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Remote Honing Analytics with MTConnect-Compliant Machines

Sunnen offers what it says is the first honing equipment that’s compliant to the MTConnect communication protocol.

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Sunnen’s MTConnect-compliant machines offer communication capabilities to gather data to more effectively evaluate overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), future maintenance needs, process performance and other key metrics. 

MTConnect is the open-source, royalty-free communication protocol designed to make it easier for machine tools and other pieces of shopfloor equipment to talk to one another and to other computer programs that process shop data. Sunnen says it offers the industry’s first MTConnect-compliant smart honing machines capable of communicating process analytics to other devices. This was demonstrated at last year’s International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) via networked machines displaying process and performance data on monitors throughout the company’s booth on machine controls and wireless mobile devices.

Equipped with 5ME’s Freedom Gateway and Freedom Edge software, the machines can transparently report current state, cycle times, delay times, part counts, gaging data, events, and many other data points needed to evaluate overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), future maintenance needs and process performance.

The Freedom Gateway device is integrated with the machines’ controls and provides a secure gateway to an Ethernet network for local sharing of machine data and visualization of manufacturing metrics. It includes multiple Ethernet ports, VGA/HDMI ports, built-in Wi-Fi, digital and analog I/O and an expansion slot for Fieldbus cards.

“We can now provide customers a means to monitor honing machine utilization and process efficiency remotely,” says said Mike Nikrant, Sunnen software engineer. “Manufacturing visualization will be particularly important where honing is an integral step in sequential production of high-volume products, such as fuel injectors, hydraulic valves and cylinder liners. Users can monitor production count by part number, alarms, reasons for stoppages and so on. Each user on a network can configure a custom dashboard with drag-and-drop dashlets to create a single view based on job function such as maintenance, production and cell supervision.

“Apart from real-time monitoring, historical data can be analyzed to identify inefficiencies and root causes to facilitate mistake-proof processes, improved utilization, condition-based maintenance and reduced MRO inventories,” he says. “This system is also scalable for use with 5ME’s Freedom eLog enterprise software either locally or in the cloud.”

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