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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > EMCO CNC Machines > EMCO Mills > EMCO Concept 55, need ethernet comm protocols
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  1. #1
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    EMCO Concept 55, need ethernet comm protocols

    This is going to be a long shot but I thought I would ask.

    I was given a like new EMCO Concept 55, built 2007. Equipped with 4th axis and 8 station tool changer. Has ethernet communication with the PC, and USB comms to the Fanuc 21 emulator terminal. The machine works, and I am able to jog and home the axes.

    I could use the machine as it is, but I don't want to expend the energy to learn obsolete Fanuc software, I upgraded my lathe just because of this. 30 year old Fanuc software in that case.

    So here is what I want to do: Since everything is in working order, I want to use the existing ACC and write my own software to replace the EMCO WinNc software. I can write the CNC software, no problem there, what I don't have is any clue as to what the command strings and structure looks like across the ethernet connection.

    So before I sit down and write a port sniffer, I thought I would ask if anyone has the command documentation.

    Or do I just rip out the ACC and install a new controller and my software.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  2. #2
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Re: EMCO Concept 55, need ethernet comm protocols

    Bump. anyone?
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  3. #3
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    Re: EMCO Concept 55, need ethernet comm protocols

    Search for a paper titled: Intelligent Control Software for
    Industrial CNC Machines

    They have reverse engineered one part of the puzzle which may or may not be of any use.

    I'm in the same boat right now, picking up another emco.

  4. #4
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Re: EMCO Concept 55, need ethernet comm protocols

    Thank you
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  5. #5
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    Re: EMCO Concept 55, need ethernet comm protocols

    After looking more at that paper it may be of little use, but I've found a few more resources:
    1. a paper called: An Adaptive STEP-NC Interpreter for Feature-Based Machining on EMCO Mill ? by He, Pingzeshi (ResearchSpace@Auckland, 2014). I am trying to get ahold of this one now.
    2. CrossNConnect here: CrossNConnect download | SourceForge.net
    3. another paper titled "STEP-NC feature based EMCO mill by Bins Jo Pappachan

    I'm working on getting the papers from the university of aukland.

  6. #6
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    Re: EMCO Concept 55, need ethernet comm protocols

    No luck on geting those papers, yet.

    It seems we should be able to use a packet sniffer like wire shark (Here: Wireshark · Go Deep.) and get some info on what's getting sent between the PC and the machine controller. The packets should have enough info to tell us where it's coming from and where it's going.

  7. #7
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    Re: EMCO Concept 55, need ethernet comm protocols

    So the machine and PC only send two packets back and forth while idling, identical each time, as far I can tell. I've attached the wireshark capture. I renamed the file extension as a .txt file so the forum would accept it as an upload. To read it with wireshark, you'll have to remove the .txt extension and put the period between emco and pcap.

    No idea how we'd figure out how to control it though. Personally, i'd put an arduino, pi, or something else monitoring the stepper motor signals so I could know what packet gets sent to the machine to enable one axis to step. The monitoring device would send out it's own signal when the stepper motor board got its step signal, in essence to mark the packet that gets sent right before the motor steps.

    The two packets copied as printable text are:

    (º/{nàô-E(ú@@ª¿À¨
    ˬ
    bÀ'}}À#P?ì

    and


    àô-(º/{nE( @À¨
    ˬ
    À'b}}À$P

    other info:

    93 33.002582 192.168.10.12 192.168.10.20 TCP 60 [TCP Dup ACK 1#1] 1122 ? 49191 [ACK] Seq=1 Ack=1 Win=1925 Len=0

    94 33.002628 192.168.10.20 192.168.10.12 TCP 54 [TCP Dup ACK 2#33] 49191 ? 1122 [ACK] Seq=1 Ack=2 Win=256 Len=0

    Looks like something that'd take quite a lot of head scratching. I'm hoping the fellas from the university of Aukland get back to me. From the sound of it, they may have created their own control software for these machines.

  8. #8
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Re: EMCO Concept 55, need ethernet comm protocols

    That makes my head hurt. :tired:

    You have now convinced me that replacing the controller and using my own software is the way to go. That process is pretty easy, about two days of work. The stepper drives are easy to interface.

    Right now my machine is sitting up on a pallet rack, maybe I'll drag it down next spring. I need to get another machine off of my floor before I can tackle that project.
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  9. #9
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    Re: EMCO Concept 55, need ethernet comm protocols

    I was secretly hoping that there'd be something so simple like G-Code going between the PC and machine. No such luck. I think I'll take a look at how the packets change when homing each axis, individually. If that isn't easy to decipher, I can't think of anything else that would be. I'm kindof leaning towards it not being objectively worth it to reverse engineer it if it's more difficult than dead simple. Financially, selling the ACC / ethernet interface card would net more than enough to buy a mesa ethernet card, for example. Time wise, I have no idea how much time the reverse engineering would take. Likely many times over what it would take to convert to linuxCNC. I'm thinking it might be worth the effort if you had, like, over 10 of these machines.

  10. #10
    Community Moderator Jim Dawson's Avatar
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    Re: EMCO Concept 55, need ethernet comm protocols

    Yeah, I don't see the value in reverse engineering the original system. It's to easy to just retrofit it with something we have good documentation for. The ACC is actually worth something?
    Jim Dawson
    Sandy, Oregon, USA

  11. #11
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    Re: EMCO Concept 55, need ethernet comm protocols

    I had been successfully convinced the ACC was highly desirable - by someone selling their machine.

    I haven't really thought about it though, people might not be interested in retrofitting it, the ACC controller, to their machines, and it may not break and need replacement, but I did sell the control card from another non ACC machine (rs-422) and it sold for more than a Mesa card.

  12. #12
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    Re: EMCO Concept 55, need ethernet comm protocols

    Its very easy to make programs to that control so why not just use the machine as is?
    Use CAM software to feed the machine, then just making parts and not worrying about retrofitted monster that works maybe. Emco made the machines very reliable and they have good documentation for them.
    I got electrical and mechanical documents and controller backups from Emco Europe by asking,

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