Neil Desrosiers, applications engineer/developer for Mazak (Florence, Kentucky) recently presented a webinar entitled “MTConnect—Downstream Applications to Increase Productivity and Competitiveness.” I attended the webinar and found it to be a superb discussion of this important industry standard. MTConnect is an open-source, royalty-free manufacturing protocol that easily connects shopfloor devices and systems to capture and share information in a common format such as XML. A recording of the webinar is now available for viewing at any time.
Neil does a fine job of introducing MTConnect and clearly outlining how it functions as a plug-and-play networking platform for manufacturing applications. Although he focuses on how MTConnect can improve utilization of Mazak equipment and boost productivity, he explains how the standard can be implemented on machines from any builder. MTConnect is not a Mazak product or Mazak technology, but rather an industry-wide development that can benefit any equipment supplier or end user.
I found Neil’s discussion of dynamic scheduling to be particularly interesting. Dynamic scheduling is a concept by which machine tools use MTConnect-compliant systems to automatically communicate with a shop scheduling system to adjust job assignments on a continual basis. In other words, machines will decide for themselves what parts to machine based on their capabilities and current scheduling priorities.
The recorded webinar lasts about one hour and includes the question and answer session at the end.
Find the webinar here.
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