Hexagon closes CNC machinery “OEE gap”

Dec. 9, 2021
Promises to connect 85% of CNC machines in minutes, offering rapid transformation of shopfloor operations.

Cloud-native CNC (computer-numerical control) machine-tool asset management introduced by Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division connects to almost any machine-tool, enabling machine shops to optimize their return on investment (ROI) using its real-time status dashboards with mobile operator alerts and enabling global manufacturers to analyze machine fleet utilization across multiple plants, per Hexagon.

Hexagon claims its SFx Asset Management application is already trusted by global manufacturers to improve employee productivity and the utilization of Hexagon metrology devices, and now also records CNC machine tool operating data so that teams can analyze and mitigate downtime. The application can be used by production staff across manufacturing organizations to pinpoint bottlenecks and optimize the utilization of CNC machinery, and by management to measure the ROI of those assets and identify valuable improvements in OEE. 

Built in Hexagon’s cloud-native SFx platform, the application acquires and processes IIoT data in real time to provide shop-floor operators access to machine-tool status at any time. Role-based access provides staff access to the status of the required machines, so they can check program and utilization information from any location using a computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Customizable system alerts make it easier for an operator to supervise multiple machines and help instill greater confidence in lights-out production. The accompanying SFx Asset mobile application provides secure mobile-optimized access to status alerts and KPIs without the complexity of a virtual private network (VPN), its maker notes.

“Machine tools only make you money when they’re running, so reporting on the root cause and duration of downtime is critical to reacting quickly and making changes when needed,” said Greg Holdsworth, senior product manager for digital operations, Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division. “Looking at historical usage data to see for example—if a cycle ran in the time predicted, or if a machine tool had to wait three hours for a setup is just as important as responding to crashes. All of these factors contribute to the overall effectiveness of a machine tool and, when you’ve made a significant financial investment, it’s important to take full advantage of the technology at your fingertips.”