November 12, 2012
One of the most prominent technological trends on display at IMTS 2012 had more to do with communications and process control than speeds, feeds and other mechanical specifications. While CNC machine tool OEMs continue to create better, faster and more accurate products, they also enable greater interoperability between various machines, controls and software applications by establishing shop floor networks to share data. By using XML and Internet Protocol technologies, CNC machines provide real-time data that promotes greater manufacturing efficiencies.
The Okuma THINC®-OSP Control is an open architecture, Windows®-based control. So any Okuma machine tool with the THINC control is configured for plug-and-play interconnectivity between devices, equipment and systems throughout a manufacturing facility. This creates the opportunity for various pieces of equipment to work together more productively.
For example, an Okuma CNC machining center using an LNS bar feeder equipped with the e-Connect Ethernet data communications system uses a Part Library function that stores up to 500 parts programs. Through e-Connect, the bar feeder automatically detects the part program currently in use by the Okuma CNC machine and loads the correct setup data for that part. After each part is machined, the production scheduling program checks the remaining parts to be produced and determines if there is adequate bar stock available for the next scheduled part to be made. If not, the system scans the production list for another part that could be made from the remaining material. This live data transfer takes just seconds, while the reduction in operator time and material waste, plus the ability to perform lights-out production adds up to enormous cost savings.
This is just one example of how linking shop floor technologies can pay huge dividends for manufacturers. The applications specialists at Gosiger can help you determine how to get the most out of your manufacturing processes with the right combination of CNC machines, accessories and software solutions. Give them a call today.