Making Data Transparent to Maximize Machine Performance

Making Data Transparent to Maximize Machine Performance

MAG will introduce a modular, scalable enterprise software that monitors manufacturing assets and delivers performance, utilization, and availability feedback from any industrial hardware on the plant floor.

MAG’s eWARE has five modules for logging, analyzing and reporting information, plus a control-resident eCONNECT interface for each machine. eCONNECT is a data-collection hub and access point for equipment on the plant floor, and it supplies information to the five software modules: eLOG, eSCOPE, eMONITOR, eENERGY and eCELL.
The process control of manufacturing technology is taking another step up — up to the “enterprise” level, and perhaps beyond that. The new Freedom eWARE software suite to be unveiled next month by MAG Industrial Automation is described as “the first software platform for monitoring global manufacturing assets, providing performance, utilization, and availability feedback from any industrial hardware on the plant floor.” It is compliant with MTConnect®the open-source, interoperability standard for controls, devices and software applications used in machining and manufacturing technology. And, MAG’s new software has been certified for use by U.S. Dept. of Defense agencies: it will be demonstrated for the first time next month at the Defense Manufacturing Conference, in Anaheim, Calif.

MAG develops machine tools in a wide range of styles and functions, for turning, milling, hobbing, grinding, and honing. It also develops automation and software products, along with products and services for various activities paralleling machining. It described eWARE as “modular and scalable” software for data acquisition, condition monitoring, energy monitoring, and cell control. It generates reports and data analysis for maintenance, process optimization, and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE.) It can be used with smart phones, pad PCs and similar mobile devices to display machine status, productivity data, and machinery analytics for various systems in a plant network.

MAG claims that eWARE is unique to the manufacturing technology market, calling it "target independent," meaning it will collect data from various types of capital equipment used in production without modification to ladder logic or part programming. It also will convert data into “actionable information.”

Current installations of eWARE include DoD facilities and contractors, where the results demonstrate transparency of manufacturing activity and system conditions, according to the developer. Operators have been able to implement performance and maintenance data quickly and effectively, and have achieved ROI in as little as one year, MAG reported.

eWARE consists of five modules for logging, analyzing and reporting information, plus a control-resident eCONNECT interface for each machine that uses a PC front-end control. For non-PC-based CNCs, PLCs, and manual machines, eCONNECT runs on a DIN-rail-mounted PC with discrete I/O connections to specific machine electrics. eCONNECT acts as a data-collection hub and access point for equipment on the plant floor, and it supplies information to the five software modules: eLOG, eSCOPE, eMONITOR, eENERGY and eCELL.

The first module, eLOG uses algorithms to categorize time into six span-time categories as defined by AMT and VDI Standards: plant shut-down, scheduled downtime, delay time, repair time, not-in-cycle process time and in-cycle time. It offers multiple reporting options, including: top 25 alerts, top 25 events, top 25 programs by duration or by count, a daily view of activity over a 24-hour period, a tapestry report for day-by-day or hour-to-hour comparisons, as well as full OEE metrics.

eLOG allows rapid visualization of inefficiencies and identification of root causes to support mistake-proofed processing, improved utilization, condition-based maintenance and reduced MRO inventories. Also, information can be formatted and filtered for specific departments, such as production, planning, or maintenance. The software can send text and email alerts, too.

eSCOPE is a maintenance-driven module and provides in-depth machine diagnostics and monitoring utilities to reduce the time needed for diagnosis and repair, particularly for complex problems. It permits visualization of machine data and allows setting user-configurable trigger points for diagnosing problems.

eMONITOR analyzes and displays data on machine and process health, such as vibration, temperature, pressure, spindle/axis current, etc., to establish a condition-based maintenance program. Capable of correlating multiple I/O conditions, eMONITOR makes it possible to detect small anomalies before components fail. It will detect process variation prior to production, and determine whether a component or process is in a nominal condition.

eENERGY allows managers to develop an ideal balance between energy consumption, cycle time, part programs, and tooling by helping them to understand energy consumption trends related to specific machines, programs, and tools. It can alert operators of peak usage thresholds for purposes of shift balancing, and it allows cycle optimization by energy consumption of each tool.

eCELLis cell control software for automated palletized manufacturing systems and parallel processing of parts. It makes it possible to manage cell resources and operations to improve production flows and support "lights out" operations.

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