CCAT & MTConnect Institute Workshop

I will be presenting the benefits of real time monitoring, interoperability standards and how small-medium manufacturers can effectively implement manufacturing data management at the upcoming MTConnect Workshop. MTConnect Institute and Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology (CCAT) is hosting a workshop about MTConnect — the first comprehensive, process information model that integrates data from manufacturing shop floor devices to business applications.

Connecticut Center for Advanced
Technology - M&S Theater
222 Pitkin St., East Hartford, CT 06108

Friday, December 7, 2012

Space is limited; pre-registration is required. Go to:

Contact Ed Marinko at 860-291-8832
Email —

Machine Tool Health Indicator

The primary role of a machine tool is to not only provide high up time but also produce good quality parts. Unfortunately, a machine tool goes through a process of degradation and wear, which will affect the accuracy and precision of machining and, consequently, the quality. With the overwhelming challenges facing US manufacturers and their struggle to decrease manufacturing costs and improve quality, monitoring the degradation of a machine tool and quantifying its health is a very important. Given the health of different components of a machine tool, the Machine Tool Health Dashboard is a framework for calculating and displaying the overall health of the machine tool termed as Machine Tool Health Index (MTHI). 

The Watchdog Agent, employs data driven methods, which use statistical tools and supervised learning algorithms to detect the degradation and wear of machine tool components and quantify their health status. The health values from different components of the machine tool are aggregated into an overall health value of the machine tool - Machine Tool Health Indicator (MTHI).

A machine tool is a complex system of components; the harsh machining environment poses as an accelerator of degradation and wear for the machine tool’s components. The Watchdog Agent tools are able to quantify the health of a component into a single Confidence Value (CV), which is a number between 0 (unhealthy) and 1 (healthy). MTHI is an indicator of the machine tool’s ability to produce quality parts. In addition, it can also be interpreted as a upcoming downtime. Machine failure or downtime is defined as the inability of the machine to produce desired quality parts. Therefore, the machine can be technically in a running state but still termed as "down" if it cannot fulfill the quality requirements.

The following steps constitute the approach for calculating the MTHI and displaying it with other important information on the Machine Tool Health Dashboard.

Step1: For each component, find the effect of degradation in a component (CV) on the various Machining Quality Indexes (MQIs): Surface Finish, Dimension Variation, Tool Life, Spindle Life, etc.

Step2: For each component, aggregate the Machining Quality Indexes (MQIs) to a single Machining Quality Value (MQV)  for the component. The MQV is a value between 1 and 0, indicating the effect of a component’s heath status on the overall machining quality.

Step3: Aggregate the Machining Quality Values (MQV) of different components into an overall Machine Tool Health Index (MTHI). MTHI is a single value between 1 and 0 that indicates the effect of a machine tool health on the overall machining quality (MTHI is 1 when the current health of the machine is not affecting product quality; 0 is when the health of the machine is causing the production to be completely out of tolerances(scrap/reject)).

The MTHI provides a single health value for the whole machine tool that enables the machine operator to easily monitor a single value as an indicator of the overall machine tool health and its direct effect on producing quality parts. The dashboard will also include other important information for the operator and maintenance personnel who will be able to: monitor the health values of different components (CV); monitor the effect of each component’s health on the machining quality (MQV); and take quick maintenance actions based on the real-time alarms displayed on the dashboard. 

Tool Holder Unbalance Monitoring

Unbalance in the tool assembly causes excessive loads on spindle bearings, tool wear, and increased vibration levels. As high-speed machining has become a common practice, situation is worse as unbalance force is proportional to square of the speed. Watchdog Agent provide data-driven methods, which use statistical tool and supervised learning algorithms to detect the presence of unbalance in a tool assembly relative to the tools with known balance levels. 
Firstly, Fourier analysis is performed to determine the vibration noise of the floor and uncover resonant frequencies. Total Indicator Run out (TIR) is quantified to determine spindle and tool run-outs. Other factors that may affect vibration readings are identified, which characterize the machine, thus coming up with a customized balance measurement technique for that machine. 
Secondly, after performing tests, features that are to be extracted from the vibration signals are identified. The gamut of features may include average (dc) value, RMS value, minimum and maximum peak levels, amplitudes of the fundamental and harmonics of the spindle service speed, 3rd and 4th order moments of the vibration signal, kurtosis etc... Fisher criterion are used to identify the features that influence the system performance. 
Finally, a supervised learning algorithm is selected to build the best-fitting model to quantify the relationship between the dichotomous characteristics of the dependent variable with a set of independent variables and estimate the unbalance present in the tool assembly. 

