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Right Machine, Right Control - Introducing Matsuura iMonitor

By Mark Cumberland

Optimising your multi pallet Matsuura machines with tools and pallets scheduling maximises the efficiency of your production workflow, delivering the highest level of return for the investment.

Matsuura as a premium Japanese machine tool builder offer every machine within the range with the G-Tech CNC controller which can be linked to Matsuura’s own production monitoring software.

Matsuura UK developed its own monitoring software to give our customers the ability to use live information of the current tool conditions and pallet availability to be able to schedule a priority through the machine, and thus allowing the machine to predict when the operator needs to tend to the machine rather than the man being available the whole of the time that the machine is in production.

We call this software Matsuura iMonitor.

Imagine that an operator believes that with the pallet stocker full, the machine has the ability to run through the next 24 hours, only to find that when he returns, the machine has only run for a few hours due to an exhausted or broken tool.

With Matsuura iMonitor the operator can virtually run the schedule before leaving, the software will show a graphical representation of the pallet availability together with the tools required, should there be a tool with limited life and no spare available, the schedule will show a much earlier end time, considering the limited tool life.

From this information the operator can then replace or add a sister tool before they leave to allow the machine to run all the pallets available in the stocker and the full schedule.

But what if a tool breaks mid-way through the planned unmanned period?

Again, Matsuura iMonitor is there running to ensure that the machine can make the necessary decisions to fulfil the schedule. A broken tool simply locks the pallet and any others that use the same broken tool and then scans for the next available pallet that can be machined with the remaining available tools.

iMonitor can then notify the operator via email that there is a tool problem, but that the machine is still running. This gives the operator the ability to review the schedule and either visit to replace the broken tool thus unlocking the pallets, or simply arrive back at the machine when the new amended schedule has re-calculated the end of production.

Thus, iMonitor allows the customer to plan for 24/7 running on a constantly variable schedule.

When adding new components to the production plan, Matsuura iMonitor can help here as well.

As soon as production starts, iMonitor begins to capture the exact data per tool, this data is then stored for this production run and any subsequent production runs.

Another feature of Matsuura iMonitor when adding new components to the machine’s schedule is to compare the tools required against what’s currently available within the tool magazine.

This function tells the operator which tools to remove in order to add new sufficient tools to be able to process the new component, in addition to all the other components within the current schedule.

With Matsuura iMonitor our customers enjoy the ability to run schedules that cater for infinite variability whilst giving the operator the right information to keep the machine running continuously, whether it be volume production or a batch size of one and any multiple upward of a single component.

Footnote; Matsuura Tower Pallet Systems and Pallet Pool Stockers are world leading automation technology. Read about our heritage here.


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