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Our most popular DNC system - PC-DNC Plus
Our most popular (and most powerful) DNC software, PC-DNC Plus provides simultaneous communications with up to 255 CNCs. PC-DNC Plus lets you call up files with "remote" commands from your CNCs keyboard, and can also be used as a manual file queuing system. Optional software modules are available for machine cycle monitoring, automatic paging, in-process gauging, paperless factory, and FTP data server.
PC-DNC Plus System Overview
PC-DNC Plus is a totally new concept in multi-port DNC software. Most other DNC systems are designed to run as a single application, in which there are multiple "threads" to handle the simultaneous communications with multiple CNC machines. PC-DNC Plus is different in that it consists of a "main window" application, and multiple 1-port DNC applications running concurrently.
At start-up, a main command window (shown above) opens, which then launches a separate 1-port DNC application for each CNC machine on your system. PC-DNC Plus can be configured to communicate with any number of ports (from 1 to 256). Since each DNC window is simply another iteration of the same 1-port DNC application, there is far less complexity to the software design. Each DNC window functions independently of all other applications. You can open, close, or reset each DNC window individually, or you can control them all as a group from the main command window. Since each DNC window is a separate Windows application, a fatal error that might occur in one DNC window is isolated to one element of the system, and does not affect other DNC windows or the main command window.
A PC-DNC Plus "server" can communicate with up to 255 CNC machines. A PC-DNC Plus "client" can connect with any PC-DNC Plus server on your network, and can be used to perform any manual operation that can be performed from the server. Our "floating client" licensing method permits many clients to connect with each server, regardless of where they are located on the network. If your facility has multiple PC-DNC Plus servers in operation, any client can connect with any server that is currently running. Download the PC-DNC Plus Client software by clicking here. To install the client, use password: client54815
Types of Communications Ports
PC-DNC Plus can communicate with CNC controls, BTR devices, or paper tape punch/readers using any logical COM port (RS232 or RS422) on the PC-DNC Plus Server PC. These ports can be native COM ports (COM1 to COM4), or the COM ports provided on a Multi-Port Serial board, such as Comtrol RocketPort boards. PC-DNC Plus can also use serial network hubs, such as those made my Comtrol, Quatech, or Moxa. For wireless DNC systems, we recommend the Moxa W2150-A or the Quatech SSE-W-100D units. Baud rates from 110 to 115,200 are available, along with a multitude of configuration options for tape codes, leader/trailer, character masking, etc.
Pre-configured Wireless Ethernet-to-serial kits:
Our new Wireless Ethernet kits come pre-configured with a powerful DLink wireless access point and one Moxa wireless Ethernet device server for each CNC. The popular Moxa devices have 9-pin serial ports, and all the necessary IP addresses and wireless data encryption pre-configured so that all you need to do is plug them in to your CNC control and "stick" them to the CNC cabinet with the powerful magnets that we provide. For more information on the Moxa wireless adapters, please click here.
Hitachi Seiki UUP:
Currently, PC-DNC Plus is the only DNC system that supports the new Hitachi Seiki UUP (Universal User Port). This unique new ethernet port permits fully interactive communications between the CNC and the DNC system. With a UUP port connection, PC-DNC Plus can display data on the CNC screen, define and monitor "soft" function keys on the CNC, and perform fully intrusive machine monitoring, right down to each macro variable and each I/O flag in the CNCs internal programmable controller. The UUP port also permits the transfer of files into or out of the CNC (from the PC-DNC Plus PC) while the CNC is in automatic operation. PLEASE NOTE: The Hitachi-Seiki UUP libraries are considered a "legacy" component, and will only work with computers running Windows XP, 2000, or NT. They do not function when your PC-DNC Plus computer is running a newer version of Windows.
