Workforce Development Using MTConnect

Manufacturing industry relies heavily on the skilled workforce to drive innovation, productivity and remain globally competitive. The rise of the high-tech manufacturing is changing the environment drastically; there is a need to attract young skilled personnel to take over the existing aging manufacturing workforce. Employment in high-tech manufacturing is expected to grow by 23.8 % over next 10 years . The aerospace and defense industry has already a backlog of production that extends to 2030, requiring continuous requirement of new workforce. Unfortunately, the sector has failed to attract the young and bright student to choose manufacturing as their career path. Manufacturing has a perception of old, smoky work places with repetitive jobs, lack of technology and no advancement prospects. According to a recent skills gap report, more than 83 % of U.S. manufacturers report an overall shortage of qualified employees. There is urgent need to revamp traditional teaching meth¬ods used in manufacturing education to ensure a robust supply of essential human capital required for a thriving domestic manufacturing industry.

Reference: Workforce Development Using MTConnect, Deshpande A., Neidig, J., Tock K., 2014 MTConnect: Connecting Manufacturing Conference, April 8-10 2014, Orlando, FL.

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Enabling Real-time Supply Chain Visibility

Supply chain visibility and integration is critical in today’s age of globalization where supply chains extend across continents leading to greater lead times, increased inventory and need to control downstream and upstream information. The recently introduced MTConnect standard helps capture real-time manufacturing data to help improve operational speed and timeliness of customer shipments. Manufacturers can now have more than just track-and-trace visibility giving them accurate and real-time information regarding planned versus actual order progress and instantly assess which jobs are lagging behind the promised delivery date. Separate supplier and buyer portals ensure relevant information for the respective entities in the multi-party supply chain. The session will explore lessons learned from the implementation of MTConnect complaint application at two General Electric Aviation suppliers located in Southern Ohio.

Reference: Enabling Real-time Supply Chain Visibility, MC2 2014 MTConnect: Connecting Manufacturing Conference ; Wickelhaus D., Deshpande A.; April 8-10 2014, Orlando, FL.

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Empowering Power Savings

Manufacturing is among the most energy-intensive sector and account for almost 30 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. Energy consumption monitoring has been done since the industrial revolution days and is traditionally viewed as a “bill to be paid” which is increasing on an average by 10% per annum. There is a wide gap between monitoring energy consumption and actually correlating that data to the operational activities in a factory to devise strategies for energy usage optimization. With the advent of standard like MTConnect, we can now in real-time “tag” every kilowatt spent against a particular machine, part, work order or client. In addition, we have the ability to include infrastructure items like pumps, chillers, air compressors, HVAC and lighting to provide a holistic view of energy consumption. ITAMCO and TechSolve will explain the use of MTConnect technology to enable dramatic energy savings by understanding energy usage and demand patterns which enables energy costs to be a controllable operating expense. A case study will be presented where Energy Performance Indicators (EPI’s) and return on investment will be quantified for MTConnect implementation at ITAMCO located in Plymouth, Indiana.

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Reference: Empowering Power Savings, Joel Neidig, Amit Deshpande, MC2 Manufacturing Conference 2013, April 10-11 2013, Cincinnati, Ohio.

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Sustainable Aerospace Manufacturing Using ShopViz

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A New Age in Manufacturing is at Hand

A great article explaining the use of the internet and cloud computing technologies to manage shop-floor operations in real-time. The article lists the common manufacturing issues such as downtime analysis, machine availability and usage, maintenance tracking, overall equipment effectiveness etc.. and explains how MTConnect applications can be effectively deployed to solve the problems. Click here to download the complete article. 

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“Pain Relief” for Medical Parts Manufacturing

The medical part manufacturing industry has been growing at a rate of 12% for the past decade and expected to exceed $228B by 2015. The industry has a healthy future especially with the aging population and increased spending by the public and private sectors. The over 16,000 small to medium medical part manufacturing firms in United States today, face unique set of challenges with small complex part sizes, unique materials and government regulatory approvals. Accessibility to real-time and historic data for monitoring, optimization and auditing the machinery involved in the manufacture of the variety of medical device is essential to stay alive in the cutthroat competitive environment. The presentation will focus on quantifying the benefits of using the revolutionary MTConnect standard for the medical part manufacturing. A case study conducted at RMI will be presented, quantifying the return on investment of using MTConnect technologies for producing the Minute-Man insertion device used for spinal implant. RMI, a manufacturer of high precision spinal and orthopedic implants located in Noblesville, IN, will share their experience of using fact-based decision making for not only improving productivity and quality but managing delivery dates which wouldn’t have been possible without MTConnect. MTConnect is truly a pain relief solution of the industry which ensures pain relief for millions of us.

Reference: “Pain Relief” for Medical Parts Manufacturing, Jim Evans, Amit Deshpande, MC2 2013 conference (in-review), April 10-11, Cincinnati, Ohio.
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Statistical Process Control Using On-Machine Probing Data

Product quality plays a major role in the success of every manufacturing organization. The popular way to study and analyze the quality is through the use of a set of Statistical Process Control (SPC) tools. The correct application of these tools in a manufacturing scenario is fundamental to good process management and reduces process variation.Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM) and on-machine probing are being extensively used in the inspection of mechanical components for statistical process and quality control in manufacturing processes. SPC uses certain process performance indicators and statistical methods to monitor for changes that might affect the quality of the product.  It is important that we need to understand the true reason behind process variability; and simply not whether a process is in control or parts being manufactured have been accepted or rejected. A preliminary step towards understanding inherent process variation present in cutting process is to dwell into an SPC monitoring system that deals with raw probing data. The MTConnect standard has facilitated extensions to its XML tags to integrate sensory data from the on-machine probes along with control data, which is readily available across the shop floor network. MTConnect adapters are developed with customized XML tags that successfully collect raw data from the on-machine probes. This is accomplished by indirectly establishing communication between the probe sensor and the MTConnect Agent via the machine controller. A ShopViz SPC monitoring application based upon the data collected through such an MTConnect implementation is presented. The application is used to collect real machining data under multiple cutting process conditions, thereby demonstrating how certain SPC performance indicators (trending, shifting) are related to avoidable and inherent variations in the cutting process (tool wear, tool macro-geometry disparities). Improved ShopViz SPC monitoring methods that incorporate knowledge of variations in estimating performance indicators are discussed.

Reference: Statistical Process Control Using MTConnect; Atluru S. Deshpande A., Snyder J.; Proceedings of the ASME 2012 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (MSEC2012); June 4-8, 2012, Notre Dame, Indiana, USA.

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“App” Development Platform for Next Generation Manufacturing

The smart phone and information technology industry has stirred tremendous innovation by providing a platform (e.g. iPhone, Droid) to develop value added personal and business applications (“apps”). However, such a technology innovation was not possible in manufacturing, primarily, due to lack of universally accepted standard and closed architecture systems. Read more »

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Development of Real-time Manufacturing Asset Monitoring System Using SaaS Architecture

The complex nature of aerospace manufacturing requires automated systems to manage manufacturing data to optimize processes and ensure process compliance. The large manufacturing firms have effectively embraced real-time monitoring and manufacturing data management systems to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. Read more »

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