A “Smart Manufacturing” Blog
Summer is officially here (finally), and so is the next installment of “Ask the Machine Whisperer?”. If your company has any DNC, Machine Monitoring or Data Collection related needs, please give us a call at (414)817-7070. Otherwise, keep sending in the great questions for the Machine Whisperer.
From Josh in Texas: Hi Steve, due to the recent increase of cyberattacks against manufacturers, our IT department is trying to push an across the board change for all of our wirelessly connected devices to WPA-3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access-3), for more secure wireless communications. Have you encountered in the field any other shops making this type of change? If yes, did it create issues for their manufacturing operations?
MW: Hi Josh, I’ve encountered just one shop that implemented this change. Unfortunately, WPA-3 is relatively new and there’s not a whole lot of wireless hardware devices that support WPA-3 yet. In theory the security change makes sense, but this shop quickly discovered that they could no longer communicate wirelessly with most of their devices. Before making this change, I recommend doing the legwork ahead of time to find out exactly which of your wireless devices will support WPA-3?
From Doug in California: Hi Steve, we recently purchased two new Prototrak mills with active Ethernet ports and Windows 7 (embedded) on the controls. We’ve run into issues while trying to connect these machines to our Ethernet network for DNC communications, as our IT rules forbid setting up CNC machines as a mapped drive on our Ethernet Network due to security concerns. How would you connect to these machines for DNC?
MW: Hi Doug, I would first test if the Windows-7 operating system allows for adding a secure file transfer protocol (FTP) onto the control? I’ve experienced that some Windows-7 embedded CNC machines will allow it, while others do not. If that doesn’t work then next I would try to communicate via the USB port through one of our eNET USB DNC units. If there isn’t an active USB port on the control, then your last option is to go with Serial (RS-232) hardware for DNC communications to these Prototraks.
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