We are proud to announce the first applications for TrakHound v2 are here! For our version 2 release we have completely redesigned TrakHound from the ground up. We have taken the great feedback we have gotten from our users and have engineered a system that is extremely flexible, reliable, and secure. This new data system consists of three applications, DataClients, DataServers, and AnalyticsServers, where each application has a specific role.
The DataClient's role is to read an MTConnect stream and send that data to its configured DataServer(s). The DataServer then receives that data and stores it in a database. The AnalyticsServer reponds to HTTP RESTful Api requests in which it returns raw or processed data that is read from the database.
These TrakHound applications provide the manufacturing community with a Free and Open Source alternative so anyone can start collecting valuable machine data that can be used to analyze and improve future production in the upcoming years that will dominated by the IIoT. TrakHound provides you the tools to collect MTConnect data in near raw form and to store that data for later use. Even if you don't see the need for this data now, you may in several years and will wish you had previous year's data to compare. Prepare for tomorrow by getting started with TrakHound today!
MTConnect Agents by themselves are not storage applications. This is made clear in the MTConnect Standard. Instead the purpose of MTConnect Agents is to serve data to client applications when requested. While the Agent does keep a small buffer, this buffer is not intended to be used for data storage but rather to retain data between connection interruptions. TrakHound fulfills the role of requesting this data and then storing it in a database for permanant storage. Data is stored which can then be accessed by other TrakHound applications, ERP/MES systems, third party software, or by reading the database directly using software such as Microsoft Access.
MTConnect Agents are typically setup for each machine in a shop. Multiple Agents can be difficult to deal with when implementing dashboard applications as each has its own connection. TrakHound solves this issue by consolidating all of the Agents data into one central server. Each device can then be easily accessed using the Rest Api.
One of the main goals of TrakHound is to provide tools to securely collect data so that no matter what restrictions your industry requires, you can still benefit from data analysis to improve your manufacturing processes. TrakHound fully supports SSL(TLS) encrypted connections for the DataClient -> DataServer connections as well as the API access. When used with a trusted SSL Certificate, data is sent securely just as online banking/payments are sent.
By centralizing the point where data is accessed, TrakHound also allows internal machine networks to stay isolated from external networks to prevent both unauthorized data access and possible viruses from effecting the machine controls themselves. Each TrakHound DataClient can also filter data to only send specific data to certain DataServers. This can be used to only send status data to a cloud server used for machine status monitoring, while sending ALL data to a secure onsite server.
Of course, the biggest security benefit to using TrakHound is that it is Open Source and the source code can be reviewed to insure exactly what data is being collected and to make sure that no other data is being sent anywhere it shouldn't be.
Stored data can be accessed either from our RESTful Api or (if hosted onsite) you can access the database directly using tools such as Microsoft Access, Crystal Reports, etc.
Our data access is currently under development and we are currently developing plugins for analyzing data for Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE), list of completed cycles/programs, device activity lists, etc. This data will be accessed through the AnalyticsServer's RESTful Api which can be implemented in a multitude of different applications and programming languages.
The manufacturing industry is far behind many other industries when it comes to software technology and one reason is the lack of open source applications. Open source software encourages outside developer involvement which speeds up development of these technologies. You don't have to look far to see what open source software has done for other industries such as the Internet itself.
Since MTConnect is an open source protocol, it made since that it needed applications that were also open source. We built TrakHound in order to become the only fully featured open source data processing application for MTConnect.
Our mission at TrakHound is to help manufacturers gain efficiency through implementing IIoT into their manufacturing environments. We will do our best to continue to provide the most effective solutions while keeping as much software open source as possible. We welcome any contributions to this project whether it be through feedback, bug reports, or code submissions.
If you are using TrakHound for an onsite server, please consider donating to our project. Donations go directly to our open source projects which help us to continue to provide them free of charge.