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.)
This article contains the following topics:
- When Does MachineMetrics Recommend an I/O for Data Collection?
- How To Determine if Your Machine Requires an I/O for Data Collection
- I/O Installation
- Installing an I/O Module to an Edge Device
- Networking the I/O Module
- Connecting Your Signals
- Adding an I/0-enabled Machine to Your Account
When Does MachineMetrics Recommend I/O for Data Collection?
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.
How to Determine if Your Machine Requires an I/O for Data Collection
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 email@example.com.
MachineMetrics can be configured to read sensor data and/or low voltage signals from the machine's electrical cabinet that indicate certain processes of the machine. If data is not available directly from the ethernet port of the PLC, or if additional sensor data is requested, then the MachineMetrics I/O module will be required for installation.
The two most important signals to collect from your machine are those that represent in-cycle and part count. More input options are available, such as spindle (or any other motor) power, alarm state, or many other machine condition you would like to monitor with either a sensor or discrete output from the machine.
The MachineMetrics I/O module collects signals from your machine, which are then interpreted by MachineMetrics software. 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 (Labjack T4). The USB version is meant to be used with our MachineMetrics Edge Device at each machine, enabling Wifi (Labjack U3).
Powering the Device
The I/O Module (Labjack) is powered through USB. How to connect the I/O device to a power source will depend on whether you are installing an I/O via USB (wireless network) or via Ethernet (hardwired network).
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 configure, follow the instruction in whichever article applies to your network connection:
Installing an I/O Module to an Edge Device
The below video takes you through installing a LabJack U3 to an Edge Device within a machine's electrical cabinet.
Ethernet (Labjack T4)
- The first step will be to configure the network on the T4. Important! The T4 is equipped with a Labjack as well as a USB plug. Note that the USB plug is for power and configuration only.
- Plug the USB 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. Important! 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.
Networking the Device
USB (Labjack U3)
MachineMetrics will communicate with the device over USB; no further networking is needed.
If Ethernet (Labjack T4)
Plug an ethernet cable into the port on the device. Important! Note that the USB plug is for power and configuration only.
Connecting your signals
Our I/O device can accept 0-48VDC signals, either from a sensor, PLC output, or relay within the machine's electrical cabinet. 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.
The "AIN" pins on the Labjack receive these signals, and the configuration script interprets them accordingly. Note that the "VS" pin on the Labjack can be used as a common voltage (5VDC) if using dry contacts of a relay in your machine.
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 Count use Pin AIN2
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.
For more details regarding collecting signals from your machine, read the I/O Integration Methods article.
Adding an I/0-enabled Machine to Your Account
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.
- Go to the Machine Setting page
- Click the Add Machine Button at the bottom of the list.
The next form is required to add a new machine. To see more information on the Machine Form, see this article.
Adding the Data Source
New Data collection method - Select the appropriate “Digital IO” option from the drop down menu.
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 is complete, save the form. It will take up to 5 minutes before the machine starts reporting.