How to Replace Your Old DNC Network With Modern Computers and Software

download file

Computer Systems for Manufacturing Printed Circuit Boards


My first article on connecting printed circuit board drills to a local area network appeared in the July 1991 issue of Printed Circuit Fabrication Magazine. At that time computer networks were replacing punched paper tapes on the production floor. Today, most NC machines in service at that time, if they’ve been properly maintained, are still drilling and routing boards. However, both the hardware and software technologies of 20 years ago are becoming bottlenecks in the production process. Worse yet, with respect to DNC systems, in many cases there is no practical alternative for computer to machine communication. We have to keep this obsolete communication protocol – or scrap our machines. The fundamental problem is that there are essentially no remaining sources for the original hardware and software. This series of articles tells independent shop owners, production managers, and drill room supervisors, how to solve this problem with inexpensive, readily available, modern computer technology.

Russell W. Walton
February 2008

How to Replace Your Old DNC Network With Modern Computers and Software


For at least the past 20 years printed circuit board drilling and routing machines have been connected to a central computer using what is called a “DNC System.” This started well before the introduction of the first “Personal Computer” by IBM in the 1980’s. Since then both computers and networks have evolved exponentially. The result is DNC is now both technically obsolete and completely incompatible with today’s LANS, WANS, and Wireless networks. In addition, the computers and special serial communications boards originally used for DNC networks are no longer available. In fact, you probably can’t even find good, working hardware anymore. The result is, if your DNC Network goes down your shop can be in very serious trouble.

It is essentially impossible as well as completely impractical to connect perfectly good, older, machines directly to a modern Ethernet based network. If your DNC network breaks you really only have two practical alternatives: (1.) Install a PC on each machine and network the PC’s or (2.) Find some way to replace your DNC Server with modern hardware and software.

This series of articles will show you how to create a new DNC Server with any modern computer capable of running Microsoft Windows and how to connect that Server to your machines using your existing cables and modems. Not only will this eliminate the weakest and most frail link in your drill room network, it can also significantly improve the capabilities of all your machines and their operators by adding computer graphics to your drilling and fabrication operations.

Download and read the entire 44 page PDF file instructional document, with detailed pictures and diagrams on, How to Replace Your Old DNC Network With Modern Computers and Software.

Download file: How to Replace DNC Network (PDF file: 1.16 MB)

For more information, new drill and rout room graphics software, or technical support, contact California Software Systems today.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email