Ask the Machine Whisperer?

A “Smart Manufacturing” Blog


Spring is finally here, and so is the next installment of “Ask the Machine Whisperer?” US Manufacturing continues to soar into growth territory, as manufacturing activity increased to a three-year high in February amid a surge in new orders. According to a survey from NAM (National Association of Manufacturers) a whopping 88% of Manufacturers are optimistic about their company’s outlook for 2021, representing a 2-year high in manufacturing confidence. On a more concerning note the Microsoft Exchange network breach is just the latest cyberattack challenge Manufacturers are facing, as according to the 2020 State of Encrypted Attacks report, the manufacturing sector is the most targeted industry for malicious browser breaches, comprising 38.6% of attacks! Cyber attackers figure that manufacturing companies make great targets because they cannot afford to have their entire operations shut down for very long, so they are more likely to pay ransom demands.

  1. From Pete in Florida: Hi Steve, we are communicating via Ethernet (FTP) with a machine that has a Fanuc Oi control. Our issue is that we cannot figure out how to drip feed our larger programs into the control?

MW: The only options for drip feeding when you’re using FTP is to either add a data server (which is an option you would be able to purchase from Fanuc or your machine tool dealer), or you could use a memory card to drip-feed if you don’t have to do it very often. If you’re doing a lot of drip-feeding then I would definitely recommend the data server option.

  1. From Sam in Colorado: Hi Steve, we are thinking about converting some of our Serial connected machines to faster Ethernet or USB connections for the CNC program downloads/uploads. We use a lot of sub-programs, is it possible to call for sub-programs through Ethernet or USB connections like we can with Serial? If yes, how is it done?

MW: when you’re using FTP or USB to download your programs you usually have the ability to see the entire file directory.  So selecting any sub-programs usually can be done at the same time when you select your main program, and then when the download starts, everything comes in at once.  Also, if you are currently using Serial make sure that you have active Ethernet or USB options on these machines before going any further. Your machine tool dealer should be able to provide directions on how to check each kind of machine that you’d like to convert.

For more “Smart Manufacturing” info please follow our blog, visit our website or call us at (414)817-7070.

Published by

Luke Galindo

Machinist by trade, proudly serving as the Corporate Sales & Marketing Director for eNET Monitoring & DNC.

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