Utilize MTConnect for Universal Factory Floor Communication

Utilize MTConnect for Universal Factory Floor CommunicationMTConnect is a royalty-free, open factory floor communication standard that is specifically designed for the shop floor environment. This protocol enables data to transfer efficiently between devices and applications across the shop floor. Running machines, controls, software, and sensor packages with the MTConnect standard means that this data is available in XML format in a universal standard that won’t vary by manufacturer.

 

Utilizing MTConnect, you can monitor everything from machine overrides to performance in real-time. You can also use MTConnect data to view historical reports and other visual representations of your shop’s performance. However, having the latest version of MTConnect allows you to utilize the system most effectively.

What is the latest version of MTConnect?

Version 1.4.0 of the protocol was recently released and consists of 5 parts. Currently, Version 1.5.0 is in development. Note that the standard is developed by the Standards Committee. New versions of the standard must also be approved by the Standard Committee vote. If you would like to access documents, you may do so if you are an SC member.

What Controls Can Shop Floor Automations Facilitate an MTConnect Adapter for?

An MTConnect adapter is a software that essentially translates the data produced by floor equipment into a format that can be processed by the MTConnect app. These adapters are typically created by the equipment provider but can be provided and installed by Shop Floor Automations.

At Shop Floor Automations, we have been in the business since 1998. Our experience enables us to facilitate MTConnect adapters for the following controls:

 

  • MTConnect for Celos
  • MTConnect for Citizen (Adapters available for your M7/M700/M800 controls)
  • MTConnect for Doosan
  • MTConnect for Fanuc
  • MTConnect for Haas
  • MTConnect for Makino (Available on Pro5, ProF, ProP and Pro3 controllers)
  • MTConnect for Mazak (Adapters available for more than 200 of their machines)
  • MTConnect for Mitsubishi machines
  • Mori Seiki DMG/MAPPS
  • MTConnect for Okuma (OSP Control types P100 Type II, P200, P200A, P300, & P300S)
  • MTConnect for Siemens

In addition, MTConnect Adapter also comes preinstalled on DMG Mori Seiki via their standard protocol. Since 2013, all DMG / MORI SEIKI machines come with MAPPS control.

Contact Shop Floor Automations to Learn More!

If you want to learn more about MTConnect and how Shop Floor Automations can help you improve the shop floor communications and manufacturing productivity at your facility, contact us today at (619) 461-4000 or info@shopfloorautomations.com! With over years in the industry, you can always trust the experience and expertise that Shop Floor Automations brings to the table day in and day out.

How to Improve CNC Machine Shop Productivity and Efficiency

How to Improve CNC Machine Shop Productivity and EfficiencyManufacturing is always evolving. As a result, machinists that used to have a leg up on the competition are struggling to keep up with the diminishing skills gap that the industry is experiencing. As more CNC tools are becoming automated and demand for quality parts continues to grow, shops are putting an increased emphasis on improving productivity and efficiency. Time is money when it comes to CNC manufacturing and it is important to keep your operation running flawlessly. Keep reading for three tips for improving the efficiency and productivity of your manufacturing process.

  1. Increase the Life of the Tool
  2. No one wants to experience downtime on the shop floor. When equipment breaks down, it means slowed or stopped productivity. When time is money, it is essential to prolong the life of a tool or piece of equipment. In order to keep your CNC machine running smoothly, there are a few ways to prolong its life:

    • Utilize a high-pressure coolant system
    • Increase the concentration of the existing coolant system
    • Frequently inspect the tool holder and inserts
    • Consider aluminum oxide coatings for your tool holder
    • Invest in a cryogenic machine
  3. Improve Overall Organization
  4. Another way to increase efficiency and productivity is to become more organized. It might seem insignificant, but lack of organization can lead to lost money and manpower. It is essential to arrange your shop floor and workspace for maximum efficiency. 

    Also, when you are done with something, put it back in its specified place. That will reduce the amount of time spent scurrying around the shop floor looking for something. 

    In addition, you can also try organizational tactics like improving your labeling system, boosting shop cleanliness, and investing in high-quality shadow boards and tool draws.

  5. Invest in a Proper Equipment Management and Monitoring System
  6. Last, but not least, it is also important to utilize an equipment monitoring system. While most manufacturers have a basic set up that tells them when a piece of equipment is down, it provides little information beyond that. Advanced machine monitoring software will let you know why machines are down, how long processes are taking, and other valuable information. When implementing a machine monitoring system, it is also important to make sure that they are all on one shop floor network so all of the machines can communicate efficiently. Using a protocol like, Fanuc FOCAS, OPC UA, MTConnect that standardizes communication across the floor can make this even more cost-effective.

Shop Floor Automations Can Help Improve Your Shop’s Productivity

If you are looking to implement a machine monitoring solution in your shop to increase CNC productivity and efficiency, Shop Floor Automations can help! Since , we’ve been helping manufacturers seeking to improve their shop floor processes. From providing proven software like Scytec and Predator Software and automating manufacturing machines to implementing measures to improve shop floor efficiencies, we’ve done it all. Contact us today at (619) 461-4000 to learn how we can help you improve your shop efficiency and productivity.   