PC-DNC Plus can transmit serial data to nearly all BTR (Behind the Tape Reader) boards. We recommend the BTR boards manufactured by ADR Corporation because of their extreme flexibility and ease of use. To transmit to an ADR board, simply connect an RS232 cable to an available PC-DNC Plus serial port, and set the DNC option to "Send program w/o Xon in (x) seconds"
Direct BTR connections:
Our "MultiPort PC-DNC Editor can be configured to transmit data directly to the CNCs tape reader port using a parallel (LPTn) printer port. With certain model CNCs that use 5v TTL signals for the tape reader, this direct BTR link can be used instead of a BTR board. The cable length limit between the PC-DNC Plus server PC and the CNCs CPU board is approximately 16 feet (5 meters). Please note that the device drivers for the PC-DNC Editor's BTR connection are considered to be "legacy" components, and will not work with newer versions of Windows. Windows 2000 and XP are the last Windows versions supported by this special BTR software.
PC-DNC Plus lets you upload & download files using remote commands from the CNCs keyboard, or you can manually "queue" files for sequential output to the CNC. Remote commands are freely programmable so that you can easily accommodate the keyboard restrictions on various CNC controls. When a file is requested from the CNCs keyboard, PC-DNC Plus can be configured to search for the requested file in any sequence of subdirectories (folders) or sub-folders.
Files can be queued directly from a file list box with a toolbar button, or by dragging & dropping the file from the file list to the CNC controls window. You can also use OLE (Object Linking and Embedding) to drag & drop files from other applications, such as Windows Explorer. You can easily edit or re-arrange the queue list if the sequence of files needs to be changed. Files that are manually queued can be sent automatically after a specified time delay. This way, you can configure PC-DNC Plus to download a file to a BTR board or tape punch/reader as soon as it is queued on the PC-DNC Plus system.
An automatic queue function lets PC-DNC Plus "find" any file that is placed in a designated subdirectory (folder), and queue it for output to the CNC control. When combined with the PC-DNC Plus Paperless Factory Option, PC-DNC Plus will also transmit the associated setup files (Tooling list, Setup data, File list, and Blueprint) to the specified PC for viewing with the PC-DNC Plus Viewer.
PC-DNC Plus can also upload files from the CNCs using automatic tape code recognition and automatic program ID recognition. Uploaded files can be stored in separate "upload" directories to prevent confusion with proven files. An automatic versioning system can also assign version numbers to uploaded files.
Mazatrol CMT files in binary format can be sent to PC-DNC Plus at any time. Remote requests for CMT files can also be sent to PC-DNC Plus using the Mazaks EIA port, and CMT file requests can be re-directed to a different serial port. This lets Mazak users connect TWO serial ports (one for EIA programs and one for CMT files), and have all the remote file request features available for both EIA and CMT files. CMT files can also be manually queued for sequential output to Mazatrol CNCs.
Remote Monitoring of the DNC System
PC-DNC Plus contains a powerful remote diagnostic capability. If you have access to the PC-DNC Plus server through your network, then remote troubleshooting and diagnostics are easy. If a remote network connection (WAN) is not available, you can connect one of the PC-DNC Plus serial ports to a Hayes compatible MODEM, which is then connected to a standard analog phone line, and set to "auto-answer." A service technician can then dial-up that MODEM, connect to the PC-DNC Plus server, and perform a wide variety of maintenance tasks.
Typical remote service tasks include the downloading of activity log files, security log files, clearing and resetting error conditions, and replacing or updating the .EXE files that compose the PC-DNC Plus system itself.
Paperless Factory Option
The Paperless Factory Option lets you define operator messages and setup files, which the CNC operator can view on any PC on the network. Once a "Job" has been defined, the CNC operator can use the optional PC-DNC Plus viewer program to view setup files, tooling lists, operator messages, and graphic blueprint files. The viewer also provides a toolbar button to automatically queue all the files in the jobs "File list".
At the PC-DNC Plus Viewer screen, the operator can view the setup files for past, present, and future jobs, and report the machines status, such as "Normal", "Setup", "Maintenance", "Lunch Break", etc.
