Network software allows machine tools to be monitored from anywhere
The focus on Heidenhain’s stand at Southern Manufacturing 2019 will be the company’s Industry 4.0-compatible StateMonitor software. It runs on a PC, tablet or other mobile device and enables a user to capture, visualise and evaluate the status of connected machine tools and the current jobs being run.
Results can be displayed on any terminal over a network. It could be a CNC system in production that is monitoring and displaying centrally the status of several machines, or an interconnected PC in a manager’s or programmer’s office. Alternatively, a networked mobile device is able to display identical information. It frees the operator to leave the machine to source a new tool or attend a meeting, for example, and still know what the machine is doing in real time.
Forming part of Heidenhain’s Connected Machining package, which is compatible with all TNC controls including older CNC systems, StateMonitor makes extensive use of charts and graphs to assist visualisation of the status of the connected machines. The data can be configured to meet the user's requirements, facilitating its evaluation and so boosting efficiency and productivity, thereby increasing competitiveness.
Neil Prescott, Managing Director of Heidenhain (GB) in Burgess Hill commented, “At the Southern Manufacturing show we will have a TNC control on our stand linked to a number of networked terminals and displays to demonstrate the ease with which StateMonitor acquires and analyses information to reduce downtime during machining.
“The software is compatible with other makes of CNC system equipped with the MTConnect protocol interface, so is not limited to use on our own controls. That would go against our data-driven approach to manufacturing, for which exchangeability and interoperability are essential.”
Heidenhain offers a StateMonitor commissioning service to assist a manufacturer in installing and setting up the software, which is especially useful in factories where the network is complicated and a highly customised configuration involving multiple options is needed. The service is available irrespective of which controls are being used (subject to compatibility) and whether they were supplied by the OEM with the machine tool or purchased separately to upgrade an existing machine. Training is provided so that the user can undertake further modifications and additional machine connections on their own.
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