IT Infrastructure and Programming Capabilities
MTConnect defines and structures device data in XML format and transports it via HTTP. The standard is written to be simple and accessible for anyone, but the level of effort for implementation can vary based on existing resources in place and current knowledge base.
Information Technology/Operational Technology (IT/OT)
- Are machines or devices already networked via Ethernet or WiFi? If so, what is the network architecture and what kind of support is available from within your company or on a service contract basis?
- Is there an IT department or network administrator in place? Successful MTConnect implementation depends on early and thorough communication between management, manufacturing, and IT.
- Most implementations require an MTConnect agent to serve up data. This executable is generally run from a machine control, separate PC, network switch, or server. Implementation architecture is not specified in the MTConnect standard, which means research and planning before spending any money or installing any software can prevent unnecessary headaches later on.
Expertise and Knowledge Base
- Standardized data in MTConnect format can satisfy many different needs and support a wide variety of applications. Companies with dedicated software programming expertise may want to develop sophisticated MTConnect-based solutions in house. On the other extreme, basic status monitoring using a web browser can be configured by a novice in a few days time.
- In most cases, some outside help is required to address specific functions or to keep an implementation economical. A basic understanding of XML, machine tools, HTTP, and networking is extremely helpful even when installing a turnkey solution.