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. 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.
MTConnect agents and their corresponding device adapters are simply small computer programs that work together so that MTConnect can make shop equipment and networks more readily connectible. In a nutshell, adapters enable existing shopfloor devices “to speak MTConnect,” and agents enable MTConnect messages and data files to be transmitted across a network to MTConnect-compatible applications.
While OPC UA and MTConnect are both http-based protocols, there are differences between them, and each is best used in differing scenarios.
An MTConnect-enabled monitoring system gives this shop a clear and simple picture of machine tool usage.