Thursday, September 8, 2011

ITAMCO's Modern Machine Shop Big Gears Article

Mark Albert, Editor in Chief for Modern Machine Shop, wrote another great article (he always does) on ITAMCO called Gearing Up to Make Big Gears.

The article discusses ITAMCO's new precision grinding room which covers 33,000 square ft. and has two overhead cranes have been installed, one with a 40-ton capacity and another with 10 tons.  It is amazing that ITAMCO is now able to cut external gear grinding on workpieces as large as 160 inches in diameter and internal gear grinding on workpieces as large as 120 inches in diameter.

You have to check out the article and especially blow up the amazing photos that Mark took as well.

Below is from Mark's excellent article where he speaks with Joel Neidig of ITAMCO on how ITAMCO uses MTConnect -- which is very cool!  Joel is a real thought leader in manufacturing as well as with the MTConnect Technical Advisory Group.  I highlighted below how ITAMCO can monitor 30 different types of CNCs using MTConnect.

Remote Machine Monitoring in Hand

Click Image to Enlarge
MTConnect iPhone app
ITAMCO’s iPhone app for MTConnect makes remote machine monitoring handy.
Two of the newest machine tools at ITAMCO, the Niles grinders are the company’s first to use MTConnect as the communications protocol for remote monitoring. They will serve as prototypes for implementing a company-wide machine monitoring capability. Joel Neidig says plans call for all of the company’s CNCs to have MTConnect adapters that format internally generated data and codes to MTConnect specifications.
 This formatting enables an MTConnect “agent” on the shop’s network to retrieve data, organize it, and make it available to software applications such as the company’s homegrown shop-data collection system and job scheduler. Although 30 different types of CNCs are currently in use at ITAMCO’s two locations, MTConnect makes it possible for all of them to output data in a common “language.”
An early proponent and supporter of MTConnect, Mr. Neidig has been active as a member of the MTConnect Technical Advisory Group. He’s also taken the standard a step forward by creating several applications for networkable handheld devices, such as the iPhone and Android. “These apps can be used to dial up the network address of a machine tool’s CNC and access data available through the MTConnect adapter,” he explains. For example, one app enables him to scroll to various screens—such as the one from his iPhone shown here—to view machine status and performance data.
He can also use the iPhone to open the CNC’s live camera viewer to see what is happening inside the machine. “As long as I can access the global phone network with my iPhone, I can monitor our MTConnect-compliant machines from anywhere in the world, right in my hand,” he says.
Mr. Neidig will present his company’s experiences with MTConnect at the upcoming MC2conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, November 8-10, 2011 ( He plans to review his iPhone apps and explain how they provide highly mobile machine monitoring.

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