Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Co. – in the meantime, there are a multitude of apps that keep us up-to-date in our environment. Our smartphone lets us know when friends share a new photo from their morning jogging route, acquaintances update their place of work or Aunt Emily decides to let everybody know about how she is getting along with her backache. In the industrial landscape, many operators would be very happy if their machine tools were so ready to communicate.
Manage MyMachines and Manage MyMachines /Remote, two cloud-based applications from Siemens, are turning this vision of industrial communication into reality. Machine tool manufacturers and operators can now globally network their machines, allowing them to manage historical data at any time, monitor the states of their machines, and even carry out remote maintenance via a browser or on a smartphone. This creates a world of new opportunity and possibility for users.
Industrial software solution packed with functionality
Machine tools, an internet connection and access to MindSphere – to start, Manage MyMachines and Manage MyMachines/Remote don’t require anything else to capture, analyze and visually process the data received from the CNC. MindSphere, the open, cloud-based IoT operating system has been developed for industrial requirements and ensures that domain-specific data is reliably transferred and processed with minimal on-site hardware investments required. To specifically retrieve information – known as aspects – the user can define the data points on the application interface that are relevant for them and their company.
Malfunctions and inconsistencies can be identified early on, which results in more efficient service and maintenance work. The availability of machine tools is also significantly increased. It is possible to capture incoming alarms, and based on this, create triggering events which load the associated log files directly into the system.
When it comes to maintenance, Manage MyMachines /Remote goes one step further: using remote maintenance functionality, service technicians can access any CNC machine that is connected to the application. These can be internal or third-party experts. Thanks to the cloud-based infrastructure, no local server installation or maintenance tools are required. Moreover, additional software tools used in the service department can be consolidated into one location instead of installing them at each individual machine. This way PLC updates, for example, can be carried out remotely from one central location. Current control systems such as SINUMERIK ONE, 840D sl and 828D can be directly linked with the apps and even control systems from other manufacturers can be integrated. Here, Siemens places huge emphasis on secure connections, which play an essential role in the industrial context of remote monitoring and remote maintenance.
Data security has top priority
MindSphere, the open, cloud-based IoT operating system from Siemens, provides a seamless and holistic security concept for industry. The latest cybersecurity technology is applied when it comes to transferring and saving information and data. However, also outside MindSphere, considerable emphasis is given to ensuring very secure data connections.
Users themselves control access authorizations and can issue or withdraw access rights at any time. Detailed logging of remote access operations facilitates access protection through logins, user authentication, machine authentication and functionality permissions. With Manage MyMachines /Remote, remote access sessions can be recorded on video for future quality and performance management. This means that companies operating machines can reliably understand what changes were made to the machines, and exactly when these changes took place. The data can also be used in other value-generating activities. For example, users can integrate data into their internal invoicing system, which can be used as basis to generate new service business.
Notification for optimization
Individually monitoring and processing incoming data supports the efficient use of financial, human and time resources. The applications come into their own and shine, especially in enabling predictive maintenance, responding to emergencies or in navigating the current Covid-19 pandemic. Through remote maintenance, long travel times to go on-site are eliminated and the service process is shortened – therefore minimizing fault times and downtimes.
And if you are thinking that your machines are going to be like Aunt Emily with your phone beeping incessantly, no need to worry: every user can individually define when they should be notified about any irregularities or faults.