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30 minutes for Machine Monitoring

You can set up free machine monitoring in as little as 30 minutes using a tool created by the great folks at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)...
Jan 03, 2023

TLC 11.28 (1) (1).mp4 from AMT - The Assn For Mfg Tech on Vimeo.

You’ve heard the claims. Thirty minutes for toned abs. Thirsty minutes to make a gourmet dinner. Yeah right, you say. That workout must be done every day (bummer). That dinner takes 30 minutes to prep AFTER you chop, slice, and measure all the spices. 

It might not be as glamorous as six-pack abs or a bougie banquet, but this time, there’s no catch. You can actually set up free machine monitoring in as little as 30 minutes using a tool created by the great folks at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

In a recent episode of the Tom and Lonnie Chat (TLC) podcast, Dr. Tom Kurfess from Georgia Tech and Dr. Lonnie Love from ORNL were joined by Dr. “Cyber” Kyle Saleeby from ORNL and his intern Matt Kosmala, a junior computer science major at North Carolina State University. 

Matt detailed his project to utilize Google Sheets to develop a no-cost machine monitoring solution. The project also used the MTConnect standard, a vocabulary for manufacturing equipment that provides structured, contextualized data and helps machine tools communicate more effectively. 

Free and first-rate

Everybody likes free. But what about the quality? The MTConnect Machine Data Monitoring tool is free and first-rate!

It combines existing, free services, including Google Drive, to build a comprehensive machine monitoring tool. Users can view current machine statuses, uptimes, usage rates, and various other data from MTConnect-enabled machines in an easy-to-use Google Sheets format. 

Combining tools you know

Google Sheets functions much like Microsoft Excel and is part of the Google Suite. Data are pulled from machine tools, translated using MT Connect, and then sent to your free Google Drive account where it is loaded into Google Sheets and displayed in a usable format. 

The tool even includes a visual dashboard to help users better conceptualize daily and monthly usage. The data sets can be updated every 10 seconds and are stored long-term, so that users can observe patterns and trends in machine operation from any time the tool was active. The widgets that help make the data more accessible are built into the tool. 

Built with small shops in mind 

“This tool would be very useful for smalls shops, since it provides a free machine monitoring tool with minimal time investment," Matt explained. “It should take less than 30 minutes to set up a new machine using this tool.”

The program has the capacity to receive data from a total of four machines. However, users can request an increase in application programming interfaces (APIs) from Google and potentially run up to 10 machines. 

For every step of the machine monitoring set up process, Matt has developed detailed instructions. In fact, most of the relevant code and information can be copied and pasted into Google Sheets.

If built by outside software developers or engineers, this level of machine monitoring could cost tens of thousands of dollars. Today is a great day to make a free investment in your shop’s future.  

Now to figure out some AI for those 30-minute abs, no…APIs!  

Watch now at IMTS.com/WatchTLCMTConnect.

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Author
Stephen LaMarca
Technology Analyst
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