Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Great MTConnect Article by Leslie Langnau - Tips on Working with the MTConnect Industrial Network

Leslie Langnau, Managing Editor for Design World, wrote a great article on MTConnect titled - Tips on Working with the MTConnect Industrial Network.

This is one of the best articles that I have seen written on MTConnect.

Leslie presents the beginning accurately.

"At the 2006 annual meeting of The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), presentations from David Edstrom of Sun Microsystems and Dr. David Patterson, Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley described the need for an open communication standard that would allow manufacturing equipment to connect to the Internet and use it as a means of data exchange. The question asked was, how could manufacturing replicate the IT model of interconnectability? By 2008, joint efforts among academia and industry machine developers resulted in the MTConnect protocol, an open, royalty-free communication standard that uses Internet communications technology to link machines and systems together. The protocol is based on HTTP and XML."
 Leslie does a very thorough and professional job laying out the different ways to communicate to manufacturing equipment, the types of data that can be captured, specifics on the protocol itself, as well as providing very well thought instructions on how to proceed.  Below is a snippet on how to proceed.
"Once you’ve established what MTConnect connection equipment or software you need, the next steps are:
  1. Clearly define your problem. Are you looking to improve production capacity? Is there an issue with excessive or unpredictable downtime? If you could see information more clearly, how would that benefit your bottom line?
  2. Determine how you will measure success. Will a successful MTConnect implementation be evaluated by improvements in production capacity; by what percentage, for example? What measurements and parameters will be used to evaluate the benefit of using this protocol?
  3. Determine the equipment that will need to be connected. What controls, sensors, measurement devices, and so on will need to be involved? It is important to know the details of all controllers involved.
  4. Define the limitations or constraints you may encounter, such as budget, accessibility, security issues, must-have functions, legacy network systems, and so on?
  5. Determine who will be in charge of the implementation process. Also assess which departments will benefit from more and better data. Who or what could restrain or even derail the project?
  6. Define the resources you will need to implement the project. What equipment will be sending data, what software will be needed, and what legacy network systems will you be working with?"

Go check out this extremely well written article by Leslie Langnau - Tips on Working with the MTConnect Industrial Network!