Trending and monitoring these values will give valuable insights and forecasting capabilities for the tool assembly in terms of its health and usability for a certain precision machining process.

Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) ASSIST

Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) Assist Tool  tool is designed to allow continuous insight into manufacturing, quality, production, and industrial-base risks to acquisition programs and technology development efforts. For more information visit:

Eight Levels of Analytics Model by SAS

1. Standard Reporting
        - Historical perspective
        - Standard KPI or data parameters
        - Focused on short term goals and objectives

2. Customized Reporting
        - Flexible reporting
        - Focused on problem solving
        - Historical perspective

3. Drill down analysis
        - Root cause analysis
        - Stratification analysis
        - Used extensively in DMAIC processes

4. Alerts and Notification
        - Management by exception
        - Pre-defined business process
        - Real-time feedback

5. Statistical Analysis
       - Correlation analysis
       - Discriminant Analysis
       - Regression Analysis

6. Forecasting
        - Trends
        - Pattern recognition
        - Decision making capability

7. Predictive Modeling
        - Prognostics
        - Data driven decision

8. Optimization
        - Enable innovation
        - Continuous improvement
        - Adaptive feedback


Spindle Bearing Degradation Monitoring

Unexpected failure of spindle bearings can lead to severe part damage and costly machine downtime. Finally, it will affect efficiency and productivity. The Watchdog Agent bearing monitoring system performs diagnostic tasks to detect bearing defects, visualize them, and then quantify defects on a different stage. It provides an illustrative and quantitative explanation on high-speed machine maintenance for spindle health.

Isolate bearing defect vibration signature from environmental noise
Predict bearing remain life with high-speed machine working environment

For easier detection of bearing defects, the envelope detection technique has been used together with Fast Fourier Transforms. First, Envelope Detection (ED) at the spindle system resonance frequency located in high range is applied. The amplitude demodulation by ED allows detection of localized bearing defect without interference of noise vibration from other structural sources.

Finally, artificial intelligent algorithm (self-organized map) is applied to recognize different defect vibration pattern and quantify the defects at different stage. The bearing monitoring tool is embedded in Watchdog Agent Machine Health & Maintenance system to facilitate the engineer in understanding the current condition of spindle bearing and diagnosing bearing defects.

MTConnect Showcase

This application is the first virtual MTConnect Showcase app for the Android. View your Machine Tools and Controls on any of your Android devices. The MTConnect Showcase app will demo at the Emerging Technology Center at IMTS 2012. Great for Machine Operators, Maintenance Technicians, Engineers, Programmers, or Plant Managers.

List of top 15 start-up accelerators

List of top 15 start-up accelerators:
  1. Y Combinator of Mountain View, Calif.
  2. TechStars Boulder
  3. KickLabs of San Francisco
  4. i/o Ventures of San Francisco
  5. Excelerate Labs of Chicago
  6. AngelPad of San Francisco
  7. TechStars NYC 
  8. TechStars Boston 
  9. Launchpad LA  of Los Angeles
  10. 500 Startups of Mountain View, Calif.
  11. DreamIt Ventures of Philadelphia
  12. TechStars Seattle
  13. NYC SeedStart
  14. Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator of New York City
  15. The Brandery of Cincinnati

Profiles in Connectivity

A nice article with case study explaining benefits of real-time manufacturing data management and analytics for two small-medium manufacturing job shops.

Assessing the Degree of Analytical Competition

Daveport and Harris describe that there are 5 stages of analytical competition in their book “Competing on Analytics: The New Science of Winning”. The five stages are described in the following Figure and Table.

ShopViz : Manufacturing Anytime, Anywhere

ShopViz provides a window into the true performance of an organization’s manufacturing operation with information gathered directly from its equipment. ShopViz allows businesses to stay on top of their equipment performance by allowing them to quickly identify and prioritize their production issues. ShopViz allows companies to shift their workload from firefighting to growing and developing their business, relationships, and technology. ShopViz is an innovative web-based tool for small to medium-sized manufacturers providing 24/7 asset monitoring. It is available anywhere there is a browser, including a smartphone. Built on the MTConnect standard for machine tool communication, ShopViz is adaptable and can be customized to fit an organization’s data needs and treads lightly on its IT infrastructure.

