Prime-Time For Metalworking On The Web Has Arrived
For about four years, our industry—from builders to associations, distributors to the shop floor—has pursued Web and Internet applications to varying degrees. And we’ve all rationalized these pursuits with our own individual, varying assumptions of “what it all means.”
For any of you reluctant to embrace this technology up until now, for whatever reason, then focus on this one point for inspiration: The Machine Tool As A Two-Way Communications Device.
To understand what this means to you, consider these recent developments:
- A Canadian company has developed open technology applications that turn any machine tool’s control into a full-blown Web server. TCP/IP (the protocols by which computers communicate with each other via the Internet) and this company’s open architecture and agile customization technologies allow any machine to communicate with any other computer allowed to do so. Further, this firm is approaching all major machine tool builders to incorporate their system into the manufacturers’ new machine tools. Think of this company for machine tools as you would Intel for computers.
- STEP is the new standard by which manufacturing information will be shared between unlike computer systems—like Web servers, for instance. For more on the STEP standard and what it means to your shop, see STEP NC—The End Of G-Codes? from Mark Albert (MMS, July, 2000).
- Nearly all CNC and shop control software developers serving our industry have announced Web-enabled features embedded in their products or programs. While proprietary at the product’s source, the result is the same: enabling the machine tool—and the shop floor itself—to communicate with anyone, anytime, anywhere. (For an extensive listing of shop control and other related technology providers, visit MMS Online's Software Zone.)
These technologies will hit your (and your competitors’) shop or business very soon. And all of this marvelous communications technology won’t mean squat without the means through which to communicate (that is, a Web strategy). In short, you won’t be able to effectively communicate with your partners or your customers without one.
An old saying deserves repeating here: To those who can’t hear the music, the dancers appear insane.
If you haven’t already, take out the earplugs and get out on the floor. Or, get out of the way.
The music has begun. — AJS
The "Show Of Shows" for metalworking and machine tools is less than two months away. If you think that's a while, you're mistaken. You're gonna need the industry's best coverage to keep up with the technology from IMTS 2000, and the IMTS 2000 e-Planner from MMS is the best place to start.
You'll find the products, the exhibitors, and the news from Chicago. And the Agenda Planner is up and running for you to plan your trip most efficiently.
From hexapods to hotels, from manufacturing to motoring around McCormick Place, check out MMS' IMTS 2000 e-Planner for the e-Latest and e-Greatest. — AJS
July Job Shop Site Of The Month
Micropulse of Columbia City, Indiana, (www.micropulseinc.com) offers thorough data on its capabilities and methods. There's a plethora of sections in this site to chose from, including an online "Display Case" that shows off their capabilities through results. They also provide ancillary information about their sattelite locations and surplus equipment. — AJS
Want your shop or plant considered for Job Shop Site of the Month? Send your site's URL to firstname.lastname@example.org with OTW Site Of The Month in the subject line. Please—job shops only.
July '00 MMS
July's Modern Machine Shop features:
CNC & CAM — The Internet plays a crucial role in MMS' Emphasis topic for July. In Mark Albert's "STEP NC—The End Of G-Codes?," check out how STEP allows us to share model data more efficently than ever.
July's Spotlight topic, Shopfloor Networks, is well-represented by Pete Zelinski's "Production Without Paper."
For more on CNC, CAM and Shop Floor technologies, visit the MMS Online Software Zone throughout the year.
Since Workholding is the subject of MMS' July Tech Digest, it's about time we reminded you of MMS Online's Workholding & Work Handling Zone.
Of special note is the introduction of a new feature on MMS Online. In our July Rapid Travese titled, "EDM Vs. Milling," you'll find the first MMS Online Interactive Toolbox. In this initial application, you can take an interactive quiz to determine which process—EDM or Milling—your job favors.
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Up Next Month: the August '00 MODERN MACHINE SHOP is our special IMTS 2000 issue.
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