Modern Machine Shop

NOV 2017

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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Page 38 of 196

36 MMS November 2017 DECIDING FACTORS A Focus on Data-Driven Manufacturing plans. Let's step back for a minute to remember that platforms and applications are not difficult te r ms to u nd e r sta nd. Fo r exa m p l e, I h ave a workbench in my basement and one in my garage. Literally, these are the platforms on which I work on my hobby projects. By design, each of these platforms is best suited for certain kinds of tasks. The basement workbench is set up for small projects such as assembling model kits. The garage workbench is handy for bigger projects that involve two-by-fours or sheets of plywood. Likewise, the tools, storage compartments and lighting fixtures at each platform are appropriate for the par ticular project activities conducted there. These activities, such as gluing details on a miniature boxcar or mite r cut ting strips of m o l d i n g to d re s s u p a n ew c o u nte r to p, a re "applications" that work best given the configu- ration and facilities at each platform. By analogy, an IIoT platform is set up to take advantage of internet connectivity and provide applications for the kinds of tasks that network- ing e quipme nt make s pos sible. Manufacturing companies will need an IIoT platform designed for net- works of production systems and M O D E R ATO R M A R K A LB E RT, m a l b e r t @ m m s o n l i n e.c o m What Is an IIoT Platform? An IIoT platform is an essential enabler of digitalization in manufac- turing. MindSphere is a cloud-based IIoT platform from Siemens for machine tool data analytics. A n IIoT plat for m is a set of hardware and software facilities that assist and support applications for industrial companies using the internet to connect devices and equipment. This use of the internet is now commonly called the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Such platforms may provide an operating environment, computer processing capability, data storage structure and program building blocks for application d eve l o p e r s. G E's Pre d i x i s a n II oT p l at fo r m designed for a broad range of industries, includ- ing manufacturing. Siemens' MindSphere also covers manufacturing, including processes on CNC machine tools. There are many other IIoT platforms that are available or in development. Most are cloud-based, meaning they rely on remote computer resources shared by many users and accessed via the internet. As shops and plants connect machines and systems to internet-enabled networks, they will have to understand how these platforms can be key components of their IIoT implementation

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