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An MTConnect wish list.

Roy Sweatman purchased a small machine shop in Tampa, Fla., in 1983 and grew Southern Manufacturing Technologies, Inc. from five employees and no numerical control to 100-plus workers and more than $12-million in annual sales, mostly to aerospace customers. At the AMT annual meeting, he spoke--with the musical background of the Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be N ice"--of how the upcoming MTConnect might affect his factory's operations:

"Wouldn't it be nice if I could monitor my machine's health and know when that filter is getting dirty or that spindle bearing is getting too warm? ... if I could do that with all my machines regardless of brand? ... if I could get complete diagnostics and truly have predictive maintenance? ... if I could monitor tool performance and know when that insert is starting to wear too much or that tooth on the cutter is chipped? ... if I could have operators running multiple machines 'cause they didn't have to listen for changes in the cutter? ...

"One of the metrics we use is spindle hours, and right now I have someone going to each machine at the same time each week and logging the numbers that later get translated into a report. Wouldn't it be nice if that could be automatic and done daily?... if my programmer or pre-kit person could see with his computer what tools are already in the machine when getting the next job ready? ...

"Wouldn't it be nice if I could measure parts on the machine and transmit that data, so the machine doesn't sit idle while the part is carted over to the inspection area? ... if I could show that data to my customer and eliminate a lot of inspections?

"Can you make MTConnect do that?" Sweatman asked rhetorically.
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Title Annotation:AT AMT MEETING
Publication:Metalworking Insiders' Report
Date:Oct 31, 2007
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