CNC Smart Manufacturing with Edge Solution Ready Package
Taiwan's machine tool industry ranks fourth in the world in terms of output value. However, the core components and "controllers," known as the brains, of machine tools have long been monopolized by foreign manufacturers. Each controller manufacturer has a unique communication interface, which are often not compatible with components from other brands. Moreover, open software is not available for user upgrades. However, as Industry 4.0 changes the production mode of factories, manufacturers hope to upgrade from automated equipment units to entire smart production plants. The integration of CNC machine tools has now become a major topic in the smart manufacturing field.
In the precision machining industry, CNC machine tools are crucial equipment. Although manufacturers want to produce more precise and complicated parts through automated processes, they often encounter the problem of managing abnormal conditions. In the past, system integration vendors and/or manufacturers had to obtain device information through external sensing devices. Unfortunately, this method requires both taking apart the machines and wiring the units. This frequently results in extended downtime for completing machine networking. In addition, production messages from the old equipment could not be retrieved. This leads to an information gap and spells trouble for the manager. Customers expect that introducing smart manufacturing solutions allow managers to clearly oversee current production status, reduce uncertainty caused by manual operations or handwritten messages, and promptly respond to equipment conditions over the entire plant—enabling smarter management of production information.
According to the requirements of this project, Advantech's CNC smart manufacturing solution provided related software and hardware products for data collection for individual equipment and for equipment networking of the entire plant. In terms of job scheduling, customers needed mobile timesheets. Advantech used the industrial-grade AIM-65 tablet paired with the ERP vendor's timesheet APP to transmit data back to the MES system in real time to meet the customer's needs. At the equipment end, network protocol and the ADAM-6017 multi-channel isolated thermocouple module were used to collect lighting signal status from the machines. In terms of machine networking, the WebAccess/CNC software, which is preinstalled in edge platform, enabled system integrators to drastically shorten project development time and easily integrated various equipment messages into the entire plant, thereby creating an informative, visualized, and intelligent production management system. This was then integrated with the ERP software to provide on-site factory production status. Moreover, UNO-1372G-J, the hardware platform, provided a number of excellent features to meet the needs of central machine equipment developers. The platform was compact, convenient, expandable, sturdy, and durable while proving dust and oil-proof. The unit operated effectively under harsh environmental conditions—fully embodying the operating characteristics of the machine tool industry.
This project used the AIM-65 tablet to make mobile timesheets from the manufacturing front end. The CNC equipment was connected through EKI. For non-CNC equipment, the ADAM captured the threecolor signal. This data was uploaded to UNO so that WebAccess/ CNC could integrate the bottom end equipment, such as machine tools, the human-machine interface, and the I/O device and programmable controller (PLC) in a single remote monitoring platform for unified management. The project performed integration with large domestic ERP vendors to provide customers with complete production information.
Advantech's real-time and stable smart manufacturing solutions span from front-end timesheet equipment to back-end CNC machine data acquisition in order to provide optimal industrial-grade products and ensure normal operation throughout the entire plant. Our solutions improve not only factory management efficiency but also plant capacity and utilization rates. Moreover, traditional manual operation of the existing plant can be upgraded to a paperless and automated factory management mode. In doing so, Advantech is thereby achieving the goal of safe manufacturing while establishing a traceable electronic production history for the Industry 4.0 era.