be possible with a machine tool that simply added a third party control to their machine,” Cope said. Another advantage of Hurco controls is upgradeability.

“Typically, once your control has reached its fifth birthday, it is usually considered to be ‘out-of-date’ technology,” Cope said. “However, our control software, called WinMax, has an open architecture. Although the customer needs to weigh the cost, we often upgrade machines with con- trols that date back further than five years. This means the control that is on the machine you buy today, won’t be obsolete in a few years.”

CNC connectivity with the IIoT future There’s a big buzz about the industry with connected machines, and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and CNC developers see great promise in leveraging Big Data coming from the shop floor. Connected machines was a hot topic at EMO, Kosmala said. “Everyone’s talking about it, and I think what you’re going to see is a lot of small companies getting into it. “Within five years, you’re going to see the many small

companies in today’s fragmented market distilled down to a few large companies leading the IIoT effort,” Kosmala said. “The Microsoft and Apple of IIoT will emerge, and step up and define this for the industry.” An open-architecture PC control like Okuma’s OSP has an edge in this developing IIoT industry, he noted. “All these IIoT and IoT companies, whatever they do, they’re developing on PCs.” Many Okuma customers also have older machines prior

to the P300 PC-based control. “We need MTConnect to connect to all of our legacy machines,” Kosmala said. “For all P200A and P300 control vintage machines, there is an MTConnect app on the Okuma app store, which is all you need. Download and install that free app, and you are run- ning MTConnect on your Okuma, no hardware required.” The terms Industry 4.0 and the IIoT are basically the same

concept, Siemens’ Legg said. “There are so many approaches to this emerging at the moment. At Siemens, we are position- ing ourselves by not only offering our own direct solutions, such as our Sinumerik Integrate for Production software suite, but also supporting emerging control-neutral protocols, such as MTConnect, through our Solution Partner, TechSolve. Connected machines and controls stand to have a great

effect on the industry, Legg added. “The ultimate effect ... will be increased productivity and greater visibility into manufacturing data. Downtime can be drastically reduced by deploying proactive maintenance methods as well as

having the ability to be alerted instantly via text message or some other method regarding a machine’s current sta- tus. The OEE of a machine and even an entire plant can be analyzed more thoroughly and accurately. This can allow manufacturers to potentially pinpoint bottlenecks in their process and take actions to improve.”

Going for high-speed Mitsubishi Electric Automation Inc. will release its M8 Series CNC controls at IMTS, while also showcasing its en- terprise connectivity solutions at a co-located show. The M8 Series control platform includes the M800W, M800S and M80 CNC models designed to address the need for a fast, precise and affordable CNC system for complex machining applications. The M800W and M800S are high- grade CNCs targeting high-speed, high-accuracy machining and multiaxis, multipart system control, and the firm’s M80 CNC provides high productivity and easy operability. The CNCs all offer 19" capacitive touchscreens with icon-based navigation for easy, intuitive, smartphone-like operation. “The M8 Series features a CNC-dedicated CPU, which

substantially increases the processing speed of the con- troller for high-speed, high-precision machining,” said Scott Strache, CNC product manager at the factory au- tomation developer. “This results in reduced cycle times, netting more quality parts in a workshift.” Mitsubishi also has developed its e-F@ctory technolo-

gies to extract hidden benefits from existing resources through integrated automation. Those technologies pro- vide edge data processing, data integration and connectiv- ity to IT systems, and visualization and analytics. “In the age of IIoT, enterprise connectivity is no longer an option for businesses that want to stay competitive in today’s marketplace. Key stakeholders need to have the highest level of visibility into their manufacturing opera- tions so they can make informed decisions and adjust- ments for production, maintenance, energy usage and more,” said Sloan Zupan, senior product manager for controls and visualization at the company. The e-F@ctory provides connectivity to manufacturing

assets by leveraging open Ethernet protocols like CC-Link IE, and also open communication standards like MTCon- nect and OPC. This connectivity allows broad access to the firm’s controls used in operational technology applications, such as MC Works64 visualization, AX Facility, and AX Energy analytics, to improve operational efficiencies, and e-F@ctory enables IT application integration that supports on-premises and cloud-connected infrastructures.


Summer 2016

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