MTConnect communication standard

MTConnect Data Monitoring & Analysis
Data monitoring and analysis

BITMOTECO Machine Monitoring

Our modular condition monitoring system for production also supports the MTConnect communication standard.

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Use of MTConnect and areas of application

MTConnect is an open communication standard that is specifically designed for the mechanical and manufacturing industries. It is designed to provide a standardized and uniform method for collecting and exchanging data from machines and other devices in the manufacturing environment. The standard was developed by the MTConnect Institute, an organization consisting of companies, institutions and individuals. The organization is committed to promoting open communication standards in the manufacturing industry. The communication standard is mainly used by manufacturers such as Mazak, DMG MORI, Okuma, Haas Automation or Fanuc.

MTConnect Manufacturer at a Glance

Mazak (Yamazaki Mazak UK Ltd)

The Japanese manufacturer Mazak uses MTConnect in its Smooth Technology controllers, such as the SmoothX, SmoothG, SmoothC or the SmoothAi.

DMG MORI (DMG MORI Global Marketing GmbH)

As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of machine tools, DMG MORI integrates the communication standard into its Celos controllers, which are used in many CNC machines.

Okuma (Okuma DEUTSCHLAND GmbH)

Okuma, a large Japanese machine tool manufacturer, distributes the OSP-P series CNC controllers (OSP-P300, OSP-P200, etc.) that support MTConnect for data communication.

Haas Automation (Haas Automation, Inc – CNC machine tool)

Haas, a U.S.-based manufacturer of CNC machines, also uses the communication standard in its machines with HaasNext controllers, such as HaasControl.

FANUC (FANUC Deutschland GmbH)

The Japanese manufacturer FANUC, one of the largest suppliers of CNC controls, has also started to use the communication standard in some of its controllers, such as the FANUC Series 30i/31i/32i model range.

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How data transmission works and how the communication architecture is structured

Data transmission

MTConnect uses the Internet Protocol (IP) and XML (Extensible Markup Language) as a data format to collect and transmit machine data. It also provides access to information such as machine status, production parameters, temperature, pressure, speed, and other relevant data from machines and equipment on the production line. This data can then be used by various applications, such as monitoring systems, analysis tools, maintenance systems, and other software applications. The data provided is organized in a standardized format. Consequently, this facilitates interoperability between different systems.

Communication Architecture

The communication architecture of MTConnect is based on the client-server model, but the clients can only access the provided data in a read-only manner. The applications that want to retrieve and process the machine data are the receivers (often referred to as “MTConnect clients”). The servers (often referred to as “MTConnect agents”) act as an interface between the machines as well as the clients.

Three basic components of the communication standard

  1. MTConnect-enabled machines and devices: The machines and equipment in the production line are equipped with so-called “MTConnect adapters”. These adapters serve as an interface between the machine’s hardware (e.g. sensors, controllers, actuators, etc.) and the protocol. They are therefore responsible for capturing the relevant machine data and then making it available for retrieval over the network.
  2. MTConnect Agents: The agents are software components that receive and manage the collected data from the MTConnect adapters. They provide the interface for the MTConnect clients to retrieve data. One agent can process data from multiple machines or devices in the manufacturing environment.
  3. MTConnect Clients: These are applications or software components that want to access data and then use it. Accordingly, these clients can have various functions, such as real-time monitoring, data analysis, production planning, maintenance, performance optimization, and more. They communicate with the MTConnect agents in order to retrieve the desired data and send appropriate commands to the machines.
MTConnect Communication Architecture
MTConnect Communication Architecture

Differentiation between MTConnect and OPC UA

In addition to MTConnect, OPC UA or a combination of both standards is increasingly being used in the manufacturing industry. The following comparison shows the most important differences between the communication standards:

MTConnect

OPC-UA

Do you need help with questions regarding the right communication standard for your production? With our know-how and our services, we can support you in this.

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How can the BITMOTECOsystem communicate with the machine controller via MTConnect?

Via the Node-RED module, the BITMOTECOsystem can act as an MTConnect client and then retrieve corresponding machine data. To do this, the HTTP node can be used in conjunction with the XML converter.

MTConnect Example in Node-RED
MTConnect Example in Node-RED

In the example in the picture, the data is retrieved as an XML file via an HTTP GET request from the MTConnect agent. Subsequently, the XML string can be converted into a Javascript object with the XML node and the desired measured values can be extracted from it accordingly. The data can then be further processed and made available, for example, via MQTT node on an MQTT broker. Alternatively, the extracted measured values can also be stored in a database and then further processed or archived from there.

With the BITMOTECOsystems you can easily connect MTConnect devices (e.g. machines, controllers) to your IT/OT infrastructure. Simply arrange a free appointment and we will discuss your specific use case:

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