Modern Machine Shop

NOV 2018

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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DECIDING FACTORS MMS NOVEMBER 2018 26 Data-Driven Manufacturing GISBERT LEDVON | CONTRIBUTOR Buzzwords like the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Industry 4.0 and Big Data are floating around the industry, and some of that buzz is prob- ably very useful for the right application and for large production companies. But is this really what a job shop needs? Do shops want to stream all their shop data to the cloud right now, or is it more important to first first connect their existing equip- ment to monitor individual machine tools' uptime and optimize workflow? To address this situation, let's break it down into some small pieces that shop owners should consider. To begin, our first recommendation is to start on the shop floor because that is where the data should be collected and analyzed first. This is the place where the shop makes parts. It's where shop personnel see firsthand if they are making good parts and why the machines are running or not. In this environment, the machine tool's com- puter numerical control unit (CNC) plays a pivotal role, as it is the main interface with the operator Get Ready for Connected Machining The TNC family of machine controls are designed to serve as a data hub in the emerging digital manufacturing environment. Touchscreen panels speed data entry. and the main source of data about machine perfor- mance. In a very real sense, the CNC is naturally positioned to be the nerve center for data-driven manufacturing. That is why Heidenhain, for example, has prepared its TNC family of machine controls to serve as a data hub in the emerging digital-manufacturing environment. Keeping in mind that vital production data comes from the shop floor and that much of this data comes from the CNC, a shop should consider the following questions before deciding to connect machines for process monitoring. What Is the End Goal? Determine first what performance indicators you would like to measure and consequently what you are going to do with the data. Many shops look at overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), but some shops may find it more useful to look primarily at one component of the OEE formula. Focusing on availability (machine uptime) may lead to the greatest initial gains. Be sure that top-level man- agement concurs with this goal and is committed to supporting improvements based on data, not their gut feeling. Be sure your data includes the data generated by the machine along with direct operator input, such as reasons for downtime. Heidenhain's StateMonitor, a machine-moni- toring application for machines with a CNC, is designed to combine all machine data and oper- ator input into an understandable, actionable format. What Shop Equipment Can Be Networked? Most shops have many different types of machine tools. That also means different types of CNCs and often different generations of the same CNC brand. What each CNC is able to output about machine performance can be vastly different in kind, quality and quantity. The MTConnect pro- tocol, a set of royalty-free interoperability stan- dards for shopf loor equipment, can be helpful to

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