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.
An MTConnect agent is required to aggregate, format, and store data. This executable is generally run from a machine control, separate PC, network switch, or server. The MTConnect standard does not dictate a specific implementation architecture or define where various software components should run.
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 MTConnect-based solutions in-house. At the other extreme, a novice can configure basic status monitoring using a web browser in a few days.
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.