1. From David in Wisconsin: Hello Steven! We have a few Haas Machines (year 2007) that have 25 pin rs232. The machines are located in a college and we want to be able to network them and extract data from them for our analytics programs. I wanted to know if you could point me in the right direction as to the best way/device to use in order for me to connect and extract data via our network. I have an iMX8 IoT Gateway from Compulab that runs on Linux but really don’t know where to start. Any suggestions?
Steve: Hello David, great to hear that your program is introducing your students to Smart Manufacturing. Since they are just getting started in their manufacturing careers, this Industry 4.0 experience will serve these Machinists well for many years to come. Now in regards to pulling manufacturing data from this 2007 Haas Machine, since it only has an active Serial port you’ll need a monitoring solution that can pull data from any type of machine, regardless of the age of the machine, type of control on it or the type of comm port (Serial, USB, Ethernet) available. An MTConnect type of solution will not work in this scenario, because you need an active Ethernet port on the control in order to use MTConnect. I’m not sure what you’re using for analytics of the machine monitoring data, but a high-quality monitoring system should also have analytics/reporting tools already specifically designed to work with the data pulled from the machine it’s monitoring. The less system to system transfer of this data, the easier it will be to manage. Lastly, since you want to both monitor and network this machine, I recommend choosing a monitoring solution that can convert Serial communications to Ethernet so you can network this machine with your local Ethernet Network.
2. From Greg in California: Hi Steve, I’m thinking about gifting myself a new phone or laptop for Christmas this year. I know you have stated that your prefer Apple products (as do I), have you tried either the new iPhone 12 or MacBook Pro yet? If yes, which do you like better?
Steve: Hello Greg, I do have the new iPhone 12 Pro and it’s a nice phone, but if you have an X or 11 I don’t think you will see a big difference, the new camera is better if you like to take a lot of pictures. If you have an iPhone prior to iPhone X, I would definitely upgrade the phone. I have not tried the new M1 Mac’s, I think I will wait at least a year to see how that plays out.
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