Production Machining

MAR 2018

Production Machining - Your access to the precision machining industrial buyer.

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machines, as well as sensors and human interface devices. Control technology, the brains behind machine tools, is always advancing, but around the turn of the millennium, there were significant changes in the way information contained in the control might be shared. With this evolu- tion, there will be challenges, both with legacy technology and with bending the brains of a hesitant workforce. If a shop is considering what digital manufacturing is, how they can get into it, and why they should get into it, several factors should be considered. Convince People One challenge in the data-gathering process is pushback from those who feel they are being scrutinized. In many shops, personnel may say they've never done digital manufacturing before and they're making money, so why change things? e answer lies in the advantages digital manufacturing can bring to a shop, whether that be with legacy machines or with the latest technology. If the data is there, why not take advantage of it? But it really depends on what a shop wants out of the system. Get Your Swing Down CNC data, sensors and advanced analytics can predict when machines need maintenance, thus reducing unplanned downtime that cuts into production time. Accessing data to improve field service sched- uling as well, ensures that the right technicians and tools are dispatched before potential issues become a major problem. If a shop can gain a significant production advantage from monitoring existing machine technology and facilitating best practices, the need for a machine purchase may be delayed for a while. And it makes sense to find ways to get the most from this existing equipment before moving on to something new when that change may not fix certain underlying issues. A golf analogy can be used to better illustrate the significance of under- standing everything involved in improving the process. A golfer should learn how to swing the clubs he has before running out to buy :: Human machine interface technology, such as this Simatic HMI, enables machine-level operator control and monitoring of plants, with a barcode scanner to read a value into an operator panel. :: Data can be collected anywhere in the shop and sent wirelessly to a smartphone, tablet or computer. TECH BRIEF productionmachining.com :: 29

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