Features for "Drip-Feed" DNC
Most DNC systems let you "drip-feed" long programs to your CNC controls. PC-DNC Plus also lets you call disk files like subroutines within your part programs. With PC-DNC Plus, you can use a "CALL" statement in your part programs which will automatically merge an entire file into the data stream. Files that are CALLed can also include CALL statements (up to 7 levels deep). You can also CALL multiple iterations of the same file. For example, the command "CALL <filename> (5 TIMES)" will merge the same file 5 times in succession into the data stream being transmitted to the CNC control.
PC-DNC Plus also includes a powerful "Tool Break Editing" feature. If a DNC cycle is interrupted for any reason, you can quickly highlight the portions of the file you want to run again, stitching together any segments of the file into a special "one-time" sequence. You can then cycle start your CNC again to run only those selected blocks of data. Once the edited sequence has executed, the DNC window discards the edited sequence and returns to normal DNC operation.
Each PC-DNC Plus system includes our powerful PC-DNC Editor for quick & easy editing of your NC data files. Toolbar buttons on the PC-DNC Plus main window permit a quick-link to PC-DNC Editor and to the editor's powerful File/Compare function. PC-DNC Editor includes many powerful functions for modifying G-code files, as well as a variety of pop-up calculators and reference files. A more detailed description of the PC-DNC Editor is shown in a subsequent section.
PC-DNC Plus has a comprehensive "logon" security system, which can be disabled for those shops not requiring user logon security. With the system activated, you can restrict individual users to the use of certain specified manual operations on a specified group of machines. Users are required to log on and log off using their own names and passwords. A Security Manager program lets the system administrator enter user names, passwords, and machine access privileges. All password information is encrypted and stored in a "fail-safe" mode, which restricts all access by anyone but the administrator if tampered with.
Machine Cycle Monitoring
An optional machine cycle monitoring feature lets you automatically record "Cycle-start" and "Cycle-end" events from any machine on your system. Information collected can then be analyzed and displayed as a bar-graph/time chart, and relevant statistics such as the number of cycles, average cycle time, average load time, and uptime/downtime ratios are calculated for you. Once a time period has been selected for analysis, the Cycle Time Analysis module will let you select any "Job" that was run within that time period for further analysis.
Automatic Paging and E-mail Systems
PC-DNC Plus is available with an optional paging and E-mail system, which can be programmed to automatically page or E-mail you when an important machine event occurs. Since it shares information with the machine monitoring function (above), the paging/e-mail system can also notify you of part cycle activity. Events such as the beginning of the nth part cycle, the end of the nth cycle, a remote operator's message, etc. can trigger a page or an e-mail automatically. The system can also be programmed to notify you if a machine has been idle for more than a specified number of minutes, or to give you a parts count or machine status report at a specified time-of-day. Up to 128 paging event scenarios can be programmed, each one having its own trigger event, pager number or e-mail address, and message text.
In-Process Gauging System
Also available with PC-DNC Plus is a powerful in-process gauging system. Any COM port on the system can be configured as a gauging port. Most any measuring device with an RS232 output can then feed numeric data to that port, which is accumulated in a file. Once a specified number of measurements are collected, the gauging system will use a sequence of programmed calculations to generate a tool offset command. Tool offset commands can be automatically "Called" like subroutines from any CNC on the PC-DNC Plus system. This provides a powerful feedback loop for updating tool offsets automatically, without any operator intervention.
Tooling Control System
The PC-DNC Plus Tooling Control System uses barcodes to identify qualified (pre-measured) tools. When a qualified tool is loaded into a CNC machine, PC-DNC Plus will automatically generate the correct tool offset commands and load them into the CNC control. The system can also be used to control your tool inventory, and to actively monitor the usage of each tool during production. This powerful new feature works through the PC-DNC Plus communications system, and can be added to existing systems currently in operation.
The qualified tooling features can be used with any CNC control that is capable of executing a program command to set tool offset values (such as the Fanuc "G10" command). Features for active tool life monitoring require that the CNC control have "macro" programming features (similar to the Fanuc Macro B option.) The only hardware items required are barcode wands or readers, and some inexpensive (pre-printed) barcode tags and machine placards.