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MDSI Ships OpenCNC Version 6.0

Creator of Software CNC Continues Technology Improvements to Enhance Manufacturing

ANN ARBOR, MI—Manufacturing Data Systems, Inc. (MDSI), the leader in Internet-enabled software CNC and software motion technology, continues to improve its customers CNC price/performance by releasing enhanced control technology every year. MDSI’s latest OpenCNC® software Version 6.0, shipping in January, expands the software CNC's range of machines and machining operations with the addition of more than two dozen technology features–allowing OpenCNC customers to take their CNC productivity to new levels and support new machine configurations.

Among several new features, OpenCNC Version 6.0 includes support for the new Sensoray Model 626 PCI-bus multifunction I/O board, an all-in-one card for mid- to low-end machines. With slots for four axes, the Sensoray card is a cost-effective choice. Another new cost-saving technology feature in Version 6.0 is the addition of probing macros for mills, which come bundled with OpenCNC as a standard feature with the control. Competing control products typically charge up to $1,500 for these macros.

"Since the market introduction of OpenCNC in 1997, MDSI has brought to market six new versions of OpenCNC software," says James R. Fall, president and CEO, MDSI. "These new versions enable our customers to continuously improve the productivity of their machine tools. In addition, because our product is entirely software, our customers are able to take advantage of the most recent PC hardware they choose, such as the latest Intel® PC Pentium IV product line."

Additional features with OpenCNC 6.0 include:

  • MDI mode, which allows operators to program one line at a time. This saves time by shortening operator setup time and makes the control easier to use.
  • The ability to mirror and scale part programs, helping operators streamline programming
  • Expansion of the range of five-axis machining centers supported by OpenCNC
  • Separate acceleration and jerk per axis
  • Ardence RTX® V5
  • OpenCNC variable dictionary expanded to provide integrators with additional access to customize OpenCNC implementation.

Unlike traditional CNC controls, OpenCNC software requires no proprietary hardware or motion control cards. Combining a soft CNC, soft PLC and HMI in one application, OpenCNC's open, modular, all-software architecture provides robust CNC control, connectivity to the enterprise and easy integration of third-party software. OpenCNC customers have increased productivity, streamlined manufacturing processes, reduced machine tool control costs, and extended the productive life of their machine tools.

About MDSI

MDSI supplies web-based shrink-wrapped software motion control applications that increase manufacturing flexibility and enable agile manufacturing for the Computer Numerical Control (CNC), General Motion Control (GMC), and electronics equipment markets. The company's soft motion and soft CNC products reduce machine tool control costs, increase productivity, extend the productive life of machine tools, and leverage the Internet for real-time data collection and remote diagnostics. Unlike traditional hardware or proprietary-based motion controls, MDSI.s soft motion solutions use no proprietary hardware or motion control cards.

Now running on over a thousand machines, MDSI's foundation soft motion technology provides a common and open control across virtually any kind of machine tool—from simple conveyors to five–axis machine tools, and from transfer lines to semiconductor fabrication equipment.

MDSI's business strategy emphasizes technological and price/performance leadership, hardware independence and comprehensive customer-support. The company's customers, spanning many industries, include BAE Systems, Boeing, Caterpillar, Cessna Aircraft, Dana, Detroit Diesel, Emerson Electric, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, General Motors, Lockheed-Martin, 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, MDSI Motion, WinMotion, and eFactoryProfit 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.