Comparing Manual Transfer vs DNC System Technologies

A shop floor worker opens up a CAD file from a master computer, which houses all the data to be sent to machines via a DNC network.

Our manufacturing environment relies heavily upon fully integrated and automated computerization systems for greater precision, accuracy, and convenience. From the simple numerical control systems of the 1940s to the wide breadth of integrated Distributive Numerical Control (DNC) system technologies we have today, these advancements are continuing to improve the way we automate shop floors and expedite manufacturing processes.

In this article, we take a closer look at two common ways to transfer files into CNCs: Manual Transfer Systems and DNC Systems. Each with their own set of potential benefits and hazards, read on for a greater understanding of how the two systems work and which one may be best for your facility’s needs and specifications.

First, What is DNC?

Direct Numerical Control, more recently known as Distributive Numerical Control (DNC), allows a single master computer to house all manufacturing data and be networked with machines that use Computer Numerical Control (CNC). Typically using a broadband Ethernet connection, this network allows operators to quickly load CNC programs into multiple machines automatically. By establishing a direct connection between the computer housing the data and all CNC machines on the

A CNC technician works with a CNC program on his laptop, which is drip fed to the CNC machine through a DNC network.

shop floor, DNC systems have quickly become an invaluable resource for operators and consumers alike.

Advantages of DNC System Technologies

Beyond simple convenience, there are several additional benefits to using DNC systems. A few that you can expect are:

  • Improved ability and flexibility of computation for more efficient manufacturing
  • Highly reliable transfers for machine programs, offsets, parameters, etc.
  • Superior shop performance reporting, which can be used to make positive operational changes
  • Highly convenient editing and diagnostic features for improved machine functionality
  • File management and revision control to maintain NC program compliance

In short, DNC system technologies can help you seamlessly and easily control multiple programmable robots with less manual input for greater productivity.

Compared to Manual Transfer Systems…

When comparing DNC systems with Manual Transfer Systems (MTSs), the differences are both readily apparent and extremely telling. Using portable media such as USB sticks and PCMCIA cards, MTSs require operators to walk to the central computer, load the desired NC program on the CNC, walk to the CNC machine, plug in the device and load the program into each individual machine or unit.

Both time consuming and unnecessary, this process has the potential to harm the CNC equipment by damaging the port or the pins while inserting and removing the card. Furthermore, security is a concern due to uncontrolled files with proprietary information and intellectual property moving from a secured computer to employees.  With today’s viruses and ransomware, using USB sticks could lock out your CNC and computer network if one is not aware of what is loaded on these devices.

It’s time your facility caught up with the best practices and considered implementing DNC system technologies.

Shop Floor Automations: Your Partner in DNC System Technologies

Shop Floor Automations has helped thousands of companies increase shop floor efficiencies and profits through proven automation software and DNC system integration. We want to help you do the same.

If you would like further insight into which DNC system technology is best for your specific needs, we can help. With a wide variety of machine automation and DNC software products to choose from, you will have access to all the resources necessary to create a fully automated, more productive shop floor.

Contact our team today to get started on your DNC system integration or to learn more about our other machine automation services.