Mazak Corporation is converting its Florence, Kentucky, manufacturing plant over to the MTConnect open communications protocol. The transformation will allow Mazak to monitor its manufacturing equipment and gather valuable data that will be used to further improve manufacturing operations. The company believes this is the first such installation in the machine tool OEM industry.
Mazak has been a leader in its embrace of MTConnect as a powerful tool for manufacturers to improve productivity, machine utilization and efficiency. Mazak offers all of its machines with MTConnect compatibility and reports that more than 100 Mazak customers are at various stages of MTConnect integration involving approximately 300 machines of various model types.
“MTConnect’s value to our customers is in the ability for them to establish extensive and open channels of communication for plug-and-play interconnectivity between devices. MTConnect allows software to be universally applied between different types of machine models so that information is readily available for improving machine tool utilization,” says Brian Papke, president of Mazak Corporation.
Mazak will initially monitor overall equipment efficiency. The company will also use MTConnect for several custom applications to monitoring machine tool spindle sensors for valuable maintenance data, as well as tracking part cycle times to benefit the company’s scheduling department. The company is also incorporating mobile apps to give Mazak managers and other key personnel access to live real-time data from equipment monitoring dashboards via mobile devices.
According to Neil Desrosiers, Mazak’s developer of digital solutions, the potential of MTConnect will be clear when data collected at the plant clearly results in improved machine utilization. This data will be available for review to those attending Mazak’s Discover 2013 event beginning October 8, 2013. By that time, most machines in the Kentucky factory will be able to be monitored via iPhones.