Things You Should Know to Decide on a Machine Data Solution Provider

Machine monitoring, Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), Digital Transformation Strategy, Industry 4.0, Industrial Internet of things... No matter what you call it, it all requires using real-time machine data. 


  • How do they collect machine data? From what types of equipment? Do they use MTConnect, collect native data? Use hardware? 
  • What data is typically collected?
    • Machine states like ideal, in-cycle, feedhold, estop
    • Operator input like no material, chip bin full, break, meeting
    • Machine process data like temperature, vibration, pressure
    • Job-related data like operation step, part number, sales order, customer number, job number
    • Shift data like shift 1, shift 2, etc.


  • If sensors are needed for data not currently available on the machine, do you recommend and sell the sensors?
  • Who supports the sensors?


  • When did your company start selling a solution for connecting and using machine data?
  • What is the typical size of your installs in last year? (Number of machines?)
  • What is the largest and smallest install that you've done?
  • What are the top industries you serve?
  • Have you connected ______ type of equipment before? (Give the type of equipment you want most to collect data from.)
  • What are your future plans for improving your solutions?

 ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Integrations

  • Have you ever integrated with an ERP system before? If so, which ones?
  • Who handled the integration - built the connecting program - and supports it?
  • Was it an integration sending Job information from the ERP to the Machine Data System only?
  • Or was it a bi-directional integration, with Job details moving both to and from both systems?


  • What is your sales model? 
    • Where is the data typically stored?
      • Do you manage the web-based hosting? If so, what service do you use?
      • If on-premise, what are the hardware recommendations?
    • Is there a maintenance fee per machine that must be maintained to get support?
    • How often are their upgrades on software? How are they patched?
    • What is the typical ROI?

IIoT Automating Solutions gathers information on Machine Data Solution providers from on-line materials, conversations with vendor representatives and examinations of products during demos. IIoT Automating Solutions does not endorse any specific product but can help companies determine which is best for them.

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