Cost Estimating for a Wooden Plaque with KipwareQTE®

If you have followed our Blog … you might know that back in October of 2015 we started a sister company to Kentech Inc. called KÄRV. KÄRV is a woodworking business … is just getting started … and will be producing custom, handmade furniture and unique wood carvings for resale.

www.KarvWoodworking.com

We are using the Kipware® software from Kentech Inc. in KÄRV to both create the G code programs for our X-Carve CNC router and to estimate cycletime and costs for the products we will be producing for resale. So we are putting Kipware® to the test in the real world … this time the world of woodworking … for additional in-the-trenches use.

We also wanted to document some of the use of Kipware® in various areas of KÄRV … so this post is dedicated to the cost estimating of a wooden, 3D carved plaque we have for sale on our website.

We wanted to illustrate through the video available below how we used our KipwareQTE® to create the retail price for the plaque considering material cost, tooling cost, labor cost and non-machining costs. Metalworking … woodworking … they both have very similar aspects as they relate to manufacturing … so this video is a great way to see KipwareQTE® in action in a woodworking environment … but with a lot of similarities with a metalworking one.

For additional information on all our Kipware® CNC and Machine Shop software titles … please visit www.KentechInc.com.

For additional information on KÄRV woodworking … please visit www.KarvWoodworking.com

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

New Enhanced Drilling and Milling Features for KipwareM®

We are always listening to our customers … and love submissions for revisions and enhancements per their actual shop floor experiences. This post outlines (2) new features we have released for our KipwareM®… development based on client input and recommendations.

If you would like to submit your real world feature request … please send an email to Sales@KentechInc.com.


Enhanced Hole Location Input Options for Drilling

KipwareM® provides the user with the multiple options for automatically calculating hole locations for bolt circles, holes on a line and grid patterns … but sometimes you just need to enter random locations that don’t fit into a set pattern.

That drilling conversational menu has now been enhanced to give the user (3) options for entering such locations.

  1. X / Y locations can be entered directly on the conversational form with the # of locations available being unlimited. Just increment the counter up and enter the X/Y coordinates.
  2. Users can pop-up a form where up to (12) locations can be entered directly on that form all at once.
  3. Users can define a DXF file and KipwareM® will read through the DXF file and define every POINT element in the file as a hole location and automatically enter that location into the list. This is great option for loading a large number of hole locations directly from a DXF drawing.

Enhanced SLOT MILLING Options

We have enhanced our HORIZONTAL and VERTICAL slot milling menus in KipwareM® to include the option of THROUGH slots as well as partial slots … what we call CAPTURED slots.

In addition … a recent past upgrade gave the user the option for total removal of the material in the slot or simply create a tool path that milled down the side(s) of the slot. This is a great option for creating toolpaths for narrow slots or slots where the cutter and slot width are the same or the cutter is only slightly smaller.

Our labels HORIZONTAL and VERTICAL slots is a bit misleading … because the single ROTATION ANGLE input allows the user to rotate the slot at any angle … all done with a simple single angular input.


As mentioned above … we are always happy to receive feedback and to hear new options users would like to see in our applications. If you have a suggestion … please reach out to Sales@KentechInc.com.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Keys When Estimating Machining Cycletime

At Kentech Inc., we have spent a lot of time over the last 25+ years working and perfecting our KipwareCYC® – Machining Cycletime Estimating Software.  KipwareCYC® started out as a resource for estimating cycletimes for machine purchase justification. Clients would come to us with the request to estimate machining time based on equipment they were considering purchasing. THIS WAS A BIG DEAL to be sure. The client was going to lay down some serious cash to purchase  a new piece of CNC equipment … based heavily on our cycletime estimate to machine their workpiece on that equipment.

Well over the years we have produced quite a few happy clients … enjoying a nice revenue increase thanks to those cycletime estimates and new equipment purchases. So we know a little about accurate machining cycletime estimate … from hands on experiences.

Two of the main factors we have used over the years to incorporate into our machining cycletime estimating are :

  1. Cutting  parameters used in the estimate MUST reflect the speeds and feeds being used on your shop floor during the machining. Using book knowledge … pie in the sky parameters … other people’s data and processes … will only lead to inaccurate estimates. This is one of the fundamental keys to accurate machining cycletime estimating. You can read more about our feelings on this issue in our previous BLOG post  … CLICK HERE to read that post.
  2. The time that a tool is actually engaged in the cut … the “length of cut” … is the most accurate way to estimate that tool’s cutting time. Using other factors like volume of material being removed … does not accurately reflect a tools cutting time. The volume of material being removed does not reflect the path the tool takes in the cut … only the amount of material being removed. The path the tool takes in the cut … the true length of cut … is the only factor that will produce an accurate cutting time.

Our KipwareCYC® application always has used a tools length of cut when calculating cutting time. Coming from the shop floor … we also realize that this is not an easy factor to obtain. That is why we created our companion app for KipwareCYC® … the Cut Length Calculator. This ingenious application uses a mix of conversational, fill-in-the-blank forms as well as the ability to import DXF files yto assist the user in calculating a tool’s length of cut quickly and easily. Our patented Machinist Mode transforms the mouse into a cutting tool … all the user need do is click around the part to simulate the cutter path … and CLC will turn that into a length of cut calculation … for either turning or milling calculations.

