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Tracking Machine Utilization on Older Machines

June 26, 2021 #MachineMonitoring #DataXchange

 

A well-maintained CNC machine that’s properly cared for can operate for decades. The downside of a 20+ year old machine is it’s dated technology. Over time, new technology that provide tools to capture machine data have been added to machines. That doesn’t mean your older CNC machines are left behind. There are ways to capture valuable machine data with hardware and machine monitoring software.

 

Tracking machine utilization on older machines can be done using a combination of low-cost hardware and supporting machine monitoring software. The SRC is a low-cost hardware that comes programmed out the box to work with the machine monitoring software, DataXchange and your machine. It can be connected to either a wired or wireless Ethernet adapter and is capable of monitoring various signals (low/high voltage or analog) for data collection.  The hardware works great for monitoring stack lights to detect green, yellow, red, and flashing conditions, as well as other digital signals from equipment. The machine monitoring software captures the data from the hardware and provides the user various options to display it.

 

In addition to Machine Monitoring Systems, Nexas America offers a variety of CNC Communication software including DNC Systems and DNC System Add-on tools for third party DNC Software packages.

 

Quick Facts:

- 8 Digital Inputs

- Detects state, alternating, and latching

- Configurable for Status or Counters

- 6 Digital Outputs

- Wired or Wireless Ethernet

- Powered by 110v AC or 24v DC

- 24v Power Supply Included

 

Welcome to the Nexas America Blog!

June 24, 2021

 

Please stop by frequently to see commentary on industry news, product updates, and links to our developing library of technical documents.

Machine Monitoring - An Incremental Approach

July 8, 2021 #MachineMonitoring #DataXchange

 

A properly implemented Machine Monitoring System can save your company thousands of dollars per machine per year. Conservative estimates and real-life experiences show that a shop with 40 CNCs can save $250,000 or more per year.

 

But, implementing a full-scale Machine Monitoring System can be a big investment for a facility.  And, even though the pay-back is a matter of months, that investment must compete with other capital needs.

Machine Monitoring

DataXchange, sold and supported by Nexas America, LLC, is a fully-scalable system that lets you start small to see immediate benefits, then expand as time and budgets allow.

 

The DataXchange cloud-based model requires only a PC with an internet connection. No dedicated server or database.  No IT maintenance for site server support.   There is a low-cost monthly service fee per CNC that can be canceled at any time with no penalties.  (Note: A site-based license as also available.  Many clients start with a cloud implementation then transfer to a site license once they see the benefits of the system.)  

In addition to Machine Monitoring Systems, Nexas America offers a variety of CNC Communication software including DNC Systems and DNC System Add-on tools for third party DNC Software packages.

Exploring Different Ways to Tackle Internal Software Projects

June 25, 2022  #TheSoftwareTaskForce #SoftwareDevelopment

 

Today, nearly every business uses some type of software. Commercial products account for most of the software used, but in many cases, businesses need software that is tailored to specific needs of the company. This requires some sort of custom software development and/or maintenance. Where do these companies turn to tackle projects like these? Let’s look at common options for maintaining and/or developing software and the challenges involved with each one:

 

Option 1: Leveraging In-house Developers

Some companies have access to software developers internally. This option can be viable as it is very cost effective and there is complete control over the SDLC. Current employees may also have a much better understanding of business needs. The challenge here is in availability. Many in-house developers have existing projects that they’re working on and may not have the time to focus on new ones. They also may not have the specialized skills needed. Hiring new staff for a one-time project puts an added strain on budgets and requires HR time and effort for onboarding and training programs.

 

Option 2: Contracting a Local Developer

Another option is to hire a company locally to work on-site with you through to completion. While this may be an effective method, it can become very expensive, and those expenses can continue over time with maintenance or updates. For some smaller companies or those with limited budgets, this may not be a viable option.

 

Option 3: Outsourcing an Overseas Developer

Enter international development services. Hiring overseas developers is popular because it significantly cuts costs. They are also very accessible due to aggressive marketing strategies and freelancing platforms such as UpWork. In most cases you hire an individual/team for a project, give them your own specifications and they code your project to those exact specifications. This option can work if there’s a heavy focus on coding itself, however, there are several potential problems going this route, one of them being communications.

 

Many outsourced developers abroad are from eastern European/southeast Asian countries. English may not always be a first language for them. Communicating ideas, questions and concerns may not be clear if there’s a slight language barrier between the client and customer. Also keep in mind any type of time difference you may have, this would either require you to work different hours to communicate with them, or them to alter their schedule to meet with you.

 

Another issue associated with outsourcing can be the skillset of the third party hired. Software developers (especially those outsourced) are generally very skilled at writing code, but you need to give them exact specifications for your software project. If their code meets those specifications, they will consider their job complete. Any follow-up changes will be considered a new project.

 

Full management of a project and agile reaction to new information is difficult without an on-site analyst that fully understands and monitors the project and user requirements. An individual coder, or group of coders abroad will not be able to do this.

 

Option 4: Hybrid Sourcing

As you can see, each of the options above has pros and cons. This is where The Software Task Force comes in. The Software Task Force, based in Western Massachusetts, combines the advantages of the above and minimizes the disadvantages using a new concept called “Hybrid Sourcing”.

 

Hybrid Sourcing uses a systems analyst (coined Software Commander) that works directly with you on-site/remotely, and when applicable leverages its own team of highly skilled offshore developers to reduce costs. When necessary for security compliance, the entire project can be limited to US-based developers. The Software Taskforce can work on new projects, upgrade existing systems, or supplement existing developers to complete nearly any type of software project.

 

Nexas America LLC (a 15-year leader in developing and implementing solutions for the Manufacturing Industry) created The Software Task Force after many requests by clients to solve specific software problems. Now, this team of skilled and tested talent is ready to help anyone solve software problems on an as-needed basis.

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