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Plant Magazine Features ToolMon

DataRealm’s tool life monitoring system, known as ToolMon, is featured in the April edition of Plant Magazine. In an article headlined “Avoid Machining Downtime”, correspondent Corinne Lynds reports that ToolMon takes the “unpredictability out of tool life.” She adds that with ToolMon, manufacturers can “predict tool changes by hourly increments,” noting that “DataRealm’s ToolMon makes tool life more predictable by giving production technicians, engineers and operators real-time status productivity reports.”

“The web-based monitoring system eliminates limits or restrictions on access: in other words, any computer in-plant or off-site with access to the company intranet, can connect. It also sends data to pagers, cell phones, marquees and e-mail.”

In the article, DataRealm president Dave Fortin explains that “ToolMon allows managers to predict upcoming tool changes by hourly increments, provides immediate tool breakage analysis, connects directly to cutting machines and compares tool life across machines, departments and plants.”

Additional information in the article notes that ToolMon “uses OPC (OLE for process control) software on the company’s server to tunnel down into a PLC’s memory and grab data. Fortin says that “once we get into the PLC memory we can grab tool life, tool counts and various other key data. From there, the pertinent information is pulled out into the server. Once you have that, you can slice it and dice it in many different ways to produce meaningful reports.”

He adds that the system was first implemented at a large engine plant with a “fully automated cylinder head line with hundreds of CNCs in place, plus a hundred or more gantries. You couldn’t even see parts going by, it was all up in the air. It was a very large department and they had spent millions in tooling, and we basically developed this system for them.”

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