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How to Maximize Your CNC Manufacturing Uptime

How to Maximize Your CNC Manufacturing Uptime

Computer numerical control (CNC) machines play an essential part in countless manufacturing applications. They build these machines for processing a variety of materials, such as metal and plastic, and shape them into the required forms. Advanced technologies have also enabled CNC machines to become more powerful by featuring more axes for greater precision and enhancing operational efficiency. As CNC machines continue to evolve, they require more complicated components, faster operating speed, and greater attention to the machines’ operation status to avoid system downtime.

Every second a CNC machine in a factory is idling, offline, or shut down for maintenance translates into loss of profit. Thus, the efficiency of CNC machines matters a great deal to the bottom line of a CNC-automated factory. To improve productivity, factory managers need real-time information about the status of their CNC machines. Usually, one of three operational goals will shape your machine data collection (MDC) strategy: enabling distributed numerical control (DNC) communication of CNC machines to achieve remote manageability of changes to recipes; basic MDC to measure overall equipment efficiency (OEE); and advanced MDC to perform predictive maintenance.

DNC communication
Many factory operators still manage legacy serial CNC machines. To operate a modern production process, they need to generate the G-code from CAD/CAM software and manually upload it to the local controller (frontend PC) for manufacturing. This process is a very time-consuming and labor-intensive operation. DNC software is often used to increase efficiency, which makes the transmission of recipes (G-code) to multiple CNCs possible over a network so that productivity is increased, too.

Machine data collection
Machining equipment, for example, requires a significant capital expenditure and only generates revenue when it is producing parts. Machine monitoring helps track nonproductive machine time so you can improve the machine utilization rate for better productivity. Traditionally, machine data was obtained manually at the end of the day. Often, this data can be entered incorrectly; thus, no insights can be obtained. To improve the factory OEE, MDC software retrieves the necessary machine information from the machines in a more accurate and timely manner. Such requirements can also be done with DNC software if CNC machines come with serial or Ethernet network interfaces.

Whether you aim to enhance operational efficiency or improve the OEE of your machines, it’s essential to enable smooth communication between your DNC/MDC software and CNC machines. Here are some connectivity suggestions from Moxa you can consider.

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