“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” In the 1967 movie classic “Cool Hand Luke,” these words were accompanied by a harsh whipping from the prison Captain. The “Cannot Open Port” (COP) message can be just as excruciating when nearing a potentially lucrative deadline. Similar still, the two statements largely mean the same thing. There is a communication problem. The COP error indicates that the software cannot speak to the device through the channel of communication that has been selected. This lack of communication could be caused by interference from outside software or even a mechanical failure in the port, cable or device. However, the COP error is most commonly caused by an incorrect port selection within Production Manager. The following steps will help resolve the issue. There is also a video below to help R-Series users who are experiencing port issues.

STEP 1: Identify the Port

The first question to ask is, “How/Where does my computer see the device?” This can be answered by looking in Device Manager or Devices and Printers depending on the device and the method in which it is connected. Here is a table that shows you where to look in your computer for the various devices. The device is in the column on the left side of the table. Just scan down that column till you see your device. Then read accross to find out how to identify where your computers sees your device.
*When connecting with a straight Serial-to-Serial cable, no matter what cutter you’re using, it should always be found on a COM port in Device Manager. The easiest way to locate devices varies between operating systems. The most universal approach is to SEARCH your local computer for “Device Manager” or “Devices and Printers.” If you are searching in “Device Manager” (based on the above table), click on the “Ports” category to see where your equipment is listed. If the “Ports” category is not listed within Device Manager, you likely need to download equipment drivers. If you are searching in “Devices and Printers” (based on the above table), right click the device in question. Click “Properties,” and then “Hardware.” This page should reveal the location of your device.

STEP 2: Match the Port

Now that we know where your computer sees your device (either a cutter, printer or laser), we now need to make sure the software is trying to communicate through that same port. First, launch Production Manager from your desktop. When it opens, confirm that the brand and model listed in your setup are consistent with the equipment to which you are trying to send your job. Then, right-click on the setup, and choose the option to change the port. The connection type is probably at its default setting (COM1). If so, click this field to expand your options. You should now be able to click the COM or LPT port that matches that found in STEP 1. “Apply” and “Finish.” Before sending a test job, make sure all other jobs are clear from Production Manager’s job queue as they may have bottlenecked during your COP error. Also, make sure that the correct equipment/setup is designated in your software’s cut/plot screen. Once this is done, cross your fingers, hold your breath and send the job. Hopefully, you found success! If not, don’t panic. There are other options to consider. Nevertheless, these directions will have resolved most “Cannot Open Port” errors. Your software and computer should now be communicating.

Cannot Open Port with R-Series Cutter?

This video demonstrates the above steps when working with an R-Series cutter.