MEMEX Inc. in Canadian Metalworking Magazine

January 7, 2016   Articles

Machine Tool Controls

Reducing cycle times and increasing productivity.

January 4, 2016

by Nate Hendley

A series of new or newly updated machine tool controls promise to make machining more productive and easier for operators in firms large and small.

“Shops of all sizes are continuously looking for ways to monitor their shops more effectively…because, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” notes Mike Cope, senior product technical specialist at Hurco Companies, Inc., of Indianapolis, Indiana.

Cope offers a forecast of where machine controls might go in the years ahead.

“I think we will see new products becoming available in the future that will allow shop owners to monitor everything from something like a ‘master console’. We already see this beginning with third-party software like MT Connect, and even from machine tool builders like Hurco, with UltiMonitor. Both of these are examples of software that can allow the user to log on, via the Internet, and monitor what is going on in his shop ‘real-time’,” he says.

Ray Buxton, general manager at Mazak Corporation Canada in Cambridge, Ontario, cites “digital integration” as the wave of the future.

“Mazak is working with companies like Cisco and MEMEX develop complete digital integration in factories. I don’t think this will be limited to just big plants. This emerging technology—some call it “The Internet of Everything”—will link machines, ERP systems, scheduled and predictive maintenance and customers directly with each other for real time sharing of information,” says Buxton.