The more aware you are of the state of your machines, the more productive you can make them be for you. This is where Nanospark: Machine Monitor can be quite helpful. Alert notifications can be applied to nearly any machine- enabling it to talk to you. Here’s an example.
Our parent company, Senasys, has a machine shop for stamping parts, making fixtures, etc. In said shop we have a Knowledge MT SA-32 CNC swiss machine with a Hydrobar Express 332 S2 bar feeder . Since it can run unattended, the expectation is that we can continue to crank out parts all night and all weekend.
Except, of course, that bar stock (crafty as they are) seem to feel that Friday evening about an hour after everyone has left is the ideal time to not load properly. Monday morning we were coming in to find a red light and an empty bin rather than a pile of parts. Irritating enough, true, but add to it the fact that the owner and several employees who could fix the bar loading issue and restore production, live close by.
If only the swiss machine could tell us that it has stopped running; we would quickly resume making parts. Now, through Nanospark, the swiss machine does just that.
How We Did It
The swiss machine has a stack light to indicate status (red, yellow, green). The stack light uses 24V LEDs. So we found the terminals in the control box for the red and green lights and drew the voltage down to 4V (just to be safe). Then we ran wire from the one terminal to Nanospark’s digital input 1 for red and from the other to digital input 2 for green. Now when the swiss machine stops running and lights the red LED, digital input 1 on Nanospark turns on.
Finally, we setup an alert in the Nanospark: Machine Monitor App so that if digital input 1 turns on during hours when no one is in the shop, we receive a text message notifying us that the machine is down. Whoever is “on call” fixes the swiss machine- and we walk in Monday to see a pile of parts.
(Note: Since the alert comes through text message, there is no need for the various employees to standardize phones. Apple, Android, Blackberry, and even plain old cell phones, Nanospark sends the swiss machine’s messages to them all.)
Nanospark has 8 digital and 6 analog inputs, so from a single Nanospark you can receive alerts from up to 14 different machines. And, of course, the alert doesn’t have to be ‘I’m down’. Nanospark is extremely (and economically) versatile- so your machines can give you just the information you need.
If your machines could talk to you, what would you like them to tell you? How will you use Nanospark to be more in touch with your equipment?