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MDSI’s New OpenCNC V5.0 Leverages Internet

Latest release adds over 50 new technology features, including remote diagnostics and adaptive high-speed machining

ANN ARBOR, MI—Manufacturing Data Systems, Inc. (MDSI), the industry leader in software computer numerical control (CNC), announced the latest release of its software, OpenCNC® Version 5.0. OpenCNC V5.0, which began shipping in December, allows users to perform remote machine maintenance and diagnostics via the Internet. Manufacturers can cut travel and save on maintenance costs by "dialing" up OpenCNC machine tools via the Internet and diagnosing machine performance remotely—without adding any additional hardware.

MDSI, consistently the leader in innovative software CNC technology, also announced that Version 5.0 includes a new adaptive high–speed machining technology called Adaptive Look–Ahead Logic™. The technology provides high–speed machining via a “smart CNC” software program that looks ahead only the number of blocks necessary for each individual application and adapts the cutting speed accordingly.

The powerful new release of OpenCNC continues to set new standards for CNC performance by adding over 50 new advanced technology features, including:

  • Choice of 32-bit SERCOS digital drives in addition to conventional analog drives (see “Market-leading Software CNC Now Supports SERCOS Digital Drives,” January 4, 2000)
  • Support of Microsoft’s Windows Distributed InterNet Applications Architecture for Manufacturing (Windows DNA for Manufacturing)
  • Full gantry support with cross-coupled servos
  • An OPC server (OLE for process control), a method for linking and distributing data throughout a factory network

The entire OpenCNC product family received feature enhancements, including OpenCNC/OEM Software Developer Kit V5.0, OpenCNC/ES V5.0, OpenCNC/FA V5.0, and OpenCNC Integrator Toolkit V5.0. Machine tool builders, for example, can design their own CNCs using OpenCNC/OEM V5.0 and run remote diagnostics using standard networking tools.

"Our OEMs are shipping new OpenCNC–controlled machine tools to customers, machines with high-speed machining and the ability to send and receive data to and from a machine tool, a factory intranet, or across the Internet," said James R. Fall, president and CEO, Manufacturing Data Systems, Inc. "We continue to push the boundaries of software CNC technology to help manufacturers and machine tool builders increase productivity and profits, by leveraging the Internet and the full potential of a software CNC.

"For OEMs in particular," Fall continued, "OpenCNC provides the first real software CNC platform for them to provide value-added technologies of their own to their customers."

In an industry dominated by proprietary hardware CNC solutions, MDSI has proven that high–end, multi–axis CNC machine tools can be controlled entirely from software—without any motion control cards, proprietary hardware, or embedded firmware. OpenCNC provides a common control technology across a full range of machine tools: single– and dual–turret lathes, single– and multi–spindle precision drills, routers, mills, grinders, gear hobs, dial index machines, and gantry machines—all from a single operating system, Microsoft® Windows NT®, running from a single processor.

About MDSI

Manufacturing Data Systems, Inc. supplies factory automation software and services that increase manufacturing flexibility and enable agile manufacturing. The company's primary product, OpenCNC software, is a software CNC that reduces machine tool control costs, increases productivity, extends the productive life of machine tools, and leverages the Internet for real-time data collection and remote diagnostics. Unlike traditional CNC controls, OpenCNC uses no proprietary hardware or motion control cards. Because it's unbundled software that runs on off-the-shelf PCs, manufacturers are not locked into proprietary arrangements for hardware, control repair, or control upgrades.

MDSI's business strategy emphasizes technological and price/performance leadership, hardware independence and comprehensive customer-support. The company's customers, spanning many industries, include Boeing, Caterpillar, Cessna Aircraft, Dana-Spicer, Detroit Diesel, Emerson Electric, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, General Motors, Lockheed–Martin, Marconi Precision Aerostructures, Tecumseh Products Company, Teledyne, Textron, and Vickers. For more information, visit MDSI’s web site at

MDSI, the MDSI logo, and OpenCNC are registered trademarks of Manufacturing Data Systems, Inc. Significant Events and OpenEvents are trademarks of Manufacturing Data Systems, Inc. Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT, Visual Basic, and Visual C++ are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other brand or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.