Sunday, November 29, 2015

Gaphical and Text History of MTConnect

                                 The History of MTConnect®

                                                                 April 13, 2011

As President and Chairman of the Board for the MTConnect® Institute, I get asked all the time: "How did MTConnect come about?" It is a story that I love telling and it clearly demonstrates why AMT is such an exceptional association.
In March 2006, AMT asked me to come up with a speaker from Sun Microsystems who also had knowledge of manufacturing to speak at AMT's Annual Meeting in Lake Las Vegas. I went through three such speakers over a six-month period as each one either left Sun on their own or had their position eliminated. After the third speaker left the company, I was out of candidates. I felt embarrassed for both Sun and myself that I let AMT down. When I apologized to John Byrd, AMT's President at that time, for not being able to deliver a Sun speaker, John suggested that I do the keynote. I was more than happy to do this, but I knew little about machine tools. John came up with a great suggestion: I could spend two days at IMTS 2006 with AMT's CTO and VP of Technology, Paul Warndorf, in preparation for the keynote. It was a brilliant idea and I jumped at it. Paul took me around to countless exhibitors to learn about the different technologies and ask questions about them.
After we finished the two days, I met with John and Paul where I made two observations and two suggestions.

My observations:
  1. Manufacturing does not have a manufacturing problem. Manufacturing has a computer science problem. The manufacturing industry was like the computer industry back in the mid-1980s. There were too many network protocols and the fight was to own the winning protocol. Back then it was very expensive and you had to place a bet on which network protocol was going to win. It could easily be an additional $700 to enable your PC to be networked in the enterprise. TCP/IP and ethernet eventually won the network battle. When this happened the number of computers networked grew by multitudes, as did the software that would take advantage of the ubiquitous networking. It was the classic story of a rising tide lifting all ships.
  2. Until you have an open and royalty-free way for these machine tools to speak to the rest of the world, nothing else really matters and manufacturing will just continue to struggle. The technologies are already out there today with XML, http and TCP/IP. There was no need to reinvent the wheel. A usable solution could be built on the de facto internet platform that already existed. Additionally, it was important to avoid the "country club approach" that had failed in the past in manufacturing and other industries — the kind where you charge for the protocol and you charge for each deployment.

The suggestions:
  1. You need an economic wake-up call on why it is important to have an open and royalty-free way for these machine tools to speak to the rest of the world.
  2. You need someone who has led a revolution or two, since this is what we are really talking about. They asked me who I suggested. I said the only person I would recommend would be Dr. David Patterson of the University of California at Berkeley (UCB). Dave Patterson is a computer pioneer and a true legend in the computer industry. Dave is one of the most recognizable names in computer science. I knew Dave because he was the advisor at UCB to Bill Joy. Bill was a co-founder at Sun and has been called "the Edison of the internet" by Fortune Magazine. Bill is a legendary programmer and system visionary. I also knew Dave from working with him when I was chairman of a futures conference in 2000.

John Byrd asked if I would reach out to Dave Patterson. Luckily, Dave agreed to work on the project provided I come out and brief him and that we work together on both presentations. I was thrilled to work with someone of Dave Patterson's stature. It was like being a high school basketball player and having Michael Jordan say he wants to work closely with you.
Dave and I worked very hard together to create two hour-long keynote speeches. Dave joked that if he knew how much time he was going to put into it, he might not have said yes to me. But our presentations were a huge success. Rick Kline of Gardner Communications came up to me afterwards and said that our presentations were two of the best that he had ever seen in manufacturing. It was great to see that we'd had such an impact.

