Original article posted online by Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (Winter, 2009).
Integrated machine monitoring and adaptive control with OEE+DNC has been demonstrated using a robot to aid loading a CNC machine, offering automation for manufacturing flexibility and productivity that can increase profitability.
A showcase hosted by the Canadian Tooling & Machining Association at the New Age Robotics site, demonstrated an ABB robot loading and unloading various materials integrated with a CNC machine to manufacture several discrete parts. The two machines were controlled by one Memex Ax9150 Universal Machine Interface (UMI) board. The Memex ProductionACE OEE+DNC (Overall Equipment Effectiveness + Digital Numerical Control) server software was connected to the UMI board, which in turn was connected to the robot and the CNC machine. OEE software monitored the machines in real-time and determined production status linked to the scheduled work orders. When the CNC machine was ready, the command was given to the robot to begin the load sequence for the material defined in the work order. The CNC machine was then given the specific DNC part program to be loaded, also referenced in the work order, and the command to begin machining. The mixed production material was loaded by the robot and the different parts were dynamically machined by the CNC. It was a masterful demonstration of flexible manufacturing, with all the benefits of an expensive FMS system done on a budget.
Manufacturing today demands both the adoption of new practices and new technology. “In order to improve productivity, including unmanned production shifts, machines on the shop floor need to be analyzed continuously and adapted to real-time conditions. If you can measure it, then you can manage it. This plug-and-play technology reduces the cost of integration.” said Memex President & CEO Dave McPhail. The Ax9150 UMI offers CNC machines real-time OEE machine monitoring and DNC control. As a co-processor installed next to the CNC control, the Ax9150 UMI provides local memory, on-board DNC and embedded OEE, and effectively “listens” to the heartbeat of the machines, reporting and logging what is happening inside. Because it has both data inputs and outputs, the Ax9150 UMI can pre-process machine instructions (G-Code) and then post-process real-time machining data in order to adapt to changing conditions at the machine. In short, Memex has succeeded in implementing adaptive control on existing CNC machines – a low cost upgrade that offers significant productivity improvements.
The Canadian Tooling & Machining Association hosted a tour of Rice Tool & Manufacturing which is a highly regarded manufacturing facility with specialties in high volume, quality production machining and assembly; manufacturing of special and custom tooling and dedicated equipment; design and development of prototypes; short run precision-machined components. Over the past 35 years, Rice Tool has developed a number of strategic partnerships with Tier 1 manufacturers allowing them to become an integral part of their supply chain. Rice Tool uses machines that are unique in Canada as well as 8-axis special production machines with unique differentiator as being an early adopter of manufacturing processes for higher efficiency. Memex will demonstrate their Ax9150 UMI controls that have been installed on Rice Tools’ machines, performing integrated OEE+DNC.
Following the tour and dinner, the CEO of Memex Automation Inc., gave a talk on “MACHINE MONITORING FOR PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT”
Automate your automation using Ethernet connectivity to “InterNetwork” all your machines on the factory floor. Using a Universal Machine Interface, computerized networking for machine monitoring and control can provide manufacturers with relevant OEE metrics and production information in real-time, boosting efficiency by up to 20 percent with minimal capital investment and thereby enabling lean manufacturing techniques.
A Platform for Manufacturing Plant Wide Productivity:
Connect any Machine to Monitor & Control with OEE + DNC
Memex Automation introduces CNC connectivity with Machine Monitoring & Control OEE+DNC which will deliver productivity enhancements and can reduce operating costs and increase profit.
Ax9150 UMI is the first product to utilize this revolutionary way part programs are managed on your factory floor.
Easy installation on any control with configuration utility and our proven, patent-pending, Dynamic Computer Aided Machining (DCAM) is incorporated in the Ax9150 UMI.
Software for OEE+DNC can be in the package.
Old machines can now perform at today’s standards with features like: Local CNC Memory; SD + Flash Memory; support for all makes + models of machines; powered by machine (12-24V), magnetic mount; 8 – 24 Inputs + 4 Digital Outputs.
Integrated OEE+DNC for Virtual Manufacturing, Connects to any ERP business system, with extensive reporting, including web based viewing and alerts to your email, PDA or Phone.
Onboard DNC & extensive firmware, Embedded OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), Ethernet connectivity, OPC capable connections all for Machine Monitoring & Adaptive Control.
If you can Measure it — then you can Manage it
The next evolution in manufacturing connectivity was unveiled by Memex Automation Inc. and MatrikonOPC™, the world’s largest OPC connectivity provider, at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) held this week in Chicago. Utilizing MatrikonOPC’s standards-based connectivity, Memex is now able to connect virtually all CNC machine tools leveraging our Dynamic Computer Aided Machining (DCAM) model. Our goal is to provide a universal machine interface that makes every machine a node on the corporate network.
Production Managers can now monitor the status of every machine in their plant, giving real time visibility of production. The benefits of machine monitoring and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) numbers lead directly to increased productivity. Our customers have seen up to 20% increase in shop floor efficiency, delivering more value than the cost of a new machine. Large multi-national manufacturers and leading aerospace companies have started adopting this technology. It’s like a low cost retrofit – we now can start Automating the Automation.
MEMEX, with its visionary attitude, has been on the leading-edge of the convergence of the industry trends in Computing Power, Connectivity of Machines, Industry Standards, Advanced Software Technology, and Manufacturing Domain Expertise. MEMEX is the developer of MERLIN, an award winning IIoT technology platform that delivers tangible increases in manufacturing productivity in real-time.
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