Video: Machine Shop of the Future
Siemens produced this attractive video to illustrate what it sees as a likely representation of the machining facility of the future.
Siemens produced this attractive video to illustrate what it sees as a likely representation of the machining facility of the future. High energy costs and low availability of skilled, working-age employees contribute to many of the developments this video portrays. Those developments include lightweight machine construction aimed at energy savings, automation aimed at the same goal, networked machine tools fully integrated into the IT architecture, self-diagnosing machines that are less reliant on operator knowledge, and sophisticated systems for collision avoidance.
A panel discussion at the recent Top Shops Conference focused on various points of view regarding the value of connecting machine tools to a network for monitoring performance and recording results. Because machine monitoring helps a shop make better decisions about manufacturing processes, it is a good example of data-driven manufacturing in action.
A database guru combined off-the-shelf technology with an elaborate proprietary shop management software to drive efficiency throughout all areas of a machine shop.
Introduced at IMTS 2008, this communications protocol for CNC machines and other manufacturing equipment is already helping shops and plants implement effective machine monitoring systems. Although these "early adopters" are motivated by the long-term promise of enterprise-wide efficiency gains, their experience with pilot projects shows that benefits derived in the short term are substantial and worthwhile.