Generally, on older machines that are not capable of sharing data through one of the approved protocols (FOCAS, MTConnect, etc), we are limited to connecting your machine via Digital I/O. This means that machine data - most importantly utilization and part count - must be captured from the machine using analog sensors, or from low voltage signals from the machine's circuitry. Although the data from I/O is limited compared to standard data sharing protocols, you may find that all you need to know can be captured from signals within the machine's electrical cabinet.
Use the links below to navigate to the sections within this article:
The first step in the I/O connection is determining whether your shop will connect to MachineMetrics via a Hardwired, or Wireless network. Both methods have their advantages, and what you choose will be determined by a number of factors. Please read the following articles to determine what method of connectivity will work best for your shop.
A Hardwired Network means that machines report to a single Edge Device. Ethernet cables must be run from the machine switch to each machine. This cable will be plugged directly into the Labjack T4 I/O Module, which transmits data from the machine to the MachineMetrics Edge Device:
A Wireless Network means that an Edge Device is installed in each machine. The Edge Device connects to a strong wifi signal on your shop floor, and transmits data from the Labjack U3 I/O Module to the MachineMetrics app wirelessly.
Now that you've determined whether you will be integrating I/O on a Hardwired or Wireless network, you should have a good idea of what hardware your integration will need. See the articles below for detailed information regarding integration hardware.
Hardware for Hardwired Network
The Edge Device can collect data from up to 50 machines on your shop floor. The Edge Device is hardwired to your corporate network, and sends machine data to the MachineMetrics App.
I/O Module: T4 or T7
The Labjack T4 and T7 are both equipped with an ethernet port that transmits data to the Edge Device. The network drop connects directly to the T4 or T7. The T4 and T7 are powered by a USB Step-Down Power Supply.
Hardware for Wireless Network
In a wireless I/O integration, each machine reports data to an individual wifi-enabled edge device. Typically this edge device connects to a strong wifi signal on your shop floor. The wifi-enabled edge device, installed in each machine, reports machine data to the MachineMetric app.
I/O Module: U3
The Labjack U3 collects signals from your machine and sends them to the edge device via USB. The U3 is powered by the USB connection to the edge device.
Now that you understand the hardware being implemented for your integration, you should spend some time determining what signals to collect from your machine. The following articles are meant to enrich your understanding of the signals we need to collect from your machine.
Integrating your machines with our I/O Module does require some electrical know-how. It's one thing to know what signals you would like to collect from your machine, but how to collect them is another matter. The article below should be helpful in developing an understanding of the wiring and sensor connections necessary for your integration.
Perhaps the most important thing to know about your machines is whether they are active or idle. This metric is referred to as Utilization. There are a number of ways to collect signals that determine whether your machines are actively producing parts, or sitting idle.
Knowing how many parts a machine produces, and how long it takes to produce them can significantly improve your shop's efficiency. There are several ways in which to collect signals that indicate that a machine has completed making a part.
Machine Specific I/O Integrations
The following articles are meant to guide you through machine-specific I/O Integrations. If you have a machine in the list below, read the article to see if the integration method will work for your machine.
HAAS machines that are not capable of sharing data via the serial or ethernet ports must be integrated with Digital I/O. Follow the instructions in the article below to integrate your HAAS machine.
If your Citizen machine does not have an M700 control, it will have to be integrated with Digital I/O. Follow the instructions in the article below to integrate your Citizen/Cincom machine.
If you are integrating your press brake machine to MachineMetrics, follow the link below for detailed instructions.
Standard CNC With Spindle
The majority of mills and lathes are equipped with a spindle, which is usually a good indicator of machine activity. If your shop has machines that use a spindle, follow the link below.
Now that you have decided what signals to use from your machine, you can now configure your adapter to interpret the signals. The YAML based adapter script is what we use to tell the MachineMetrics app what each signal coming from your machine means. The article below will take you through the steps to writing an Adapter Script for your machines.
Reach out to Support@machinemetrics.com for more information.