What is MTConnect?

MTConnect is an open communication standard used in the manufacturing industry to collect, transmit, and analyze machine data. It offers a standardized method for capturing and transmitting data from various types of manufacturing machines and equipment, regardless of manufacturer or model.

The operation of MTConnect is based on a simple concept: Machines and systems that are compatible with MTConnect are equipped with sensors and control systems that continuously gather data about the machine’s condition, process parameters, operational status, and other relevant information. This data is then encoded in a standardized format and transmitted in real time over a network connection.

Steuerungen die über MTConnect oder OPC UA Maschinendaten an einen Server übertragen.

Mode of operation

MTConnect is an open communication standard that provides a standardized method for capturing, transmitting, and analyzing machine data in the manufacturing industry. The technical functionality of MTConnect is based on a hierarchical data model and a simple XML-based communication protocol.

The functionality primarily encompasses three main components:

1. Data Sources: Data sources are the machines and devices in a manufacturing facility that are equipped with sensors and control systems to collect various data such as operational states, production parameters, tool conditions, etc. These continuously transmit data to an agent.

2. Agents: Agents are software components that receive data from one or more data sources and store it temporarily. Upon a client’s request, this data is transmitted to the client in the MTConnect format. Optionally, adapters can be used to convert raw data from data sources into a format readable by agents.

3. Clients: Clients are the software applications or systems that ultimately receive, process, and utilize the machine data. These can include monitoring and diagnostic systems, data analysis applications, Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.

Schematischer Aufbau der Kommunikation über MTConnect mit Client, Agent und Equipment

MTConnect defines a standardized data model that describes the various types of machine data and their structure. The collected data is structured in XML files, where each data field has a unique name and an associated value. This allows for a uniform interpretation and processing of the data by different software applications, regardless of the specific type of machine or manufacturer. Clients retrieve the data relevant to them at regular intervals from the agents. The data transmission occurs in real time via standardized network protocols such as Ethernet or WLAN.


The significance of MTConnect in the manufacturing industry lies primarily in its ability to standardize and simplify the capture, transmission, and analysis of machine data. By implementing MTConnect, manufacturing companies can realize a variety of benefits:

1. Interoperability: MTConnect enables seamless integration of machines and devices from different manufacturers, regardless of their specific control technology or communication protocols. This allows manufacturing companies to use their existing machines more efficiently and to easily integrate new equipment into their production environment.

2. Real-time Monitoring: The communication standard allows for the continuous monitoring of machine and production data in real time. This enables operators to accurately track the condition of their facilities, detect potential problems early, and take immediate corrective or optimization actions.

3. Data Analysis and Optimization: By capturing extensive data on machine operation, manufacturing companies can conduct advanced data analyses to identify trends, recognize bottlenecks, and find optimization opportunities. This can help increase productivity, improve efficiency, and optimize the overall performance of manufacturing facilities.

4. Transparency and Traceability: MTConnect allows for comprehensive tracking of production data and process parameters. This contributes to improved quality assurance, ensures compliance with quality standards, and facilitates the traceability of products.

Applications of MTConnect

Numerous machine and control manufacturers offer interfaces for MTConnect, such as

  • Allen-Bradley
  • Balluff
  • Blum Novotest
  • ControlLogix
  • DMG Mori Seiki
  • Doosan
  • Fagor
  • Fanuc

Source: MTConnect Institute

  • GFAgieCharmilles
  • Haas
  • Heidenhain
  • Makerbot
  • Makino
  • Mazak
  • Mitsubishi Electric
  • Moxa
  • Mitutoyo
  • NUM
  • Okuma
  • ROS-Industrial
  • Siemens
  • Sodick
  • Toyo

Particularly in the segment of milling, turning, and other machine tools, the availability of MTConnect interfaces is widespread. Moreover, MTConnect has found its greatest adoption in the North American market, where the development of the standard had originated.

Do you have any questions about MTConnect?

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