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MC2 Makes Great Connections

Last week’s MTConnect: Connecting Manufacturing Conference (MC2) brought together developers, supporters, current users and potential new ones to promote MTConnect, a communication standard for manufacturing. A new MTConnect website also went live during the event.

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I have been following MTConnect closely since it was introduced in 2008, so it was a great opportunity to attend MC2, the first conference dedicated to this communication standard for manufacturing. The conference took place last week in Cincinnati, Ohio. Here are a few of my observations from the conference:
 
1. The momentum behind MTConnect continues to grow. The user base is expanding, more developers are coming up with interesting and valuable applications enabled by MTConnect, the list of OEMs (machine tool builders and equipment suppliers) with MTConnect compliant product offerings is growing, and the standard itself is covering additional aspects of manufacturing and classes of shopfloor resources.
 
2. From a technical standpoint, newcomers still have a tendency to get hung up over MTConnect “agents” and “adapters” as a part of MTConnect implementation. Fact is, these elements are not difficult to understand or implement and the MTConnect Institute has an array of tools to resolve any hesitation.
 
3. Legacy machines (the ones already on the shop floor) will be much more “connectable” via MTConnect-enabled developments in the very near term. Connecting accessories, auxiliary equipment, and cutting tools is well within reach. Even connecting individual workpieces is on the near horizon.
 
4. MTConnect is attracting attention outside of manufacturing. The structure, development and implementation of this communication protocol may serve as a model in other industries (such as energy suppliers working to create a smart energy grid) for the integration they need to advance.
 
5. MTConnect is truly an enabler. It opens up all kinds of possibilities for interaction, interconnection, interoperatbility and integration on the shop floor at a convenience, economy and effectiveness that has shop and plant managers excited.
 

Finally, learning about and using MTConnect is now easier, thanks to a new MTConnect website that was introduced during the event. Check it out at www.MTConnect.org