For more information on the Cut Length Calculator … included standard with KipwareCYC® … we invite you to watch the video below.


Quoting and estimating is the lifeblood of your business … and any accurate quote begins with an accurate machining cycletime estimate. It is undoubtedly STEP #1 !!

We invite you to check out all the features and power of KipwareCYC at our website … http://www.KentechInc.com/KipwareCYC.shtml.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

New Fanuc <--> Okuma Conversion Software Features Released

Our Kipware® CNC XChange and KipwareXC® software continue to be the industry leading tools for removing the “control incompatibility” issues from today’s shop floor.  Today’s typical shop floors contains many different CNC machines with different CNC controls … and the inability to quickly move G code programs from one machine to another means loss productivity and efficiency.

Since 1986 when we first started creating G code conversion software for Raytheon Corporation … Kentech Inc. has become the pioneer and leader in G code conversion software … enhancing efficiency and productivity in thousands of manufacturers by allowing all their CNC machines to operate seamlessly.

Today we are announcing the release of NEW features to our Kipware® CNC XChange … Fanuc <–> Okuma Milling Conversion application … that enables a “look ahead” feature for inserting the “next tool” call into converted programs. When converting Fanuc milling G code to Okuma OSP … this new feature will scan ahead in the Fanuc program to find the next tool being employed … and will auto-insert that call into the tool change line of the current tool. This insures greater efficiency by getting he next tool indexed and ready for tool change … saving valuable cutting cycletime in the newly converted G code program.

Here’s how it WORKS …

As with all features in Kipware® CNC XChange  … and after living on the shop floor for 30+ years … we know that no two G code programs or formats are alike. That’s why we build customizable features into our conversion software … to allow the user to select and customize the conversion and output.

Initially … the user can use the powerful USER OPTIONS in Kipware® CNC XChange to set-up this “look ahead” feature as the screenshot below illustrates.

Users have the ability to customize the output by :

  1. ENABLING or DISABLING the Look Ahead function … and if enabled to specify the LETTER ADDRESS to be used by Kipware® CNC XChange when adding the next tool call to the G code. In the above case … a Q# would be output with the # being the next tool number.
  2. Users can also specify a TOOL CHANGE RETURN LINE to be automatically inserted as a line prior to the tool change command line, This features gives the user the ability to customize the tool change return line per their own requirements.

Here’s the RESULT …

With a simple push of the CONVERT button … Kipware® CNC XChange goes to work … all automatically … in seconds … to execute this and many other conversions to produce the sample as illustrated below.

First the TOOL CHANGE RETURN LINE was added as defined … and then the LOOK AHEAD Q# was auto-inserted onto the converted tool change line.

You can also watch the presentation video below …


Industry leading Kipware® CNC XChange and KipwareXC® can help any size shop remove the “control incompatibility” issue from their floor … and bring with it increased efficiency and productivity.

For more information on Kipware® CNC XChange or KipwareXC® … please visit our website … www.KentechInc.com.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

The 2016 Kipware® Development Report

Another year … come on !!! It’s hard to believe that we are about to add another year to our journey … our 31st year in business … in CNC and in CNC software development. Saying THANK YOU to all our customers who went REAL WORLD with us … who put their faith in our ideas, designs and development … it wouldn’t even begin to reflect our real gratitude. Without our customers we wouldn’t be here … and that’s why we continue to listen to your feedback … your requests … your ideas … and will continue to implement them as best as we can to continue to develop our world famous line of Kipware® … REAL WORLD MACHINE SHOP SOFTWARE.

At the beginning of each year we like to take a look back … to reflect and evaluate what we have accomplished during the past year for our products in terms of development and enhancements … and of course for our clients.

Versus other software vendors who boast “millions of hits on our website” … or who search the internet for good ideas and then make them their own … we’re doers. We don’t talk about it … we do it … and we’re more than happy to publish our doing it and lay it out there for all to see. We’re proud of our hard work and results and the fact that THOUSANDS of real world machinists … from the one man shop to fortune 500 companies like SpaceX and General Dynamics around the world use Kipware® software. I guess they’re doers too. Are you a doer?

Why do we feel it is important?

Since 2012 … the first year we started blogging regularly … we have posted our year-in-review article highlighting the main items of development over the year.  We feel this is SOOOO VERY IMPORTANT for a number of reasons … but let’s focus on the top two.