Doug Woods was AMT's Chairman of the Board, leading AMT along with John Byrd. John and Doug suggested that AMT seriously consider our proposal for a common way for machine tools to speak using proven internet protocols. I told my wife that night that I felt great about what Dave Patterson and I had accomplished, but I was not convinced a manufacturing association had the courage to execute this plan to revolutionize manufacturing.
John and Doug proved me wrong. In November, just one month after the AMT Annual Meeting, a small group of us went to meet with Dave Patterson at UCB. Dave brought in Dr. Armando Fox from the Computer Science Department to help lead this effort, since Dave simply did not have the time. Paul Warndorf, AMT VP of Technology, brought in Dr. Dave Dornfeld of UCB's Mechanical Engineering Department to join the MTConnect team. Armando later brought in Will Sobel, who was an Assistant Professor at UCB. It was Will who did the real heavy lifting with MTConnect. It was Will who put countless hours leading the efforts to create the actual spec and writing the adapters, agents, demos and so many things for MTConnect. Will continues to do a lot of the heavy lifting today, but his time is also spent running his new company, System Insights. MTConnect would have never happened without Paul Warndorf's expertise, passion and guidance. Paul has been MTConnect's shepherd, conductor and guiding light.
I am very proud of the work I did with Dave Patterson to lay out the roadmap for MTConnect. That was the seed and I am extremely proud to have planted that very important seed. It was AMT that funded MTConnect. We used the working groups made up of industry experts, which was the exact same approach that Sun used to create Java. It worked for Java and it is working for MTConnect. We pulled together a diverse group of very smart people like Paul Warndorf, John Byrd, Doug Woods, Dr. Dave Dornfeld, Will Sobel, and Dr. Armando Fox and many others to create MTConnect working groups.
John Byrd has said that, "MTConnect will be more important in the 21st century for manufacturing than CNC was for manufacturing in the 20th century."  I could not agree more. MTConnect continues to grow at an incredible pace and I know John Byrd will be proven 100% correct.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Delivery of My New 2016 Corvette Stingray With Slim at the National Corvette Museum

My father (Slim - nickname I gave him in 1978) and I flew out early on Veterans Day 2015 to pick up my new 2016 long beach metallic red Corvette Stingray at the National Corvette Musuem (NCM). It was the perfect day and half.  We did this back in February 2011 when we picked up my 2011 Corvette Grand Sport and took the museum delivery when I called the blog post - Three Perfect Days With Slim.

Thanks to Bill, President of the Old Dominion Corvette Club, for sending me this photo the day I was taking delivery.

Above is me and Slim in front of my Stingray holding my NCM sign.

What was absolutely amazing was running into long time friend and former Sun Microsystems employee - Steve B.  Steve was there with his brother-in-law and just happened to be at the NCM when my father and I were there.  Steve and I were at Corvettes At Carlisle together this past August where both of us were looking at purchasing a new Stingray.

Above is the front side view and below is the rear view of the Stingray where you can see that the NCM can easily deliver nine new Corvettes on a given day.

We got a great tour of the Corvette Assembly Plant by Larry of the NCM staff.  What was SUPER COOL was the 20 assembly plant employees who stopped what they were doing to run over and thank my father, Lt. Col. John K. Edstrom, for his service to his country. He was very thankful and it showed the absolute class of these employees. My father did two tours of duty in Vietnam and is the USAF record holder for CLL (39 years).

One of the very cool things they did for my father is they pulled him off the tour (we had a private tour) and he "birthed" or started for the first time a $105,000 Corvette Z06.  As Slim pointed out, "how many veterans get to birth a Z06 ON Veterans Day?"

One of the things we wanted to find was our 2011 brick when I purchased my Grand Sport.

Above is Larry showing me the many different features of the 2016 Stingray. Bill also sent me this photo.

Above is the new brick at the NCM for my 2016 Stingray trip with my father.

What Slim and I wanted to see before we left was the Sinkhole Exhibit.  Above are three photos of the Corvettes that could not be restored and below is the glass covering of the 56' hole where the sinkhole bottomed out.

Below is my father driving out of the NCM in my new Corvette Stingray.

We met Wendell Strode, also a former Vietnam Veteran and the person who runs the NCM, when my father rode out of the NCM in the Stingray.

Below is my father and I leaving the NCM.  We drove 400 miles that night and stopped at about 1am and were on the road again by 6:20am the next day. I followed the NCM's advice by keeping the tach between 2 and 3 grand and changing the speed as well as keeping the Stingray out of economy mode as well as keeping rev matching off.

Above the Stingray is safely home next to my 2011 Grand Sport :-)

 Above is me on November 11th, 2016 pointing out my and my father's Grand Sport brick when I was with John Meyer for his delivery of his 2017 Grand Sport.

