“Since our inception in 1989, Oregon Swiss Precision has understood that high quality standards and reliability are crucial for our clients to be successful in the ever changing and competitive business environment. From prototype to production, we pride ourselves in providing quality components, excellent lead times and unsurpassed service for our customers.”
Walking into the production area from the offices of Oregon Swiss Precision, you can’t help but notice the organization and cleanliness of their production floor. Heading over to the rows of CNC machines you will also notice a Nanospark: Machine Monitor attached to two machines; a Citizen-Cincom A20 and L20.
When we first approached Oregon Swiss they weren’t convinced that machine monitoring is for them (truth be told not everyone there is yet convinced). But owner Mike Anderson has an open mind, is willing to explore ways to improve their already effective business model, and a Swiss machine department head to take on the challenge- his son Sean. So we installed our monitor on a trial basis; over the course of the next three months we’ll see how much it benefits them.
You could say this was our first install without a safety net. We couldn’t get our hands on user manuals ahead of the visit nor could we have their normal CNC machine service professional on site that day. But between Oregon Swiss’ well kept user manuals and some timely text message confirmations from a good friend of ours Aaron of Modern Machine Tool Service we made it happen. (I might add too, that these machines didn’t have stack lights on them already- so no just following the wires to the board.)
So, here’s how we did it. Thumbing through the manual we first found the I/O ladder which gave us the label of the output we would need. Then we looked for the corresponding wiring diagram detail which supplied the terminal block and output addresses (for the L20 it also listed the relay addresses). In this case we planned on just using the outputs for the “signal tower” or “patrol” lights.
With outputs identified it was simply a matter of running cable. We wired the two machines to Nanospark like this:
|A20 Outputs||Nanospark Inputs||L20 Outputs|
How they plan to use the monitoring system
Oregon Swiss’ business model isn’t aimed at squeezing every possible second of production out of every machine. They aim for quality, high tolerance parts, often made from more expensive metals. So in our conversations about how to use the monitor two areas jumped quickly to the fore:
- Job (or work order) performance tracking
Monitoring job performance is helpful in identifying where setups could be improved and can drive communication among the manufacturing team to ensure best practices.
- Helping operators be more efficient
As an operator makes his rounds, how much production time is lost if the machine goes down right after he walks away? Notifications will help with this scenario by alerting the operator when the machine has an alarm so he can return to the machine quickly and get it running again. They may also use notifications on certain jobs to ensure prompt part inspections and tool changes. The idea is to notify the operator that ‘in 3 minutes you need to be at machine “x” to do an inspection’; giving him a queue as it were.
As we were putting tools away and chatting about other ways to use the monitor, Sean had a great idea. He said that with their business model, he would love to have the ability to monitor each machine but on an ‘as needed’ basis. His suggestion was, ‘let’s put a pigtail on all machines and one on the Nanospark hardware so it can roam to the most relevant machine/job at any time. And . . . we’ll tell you more about it in an upcoming app note.
If you too would like to explore how Nanospark: Machine Monitor may benefit your company, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.