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Hexagon connects shopfloors to cloud-native asset management and reporting

Posted on 25 Jan 2022 and read 1499 times
Hexagon connects shopfloors to cloud-native asset management and reportingCloud-native CNC machine tool asset management introduced by Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division connects to almost any machine tool, enabling machine shops to optimise their return on investment (ROI) using real-time status dashboards with mobile operator alerts that enable global manufacturers to analyse ‘machine fleet utilisation’ across multiple plants.

Increasing overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is the goal of any manufacturer, but without reliable information it can be difficult to pinpoint improvements to machine shop operations; and while purchasing high-value machine tools will increase productivity, few manufacturers can realise the full potential of such assets because critical information such as machine-tool availability is often recorded via paperwork or spreadsheets, which means data is prone to human error and not made available fast enough to be analysed and actioned.

Hexagon says: “For unattended series machining, timely performance information becomes critical because consistent historical data makes it possible to predict problems, and plan operator inventions and maintenance. While OEE is based upon a machine tool’s availability, performance and the quality of the parts it produces, accurately measuring OEE is difficult without immediate access to comprehensive operating data.

“Hexagon’s SFx Asset Management application, which is already being used by global manufacturers to improve employee productivity and the utilisation of Hexagon metrology devices, now also records CNC machine tool operating data so that teams can analyse and mitigate downtime. The application can be used by production staff across manufacturing organisations to pinpoint bottlenecks and optimise the utilisation of CNC machinery — and by management to measure the ROI of those assets and identify valuable improvements in OEE.”

Pinpoint bottlenecks

Built into Hexagon’s cloud-native SFx platform, the application acquires and processes Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) data in real time to provide shopfloor operators access to machine-tool status at any time, with role-based access providing staff access to the status of the required machines, so they can check programme and utilisation information from any location using a computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

“Customisable system alerts make it easier for an operator to supervise multiple machines and help instil greater confidence in lights-out production. The accompanying SFx Asset mobile application provides secure mobile-optimised access to status alerts and KPIs without the complexity of a virtual private network (VPN).”

Manufacturers can implement SFx Asset Management within hours by connecting a local server to CNC controllers that support the MTConnect (ANSI/MTC1.4-2018) technical standards for CNC data exchange. Further details can be found at the Hexagon website.