Open CNC software has smart programming, Internet functionality
Ann Arbor, Mich. -Manufacturing Data Systems Inc.'s (MDSI) new OpenCNC V5.1 is said to streamline manufacturing for the Internet. MDSI calls the upgrade 'groundbreaking new technology that gives manufacturing engineers, for the first time, the ability to modify their standard NC part programs to capture and send data without requiring outside or network integrators, expensive hardware add-ons, or machine downtimes.' Modifications can be made on the CAD/CAM workstation in the engineering office. MDSI says no other CNC system allows use of a standard NC part program to trigger the collection and distribution of data from a CNC, via Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript). This 'smart' part programming technology, said to be unmatched in the CNC, PLC, or general motion industries, closes the loop from CAD/CAM to CNC to ERP production planning systems. This avoids hardware add-ons, machine downtimes, or outside or network integrators, allowing automated alarming, quality tracking, and planning. Other technology developments include rigid tapping for new machines with positioning servo spindles and a 'soft' rigid tapping feature that allows older machine tools with nonpositioning servo spindles to be cost-effectively retrofitted for rigid tapping. Other features include support of SST DeviceNet I/O, control of analog spindles via Profibus or DeviceNet, and use of pound variables for NC macro programming. The software operates using Microsoft Windows and one processor, without motion control cards, proprietary hardware, or embedded firmware.