Recently, Silex Technology visited a leading global medical device company that produces and markets instruments, implants and biomaterials for the surgical fixation, correction and regeneration of the human skeleton and its soft tissues. One example is a skull implant that is individually machined (see below). But how does the CNC machine get its instructions on what to build?
In modern CNC systems, end-to-end component design is highly automated using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs. The programs produce a computer file that is interpreted to extract the commands needed to operate a particular machine via a postprocessor, and then loaded into the CNC machines for production. The complex series of steps needed to produce any part is highly automated and produces a part that closely matches the original CAD design.
Below is an image of a CNC machine in a typical factory environment. Note that the CNC machine is on a pallet. Even though these are very large machines, mobility is still important and cables are highly undesirable, thus making Wi-Fi connectivity a necessity for today’s CNC machinery.
Silex’s device networking solutions has been implemented by this Fortune 50 company to enable wireless data communication to CNC machines. Older CNC machines have serial interfaces while newer machines also support Ethernet. Our SX-500 serial to Wi-Fi and SX-600 Ethernet to Wi-Fi device networking solutions provide the connectivity to wirelessly transmit files to multiple CNC machines.
For more information on Silex Technology America device networking solutions, go to http://www.silexamerica.com/products/device_servers/.