Answers to Common MTConnect Questions
How much does MTConnect cost to get implemented on my shop floor?
Below is some free MTConnect information.
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What does MTConnect Cost?
Customers commonly ask how much is MTConnect to put in their shops. The average cost is around $1000, plus installation time.
Okuma provides their adapters for free, while Mazak and Mitsubishi have specific adapters that they charge extra for.
The best suggestion to get an accurate quote would be to contact the machine tool builder first. The control company would be your second resort, then a third-party integrator, such as SFA, is a great contact for Siemens and more machine types.
For example, SFA provides MTConnect hardware adapters. We have hardware that starts at $800 and can guide you through the process of installing it. We also provide onsite services to help install the devices.
Beyond the Numbers
“Among machine tool users, misconceptions about this data communications standard are clouding the answer to that question,” Mark Albert, Editor of Modern Machine Shop writes. “Some shops have the false impression that all MTConnect-related products will be free as Internet downloads.
“What causes a little confusion is the standard’s royalty-free status,” Mark continues. “This simply means that developers can use it without paying anyone to do so. No license fees are involved. In fact, the standard’s source code and other useful support material can be freely downloaded at the [MTConnect] web site.”
“No restrictions or obligations are imposed on developers or users who choose to implement it. So, if you develop an application or solution that uses MTConnect and decide to sell that as a product for profit, that’s perfectly fine,” Mark explains. “That’s why some MTConnect-enabled applications, such as highly functional machine monitoring systems, are likely to require a licensing fee.”
One shop explains that more than the price tag of implementing MTConnect are the benefits it brings to the shop floor. Modern Machine Shop profiled GE Aviation about their experience bringing MTConnect into their shop.
“MTConnect will make it possible for most of our CNC machines to feed performance data into a process monitoring system,” says Ray Peterson, the senior technologist in the software engineering group from the initial project implementation. “MTConnect makes this connection at the machine tool level rather simple and low cost. The challenge will be handling all the usable data and supporting the users of the data.”
“Just getting the types of alarms and the time stamps as they were occurring into a spreadsheet helped us see why certain machines weren’t doing as well as they should. More importantly, we could start quantifying the effects of what was happening,” Jim Dolle at GE says. “When a cell leader can point to a sticking tool changer on a machine and put a price tag on the lost cycle time, it really gets attention.”
What is MTConnect?
MTConnect is a standard for formatting and transmitting data produced by manufacturing equipment so that it can be processed by software applications. Common uses for this technology are real-time machine monitoring, and historical reporting using charts, graphs, and other visual representations of a shop’s performance. The protocol enables more attainable and less cost-prohibitive manufacturing productivity.
What makes Shop Floor Automations (SFA) qualified to answer MTConnect questions?
SFA is an MTConnect Institute Roster Member and we have been providing free insight on the protocol for quite a few years now. Our MTConnect compatible best-sellers are DataXchange and Predator MDC.