Find MTConnect on Machines at IMTS
Machining manufacturers attending IMTS 2018 in Chicago have the opportunity to see many CNC machines in action. As an attendee, it will be easy to be in awe of the new ideas ways that CNC machines are reducing cycle times and making specific kinds of parts better and faster than ever before. However, when planning the next equipment buy, it would be wise to pay attention to the connectivity capabilities of this equipment as well.
MTConnect defines and structures the data that comes from the CNC's (and other equipment) into a format that can be transported via HTTP. This is the programming that makes it possible to connect a machine to the "Internet of Things". It has been accepted as an accredited standards developer under ANSI and is gaining traction as the standard for interoperability between automation/control applications, field systems/devices and business applications like ERP. It's a good idea to buy equipment that's ready to connect, even if you don't currently have an IIoT Plan for your company.
Questions you should ask include:
- Does this machine connect to the internet via Ethernet or WiFi?
- What network architecture is available?
- What kind of support does your company offer for the network connectivity?
Internally you should consider when starting your IIoT Plan include:
- Do we have a good network administrator?
- Do we know what data we need from a CNC machine?
- Is management on board with collecting live data from our CNC's?
You may want to consider having at your fingertips a list of your machines and if they currently can output MTConnect data or not. Keep in mind that even if you have older equipment, you may still be able to put appliances on that equipment (and sensors) that give you the same data.
IMTS is a great place to learn more about connectivity in the shop and how IIoT is being implemented for machining companies. If you would like to meet with us there, please contact us. We'll be there too!
IIoT Automating Solutions provides technology consulting to manufacturers of machined parts. Services include creating an IIoT Plan, optimizing current technology use (like ERP), implementing new technologies and integrating existing systems for better use of data to drive efficiencies. Contact us for more information.