Ask the Machine Whisperer

April 9th, 2019

Spring has officially started, and U.S. Manufacturing’s strength continues to impress. Despite concerns over trade tariffs and foreign economic slowdowns, U.S. manufacturers grew at a faster pace in March and have reported growth for 31 consecutive months. The Institute for Supply Management, said Monday that its manufacturing index rose to 55.3 last month, up from 54.2 in February.

Please enjoy the latest installment of “Ask the Machine Whisperer”, and don’t hesitate to send in your questions for Steve Anderson. If your shop has DNC or Machine Monitoring needs please visit www.enetdnc.com, or just give us a call (414)817-7070.

John from Texas: Hi Steve, our shop exclusively uses Mazak machines and Mazatrol programs. We really need a DNC system, so my question is are there any limitations for DNC systems with Mazatrol programs?

Steve: Some DNC systems can handle Mazatrol and some can’t.  If it’s a newer machine such as Fusion or Nexus controls the program will be sent out as a three position G code.  Older Mazaks use a format called CMT, not all companies store the CMT format the same so if you save a program with an older Mazak with one system it may not be compatible with another DNC system.  Some newer Mazaks do not have serial ports and connect using Ethernet or USB thumb drives. The issue with these two formats are if you’re using thumb drives you can lose control over the programs by having operators not returning the programs that have been modified, and with Ethernet method the machine is connected to the network like a computer on your network, and can be susceptible to getting a virus. This is where a system such as eNETDNC can really help you out because we can adapt to all of these different issues.

Chuck from Oregon: Hi Steve, my company is currently evaluating Machine Monitoring systems. Since you have done so many Monitoring installs over the years, I’m curious if there are there any specific features of a Monitoring System that you consider must-haves?

Steve: Hello Chuck the main features I would look for in a Monitoring System are, the ability to monitor all of your machines no matter what type of machines including manual machines and other secondary equipment in the same way. The ability to keep track of why the machine is not running and a way of enforcing reporting of downtime. Making sure that you have the data collected on your servers and that you own the data. The ability to access the data anyway you want so besides using the tools given to you from the monitoring system, you can also access it in other helpful programs (such as Excel).

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