Introduction

MTConnect is an open, extensible and royalty-free standard communication protocol that delivers real-time shop or factory floor data from machines to software applications used by businesses. The data procured help to measure and monitor key factors such as machine run times or downtimes, equipment availability or usage, Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), production (reporting/tracking), and maintenance (tracking/planning). MTConnect translates the diverse information from a machine tool into a common internet-based language. The MTConnect standard is the first to define a standard dictionary for manufacturing data, which allows data from multiple machines to have a common definition – name, units, values, and context. This semantic vocabulary approach for the manufacturing equipment data provides structured, contextualized data with no proprietary format. It also defines the communications protocols, the vocabulary and semantics of the information models. Data defined once by the MTConnect standard is used by all the MTConnect compliant software applications. This eliminates the need to redefine the data within each application. Additionally, this flexibility allows floor monitoring and equipment maintenance without worrying about the vendor or proprietary machine protocols.

Architecture

MTConnect Stack

Benefits of MTConnect

The main benefit of MTConnect is that it enables data from a varied range of machines to have common values, units, names and context. Other benefits include:

  • Standardized vocabulary and semantics of the information models
  • Provides a read-only feature which prevents any inadvertent changes to the machine parameters
  • Based on open internet standards like HTTP & XML which allows easy adoption
  • Enables interoperability with multiple open standards like OPC UA, B2MMl, UMATI

Why MTConnect Agent Stack and Adapter Stack are required for Industries?

Today automation is the focus of manufacturing industries. Manufacturers seek to bring robotics and other modern equipment to their facilities, which has made it all the more important for factory floor integration. The number one benefit that manufacturers who adopt MTConnect is the quick and easy accessibility to factual data.

Two of the most important fundamentals aspects of the MTConnect standard that facilitate this immediate access to data are the Agent Stack and the Adapter Stack. The MTConnect adapter stack is a piece of hardware or software that records machine data, standardizes it, and transfers it to an MTConnect agent. The MTConnect Agent Stack organizes the machine data in a standard format by following a prescribed XML structure. Irrespective of the type of machine that is being monitored, the agent stack can buffer and forward the data to applications when requested.

How Utthunga can help in implementing MTConnect?

MTConnect Agent by Utthunga is a highly optimized stack, built in C. Utthunga also provides a desktop-based MTConnect Client. The Agent and the client can be quickly customized for bespoke applications.

Features
  • Conforms with the latest MTConnect specification
  • Layered architecture for easy porting and maintenance
  • Highly Scalable
Benefits
  • Accelerated time to market
  • Robust quality
  • Structured ANSI C Code – Can be ported to other platforms easily and used with various development environments
  • Code design and documentation with samples
  • Performance reports
  • Flexible licensing models
  • Stack implementation with OPC
Services provided by Utthunga
  • Developing an MTConnect Adapter Stack with specific downstream protocols or direct device integration
  • Implementing machine profiles
  • Implementing Agent and Client with enhanced features such as HTTPS
  • Implementing MTConnect Configuration Utilities
  • Integration with OPC Server or other applications

FAQs

1. What is MTConnect?

The MTConnect (ANSI/MTC1.4-2018) is a read-only communication standard primarily focussed towards the machine tool industry. It is open, extensible and royalty-free. The standard has three sections which specify machine tool components and data description, provides XML structure for data representation, and organizes the data streams provided by machine tools.

2. How to use MTConnect if my equipment doesn’t support it?

If your machine tool equipment does not support MTConnect, then you must consider purchasing or implementing an MTConnect adapter for your equipment. A reliable third party implementer like Utthunga can help you with this transition.

3. Where can I get MTConnect?

Shop owners purchasing new equipment can request the OEMs to provide MTConnect compliant equipment or software applications. Legacy equipment can be made MTConnect compliant by implementing a hardware/software MTConnect Adapter. The standard is free and available at www.mtconnect.org/documents

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