  1. To show clients and potential clients that Kentech Inc. and Kipware® software is constantly on the move … innovating … inventing … improving … and enhancing. So clients and potential clients can compare our rate of the above against other competition and developers. We are by far the busiest in terms of enhancing and upgrading our machine shop software … all our market leading titles. If you follow our blog you’ll know we are a big fan of software Version #’s. For developers who adhere to the software version norms … major release, minor release and build numbers ( e.g. 10.1.0  )  … these are an actual reflection of the number of releases which usually illustrates the amount of new development. As the major release number grows … it reflects the number of major upgrades and enhancements. The reverse … software with Version #’s that are low … reflect the lack of development and lack of major releases. This is a good indicator of how much work and effort a company is putting into development. We always encourage any potential client to compare our version numbers with any competitor … the result is always astounding. We have posted the current version #’s next to each title along with the release information for the last year for your review. Nothing to hide here.
  2. So existing clients can view the various changes and enhancements to titles they may own … and help them decide if these changes warrant an UPGRADE investment. Kentech Inc. does not have any maintenance agreements and no yearly fees. Our UPGRADE policy basically allows the user to pick-and-choose when they wish to upgrade based on features released. At any time the user can UPGRADE … and will receive the latest version of the software with ALL the current features. So if we release an UPGRADE and the features are not of interest this time but they are the next time … an UPGRADE purchase will get you ALL the features that have been released to date.

By the way … if you missed any of our previous end of the year reports or wish to see our progress … here are some links to help :

So without further ado ….

curtain

Let’s raise the curtain on this years highlights !!

This year we really stepped it up a notch … and went beyond just software development to branch out into some new endeavors. We introduced our Kipware® Cloud – SaaS for Manufacturing … and we started a sister company KÄRV to put our quoting and estimating and conversational CNC programming software to work in a real woodworking environment. We will be blogging more about KÄRV and how we are using Kipware® software in it’s operation in the upcoming months.

Below is a list of our accomplishments for 2016 … with links to articles with in-depth information about each. Enjoy.

The Kipware® CLOUD

This was BY FAR our biggest new undertaking … and judging by our subscription rate … you thought so too !! After about 2 years in planning … in April 2016 we finally unveiled the Kipware® Cloud – SaaS for Manufacturing. We worked very closely with our hosting partner to insure we “got it right” … and have been extremely happy with the roll-out, the stability, the security and mostly the performance of The Kipware® Cloud.

Our subscription rate continues to climb ( we don’t publish the numbers for the competition to use for their research … losers !! ) and customers who sign-up continue to maintain and in some cases even grow their subscriptions and number of titles they include. Cloud computing is the future … and we are proud to say we have once again have broken new ground to be innovators and pioneers in manufacturing. While companies offer one cloud based app … mostly CAD or CAM … the Kipware® Cloud offers users a whole host of real world applications from quoting and estimating to conversational CAM programming to G code conversion to CNC training. And all at a cost less then the single application offerings.

If you haven’t followed along with our Kipware® Cloud Blog posts … here is a list of some of best posts to gather some additional information :

What is SaaS and What is the Kipware® Cloud

Why Cloud Computing Makes Sense … EVEN FOR AN OLD GUY !!

The Kipware® CLOUD — SaaS For Manufacturing

We invite you to explore the Kipware® Cloud and it’s features through the links above. There are a lot of benefits to the Kipware® Cloud … and can help you move your business to the next level and into the future !!

KipwareT®

Conversational CNC Programming Software for Turning
Current Version : 19.1.0

  1. Conversational Tapered Radius Groove menu released … for more info CLICK HERE.
  2. Conversational Ball Turning Menu released … for more info CLICK HERE.

KipwareM®

Conversational CNC Programming Software for Milling
Current Version : 16.13.0

  1. New conversational 3D EDGE RADIUS menu released … for more info CLICK HERE.
  2. We have a lot of new menus up for development in 2017 including new hole menus … new slotting menus … new multiple fixturing menu and options … STAY TUNED !!

KÄRV Woodworking Is BORN !!

In October 2016 we decided to take our talents to the world of woodworking and we set-up a sister company to Kentech Inc. called KÄRV. KÄRV will be a company that produces custom handmade furniture and unique wood carvings using both our X-Carve CNC router and custom , hand woodworking. We fully intend to implement our KipwareCYC® ( cycletime estimating software ), KipwareQTE® ( cost estimating software ) and our KipwareM® conversational CNC programming software in this business and will be blogging extensively in 2017 about that implementation. Stay tuned to the Kipware® Blog for more !!

We have already started blogging … you can read some of those initial articles in the list below :

We’re Taking our Talents to …

Building the X-Carve for KÄRV Woodworking


The above illustrates only the MAJOR releases … there are also tons of minor tweaks behind the curtain along with User Interface changes that have been released without any fanfare. Unlike some developers who tout screen color changes or pop-up tips as MAJOR enhancements. I guess it comes from our on-the-shop-floor no-nonsense experiences … don’t give me something unless it truly makes a difference.

We invite you to compare this type of development and enhancements with any software developer you are considering. We like to use that famous New England clothiers marketing phrase … “An educated consumer is our BEST customer.” or “Shop us last … you’ll love us.

Of course … we couldn’t accomplish anything without the dedicated crew here at Kentech Inc. nor our fabulous family of Kipware® users. Thank you to everyone for your support and we promise to keep working hard … dedicate our efforts … to create and enhance our REAL WORLD software to make a difference in the REAL WORLD.

Happy New Year to ALL !!

Wishing all the best to everyone in 2017 !!
Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.