Above is me on November 11th, 2016 pointing out my and my father's Stingray brick when I was with John Meyer for his delivery of his 2017 Grand Sport.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Congrats to Bryce Harper - National League MVP

I was not a huge fan of Bryce Harper until last year's playoffs when Bryce hit one into McCovey Cove and then one into the upper deck at Nats stadium.  All the other Nationals faded last year and Bryce stepped up and continued to be the only Nat stepping up this entire season.  At 22, he is in very rare air...

As USA Today stated this past Thursday"

"Why Harper won: “Baseball’s chosen one,’’ as Sports Illustrated dubbed Harper when he was 16, has lived up to the billing six years later. Finally healthy and armed with a smarter approach at the plate, Harper was the league’s most potent offensive force. He finished second in batting average (.330) and walks (124), tied for the lead in home runs (42) and had the majors’ highest on-base-plus slugging percentage (1.109), all the while driving in 99 runs.

Harper, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft and a three-time All-Star before turning 23 in October, showed remarkable maturation as a player in setting career highs in virtually every offensive category. The walks were twice as many as he’d ever drawn, and the home runs represented an improvement of 20 over his previous high mark of 22, set in his rookie of the year season in 2012."

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Fabricator's "Why Machine Monitoring Matters" by Tim Heston

I had the privilege of speaking with Tim Heston of The Fabricator in his excellent article titled: "Why Machine Monitoring Matters".

Mr. Heston describes the importance of machine monitoring, discusses the beginnings of MTConnect and brings out numerous examples to help the reader appreciate why the time is now with machine monitoring with MTConnect in the world of fabrication makes absolute sense.

Mr. Heston writes:

"When Dave Edstrom speaks at manufacturing events, he likes to challenge his audience. He asks if anyone’s company is practicing lean manufacturing or other improvement techniques. A lot of hands go up. Next he asks how many are monitoring the uptime and performance of their equipment with overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) metrics.

“I then ask, ‘If you are doing either lean or OEE, please raise your right hand and keep it up.’ Then I say the following, ‘Please also raise your left hand if you are monitoring your shop floor. By shop floor monitoring, I do not mean simply counting good and bad parts, nor do I mean simply knowing what color is on the stack light. By shop floor monitoring, I mean the ability to know anywhere and anytime exactly what a given piece of equipment is doing in your plant or shop.’”

Not many raise their hand. He then makes a bold statement. “Unless you have both hands in the air, you might think you are doing lean or OEE, but you are not.”

Edstrom told this story in his book MTConnect: To Measure Is to Know. His point is simple, and it’s nothing new to manufacturing: If you don’t measure something, how can you improve it?"

Mr. Heston brings up numerous examples with monitoring and metal fabrication that are well worth reading and understanding. It is an extremely well written article that I would strongly encourage anyone in fabrication to read!

In the article, Mr. Heston discusses parts of my book, MTConnect: To Measure Is to Know.

"Standardization and Market Dynamics

In his book, MTConnect: To Measure Is to Know, Dave Edstrom recounts the story of William Sellers, a tool builder who back in the 1860s came up with a uniform system of screw threads. Sellers’ screw threads could be easily measured (the 60-degree threads are one-third of an equilateral triangle). The struggle wasn’t over the technical merits of the screw’s design, but whether there should be a standard at all.

Ultimately, a few large machine shops recognized the merits of Sellers’ design, and its popularity ultimately pushed industry to adopt one uniform standard.

As Edstrom wrote, “While the idea of standards was very controversial, it proved to be brilliant, because something as simple as a standard screw created many, many industries.”

As Edstrom said in an interview, “Customers [of machine tool vendors] ultimately will drive this. “They’ll say, ‘I need to know what’s happening on the shop floor, and I don’t want to spend a lot of money per device to get information off the machines in a standard format.’”

Edstrom added that an open standard like MTConnect introduces a kind of Bluetooth functionality to the machine tool world. If you don’t like your Bluetooth-enabled phone headset, you can just buy another one. Similarly, if a shop isn’t happy with its machine monitoring system, it’s free to switch to another MTConnect-enabled monitoring software."