Grinding Technology Virtual machine monitoring technology delivers high grinding efficiencies

Author / Editor: Barbara Schulz / Barbara Schulz

Australia - Anca's smart factory Management Suite enables customers to monitor the operational performance of their machines no matter where they are in the world, while also providing live production data to help them make informed operational improvements.

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Management Suite interface: The dashboard provides users with the flexibility to monitor their production in and out of the office.
Management Suite interface: The dashboard provides users with the flexibility to monitor their production in and out of the office.
(Source: Anca)

Time is a precious commodity in the modern world and businesses that have the systems in place to achieve more with less will always be a step ahead of their competitors. Manufacturers have spent years crafting new ways to increase the efficiency of their machine shops, looking for solutions to reduce machine down-time and manage grinding schedules to maximise output.

Australian grinding machine manufacturer Anca has introduced a tool for the smart factory, its new Management Suite for the company's range of tool grinders. According to Anca, it is a game changer for the CNC grinding industry, enabling customers to monitor the operational performance of their machines no matter where they are in the world, while also providing live production data to help them make informed operational improvements.

“We listened to what our customers needed to improve their grinding performance," Thomson Mathew, Anca software product manager, says. "They told us they wanted a smart factory concept where machines grind tools all day everyday with minimal intervention and the ability to remotely monitor machines for better intelligence on grinding performance and down-times.”

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“Imagine you have planned for your CNC grinding machines to run a long tool batch over the weekend," he continues. "One of your team is on alert to monitor production, keeping an eye on his or her phone or other device from home and is immediately alerted if there is a machine down. In the past, this person would have had to be on site all weekend - which is a cost to the business - or it would have resulted in lost productivity as the problem would only have been picked up when people returned on Monday to find the grinding had stopped in the afternoon on Saturday.”

Data analytics are key to improving processes

According to Mathew, there has also been lots of discussion about the value of data to companies. Data analytics are the key to improving business processes, he explains, and Anca's software suite has been designed to give customers as much intelligence as possible on their machines' performance with a simple-to-use interface. "Gone are the days where customers rely on manual records of machine performance with software that provides factual reports and analytics to enable informed decisions.”

According to Anca, the machine analytics provided by the Management Suite give companies the ability to produce highly accurate reports on machine usage, allowing them to identify waste and increase equipment efficiency.

Furthermore, the Management Suite dashboard is said to provide users with the flexibility to monitor the production of their machines in and out of the office – all they need is to be connected to their server via the internet. It can be viewed by multiple people in the company, thereby creating a connected team that can work together remotely and on site to maximise its operational efficiencies.

Software saves companies time

“The new software means that our customers can decide where their time will be best spent; meeting with clients or even having lunch out of the office in the knowledge that their machines are operating at a premium," Mathew says.

The Management Suite comprises three products, Tool Management, Wheel Management and Redax. Tool Management maintains revision control of users' grinding programs, allowing them to easily revert to older versions. You can also visually identify program changes using the file difference tool.

The Wheel Management product is a central inventory for wheels and wheel packs. It provides a platform to easily share wheel packs and qualification data between machines. It also has a handy search function so that operators can easily find what they are looking for. Another key feature of the Wheel Management product is the differentiation between simulator-qualified wheels, which prevents the usage of actual wheels on machines to avoid collisions and damages to machine and wheel packs.

The Redax product is a remote data analytics real-time monitoring solution for machines. Its open-platform, communication-unified architecture is part of Redax and runs on machines to monitor and broadcast machine data. From this, the client can consolidate the findings on a web page that is displayed in a real-time web browser.

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