Engineers have now developed a new software that will enable a machine to identify its own faults and guide the operator towards rectification.
By merely pressing the 'yes' or 'no' buttons, the operator can read the nature of the fault along with the ways of correcting it.
The software, Quick Electronic Detection, developed by Bangalore-based Bharat Fritz Werner, will help reduce machining centre stoppages in the manufacturing industry to less than five per cent.
The impact of the breakthrough assumes gigantic proportions, considering that the Rs 5,00,000 crore Indian manufacturing industry buys machine tools worth Rs 4,000 crore every year.
Most of these machine tools find way from suppliers or sub-suppliers to major manufacturers. Unable to decipher the alarms on sophisticated machining centres, these suppliers sometimes take an entire shift to solve a problem.
Recalling an instance of power failure, Satish Kumar of Sri Vinayaka CNC Tech, a Bangalore-based sub-supplier to Hewlett Packard says, "The machining centre did not resume operation after the restoration of power. The CNC system continued to emit an alarm."
Finally, Kumar contacted the machine tool supplier, whose step-by-step instructions brought the machine back to life, but not before the production equivalent to ten components was lost.
Kumar found that after the installation of the QED, he could rectify the defect and resume production on his machining centre within 10 minutes.
Though the facility is presently limited to BFW machining centres, they are soon likely to feature on machines of other makes as well.