c-Connect – digitizing one step at a time

How do machining companies manage to digitalise their manufacturing processes without significant investment? How do they reap the benefits of connectivity without a complete overhaul of their existing machinery? And how can they reliably transfer data without having to interrupt production for too long? c-Com has the answer, and its name is c-Connect.

In the right-hand third of the image, the c-Connect box, which is connected to the press controls in the centre of the image, is shown.
The c-Connect Box, right, is quickly and easily connected to the machine. 
c-Com is an open cloud platform that interconnects the entire supply chain and makes data
available to all involved. Information regarding tools and machinery is transferred to the cloud via RFID chips and DNC servers. Manual data transfer is not necessary. This, or something like it, represents the ideal scenario for connected manufacturing.

Yet it is a scenario that only rarely reflects reality because systematic connectivity usually tends to involve considerable investment. c-Com has developed the c-Connect module, including a box of the same name, for companies wishing to go digital without incurring high costs.

Quick and easy assembly

Customers will find that using c-Connect will pay for itself many times over. “Using c-Connect, tool measuring data can be transferred digitally from the setting fixture to the machine, including registration of stock movements. In addition, thanks to various sensors, the c-Connect box can be used to monitor aspects such as machine status,” says Giari Fiorucci, Managing Director of c-Com GmbH.

This involves mounting a c-Connect box on every machine and linking the two via USB – a quick and easy process. “Machine parks with very different machinery can be connected rapidly and without any fuss,” says Fiorucci. After all, c-Connect is compatible with all common machine controllers and thus represents an affordable entry model for digitalisation in the field of machining. And it also has plenty of potential for expansion, as Giari Fiorucci explains: “c-Connect leaves all options open. The level of digitalisation can be increased gradually. For example, all the benefits offered by other c-Com modules can be integrated.”

Directly transferring measuring data

While RFID chips and DNC servers are normally used in large-scale series production, at smaller companies, relevant measuring data are often transferred via manual input from the setting fixture to the machine tool. This process is not only time-consuming but also prone to error and can, in the worst case, result in damage to tools, machinery or parts. c-Connect eliminates such errors entirely. The setting fixture measures the tool, and, from there, the measuring data are automatically transferred to the c-Com platform. After scanning the tool at the machine, the c-Connect box takes the measuring data from c-Com and
transfers them to the machine tool at the touch of a button. Not only does this eliminate errors, but it also saves on unnecessary non-productive time. “Another benefit is that stock movements are registered on the c-Com platform. It is also possible to obtain data such as tool life or reason for replacement in c-Com when a tool is taken out of service; in other words, to digitalise the tool operation card,” adds Fiorucci.

Monitoring the machine

Furthermore, the c-Connect box makes it possible to monitor all data that can be recorded by sensors. For example, the c-Connect box can check and measure temperature, humidity or the status of a machine’s indicator light. If a value is above or below a defined range, a push notification will immediately be sent to the operator or person responsible via text message, tweet or e-mail. The same goes for malfunctions. As soon as a machine’s indicator light turns red, for instance, a notification is issued immediately and the error can be rectified. This makes it possible to prevent long downtimes during unattended operation, such as overnight.

Kathrin Rehor, PR Project Manager at MAPAL


Kathrin Rehor Public Relations Kathrin.Rehor@mapal.com Phone: +49 7361 585 3342

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