CNC routers and Network Cables
The most common cable connector that CNC routers have is the RS-232; however, some CNC machines are produced with a different connector type. The first thing to consider when networking CNC machines is the compatibility of your connectors to the router that you will set up. There are two ways on how you can connect all your CNC machines to a single computer through a router. First, you can use a wired network adapter. There are networking hardware, like the Serial IP Extender, that allows a user to plug all RS-232 connectors to a single hardware that can be connected into a TCP-IP Ethernet network router. This simplifies setting up your CNC machines since all you have to do is plug the Extender to a standard router, then plug the router to your server or network. The second option is to use a wireless network connection. The wireless setup also needs special equipment so you can connect your CNC machines to your network.
Wireless Network Setup
You can use hardware equipment to set up your CNC machines using a wireless network; however, it may require several types of equipment to connect all your machines, especially if your machines have different network cables. Purchase a Wireless Device Server, which works the same way as the Serial IP Extender, but it utilizes a wireless capability to connect your CNC machines to your server or computer. The Wireless Device Server comes standard with RA-232 and other compatible network connectors for CNC machines, as well as an antenna for wireless connection. Once the CNC machine is connected to the wireless device, the wireless network will be able to detect the machine and allow it on the network.
Use of Special Software
Once the hardware configuration has been set up, there are also several software conditions must exist to properly manage several CNC machines. Consider the compatibility of the CNC machine software to your server's software. There are several server software types you can use that include Linux and Ubuntu.
Installing software specifically designed for controlling and managing CNC machines is another option to consider. One such software is Predator DNC, which is capable of managing multiple CNC routers even if they have different network cables. It can also manage wired or wireless networks, depending on the shop's configuration. Another advantage in having a specific managing software is that you can manage all your CNC machines in a single setup, allowing better efficiency and flexibility.