Monday, July 23, 2012

MTConnect® Institute Releases MTConnect 1.2

For Immediate Release: July 20th, 2012


Dave Edstrom
MTConnect® Institute


MTConnect® Institute
Releases MTConnect 1.2

McLean, VA … Today, July 20th, 2012, the MTConnect® Institute formally announced the release of MTConnect® 1.2    This is the third release of the MTConnect standard and provides important and significant features, such as the new ground breaking Mobile Assets framework, as well as significant changes to support a vast assortment of sensors and time-series data.

Mobile Assets are those assets in the manufacturing process that can be associated with multiple devices during their lifecycle.  These Mobile Assets may be removed from a device without detriment to the function of the device, and cannot produce data themselves, so they rely on manufacturing devices or other systems to collect data about them.   Mobile Assets will enable the communication, management and modeling of assets.  The first type of Mobile Asset in the 1.2 release was for cutting tools.   The 1.2 release utilizes ISO 13399 as a vendor neutral and portable file exchange standard for geometric and descriptive data for cutting tools.    ISO 13399 can greatly simplify the exchange of data between CAD, CAM, CAE, PDM/EDM and other CaX systems.  In 1.2, MTConnect acts as a transport mechanism for ISO 13399 data.  In addition, 1.2 includes cutting tool data such as cutter status, tool life, location, program tool group, program tool number, recondition count, measurements and cutting items to name just a few examples.  MTConnect allows for additions to cutting tool data via extensions to the schema.

An MTConnect Working Group for Parts is using the 1.2 Mobile Assets framework to define an open and common mechanism to retrieve real time information on parts for a future release.  Going forward, numerous types of mobile assets are being considered as part of the Mobile Assets framework, such as material, people, programs, and pallets.  

Dave Edstrom, President and Chairman of the Board for the MTConnect Institute, said, “This is a huge step forward for manufacturing and MTConnect.   The 1.2 release is the culmination of many smart and dedicated individuals from around the globe in a variety of disciplines who came together to create the Mobile Assets framework, as well as enhance the sensors infrastructure.   The Mobile Assets framework will open the door to manufacturing productivity challenges that were previously thought impossible.”

Will Sobel, Chief Architect for MTConnect and CEO of System Insights, said, “The advances achieved in the 1.2 release lay the groundwork for the first truly comprehensive manufacturing process information model that will enable the next generation of shop floor integration and business intelligence applications. We can expect a new level of innovation and capabilities from manufacturing software vendors because of the ease of access to shop floor data MTConnect affords the industry.”

MTConnect is built upon the most prevalent standards in the manufacturing and software industry, maximizing the number of tools available for its implementation and providing the highest level of interoperability with other standards and tools in these industries.

MTConnect® Institute is an organization that develops and provides open standards intended to foster greater interoperability between manufacturing controls, devices and software applications by publishing data over networks using the Internet Protocol (IP). The standards offer a solution to the exchange of data from shop floor devices to higher-level systems. is the location for information on MTConnect the standard, educational articles, training and MTConnect enabled products. is the site for questions and answers on all things MTConnect.

SME "Managing Factory Data" Article by Patrick Waurzyniak

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has a nice articled title:  "Managing Factory Data" that discusses:

Effective data management tools and techniques leverage critical metrics from the shop floor.

The article is written by Patrick Waurzyniak who is the Senior Editor for Manufacturing Engineering and Patrick does a great job with the article.  You should read the entire article, but here are the paragraphs where Patrick quotes me directly:
"Real-time data collection and monitoring of machine tools for measuring OEE metrics is essential for successful lean manufacturing efforts and critical shop-floor processes, many observers note. Yet in spite of this need for critical data analysis, a large percentage of shops simply don’t have machine monitoring, notes David Edstrom, president and chairman of MTConnect Institute (McLean, VA). Edstrom, who recently gave a talk on shop-floor networking and communication and the MTConnect protocol at the DMG / Mori Seiki (Hoffman Estates, IL) Innovation Days, says that only about 4–5% of machine tools are monitored today. "Running a shop without remote Photo Courtesy Hexagon Metrology Inc.monitoring is like racing a Corvette in the 24 hours of LeMans without a dashboard," Edstrom says. "Do you know more about your car than you do about your shop?"
Among nearly two dozen key metrics to be derived from shop-floor management systems, Edstrom listed OEE at the top, with others including asset utilization, diagnostics, statistical process control (SPC), jobs/lot tracking, cell management, inspection probing, machine health prognostics, vibration monitoring, preventative maintenance, energy costs, anywhere-anytime access to plant-floor information, and data mining.
Today’s manufacturing customers are looking for a truly plug-and-play solution, Edstrom notes, which is what has been proposed with version 1.2 of MTConnect, a free, open-source protocol based on Internet standards including Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Extensible Markup Language (XML). "Think of MTConnect as the Bluetooth for manufacturing," Edstrom explains. "Essentially, it makes machine tools look like a Web site."