"E-nabled" Machine Tools
On occasion, we here at OTW notice "things" that help define an online trend for our industry. These examples are often companies or products that come along and suggest the Web's potential for metalworking.
Well, nothing has caught our online attention more effectively than the potential of "Web-enabled Machine Tools." And activities at two companies suggest that progress in this area is far from comatose.
eMation (http://www.e-mation.com/) is a "new" company that espouses Device Relationship Management (DRM). More than just another acronym, the DRM applications are said to transform machine tool data—temperature, fluid levels, tool condition, spindle performance, part run schedule, or any machine condition—into "business intelligence." Simply put, this system defines progress toward applications that allow for more efficient monitoring, maintenance, repair and management.
e-manufacturing Networks, Inc. (http://www.e-manufacturing.com/) has been around for a while. It has been spreading the "Machine Is A Node On The Network" gospel for some time. But this Canada-based company has recently introduced a new line of after-market products that Internet-enable the machine tool through its control.
Now, we aren't saying these companies are preferable to others; many OEMs, distributors and suppliers are pursuing their own, noble Internet-enabling efforts. But the efforts of these and other developers suggest strong Internet technology advancements for our industry.
Job Shop Site Of The Month
Metro Mold & Design, Inc., is a full service, nearly 50-person mold shop just north of Minneapolis. Its Web site (http://www.metromold.com/) is organized into easily navigable sections, all describing the company's capabilities to support precision injection mold making. Included are sections on Design, Programming, High Speed Machining, EDM and more. Metro has also done a fine job with its "File Area" (for uploading or downloading files) and its "Request for Info" utility. (Check out the nifty selection scheme for getting more specific information).
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