Reliable CNC Communication and Real-time Monitoring

Using Reliable CNC Communications and Condition Monitoring to Optimize Manufacturing Execution and Resource Planning

Project Background

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines use programmed commands to automate machine tools in a variety of manufacturing operations. A global DNC and computer integrated manufacturing solution provider working in both China and the USA was looking for a solution that could provide reliable CNC communications for sending instructions in the form of TCP/IP packets to its CNC machines to achieve precision production control. To eliminate unnecessary maintenance visits and focus resources on system bottlenecks, the application also required the statuses of CNC machines to be readily available. Having the right information at the right time about the machines makes it possible for factory managers to allocate enterprise resources more efficiently and improve production output. Since every second a CNC machine is idling, offline, or shut down for maintenance can translate into lost profits, the factory needed a way to monitor the status of its CNC machines to optimize its manufacturing process.

This computer integrated solution provider used Moxa’s NPort 5110 serial device servers to connect each CNC machine to the factory’s Ethernet backbone formed by Moxa’s EDS-408A unmanaged Ethernet switches. In this way, technicians were no longer required to manually install new manufacturing programs onto each CNC machine. However, technicians still had to make regularly scheduled visual inspections to ensure that the CNC machines were working properly. Each CNC machine had three different colored indicator lights that technicians used to monitor the machine’s status and determine specific maintenance tasks. A red light indicated that the system was offline or shut down, a green light indicated that the machine was idling, and a yellow light indicated that the system was running normally. The company realized they could save time and money by remotely monitoring the condition statuses of all the CNC machines by connecting each CNC machine to Moxa’s ioLogik Ethernet remote I/O server, which would notify the direct numerical control (DNC) server whenever a CNC machine was idle or offline.

System Requirements

  • Accurate data to develop dynamic production plans
  • Active event triggers for data acquisition
  • Improvements in machine utilization
  • Real-time data for the MES and ERP systems

Why Moxa?

  • Robust product design provides reliable operation in harsh environments
  • Reliable serial-to-Ethernet communication without packet loss for precise production control
  • Proactive data acquisition for real-time asset monitoring
  • Intelligent local alarm alerts personnel and data analysis to save maintenance effort
  • Complete industrial Ethernet communication and remote monitoring solutions

System Diagram