Machine tool builder Mazak Corporation reported it is adopting the MTConnect open communications protocol for its U.S. manufacturing center in Florence, Ky., making it the industry’s first OEM to implement the data-exchange standard. MTConnect is the manufacturing technology industry’s customized platform for exchanging data between shop floor equipment, and its use for machine monitoring and data analysis has been growing steadily since it was introduced in 2008.

Mazak said adopting MTConnect would allow it to monitor its manufacturing equipment and collect useful data for improving its operations. In turn, those improvements will ensure its customers are provided with advanced technology quickly, helping them to meet customers’ changing demands.

Mazak emphasized its pioneering role in the growth of MTConnect: all of the CNC machines it builds are compatible with the protocol, and over 100 of its customers are in various stages of integrating their own operations with MTConnect. Approximately 300 Mazak machines of various models are involved in that process.

“MTConnect’s value to our customers is in the ability for them to establish extensive and open channels of communication for plug-and-play interconnectivity between devices,” stated Mazak Corp. president Brian Papke.

“MTConnect allows software to be universally applied between different types of machine models so that information is readily available for improving machine tool utilization,” he continued. “Using this capability, Mazak is taking another positive step in further increasing the productivity of our North American operations and ensuring the strong competitiveness of our Kentucky manufacturing.”