Planning to automate CNC machines or other manufacturing equipment? Here are three steps before starting:
First, Create a Healthy Technology Relationship: “These tools have been developed not for nefarious reasons, but to improve the way we do business or the way we live.” Production Machining Senior Editor Chris Felix explains this topic in their April 2018 issue.
Monitoring equipment and implementing other automation tools is not meant to penalize or micromanage operators. “The implementation of data-driven manufacturing…collects data about and reports on the effectiveness of the manufacturing process. Data from tooling can help to refine cutting parameters to improve accuracy and reduce scrap.”
Basically, any shop floor automation solutions will involve an investment. You want to make sure that those using machines and equipment will take advantage of these tools.
Next, Consider Demand-Driven Manufacturing: “This has become the new market norm because of advancements in real-time analytics and IIoT,” says Stefan Krauss in January/February 2017 Today’s Medical Developments issue. “Manufacturing companies will need to integrate real-time demand information into their operation or risk losing…to the digital leaders that do.”
“Start with an internal audit of end-to-end operations to identify weak spots and insertion points where new features can be introduced.” Doing this will allow you to evaluate what goals are obtainable on your shop floor.
Then, Integrate IIoT: “An IIoT platform is a set of hardware and software facilities that assist and support [an] application for industrial companies using the internet to connect devices and equipment,” says Mark Albert in the Modern Machine Shop November 2017 issue.
“The use of the internet is now commonly called the industrial internet of things. Such platforms may provide an operation environment, computer processing capability, data storage structure, and program building blocks for application developers.”
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