Case Study: Ranger HVAC

Canadian Company Reaps Benefits from remote360™ Machine Monitoring

A new fiber laser with remote monitoring is helping a Canadian company expand its customer base, increase efficiency, reduce downtime, and much more.

Ranger HVAC, located in Bradford, Ontario, is a specialty manufacturer of custom short-run heating and air conditioning systems as well as specialty low-ambient conversion solutions.

With the addition of an MC Machinery fiber laser about a year ago, the company is expanding into metal cutting and forming outside of the HVAC industry.

Ranger HVAC started using remote360™ after the late-2019 installation of its first fiber laser. MC Machinery launched the cloud-based remote360 in 2014, a foray into the Industrial Internet of Things that has proven valuable to many of its laser, wire EDM, and sinker EDM customers.

“Remote 360 served as a great tool to get answers for the questions that we did not know enough to ask when we were being trained on our laser,” said Ranger HVAC Production Manager Ryan Schlarb. “It also allowed any hiccups with the machine to get solved quickly and with no effort from us outside of a phone call and hitting a few buttons on a screen.”

Schlarb said the biggest advantages of remote360 software include:

Remote Access to Real-Time Machine Usage
Real-time access to the fiber laser from a website or app whether on-site or off-site has been a game-changer, he said. “I can log on to a website or open an app from my phone and see in real-time what is going on,” Schlarb said. “This was extremely useful because we could still keep our fingers on the pulse of what was going on with the laser when not on site. I can see how my employees are working with the largest investment that we have made in our business.”

Remote360 can monitor these resource consumption and performance indicators on laser machines:

• Rapid and cut feed overrides
• Active feed rate
• Assist gas set vs. output pressure
• Power output
• Laser gas status

Ability to Monitor Nitrogen Consumption
Schlarb said he can evaluate machine and materials costs to complete jobs, which helps determine the accuracy of its job costing. Not only that, Schlarb is using remote360 to evaluate nitrogen supply. Currently using high-pressure nitrogen bulk packs, the company is now considering moving to liquid nitrogen holding tanks because of the usage volume.

Predictive Maintenance Scheduling
Because remote360 can set a schedule for preventive maintenance checks, Schlarb said he can better predict and plan maintenance. “I can go through the machine, part by part, and see how that aspect is working at the moment and over time,” he said. “It gives me information at my fingertips to then plan any maintenance work that may be needed in the future.”

Production Monitoring
With remote360, Schlarb said he can better schedule and manage production. “I can see which operators are most efficient and what nests are generating the most problems, so we can literally work with the shop floor to make their lives simpler,” he said. He also can track steel usage, along with what nests have been run and how many times, to make sure materials are in stock.

Consumables Usage Monitoring
Remote360 data makes it easier to predict when consumables will require maintenance or replacement. “I can see what materials are run by us the most so I can take into account the life span of my consumables that are being used and ensure that I have them in stock when their life span is over,” he said.

Valuable Reporting
Monthly reports allow the company to monitor everything from beam on time to idle time to offline time to what alarms were the most common during the month. “The more I work with Remote 360 the more useful it becomes,” he said. “Because it’s customizable, other people within the company can set it up how they want without impacting me.”

Pandemic Impact
Although Ranger HVAC hasn’t been significantly impacted by the pandemic, working remotely has made remote360 even more valuable. “I can see what the machine is doing from anywhere, whether it’s my office or my home office or couch in the living room,” Schlarb said. “I can turn on alerts, so I know what going on even before the operator contacts me.”

With any issues that arise, an MC Machinery expert can access the machine remotely and diagnose the issue. “They can diagnose problems and solve some problems with nothing more than a button click and a phone call,” he said. “The best part is that the staff at MC Machinery are proactive and not reactive. They help us to minimize our downtime by looking out for us.”

Remote360 is available for MC Machinery lasers, wire EDMs, sinker EDMs, and automation machinery. Contact us for a demo.