How Lean Manufacturing Can Improve the Efficiency of Your Manufacturing Process  

How Lean Manufacturing Can Improve the Efficiency of Your Manufacturing Process  

Manufacturing is typically a very competitive field. Competitors are looking for any means necessary to cut costs or scale up production in order to increase profits. One strategy that companies are using to improve the operations at their shop is to shift towards lean manufacturing.

What is lean manufacturing?

The theory behind lean manufacturing is pretty straight forward. You simply want to eliminate waste from the manufacturing process. The trick is identifying waste and learning how to eliminate it. In definition, waste is any activity that adds no value from the customers perspective. One example of this is keeping inventory levels as low as possible. Customers don’t actually care how much excess inventory you have, just that you’re able to deliver their specified orders on time.  

With studies showing that 60% of production activities in a typical manufacturing process are waste, it means there are plenty of opportunity areas. You just need to be able to identify them.

What are the benefits of lean manufacturing?

The reason many manufacturers are taking advantage of lean manufacturing is that there are many benefits. Lean manufacturing can improve overall efficiency, increase productivity and reduce waste. More specifically, the benefits of lean manufacturing are:

  • Increased product quality: With increased efficiency, more employees and funds are freed up for quality control and innovation measures.
  •  Sustainability: With less waste and better adaptability, lean manufacturing facilities are primed to thrive in an unpredictable future.
  • Employee Satisfaction: Employees no longer have a workday packed with unnecessary work, which boosts morale and satisfaction.
  • Faster Lead Times: Streamlined manufacturing processes means that you can respond more quickly to demand and other shifting market variables.
  • Higher Profits: If done correctly, with less waste, better quality products, and more productivity, those using lean manufacturing are likely to become more profitable.

What are some examples of waste that can be eliminated?

Removing waste is essential for lean manufacturing, but what does that actually mean? A few examples of removing waste are:

  • Matching production to the rate of customer demand
  • Create processes with continual flow instead of stoppage
  • Avoid continually changing job priorities or roles
  • Matching manufacturing specifications to customer requirements to avoid over-processing
  • Bringing in raw materials only as needed
  • Design quality control processes to detect and correct abnormalities right away
  • Going paperless  

How can Shop Floor Automations help me shift to lean manufacturing?

If you are interested in shifting towards lean manufacturing, it is important to have a knowledgeable partner like Shop Floor Automations on your side. While much of lean manufacturing centers on reducing waste, improving productivity is another important aspect. This can be done by looking at the human potential of your team. Your employees are the ones running the equipment to keep your operation running smoothly and it’s important to give them the right tools to do their job well. A machine monitoring system like Scytec DataXchange or Predator Machine Data Collection Software is great for giving your employees the information they need to maximize shop floor efficiencies. Contact Shop Floor Automatics at (619) 461-4000 to learn more!

Check Out Shop Floor Automations at the 2019 FABTECH Conference!

Check Out Shop Floor Automations at the 2019 FABTECH Conference!

Founded in 1998, Shop Floor Automations has the knowledge, experience, and connections necessary to successfully automate your plant and improve your shop floor processes. With over 20 years in the business, we can offer insight on MTConnect, data-driven decision making, lean manufacturing, and other essential MFG topics. One area that we specialize in is machine monitoring using Scytec DataXchange and helping others take advantages of the benefits it provides.

Shop Floor Automations Will Be at the 2019 FABTECH Conference

If you want to see Shop Floor Automations in action, check us out at the 2019 FABTECH Conference. Held from November 11th to 14th in Chicago, the FABTECH conference is North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing event. Every year, FABTECH brings a wealth of innovation and technology solutions where more than 48,000 attendees can view the offerings and presentations of over 1,700 exhibiting companies. Plus, admission to FABTECH is free if you register by November 82019. After that, it’s just $50, which is a small price to pay to learn from the experts in the industry.

Where can you find us at the conference?

FABTECH is held at McCormick Place, located at 2301 S. Martin Luther King drive in Chicago, IL. In McCormick Place, you can find Shop Floor Automations at Booth A5174. We will be there from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Monday, November 11th, and from 9 am to 5 pm November 12th and 13th. On Thursday, we will be there from 9 am to 3 pm, so be sure to check us out!

What will Shop Floor Automations be demonstrating at the FABTECH Conference in Chicago?

At the 2019 FABTECH conference, Shop Floor Automations will be demonstrating one of our specialties, Scytec DataXchange Machine Monitoring. Scytec DataXchange can actually collect OEE metric data like utilization, part count times, and downtimes. In addition, it is capable of collecting data automatically from older and fabrication machines using SRC, which is our low-cost hardware module. DataXchange offers unlimited users, charts, reports, and dashboards that allow you to collect and analyze the data necessary to monitor OEE and reduce downtime. This Cloud or On-Premise analytic manufacturing machine monitoring system is what you need to help increase shop floor productivity, and Shop Floor Automations will be happy to show you how it works at FABTECH.

Interested in Learning More About Scytec DataXchange Machine Monitoring?

If you are interested in learning more about Scytec DataXchange Machine Monitoring, but cannot make it to FABTECH or you can’t wait until November for answers, feel free to contact us today at 1-877-611-5825. Our knowledgeable staff has over 20 years of experience and will be happy to discuss how Scytec DataXchange Machine Monitoring works and how it might be of use to you and your business.

For more information, check us out at Shop Floor Automation.