When we started FreePoint 6 years ago, our vision was to connect any machine to a data collection and visualization platform easily and cost-effectively, regardless of type, brand or age.
Walking through a plant floor with one of our earliest prospective customers, the plant manager showed us their variety of 3 and 5 axis milling machines, several plasma and flame cutters, and their massive grinding machines. After we determined that we could connect to them all the same way, he took me to the back of the shop where he showed me their oldest machine.
“Can you connect to that one?” he asked? It was a large planer mill, built by the Niles-Bement-Pond Company in Plainfield NJ, in 1914. “Yes” was the answer, and we even did it for free.
Within that plant, there are 20 other machines, ranging in ages from 1965 to 2014. In most of our customer’s plants, we see a wide range of machine types and ages.
The fact is that many older machines continue to deliver good quality output, and due to the nature of the work they do, there is little advantage that newer technology could bring. (You can’t bend steel, or forge, or draw copper any faster than physics will allow). Also, most machines in these industries are very large and are often installed when the plant is built. Replacing them just doesn’t make sense. However, connecting them to the same data collection platform for uptime, downtime, scheduling, preventative and predictive maintenance does.
Old machines are still in use for a reason – because they are critical to the production of the product. It just makes sense to connect them too.
And with FreePoint, you can – just reach out.