Sensors can provide real-time production information to optimize manufacturing processes in a factory. Recently, more attention has been paid to the application of sensors in smart manufacturing systems. Sensor data exchange, sharing, and interoperability are challenges for manufacturing equipment monitoring in smart manufacturing. Standardized sensor data formats and communication protocols can help to solve these problems. MTConnect is an open, free, extensible protocol for the data exchange between monitoring applications and shop floor devices which include machine tools, sensors, and actuators. This paper introduces a sensor model for MTConnect to enhance manufacturing equipment data interoperability. The sensor model defines a Sensor and SensorChannel, as well as an interface to access the Sensor and its SensorChannels, which include sensing element, calibration, signal conditioning, and analog-to-digital conversion (ADC) information. The sensor model has been implemented in a virtual milling machine with a built-in sensor. Two case studies of MTConnect Probe and Sample requests for sensor information are provided to verify the sensor model.

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