MD – South Asia & Middle East, Mastercam APAC
IIoT applied to manufacturing enables smart manufacturing, where manufacturing systems are fully integrated with the digital world and are driven by data collected at each stage of the manufacturing process.
The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is inevitable for manufacturing. Industry 4.0 is a specific step in this direction. Time to market and rate of production have always been key factors in manufacturing. IIoT is helping optimise these factors, amongst others and making the prototyping phase as well as the production phase more reliable and accurate, observes Vineet Seth, Managing Director – South Asia & Middle East, Mastercam APAC. He adds, “Moving to the future, complete closed-loop manufacturing (including for CNC machining), data driven predictive maintenance, failure prevention, 100 per cent inspection and lifecycle monitoring are a few of the benefits that we could start deriving from as soon as the next 10-15 years or so.”
Data and analytics will be crucial in identifying customer satisfaction, product performance, product enhancement and planning end-of-life. Connected devices will also mean possible resource and task sharing opportunities, cohesive working, reliability monitoring and flexible manufacturing.
In essence, Seth says, “IIoT applied to manufacturing enables smart manufacturing, where manufacturing systems are fully integrated with the digital world and are driven by data collected at each stage of the manufacturing process.” The ultimate goal (s) being:
• Process reliability and stability
• Quick response to change (internal as well as external)
• Quicker decisions.
Seth summarises the future look for IIoT in manufacturing as: “IIoT will enable intelligent manufacturing systems, capable of optimising a given process or a set of processes, by storing and analysing complex data from the process loop, with or without the intervention of a human brain. IIoT will also help simplify and automate mundane tasks that are otherwise prone to human error.”
IIoT adoption drivers
Today, a lot of industries have already started adopting IIoT in their businesses. According to Seth, “The most likely early adopters will be automotive and aerospace, FMCG, white goods, medical, food and food processing, as well as defence businesses.”
Any ‘data intensive’ business is a prime candidate for IIoT. Millions of rows of data are generated from the activities of the industries above, and the larger the dataset, the more accurate results will be from IIoT analytics. This analysis will help define consumer patterns, failure prevention, optimal manufacturing processes, optimal logistics and material handling – far better than conventional methods.
Mastercam’s preparedness in the area of IIoT
Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) is a key component of digital manufacturing. It is only natural that one needs to be an early mover in the development as well as adoption of IIoT. Mastercam works with many industry pioneers in the area of IIoT for manufacturing.
Increasing compatibility with machine tool and machine tool controllers, machining time, tool life monitoring, surface finish prediction, avoiding air moves, re-using toolpaths, etc., are some of the potential areas that are being explored.
Currently though, Mastercam is now connected to MachiningCloud, thereby providing Mastercam users access to the cutting tool knowledge and product data available within MachiningCloud. This offers Mastercam users access to MachiningCloud’s cutting tool product data from within Mastercam. Customers now have direct access to complete and up-to-date cutting tool product data, from the leading cutting tool manufacturers available on MachiningCloud.
With the completed Mastercam MachiningCloud connection, key benefits are available to customers:
• Search for tools from multiple manufacturers quickly in one place.
• Access manufacturer’s expert cutting tool recommendations.
• Quickly filter a universe of possibilities down to an optimum solution for a given workpiece.
• Import the selected product data into Mastercam for programming.
• Utilise the 3D models for simulation and 2D drawings for documentation.
Of course, this is only one example of Mastercam’s current capabilities in tapping the wealth of information using IIoT.