Some machines may require additional hardware in order for MachineMetrics to successfully collect data. This largely depends on the age and brand of the equipment, and their compliance with existing standards for data collection (Such as MTConnect, or FANUC FOCAS.)
When data cannot be collected from a PLC through any native or add-on software adapters, a manual integration with digital input/output devices and sensors is required. Typically, most necessary hardware can be purchased directly from MachineMetrics, and will be factored into any quote upon review of your equipment.
In the majority of cases, machines that require an I/O integration are managed through an on-site integration by a MachineMetrics technician; unless it has been determined through consultation with your Account Executive and Customer Success Manager that a customer has the necessary personnel resources to manage their integration internally.
How to determine if your Machine requires a Digital I/O integration
The easiest way to determine whether or not your machine will require a digital I/O integration is through consultation with your Customer Success Manager. If you can provide them with the make and model of your Machine and its accompanying PLC, they will be able to determine the preferred method for machine connectivity.
If you aren't a MachineMetrics customer but have questions about your machine's capabilities regarding data collection, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
MachineMetrics can be configured to read data from machines using digital outputs from machines. If data is not available directly from the PLC, or if additional sensor data is requested, then the MachineMetrics I/O module will be required for installation.
The two necessary outputs for MachineMetrics Production are in-cycle and part count. Many more input options are available, such as spindle (or any other motor) power, scrap/bad parts, or any other machine condition you would like to monitor with either a sensor or discrete output from the machine.
We gather this information into our software using The MachineMetrics I/O module. This device is available in standalone Ethernet and USB models. The standalone Ethernet module can be used if you are connecting your machine to a hard-wired network. The USB version is meant to be used with our MachineMetrics Edge Device at each machine, enabling Wifi.
Connecting the I/O device
1) Power the Device
If using USB (Labjack U3): Plug the USB cable into any USB port on the edge device that has been previously activated. If the edge device has not been activated, follow instructions on activating the MachineMetrics Edge.
The below video takes you through connecting a LabJack U3 to an Edge Device and its installations within a Machine's electrical cabinet:
If using Ethernet (Labjack T4): First configure the network on the T4. The USB plug can be plugged into any USB power source that provides over 2 watts of charging capacity. A 24v machine power to USB power supply is available from MachineMetrics. To install this power supply connect the negative terminal to a 0V terminal on the machine and the positive terminal to a +24V terminal. Be sure you are using 0V and 24V from the same power supply if your machine has multiple 24v rails. If you are unsure about what terminals to use, you may want to call your machine service resource. If your machine has no 24V power available you can purchase a 110v to 24v power supply from any industrial supplier or from MachineMetrics.
2) Network the Device
If using USB (Labjack U3): We communicate with the device over USB, no further networking needed.
If Ethernet (Labjack T4): Plug an ethernet cable into the port on the device. Note that the USB plug is for power and configuration only.
3) Connect your signals
Our I/O device can accept 0-24V wet signals, dry signals, or any voltage or amperage scaled output from a sensor or PLC. At a minimum, you will need a signal that represents that the machine is active. This is required for machine utilization. To track production, you will also need a signal that indicates that the machine has completed a cycle.
For digital outputs that are greater than 5V, you must connect the signals to the analog pins. The configuration script will convert the signals to digital using software.
For the purposes of this tutorial, and to keep implementations consistent, please use the following Pin configuration:
- For In-Cycle use Pin AIN0
- For Part Cycle use Pin AIN1
A wet signal is a DC signal coming straight from the device or component you want to monitor. In most cases, this is a 12-24V signal that turns on when the device is on. If you are connecting a wet signal to the I/O device (not to exceed 24V DC) use the AIN terminals.
A dry connection is a switch that is opening and closing, usually on a relay. The VS terminal on the I/O device provides 5V that can be switched by a relay. Connect VS to either a normally open (NO) or normally closed (NC) terminal of the relay. The COIL terminals on your relay will be connected to the load or signal to be monitored.
Important note on connecting signals
If your signals are coming from circuits on the machine that may have different power supplies or voltages, you want to make sure to protect the machine from voltages back-feeding across circuits or power rails. In these cases be sure to add a relay to protect the machine and I/O device.
Configuring the I/O device
Once the device has been installed and the signals connected to the I/O device, the signals must be properly configured in MachineMetrics. This can be done right within the web app. You will need an active MachineMetrics account. If you do not already have one, please request one from your MachineMetrics CSM.
Click the “Add Machine” Button at the bottom of the list.
The next form is required to add a new machine.
Name - The name you wish to call this device
Category - The type of machine
Make - The machine make
Model - The machine model
Model Year - The machine model year
Serial Number - The machine serial number
Edge Device - Choose the Edge device that you have activated for this machine
Add the Data Source
Integration Type - Select “Digital IO”
Edge Device - Select the edge device that you previously activated for this machine.
Address - Type in “USB” if this is a USB device, or the IP Address if it's an Ethernet device.
Config - This is the YAML script that will configure each of the inputs. Instructions as follows:
Paste in the following configuration for the Labjack U3 (USB connected to MM Edge).
This code tells our system that Pin 0 is execution (InCycle) and Pin 1 is part count (end of Cycle). You can also see that there are values to change the threshold voltage (the voltage needed to trigger the state) that can be adjusted in case there is noise in the signal. If you have a noisy signal, filters can also be added to the signal. Speak to a MachineMetrics support agent for more advanced configurations.
Note, For the Labjack T4 (Ethernet connected to Network), change the device to “labjack-t4” and add the “host” field with the devices' IP Address.
Once this configuration is complete, save the form. It will take up to 5 minutes before the machine starts reporting.