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What is MTConnect? | MachineMetrics

Graham Immerman
May 23, 2017

We get a lot of questions about MTConnect: what it is, how it works, and why it's important. That's why today's blog focuses on the emergence of MTConnect and its impact on the emergence of data-driven manufacturing.

Like most businesses, shop floors are constantly trying increase productivity, profitability, and efficiency. With the arrival of Industry 4.0, these businesses are now turning to software and data to improve their efficiency.

However, the modern manufacturing shop floor contains many different types of machining equipment, each supporting different proprietary interfaces and communication protocols. This diversity has made it extremely challenging for manufacturers to monitor and maintain their machines.

Fortunately, the emergence of MTConnect has made it possible for a machine monitoring system to consistently and accurately collect data from any MTConnect compatible machine.

Some describe MTConnect as “Bluetooth for Manufacturing" in that it allows the open flow of data between two devices that “speak" the same language. Previously, manufacturing equipment, devices and software applications had no easy way to "talk" to each other. The reason: they had no common language.

MTConnect takes this countless number of manufacturing equipment, devices, and software, and provides a common language for these systems to communicate. This common language makes it possible to monitor things like the amount of time a machine is in cycle, the delays (downtime) it experiences, and any number of things that can be measured and monitored with data.

Also like Bluetooth, MTConnect often comes preinstalled on many of today's modern equipment (e.g. Okuma, Mazak, DMG Mori) as the new standard in manufacturing device communication.

Thanks to MTConnect, manufacturers can easily connect and begin assessing important business data and metrics through MTConnect compliant software such as MachineMetrics.

Below are some of the most frequent questions we get from customers about MTConnect:

Q: How do I find out if my machine is producing MTConnect data?

  1. Wire Ethernet from your network to the machine and set a static IP.
  2. From a desktop, ping the IP address of the machine to confirm that it's connected.
  3. In a browser, go to port 7878 on that machine (Example: 192.168.10.11:7878)
  4. If no data appears, call machine builder or dealer--you may need a control software upgrade.

Q: What if my machine is not MTConnect Compliant?

  1. Fear not, MachineMetrics is here to help you install the necessary adaptors and other acquisition devices necessary to help our software work. We've also developed our own MTConnect adapters for certain machine types that do not support MTConnect
  2. There are many other MTConnect add-on modules available online. A good place to start is on the MTConnect website member directory.

Q: I'm already gathering data using other standards. Can I use MTConnect applications with it?

  1. You can, but MachineMetrics supports all existing data standards. There's no need to switch to MTConnect if you don't want to.
  2. If you do want to switch, many existing standards have adapters already written for them. You can find them on the MTConnect Github.

Where can I find more information about MTConnect?

  1. MTConnect Wikipedia Page.
  2. MTConnect Institute
  3. Modern Machine Shop article
  4. Control Design Article

Ready to start monitoring your machines? Click here and book a demo now!

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