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MTConnect–Think of it as Social Networking for Machine Tools

At IMTS, attendees will be connecting with emerging technology such as MTConnect. (Photo courtesy of AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology.) We know how teenagers can use Facebook to keep track of who's got the biggest party planned for the weekend.

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At IMTS, attendees will be connecting with emerging technology such as MTConnect. (Photo courtesy of AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology.)

We know how teenagers can use Facebook to keep track of who's got the biggest party planned for the weekend. In a similar fashion, MTConnect-enabled machines and shop networks can let managers know which machines are the most productive, which ones are experiencing the most downtime, which cutting tools are performing best and so on.

MTConnect is a communications protocol standard for passing data between devices, equipment and higher applications. Just as Twitter is one way to share a brief but important idea with a network of friends, MTConnect lets machine tools share critical data so that other devices and shop personnel can respond appropriately. The data being shared could include internal event signals, alarm messages, part counts, inspection results and similar “vitals” about the machine and its performance.

MTConnect was introduced to the industry two years ago at IMTS 2008. At IMTS 2010, MTConnect will be making an even bigger splash, it seems. It will be featured as one of the Next Big Things at the IMTS 2010 Emerging Technology Center (ETC), where a live demonstration will showcase the ability of applications to collect data from machines and devices to help shop personnel make better decisions. Today, social networking helps people stay connected with an unprecedented ease and immediacy. MTConnect helps machines integrate into communications networks and production monitoring systems with the same potential for interactive connectivity.

For a background article about MTConnect from MMS, click here.

To subscribe to the MTConnect newsletter, click here.

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