Bosch Rexroth and VIMANA implement connected automation by use of MTConnect and OPC

Automation equipment connected through open standards helps users to achieve the goals envisioned under the Industry 4.0 connectivity and data analytics revolution.

MTConnect and OPC are two open communication standards that enable users to easily connect production equipment for data collection. Furthermore, MTConnect standardizes the data across equipment, a prerequisite for subsequent data analytics.

OPC benefits CNC and PLC controllers

Rexroth has long embraced open standards and continues this tradition with its Multi-Ethernet and Open Core Engineering Interface offerings. OPC is one of these open communication standards and is offered in Rexroth PLC, motion logic and CNC controllers. The OPC DA communication is installed in many high production systems for data communication but has been followed by the newer, faster and more universal OPC UA standard in recent years.

Thanks to this consistent support for open standards, the data in the IndraMotion MTX CNC controllers can be accessed using OPC DA under Windows and OPC UA directly from the controller. For security, mechanisms are provided to the machine builder to control which data is accessible via OPC. To further improve ease of integration, Rexroth also observes OPC companion standards such as the MTConnect-OPC UA companion specifications.

Via OPC to MTConnect and standardizing production data

MTConnect is a standard that provides manufacturing data in a consistent format and method – independent of the manufacturing equipment. The MTConnect Agent collects and buffers the data and sends it to the MTConnect Client software as desired. From the start, MTConnect included the Adapter function that allows it to bridge to other communication channels, one being OPC. This method is further detailed in the MTConnect-OPC UA companion specifications.

This OPC capability in both the IndraMotion MTX and VIMANA from VIMANA makes it easy to access all motion and PLC data exposed for access to the MTConnect Adapter. The MTConnect Agent then provides the data in the MTConnect format to the data collection cloud at the specific end user installation.

VIMANA: Manufacturing Intelligence from the plant to the enterprise

VIMANA, the predictive analytics platform for manufacturing intelligence, integrates with Bosch Rexroth drive and control technology to connect assets and monitor, analyze, and optimize the factory floor for improved operational performance. VIMANA provides expanded connectivity to multivendor and legacy factory devices with interoperability of OPC UA and OPC DA to MTConnect. This data is then streamed to the VIMANA servers for advanced analytics generating dashboards for real-time monitoring and proactive management of operational performance. Smart alerts from enriched data communicate potential maintenance or safety problems before they occur. Bosch Rexroth’s broad automation technology portfolio integration with the VIMANA Suite enables manufacturers to leverage machine data for insight into machine utilization, maintenance, safety and energy consumption.

MTConnect and OPC in Connected Automation

Make sure to visit the VIMANA booth E-4149 and Rexroth booth E-4854 to see MTConnect in action, collecting data from the CNC IndraMotion MTX. Both booths are conveniently located in the same East Building at IMTS2016.