Look Ahead: Remotely interesting monitoring

Author Michael C. Anderson
March 16, 2017 - 04:15pm

One roadblock for parts makers to begin implementing Industrial Internet of Things technology is psychological: Implementation sounds like a big, time-consuming undertaking. It can be, of course. 

But a good way to start might be to take about 20 minutes and fire up Smart Attend, an all-in-one manufacturing-facility communication system from Smart Attend Inc. It collects and organizes data for Pareto analysis, illustrates individual manufacturing-goal parameters and provides remote global access to historical production data, automated resource deployment and up to eight individual line inputs for collecting machine data. 

The Smart Attend all-in-one system allows analysis of a facility’s manufacturing processes
from anywhere. Image courtesy of Smart Attend

Setup begins by connecting a PC to the Smart Attend box. Settings can be configured directly over the computer network via the Smart Attend app. Using plug-and-play functionality, initial configuration can be completed in as little as 20 minutes without any additional resources, such as IT personnel. With Smart Attend integrated directly into an existing programmable logic controller, the Smart Connect voltage harmonizer commonizes input voltage to 24v to ensure flexible integration across a range of platforms.

Capabilities include: instant access to production data through a web app and native iOS/Android app; completely automated resource deployment (notifications are relayed to specified departments, depending on the alarm triggered); configurable flash colors, speed and intervals; and hourly, weekly, monthly and annual historical analysis of machine data.

Development of the system began in 2014, according to Smart Attend’s sales and marketing director, Max Preston. “The biggest challenge was to design a PCB unit that was able to withstand harsh manufacturing environments and successfully communicate data wirelessly through equipment.” 

Overheating was an initial issue, overcome by adding numerous heat sinks, he said.

Another major hurtle was translating binary electrical signals into usable and effective machine analytics. “With simple on/off signals running into the Smart Device, the challenge was to make sense of it all and have the correct algorithms in place to find a pattern in the data coming in,” Preston said. “After months of trial and error, we feel like we have perfected the system.”

For more information about Smart Attend Inc., Aurora, Ontario, visit www.smartattend.com or call (866) 210-9630.


Related Glossary Terms

  • flash


    Thin web or film of metal on a casting that occurs at die partings and around air vents and movable cores. This excess metal is due to necessary working and operating clearances in a die. Flash also is the excess material squeezed out of the cavity as a compression mold closes or as pressure is applied to the cavity.

  • web


    On a rotating tool, the portion of the tool body that joins the lands. Web is thicker at the shank end, relative to the point end, providing maximum torsional strength.


Former Senior Editor

Michael Anderson, former senior editor at Cutting Tool Engineering magazine, holds a master's degree in written communication from Eastern Michigan University. He has been professionally writing about manufacturing technology since 1998, including more than 10 years at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.