturers keep up to date with the latest technological advances. Basically, machine efficiency is vital.  Now more than ever, production should be efficient, and any extra machine downtime should not be tolerated.  For instance, if a company is battling unforeseen downtime, this will negatively impact production and assembly. Consequently, the manufacturing process will be obstructed.

Equipment MonitoringConsistently improving machine efficiency and overall capacity should be the goal. Considering preventative machine maintenance and the industrial internet of things model, companies will significantly see improvements in asset utilization and overall production schedules. At CADDIS, our machine monitoring systems highlight underperforming assets so you can spend more time taking action. In fact, CADDIS devices have multiple inputs allowing them to automatically detect machine status and alert you to any excessive threshold.

The Industrial Internet of Things

What is the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and how does this concept benefit machine efficiency? IIoT is an essential part of Industry 4.0, otherwise known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution. IIot is considered vital in the manufacturing world. Its concepts guide preventative maintenance, increase machine efficiency and energy management, and help better understand the supply chain process.

Basically, IIot is a method to enhance digital information technology in manufacturing. Its network of sensors collects vital data and in return, this cloud data helps gather valuable insights about manufacturing operations. Simply put, the industrial internet of things connects machines and data management to achieve improvements in productivity and overall efficiency of machine-related roles.machine efficiency

Connecting Assets

Data communications and connecting assets are important to machine productivity. When actionable information is accessible, engineers and workers, alike can identify any issues with machines, the production line, or any larger issues at hand. CADDIS Systems technology improves downtime because of its ability to accurately measure a machine’s capacity. Contact us today for a free demo to learn how we can increase your assets today.


Watch this video to learn about CADDIS Systems

What Sets CADDIS Systems Apart?

CADDIS Systems was designed by a team of industry experts with over 100 years of experience in manufacturing. Our goal with our system is to provide you with a solution on how to overcome costly problems related to your business. We combine technology and ease of use with simplicity to provide the perfect tool for machine management. Watch the video above or review the points below and you’ll know why CADDIS Systems is perfect for your business.

Why do you need CADDIS?

CADDIS streamlines your business by:

  • CADDIS is a machine monitoring system that works with your business model to make sure that you achieve the maximum ROI from your equipment.
  • CADDIS provides machine insights, accurate real-time visibility, and preventive maintenance management.
  • CADDIS Systems detects and automatically alerts you to any excessive threshold or maintenance task via text, email, and visible & audible alerts on the production floor.
  • All data is streamed to a cloud-based, online dashboard viewable through any computer or smart device by unlimited users. It requires no software to purchase or download. There are also no licensing fees.
  • CADDIS Systems has been engineered and built to withstand all types of environmental extremes including sand, salt, heat, dust, and more, unlike other monitoring devices.
  • CADDIS can be installed in minutes on any model or vintage of machine. It is scalable from one machine to an entire, global organization.
  • There is no special equipment needed for the install and you won’t need any outside resources for the installation process.
  • Once you install CADDIS your business will be elevated immediately to industry 4.0 once one machine is deployed.

Trust CADDIS just like thousands of other businesses to take your business to the next level. To learn more visit or call 563-551-6418 today to schedule a free demo today!

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Caddis Systems

what is industry 4.0?

What Is Industry 4.0? How Can It Benefit My Business?

Ultimately, Industry 4.0 refers to a new concept in the industrial revolution that focuses heavily on interconnectivity, automation, machine learning, and real-time data. Not only does it improve machine efficiency, but it can essentially establish a whole new way to track the progress of a business.

More specifically, Industry 4.0, also known as the fourth industrial revolution, offers a more comprehensive, interlinked, and integrative approach to manufacturing. It connects physical interaction with the digital landscape. Additionally, it allows for better collaboration and accessibility across departments, partners, vendors, products, and even people.

Caddis Systems and IoT (internet of things)

Basically, Caddis Systems wants to empower manufacturers to better control every aspect of their operation. Understanding Industry 4.0 standards and how its data boosts productivity and growth is an influential tool in any manufacturing, digital, or growing business. In fact, this new technological industrial revolution inspires business owners to take action and move towards a more internet of things model. Accordingly to ZDNet, the internet of things, or IoT, “refers to the billions of physical devices around the world that are now connected to the internet, all collecting and sharing data.” Essentially, collecting and sharing data through a variety of cloud-based elements will spur growth and knowledge.

How Can Caddis Influence My Business?

There are several benefits to using CADDIS Systems. Our smart machine approach maximizes the return on assets and prevents future problem areas. In addition, insightful and continuous data (see video below) is at the core of improvement and effectively monitoring machine uptime avoids unnecessary disruptions. Most importantly, time will not be wasted as underperforming assets will be noticeable and fixes can occur more rapidly. Contact us today for a free demo.


