GF Machining brings OPC UA to North America
- February 17, 2021
The standard, developed by the OPC Foundation as a robust, cross-platform interface paradigm, provides a common communication language across GF Machining Solutions products, technologies and services, enabling easy connection to existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and a wide range of other manufacturing solutions.
This seamless data exchange promotes collection of personalized key performance indicator (KPI) measurements at every level of operation, simplifying optimization efforts.
Working in tandem with the OPC UA interface, GF’s numerous other digital solutions, including the company’s rConnect Dashboard, help manufacturers reduce machine downtime, monitor performance across entire facilities, fully automate operations and ensure manufacturing process compliance.
Version 1.0 of the OPC UA collects a vast range of comparable data. The rConnect Dashboard makes that data accessible on the shop floor, or remotely via mobile devices.
The system focuses on five major data groups: machine identity, state/status information, process information, utilization and logs.
Machine identity includes meta information, such as serial numbers, user-provided nicknames and software versions for GF Machining Solutions machines, all of which can be retrieved from the OPC UA server.
The machine state data group lists basic information, such as the machine’s current assigned job, its activity status and more. With this data, manufacturers can then implement their own algorithms for tracking specific KPIs or overall equipment efficiency (OEE).
For updates on process information, the OPC UA server provides remote access to messages from a machine itself. These include user messages, warnings and errors, allowing for effective remote communications.
Users can trace different KPIs, including actual production time (APT), actual unit setup time (AUST), actual unit delay time (ADET), actual unit busy time (AUBT) and actual unit processing time (AUPT). In addition to these KPIs, the UnitTime and the UnitOnTime are trackable.
For logging machine and job activity, users can access the OPC UA server to track the start and end times of jobs as well as multiple executions of a same job. The server also lists other key information about the last job the machine ran, such as lead time, start/end time and the numerical control (NC) program name used.