Realize - at a glance - exactly which assets are running, which are not, and why. Get the information right now, from any location, at any time. Deal with facts obtained directly from the equipment and share factory
floor performance from the chip makers to the decision makers.

Invest in improving performance, not just collecting data. ShopViz is a “lean-enabler” to make fact-based decisions using machine-provided data. Identify performance losses and slowdowns during and between cycles. Make quick, accurate decisions to improve productivity.

Demonstrate the success of any improvement efforts. Quantify performance improvements for machines and your departments with historical reports and the real numbers behind them. Quote future work with the confidence of knowing current performance and future capacity.

Company View

Machine View

Timeline Report

Utilization Report

Company Dashboard

For more information visit:

World’s top 25 Start-up Ecosystems

World’s top 25 start-up ecosystems:

  1. Silicon Valley (San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose, Oakland)
  2. New York City (NYC, Brooklyn)
  3. London
  4. Toronto
  5. Tel Aviv
  6. Los Angeles
  7. Singapore
  8. Sao Paulo
  9. Bangalore
  10. Moscow
  11. Paris
  12. Santiago
  13. Seattle
  14. Madrid
  15. Chicago
  16. Vancouver
  17. Berlin
  18. Boston
  19. Austin
  20. Mumbai
  21. Sydney
  22. Melbourne
  23. Warsaw
  24. Washington D.C.
  25. Montreal

Manufacturing Applications

Reference: SOA in Manufacturing, MESA technical library


The presentation titled “ITAMCO to iITAMCO” was delivered at the MTConnect Institute Technical Advisory Group meeting held at Plymouth, Indiana in June 2012. Click here for the PDF copy of the presentation. The presentation describes the methodology to integrate the Manufacturing Execution Data (MES) with real-time shop floor machine data. In addition, the innovative use of Microsoft Kinect for Windows with virtual reality to create a decision support system is explained (with live demo). The presentation was followed up by a tour of the ITAMCO facility where the participants were able to see all the technologies in action.

MSEC 2012 Presentation: Statistical Process Monitoring Using MTConnect

The paper titled "Statistical ProcessMonitoring Using MTConnect " was presented at the ASME 2012 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (MSEC 2012), June 4-8, 2012, Notre Dame, Indiana, USA. Click here to download the PDF file of the presentation.  

MSEC 2012 Presentation: An MTConnect Compliant Compressed Air Monitoring Application

The paper titled "PneuViz: An MTConnect CompliantCompressed Air Monitoring Application" was presented at the ASME 2012 International Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference (MSEC 2012), June 4-8, 2012, Notre Dame, Indiana, USA. Click here to download the PDF file of the presentation.  


Rising Chinese wages and a surge in U.S. competitiveness are forcing many American manufacturers to ratchet back their foreign operations, according to a study by The Boston Consulting Group. The shift means that more companies see the value in Made in America, a philosophy always embraced.

Why They’re Coming Back
According to that same study, the China exodus could create 2 to 3 million U.S. jobs by 2020. They predict nearly half of those jobs to be factory positions. Here are some facts:
  • When compared to manufacturing in the U.S., many companies are actually losing money in China because of lower worker productivity, higher logistical cost, and indirect risks of operating in a foreign country, like product quality failure.
  • Productivity growth in the U.S. is at an all-time high, with American workers churning out consistently higher quality products. Yet the country still offers one of the lowest manufacturing cost structures in the industrialized world.
  • Key industries expected to shift operations back to the U.S. include: transportation goods, appliances, electrical equipment, furniture, plastic and rubber, machinery, fabricated metal, and more.
  • Even foreign companies are adding more operations in the U.S. to accommodate domestic and export markets.
And then there’s also the consumer side of things. According to a Harris poll, three in five Americans are more likely to purchase a product they know is manufactured in the U.S.

MTConnect Institute TAG Meeting - June 19-20, 2012

The next MTConnect Institute TAG meeting will be held at Swan Lake Resort, Plymouth, IN on June 19 -20, 2012. I will be presenting the use of MTConnect technology to integrate Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) data with the real-time machining data stream from the Computer Numeric Controller (CNC).

