Complete Machine Data Acquisition Creates More Efficient Production Thanks to Real-Time OEE

by Manfred Moser

Everyday production for industrial companies has changed completely in the course of the 21st century. In the age of Smart Factory and Industry 4.0, modern companies not only have to prove themselves digitally, but importantly have to keep up with companies that are demonstrating the highest efficiency in their productivity.

The challenges of the future include, above all, the transformation of the company's own machinery into a digital ecosystem. The goal is to adapt to a digital world or even to help determine it. Reliable machine data acquisition is a critical prerequisite for this.

In our blog post, you will learn what role machine data plays in the productivity of your company and how you can best capture, evaluate and use it to optimize your productivity.


What is the importance of machine data for industrial companies?

Machine data acquisition collects data sent via interface between manufacturing machines and data processing. A wide variety of relevant information is collected, including the following:

  • Machine condition
  • Machine wear
  • Production quantities
  • Resource consumption
  • Downtimes

Acquired data is passed on - ideally automated and in real time - to the data processing system. In this way, the actual production values can be collected and overviewed - in order to finally be able to make a comparison with the established target data. Companies can then make reliable statements about the effectiveness of their plants and uncover possible optimization potential.


Advantages of machine data acquisition

Only those who know how effectively their machines are working can integrate them into work processes with optimum efficiency. An automated connection of the machines to central data processing systems provides reliable data that can be used to evaluate availability, capacity utilization and actual machine performance. Differences between the productive time of production and the quantities manufactured can thus be precisely observed and evaluated. This is achieved since error messages and malfunction data are delivered to the system in real time and even the shortest stops are reliably forwarded for checking.

Only with this information is your company able to monitor production performance, identify problems and ultimately make data-driven decisions to improve production processes. .

In the event of problems and error messages, real-time data processing also allows you to respond more quickly and flexibly to increased productivity. While this reduces throughput times in real time, reduces waste and ensures quality standards, your company grows into an Industry 4.0 company with the help of digitized and automated machine data acquisition.


Implementing machine data collection in your company - the OPC standard

In the past, machine data acquisition faced an immense effort for interface development. Control software required specialized knowledge that simply could not be implemented without knowledge of SCADA systems. Working with machine data acquisition required companies to hire specialized personnel and therefore involved a great deal of time and expense.

To counter this problem, companies in the automation industry developed OPC technology. The standard communication protocol was originally based on Microsoft's COM/DCOM framework. Today, the latest version OPC UA (Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture) is the basis for digital processes in Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. OPC UA offers the possibility of reading process data in detail from a wide variety of types of machine controllers, displaying it and processing it in real time. Since OPC UA is used by most machine and control manufacturers, compatibility and interface problems are reliably prevented.

OPC UA enables automated monitoring of the machine status by connecting the machine control to the production-related IT systems for order control, production data acquisition, quality assurance and maintenance. Companies thus gain seamless recording of production data, including, for example, the reasons for interruptions.

Integrating machine data into your MES

To automatically capture and monitor all machine and process data, measured values and sensor data from production, your Manufacturing Execution System (MES) should have integrated OPC UA standard interfaces. Field-proven MES systems, such as ADVARIS MES, ensure seamless MES coverage throughout the plant. On this basis, the data is available to all areas of your company - for example, maintenance can make optimal use of the machine data for predictive maintenance.



Expensive machines on the shop floor, but no real overview of productivity - this is the reality for many companies that have not yet initiated a digitalization project for manufacturing. For companies to get the most out of their machines, they should rely on automated machine data collection and processing.

With digital machine data acquisition, you can transform your company into a smart factory: the availability of meaningful OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) key figures is just one of the benefits that companies can realize today by connecting machine controls to company networks. Process optimization, faster troubleshooting measures and quality assurance bring you up to the level of an Industry 4.0 standard company.

With a suitable MES, the digitization project and the processing of the machine data can also be carried out easily without the need for special knowledge or a great deal of time. Thanks to OPC UA, seamless collection of all relevant data in real time can be implemented without encountering interface problems and compatibility concerns.


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