Hi, I'm BillyScott,
I'm an IT guy for a medium size manufacturing company, most of my experience is with Windows but I also have some experience with Linux as well. One of my favorite projects, which maybe I'll share at some point was hooking all 40 of our CNC machines up via serial to a single computer so that the engineering/programming team could upload programs to CNC machines quickly and without a USB drive.
When I'm not at work I'm usually hiking or doing some form of house/yard work.
Welcome to SysAdmins Zone I noticed we've already started getting acquainted with a question so that awesome. Hopefully you find the forum useful and your questions answered. If you ever have feedback for the forum itself please let us know (a meta post is always welcome).
Welcome to the zone, BillyScott !
As tankerkiller125 so rightly said, it’s great to see you getting stuck in and asking some (great!) questions already. I do hope that you find the site useful and have as much fun using it as tankerkiller125 and I had making it.
Thanks for being a part of the community
Hey, I know this is late but as an (now-ex) admin for a manufacturing company I'm always happy to see other people that have to deal with technology that has been forgotten about for 25 years
Can you give more details about the CNCs? Are they connected to a Fanuc controller for example?
Are they connected to a Fanuc controller for example?
I honestly couldn't tell you the specifics of controllers and what not. I'm not responsible for the CNCs themselves in anyway, I for the most part just ensure that they have a seperate network for the ones that need it, and provide solutions like the serial upload system for gcode I described in the original post. I do know that we run some OKUMA machines as well as some Mazak equipment, most of it being older (late 90s maybe?).
The serial connection system is using ExtremeDNC software on a windows computer, and a Digi Connect EZ 32 Serial Terminal Server conncected to the same network as the PC running ExtremeDNC, and from there a virtual serial port driver creates all 32 serial ports on the PC and communicates information across the regular IP protocol.
I'm always happy to see other people that have to deal with technology that has been forgotten about for 25 years
Ever deal with metrology equipment? Some of that stuff brand new from the factory feels like it was made 30 years ago and hasn't received an update since. Luckily I no longer need to deal with it since we sold our metrology lab last year, but man was that a pain in the ass. Especially the drivers designed for Windows XP that we somehow had to get working in Windows 10.
Also, welcome to SysAdmins Zone
serial upload system for gcode
Similar setup to what we had but I was lucky to have one CNC/Controller per computer. We were going on the path to have segregated networks for the older WInNT/98/XP stuff when I left. We were also lucky that some of those were pre-ethernet so network was not an issue, they were running on Mac II anyway.
Mazak makes some killer new equipement by the way, the newer laser machine we bought were pretty nice and were using SQL DB to store they plans/gcode/data/etc. BUT they were still running Win7 and when they were Windows 10 you couldn't just update them... of course
Just saying those are aging and maybe boring old technologies, especially for the younger guys out there but they can be good paying jobs.
Ever deal with metrology equipment
Never did I was working at a old school sheet metal plant.
Thanks, was looking for a new home after I stopped using Reddit but I recently moved to a new role where I manage the sysadmins instead of doing admin work myself. I still want to stay up to date though so I'll still be lurking.
BUT they were still running Win7 and when they were Windows 10 you couldn't just update them... of course
We still have some equipment that's running DOS, and one is running Windows 3.1! It's wild out here in the manufacturing space with the lack of updates and upgrades.
BillyScott Schools can be the same way, especially their HVAC systems and infrastructure related stuff. Schools also don't really throw things away, the oldest computer I ever saw at a school district was a Texas Instrument TravelMate 4000E running Windows 3.1, not in active use, but in storage... Thing still booted immediately upon plugging it in though!