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Predator’s Enhanced Ethernet Based Machine Monitoring called CNC Service

Enhanced Ethernet Based Machine Monitoring

Shop Floor Automations announces a new solution for Machine Monitoring utilizing MTConnect, FOCAS and other solutions called CNC Service (originally an article in CNC West).


Predator SoftwareLA MESA, Calif. – December 16, 2014 – Shop Floor Automations (SFA), the largest distributor and Service Center for Predator Software Inc., today announced the release of Predator’s popular Manufacturing Data Collection (MDC) software for Ethernet-based machine tools.

For many years, Predator has offered its fully automated, real-time MDC system for any size company to monitor and improve shop floor productivity using PLCs, macros, and paper-based solutions. This solution integrated well into equipment with stack lights and older machines to capture running, alarms, feed hold, and idle time, but left some users objecting to adding more equipment due to the costs of hardware requirements.

Today, most CNC machines include Ethernet ports and can be leveraged for data collection. CNC machines that use a Fanuc controller may have a feature called FOCAS, which allows for the capture of real-time data such as overrides, spindle speed, program number, feed/speed rates, alarms, and indicates control mode. Read more below.

Another new standard for collecting data through an Ethernet port is called MTConnect. Like FOCAS, MTConnect can collect real-time data from your machine. SFA is a member of the MTConnect Technical Advisory Board. We work closely with their partners and the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) to continue to create open communication standards that provide the capability to pass data from machine tools to high-level systems for further processing using the XML-based standard. MTConnect can be added to CNC machines at a reasonable cost now from numerous machine tool builders.

SFA has implemented several machine monitoring systems recently using a new product from Predator Software called CNC Service. This product is designed to run as Windows Service and connect to any number of machines via Ethernet using an IP address and port number. The service is configured to “poll” the equipment starting at every five seconds and provides machine status to the user via tablets, desktops, and digital signage on the shop floor.

All the collected data is recorded into one of three database platforms—Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL or Oracle—so decision-makers will have various reports and charts regarding production history at their fingertips. Analyzing production details provides a real understanding of the quality and efficiency of production resources, as areas of deficiency can be easily viewed, analyzed, and eventually improved. Production and quality details can be analyzed for a particular machine and can be broken down by day, week, month, quarter or year.

Predator CNC Service can be easily integrated to provide feed rate, spindle speed, MDI, mode (MDI, Auto, Handle), emergency stops, machine alarms, single block, tool number length and diameter offsets, and part counters. Other information such as downtime reasons, job, part, operation and users can be captured in the reading variables as well.

With the motto “You can only improve what you measure,” Predator’s CNC Service helps improve the manufacturing process by empowering decision-makers with the information they need to run production more efficiently.

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Tel: (619) 461-4000, fax: (619) 461-5918, toll free: (877) 611-5825.