CADDIS Machine Monitoring Applications

Machine Monitoring Systems

CADDIS Systems is not just another machine monitoring system.


CADDIS was initially developed to monitor CNC’s found in machine shops across the globe. Since then CADDIS has been deployed on many other types of machines to monitor not only utilization percentage but also a number of other key metrics that are critical to a company’s success.


Below is a sampling of the type of data that CADDIS is now monitoring for our customers:

• Overall Machine Utilization
• Cycle Count
• Cycle Time
• Excessive Downtimes
• Conveyor Speed
• Fluid Flow
• Fluid Levels
• Fluid Temperature
• Ambient Temperature
• Vibration
• Shift Start and Stop
• Humidity
• Preventative Maintenance tasks and schedule


Below is a sampling of the type of Machines CADDIS is now monitoring for our customers:

• CNC’s
• Robots
• Presses
• Conveyors
• Boilers
• Mills
• Parts Washers
• Permanent Mold Machines
• Pumps
• Compressors
• Spin Blasters
• Tumble Blasters
• 3D Printers
• Core Machines
• Molding Machines
• Dehumidifiers
• Wire Annealing Machines


Let CADDIS provide you with a simple solution for long term success!

Equipment Utilization Data: How it Benefits You

Also known as asset utilization, equipment utilization measures the use of and performance of the machinery you have on a job site. This is increasingly important information to you because it can assist in improving productivity and bring down the cost of equipment usage or rental due to delays in projects due to poor equipment utilization. There are no two bigger areas of importance to your business – saving time and money.

How can CADDIS Systems help?

Utilization data is provided in the CADDIS Systems interface on the Equipment Detail View. The data showing in the equipment detail view shows all relevant data for a single piece of equipment. You can view the current overall utilization percentage. The data is influenced by the time filter setting on the device.
equipment utilization data

The current overall utilization is shown on top as shown in the image above. The data below that is a breakdown of how that value was calculated. To the left of the slash is a XX.XX h value that represents the number of hours the equipment has run. To the right of the slash is a XX.XX h value which represents the number of hours that equipment was scheduled for use.

The run hours divided by the scheduled hours times 100 (run / scheduled * 100) yields the utilization value. At the bottom of the area is a bar that graphically represents the utilization percentage.

It’s a simple equation that tells you so much. Is your equipment being used the way it was scheduled to be used? Knowing the answer saves you so much. To learn more reach out to the CADDIS Team today and request a free demo of the system.

Preventative Maintenance Management

The Benefits of Preventive Maintenance Management

Track all your machine maintenance needs for only $10.00 per month

The CADDIS System was designed by a team of engineers, software developers, and operations experts to maximize machine efficiency and increase output. Our Cloud-based architecture coupled with a dynamic, mobile-friendly user interface allows CADDIS Systems to deliver real-time analytics that can be monitored from anywhere. The benefits of Preventative Maintenance Management are numerous so let’s discuss how Caddis Systems is the perfect system to ensure your business avoids unplanned downtime by using data to address potential problems prior to machine failure.

Preventative Maintenance Management


How Preventative Maintenance Management can benefit your business:

CADDIS Systems allows you to build your machine family tree, schedule maintenance tasks, and assign tasks to those responsible. First, tasks are assigned to an individual(s) and they will receive an alert via text, email, or both. Once this step is completed, they will then be responsible for completing the task and noting this within the CADDIS Preventative Maintenance Management System. Over time you will build a maintenance log that will encompass all of your preventive maintenance tasks as well as any notes related to those tasks. With Preventative Machine Maintenance, CADDIS devices have multiple inputs allowing them to automatically detect machine status and alert you to any excessive threshold.  The system is efficient. It takes just a few minutes to set up CADDIS devices.

Current Caddis Preventative Maintenance Applications:

  • Hydraulic Pumps
  • HVAC Systems
  • Packaging Conveyors
  • Mining Conveyors
  • Boilers
  • Compressors
  • CNC’s
  • Plastic Molding Machines
  • Rolling Machines

What are the additional benefits of CADDIS Machine Monitoring?

We’ve discussed the value added by preventative maintenance management. There are numerous other benefits including:

  • Increases Machine Efficiency
  • Provides Real-time Production Environment Visibility
  • Sends Text & Email Alerts
  • Sends Shop Floor Visual & Audible Notifications
  • Includes Downtime Reason Tracking
  • Has a Simple Set-Up
  • Is an Affordable Solution


Put CADDIS Systems and the benefits of  Preventative Machine Maintenance to work for your business.

Our team has hands-on experience working in all types of manufacturing, transportation, and industrial environments where machine uptime is critical in the success of the business. We recognized a problem and are offering you a solution to increase your profit and avoid costly downtime.  We would like to put CADDIS Systems to work for your business.  For more information or to set up a free demo, contact us at 563.551.6418