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MBX Systems Earns ML100 Award for Manufacturing Leadership

WAUCONDA, Ill., Feb. 16 – MBX Systems, a leading manufacturer of custom-built OEM server appliances and embedded systems for software vendors and service providers, announced today that it has been selected as a winner in the 2012 Manufacturing Leadership 100 Awards. MBX was recognized in the Operational Excellence category, along with major consumer brands including Ford Motor Co., IBM, L'Oreal USA Inc., Michelin N.A. and Pella Corp.

MBX's made-to-order server appliances and embedded systems enable customers' software applications to be delivered pre-loaded on optimized hardware systems for turnkey deployment, eliminating the need for IT staff at the end customer site to install, configure and fine-tune software. No two platforms are alike, with different chassis, components and variations in processes such as cabling, branding, software image loading, and testing for each platform.

To address these widely divergent build requirements as well as support larger orders and business growth, MBX initiated a wide-ranging proprietary shop floor software and process improvement project that went live in 2010. Key features included customizable job routing for each order based on the specific configuration defined by MBX platform engineers, automated inspection procedures that prevent errors from being passed on to the next work center, and detailed defect tracking at every station rather than at a single quality control checkpoint.

Other changes included enhancements to visual build documents to ensure proper component placement and associated production build quality; kanban controls to improve picking speed and accuracy; and software-based scheduling optimization that keeps operations running smoothly and reprioritizes orders on the fly when needed.  First-year results included:

  • 57% increase in appliance manufacturing volume
  • 99.5% defect-free workmanship
  • 14% increase in orders picked per month
  • 34% shortened production timeframes due to new manufacturing efficiencies
  • 20% improvement in on-time delivery

"Every hardware platform we manufacture has a different motherboard, processor, memory, specialty components ranging from video capture cards to encryption chips, branding, software configuration, and even testing requirements. Maintaining both quality and efficiency in this kind of high-mix environment is a major challenge," said MBX Systems CEO Tom Crowley. "This ML100 award is a direct result of the custom production software as well as the rigorous processes and procedures we developed to address this challenge, deliver appliances with maximum customizability and reliability, and drive the 98% customer retention rate we have today."

MBX was selected as an ML100 winner by a panel of distinguished judges from among hundreds of nominations.  The ML100 Awards will be officially presented May 2 in conjunction with the annual Manufacturing Leadership Summit at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, FL.

 About MBX Systems

Founded in 1995, MBX Systems is a leader in the configuration, manufacturing and deployment of server appliances and optimized systems for application developers and service providers. MBX combines turnkey hardware programs with value-added services delivered through a dedicated account team, including platform configuration, hardware branding, inventory management, global logistics, product support, and system warranties. For more information, visit or call 800-560-1195.

About the Manufacturing Leadership 100 Awards

The Manufacturing Leadership 100 Awards honor companies and individuals that are shaping the future of global manufacturing. Formerly known as the Progressive Manufacturing 100, the awards program is sponsored by Manufacturing Executive, the global community for manufacturing leadership and producer of the Manufacturing Leadership Summit as well as the ML 100 Awards program. The Manufacturing Executive portfolio of services also includes the Manufacturing Leadership Council and the Manufacturing Executive Leadership Journal. For more information, visit


Source: MBX Systems

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