Simplifying the collection of production data

25 June 2018

To maximise data-driven productivity, FANUC has introduced MT-Linki, a scalable, out-of-the-box machine tool monitoring solution that can monitor and manage data from between one and 1000 machines.

MT-Linki is a software platform that is able to collect, manage and visualise data from FANUC and non-FANUC-controlled equipment and devices via an OPC UA server protocol. It pools the production data over a secure network into a single centralised point, meaning it can be analysed remotely from the production office, without the need to visit each individual piece of plant equipment on the factory floor.

Commenting on the launch, Tom Bouchier, managing director of FANUC UK, said: “In its purest form, connected manufacturing should allow a factory manager to remotely monitor production data for all plant equipment from one single point of access. They should then be able to review performance as a whole and identify any changes that can be made to improve productivity. This uncomplicated thought process was central to the development of the MT-Linki system.”

MT-Linki is said to be easy to set-up, requiring no special hardware, and it has a scalable system architecture to accommodate future factory growth. The data acquisition is managed by a dedicated Collector PC software, and then securely stored on a Server PC, which also provides a web-based user interface for data access, visualisation and analysis. This can be accessed via any PC or internet-enabled tablet within the factory network via a web browser.

The MT-Linki’s ability to assess the production status of the entire factory floor at a glance, in real-time, is particularly beneficial. Any alarms or anomalies that may affect production can be spotted and addressed, while critical production data such as feed rates, spindle / servo loads and machine temperatures can also be accessed. Other productivity-driven functions include the ability to easily assess the utilisation factor of plant equipment. Through MT-Linki, manufacturers can see any under-used machines, and make any changes to the production schedule for optimised resource planning.

The diagnostic capabilities of the MT-Linki system can also help factory managers identify bottlenecks. The system keeps data records on alarm, program, signal and macro value history, and these can be used to further optimise production performance by eliminating repeat pain points.

While up to 100 machines can be handled by just one MT-Linki server, the Collector PC and Server PC functions can be run from a single standard PC for factories that operate just a handful of machines. For sites operating over 100 machines, it is possible to pool data from 10 server PCs via an integrated server, thus expanding the system architecture’s monitoring capabilities to up to 1,000 machines from one point of access.

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