MTConnect Challenge Phase 1 Winners

The five winners for the Phase 1 MTConnect Challenge are announced. Congratulations to all the winners.

A problem exists in manufacturing today since companies typically do not have access to significant data from their production operations, or the data is tied to a traditional hand held device that can be unwieldy in manufacturing environment. These issues result in lost opportunities to optimize production, efficiently utilize equipment, monitor product quality, and more. Our innovative, three part approach (called AugMT) combines processed information from MTConnect data streams with augmented reality technology available through Google Glass, a head-mounted display that loosely resembles common eye glasses. The AugMT glass software also allows feedback from the field user to push video and audio back to the AugMT
service to be disseminated to other users in the field and through the website. AugMT data can be configured through the website interface to meet different user needs regarding what MTConnect data is available versus what the user finds valuable. AugMT is a web application combined with the Google Glass mobile device that utilizes warnings, alerts, and barcode scanning to identify and capture device-specific information and stores it in digital form for manufacturing intelligence purposes.

Shop floors are undergoing the computing transformation that offices went through in 1990s. Plants are moving away from paper based work instructions to electronic work instructions. This helps attract an emerging workforce that is comfortable with tablets and 3D visualization. Electronic work instructions however are typically PDF versions of the paper work instructions with some embedded 3D. We are proposing an MTConnect based Interactive Work Instructions (IWI) that would add value beyond reducing usage of paper. IWI has various modules that interact with the G-code executing in the machine tool controller to provide more visual guidance for the operator of expected operational condition and deviations from nominal plan. In our proposed implementation, MTConnect tool path data is used to automatically scroll to the right page in the PDF work instruction, bring real time simulation corresponding to the feature machined, and flag on any drifts in the tool paths for operator intervention or material review board. This information can be transmitted to an operator with a tablet near machine tool or process engineer in a different location without any changes to the system. The key benefits of this system are reduced operator errors and vouchering time.

Winner 3:
An elegantly-simple website that simulates and visualizes MTConnect interactions against a 3D map of your factory.

Plant personnel at small and medium sized manufacturing producers are rarely dedicated to a single operations role. Managers in particular often engage in multiple job roles in a single day, if not in a single hour. The ability for staff to collaborate efficiently when issues arise is an important capability for managing a cost-effective operation. It is in this context that MTConnect TeamEngage is submitted for review. MTConnect TeamEngage is a plant operations collaboration system focused on facilitating discussions around MTConnect data. TeamEngage allows an ad-hoc group within an operations team to join a discussion and communicate via web and mobile applications. The key feature of the application is that conversations revolve around a snapshot of data from one or more MTConnect devices.

MTConnect has been integrated with Labview, Crystal Reports, Matlab, MS Excel and several web based displays but no integration with Microsoft Visio. We propose to integrate MTConnect with Visio through the creation of five intelligent stencil types described below:
Data acquisition stencils will connect shop floor equipment such as Computer Numeric Controls to Visio and provide real-time manufacturing data up-load capability. Data presentation stencils will be common data display objects such as Pareto charts, histograms, control charts, bar charts, strip charts, tabulated displays and will provide real-time data display. Calculation stencils will provide common manufacturing calculations and will be integrated with MS Excel for custom calculations. Simulation stencils will allow the building of process models that can feed annunciator stencils to raise alarms should the actual vs. simulated go outside control limits. With this stencil set and drag and drop skills, manufacturing direct personnel can use Visio to rapidly and inexpensively build MTConnect real-time data display and annunciation systems. Since this is a MS Office integration all of the reporting and presentation capability of MS Office will be available. This proposal benefits MTConnect and International TechneGroup Incorporated by each having a much larger penetration on the shop floor.

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