June 19, 2012 - 8:30am to 5:00pm - Open Discussion With Each Of MTConnect Institute's Working Groups

June 20, 2012 - 8:30am to 4:00pm - General MTConnect Issues and Working Group Summaries/Tour

For registration and more information click here.

The Revolutionary iBlue

For more information visit:

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. 

Mfg4 Conference

I am at the Mfg4 conference and Mazak Open House in Hartford, CT this week. In addition to the expositions, there are conference presentations showcasing the state-of-the-art manufacturing technology in the aerospace, defense and medical field. Connecticut Center for AdvancedTechnology (CCAT) is demonstrating the MTConnect technology using a web viewer. All the machines in the Advanced Manufacturing Laboratory (at CCAT) and one machine from the  Mazak Tech Center is monitored remotely in real time.

PneuViz: Compressed Air Monitoring Application

Compressed air is the fourth largest utility in the manufacturing industry behind electricity, natural gas and water. It is used in a wide variety of pneumatic, mechanical and maintenance applications in every manufacturing facility. However, very little efforts have been made in trying to monitor and optimize the utilization of compressed air. Hence, a study was conducted to analyze the utilization of compressed air under various scenarios that are typical during metal cutting operation in a manufacturing facility. PneuViz application was developed to analyze the results. PneuViz provides drill down capability to analyze cost of compressed air on a per part, per machine, and per customer order. Monitoring the utilization of compressed air by a stand-alone Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machine as well as the overall utilization on the shop floor was facilitated by the use of a sensor system comprising of a flow meter, data acquisition system and a power sensor. MTConnect was used to enable plug-and-play functionality across the various machines on the shop floor. MTConnect was implemented by developing a system of sensor adapters, agents and data parser. Finally, analysis was performed over different machining scenarios to determine the cost, energy consumption and carbon footprint of the compressed air usage on the shop floor.

Raspberry Pi for $25

A new ARM GNU/Linux box called the Raspberry Pi will soon be available for $25. More information available at

Thanks to Jon Fournier for sending Rasberry Pi information.

Getting Started with MTConnect: Connectivity Guide

The MTConnect connectivity guide is now available for download at the website. Click here to download (direct link) the connectivity guide. 

The article is an excellent resource for anyone who is interested in getting the first-hand knowledge of the MTConnect standard and its potential benefits to manufacturing. Though most of the sections in the document explain the technical aspects, Section 3 and Section 4 focus on benefits and steps to get started with MTConnect implementation.

Content Overview:
Section 1 - Introduction
Section 2 - MTConnect Overview
Section 3 -  What Problems Do Companies Solve With MTConnect?
  • Production Dashboard or Monitor
  • Alerts
  • Equipment Availability and Usage
  • Machine Downtime Analysis
  • Overall Equipment Effectiveness:
  • Production Reporting/Tracking
  • Maintenance Tracking/Planning

Section 4 – How to Begin
  • Step 1 – Define the Problem That You Are Trying to Solve
  • Step 2 – What Does Success Look Like?
  • Step 3 – Define Your Equipment
  • Step 4 – Define Limitations/Restraints That Impact Your Project
  • Step 5 – List the People in Your Organization Who Will Impact the Project

Section 5 - I Know What I Need – How Do I Get It Done?
Section 6 -  Information (Data) Available using MTConnect
Section 7- Connecting a MTConnect Device to a Network
Section 8 - Conclusions

Appendix A – MTConnect Glossary of Terms
Appendix B – MTConnect Project Work Sheet
Appendix C – MTConnect Data Model and Data Types 

Sustainable Aerospace Manufacturing

Recently, I gave a talk on Sustainable Aerospace Manufacturing at the 2011 MC2 conference. The presentation video is now available. 

The PDF copy of the presentation is available here.

More information on the session and MC2 conference available here

Sustainable Manufacturing: Applications to Monitor your Equipment

Recently, the MTConnect Institute completed a survey of currently available applications which utilize the MTConnect standard to enable sustainable manufacturing. The survey was conducted as part of the "Sustainable Aerospace Manufacturing Initiative (SAMI)" for the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) and Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT).

The SAMI report is now available for download at the MTConnect Institute website. Click here to access the report in PDF format  (261 pages, 4 MB).