What is IIoT, and Why Should You Care
Along with the latest machines and technologies, IMTS 2016 saw a number of examples of how data gathering and communications can play a significant role in improving manufacturing productivity. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is the name given to this interconnectivity of shop floor equipment and other devices. The key components are:
- The ability to share data between devices, meaning that one machine or device can share information with others and, in some cases, actually make adjustments to the manufacturing process.
- The ability to link that data to computers or other devices for analysis, adjustments, record keeping, trouble alerts, etc.
- Use of the Internet to share data with remote facilities to improve overall efficiencies, including operational information such as numbers of parts made, and quality control data for Statistical Process Control (SPC).
A part library built into the bar feeder stores all of the bar feeder parameters for each of the part programs, and tracks material usage. Via e-Connect, the bar feeder communicates these data to the machine tool’s master schedule to determine which part to run, based on available material.
The master schedule looks at how much material there is and the various part lengths. It then determines if there is enough material available to run the required quantity of a particular part run. If so, it runs the complete batch of that part. If, however, there is not enough material for the entire run, the system determines the length of any remnant, calls up the next part in the schedule that it can make from the remaining stock, and the machine and bar feeder automatically adjust to make the new part. Once the bar is consumed, the bar feeder loads the next bar and the system repeats the process until it makes all of the various parts in the production schedule.
The e-Connect system also uses the bar feeder’s built-in Web server to access the Internet, provide reports, and enable remote monitoring of the system.
Incorporating IIoT into your manufacturing process is one more way you can improve the efficiency of your manufacturing processes to be more competitive and profitable.
For more ideas, products and services that can help you improve your productivity, Contact your local LNS representative or call 513-528-5674.