Hexagon Aims to Close the “OEE Gap” With Latest Asset Management Tool

January 05, 2022 by Shawn Dietrich

Data is invaluable in industry. This is no different for CNC machines and shop floors. Hexagon’s latest tool allows for remote data collection and monitoring.

Hexagon is a global supplier of sensors, software, and autonomous solutions. The Manufacturing Intelligence division gathers data from all manufacturing disciplines and produces solutions for smart manufacturing.


The CNC machine-tool asset management software. Image used courtesy of Hexagon


Hexagon’s product line ranges from micrometers and calipers to fully automated robotic measuring systems and software to manage all this equipment. Recently, Hexagon has added to their existing OEE (overall equipment effectiveness) software for CNC (computer numeric control) machine tool.


Cloud-Native CNC Machine-tool

Manufacturers that invest money in equipment usually want to know when they will achieve a return on that investment (ROI). OEE is a calculation of how well the machine is running, and with that information, managers can determine if they will reach their ROI in the expected time frame.

Typically, we see OEE used with automated assembly equipment or assembly lines. Hexagon has developed software that can connect and determine the OEE of automated machining centers, or CNC machines, and can connect remotely to 85% of the CNC machines on the market today.

Usually, machine-tool data is collected and processed manually via spreadsheets and operator shift logs. This process can be time-consuming and introduce human error. By using advanced software, manufactures can run their equipment more efficiently and reduce downtime.


SFx Asset Management Application

Hexagon already maintains a global cloud-based productivity software solution, and now the SFx software can collect data from CNC machines. This addition helps close the gap for many manufacturers that utilize machine shops as well as assembly plants to produce their products.


Real-time data is valuable on a shop floor. Image used courtesy of Geralt


The SFx management software is a flexible software that collects real-time data, processes it, and displays it to shop floor operators. Shop floor operators can access the data from a computer, smartphone, or tablet, and set up alerts to help maintain multiple machines at once.



When CNC machines are not running, they are not making money; there are many reasons why a CNC machine could be down—waiting for materials, changing cutting tools, maintenance, repair from a collision, or set up for the next part. All of these conditions cause downtime and loss of production.

By using advanced monitoring software, managers and shop floor operators can accurately track downtime; hopefully, this data will help reduce the downtime.

For example, say you have three CNC machines running the same program, but one of them doesn’t produce as many parts as the other two in a shift. If the downtime is tracked, we can clearly see that one machine has a higher “waiting for materials” downtime than any other. This indicates that the operator is slightly slower at one machine over the other.

OEE is part of how to detect the time it takes for an operator or machine to complete a task. Meanwhile, the ROI is significant for a manufacturer because, until the ROI is achieved, the factory is not profiting off that particular machine.


Cloud-Based OEE

Cloud storage is becoming very popular today, and factories are also using this technology. There might be dozens of machines in a typical machine shop, all running different parts and different programs. With a cloud-based application, the data from all these machines is collected then stored on a cloud server. Some manufacturers might have a machine shop in one town and an assembly plant in another. The solution from Hexagon allows data to be collected from these different locations and reviewed anywhere in the world.