Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dr. Dean Bartle's Coins "Machine Tool Analytics"

One of the real privileges that I have, as President and Chairman of the Board for the MTConnect Institute, is working with the thought leaders in manufacturing.  I always learn so much from these individuals that I sometimes feel I should turn on my voice recorder on my iPhone so I do not drop any bits from our conversations.  Many times I am taking notes so fast on the phone that I am afraid I will get carpal tunnel syndrome by the end of the conversation.

One of those industry thought leaders in manufacturing is Dr. Dean Bartles.  Dean is the VP and General Manager for Large Caliber Ammunition for General Dynamics - Ordinance and Tactical Systems (OTS).  Thanks to Dean, General Dynamics - OTS is an Institute Partner for MTConnect.  Dean is also an MTConnect Board Member.

Dean coined the term "Machine Tool Analytics".   Dean recently wrote an article for March 2011 Manufacturing Engineering's ViewPoints column, title "Machine Tool Analytics".

In this article, Dean brings out many great points regarding the challenges in manufacturing today and where manufacturing is going.   Dean brings out the point that all this data that is coming from machine tools will go to the cloud.   I could not agree more.   When I first came up with the idea/suggestion for MTConnect back in the fall of 2006, I was asked by Sun Microsystems management (where I was working at the time), "Dave, why are you so involved in machine tools and manufacturing, where is the play for Sun?"   My response was, "when all these machine tools start spitting out gigabytes of data, where do you think they will want to store and analyze the data?"   The key part of that sentence is store AND analyze the data.    Yes, you could throw some 2TB drives on a PC and store the data.  The problem is that you would not be using a PC or a PC server to analyze terrabytes of data.   It would also make no financial sense today to start buying racks of PCs to do the analysis of data.  You should be storing AND analyzing this data in the cloud.   Yes, it is true that most plants do not have internet access on the factory floor, but trust me, this is changing, very, very fast because of MTConnect, monitoring, diagnostics, full plant floor to data center integration and cloud computing.

Dean's article is a FANTASTIC MUST READ for anyone in manufacturing!