MoldMaking Technology

JUL 2018

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Pg. 5 Machining 94 MoldMaking Technology —— JULY 2018 Pages 73 to 94 MTConnect enables today's manufacturers to collect data from digitally connected manufacturing equipment for process optimization. Intelligent Monitoring with MTConnect By Neil Desrosiers In the past, responding to alerts, watching dashboards and manually analyzing data sets were the standard way to monitor machines in the manufacturing industry. But today's hyper-dynamic, highly dis- tributed application environments have become too complicated to keep pace with the increasing amounts of vital data. The sheer volume of information is simply more than shops can manage using traditional tools. Manufacturers who want to stay competitive need not only to embrace digital connectivity, but also the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) to truly understand their data and use it effectively. A standard digital connectivity platform that some of the world's leading manufacturers use is MTConnect, which enables users to collect data in structured XML rather than in proprietary formats to open up a world of new indus- try applications. Analysis that used to take experts hours or days to harvest can now be realized in seconds. While MTConnect can significantly help boost manufacturing efficiency and productivity, issues can arise (as is the case with any computer-based system). Fortunately, these issues are generally easy to recognize and resolve. Here are seven of the most common issues with imple- menting the MTConnect standard: 1. Mismatch between the adapter and the machine. Each machine requires a specific adapter. Even different models of the same machine require specific adapters that may be different from one another, so be sure to provide the machine tool's original equipment manufacturer with your machine model and software version when acquiring an adapter to ensure you receive the correct one. 2. A missing agent. If a machine does not have an agent, a manufacturer will need to run a PC-to-host stand-alone agent on the network to communicate with the control via a transmission control protocol (TCP). 3. Wrong error log setting. When installing MTConnect agent or adapter software, it is important to set the error- logging level in the configuration file to "information only" or "fatal" rather than "debug." The debug setting is used to test the agent and adapter and continually provides compre- hensive operating information during installation. 4. Firewall interference. The firewall feature of Windows may disrupt communication between the machine and soft- ware. Manufacturers can resolve this issue by configuring specific firewall exceptions for the 7878 and 5000 ports used in MTConnect. 5. Duplicate port configuration. By default, MTConnect software communicates with the agent through Port 5000. However, when multiple stand-alone agents are located on a server, every agent has to be configured with a unique port number so that the software will correctly gather data from each agent and machine. 6. Inconsistent file names. The names of device files must match those in the configuration file. 7. Incorrect adapter IP addresses. Incorrect or out-of- order numbers in the IP address that a manufacturer's appli- cation uses to communicate with the adapter will produce errors. If the address is correct but is for the wrong adapter, machine data will be transmitted for a machine but not for the one that the manufacturer intended. CONTRIBUTOR Neil Desrosiers is an application engineer, developer and MTConnect specialist for Mazak Corp. Image courtesy of Mazak Corp. FOR MORE INFORMATION Mazak Corp. / 859-342-1700 /

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