All posts by Kenney Skonieczny

I'm proud to say that I am a 3rd generation machinist ... I became a CNC Applications and Service Engineer / Manager for Yamazen and then Mori Seiki USA ... and I then took my acquired skills and entrepreneurial drive to start my own business in 1986. Since then ... Kentech Inc. and Kipware® software has become a leader and pioneer in machine shop software. Every day I strive to improve our products ... service ... and machining and machinists around the world.

Fanuc to Fagor G Code Conversion Software [ New Release ]

Our CNC XChange applications have helped thousands of clients around the world overcome the “control incompatibility” issues between Fanuc … Okuma … Haas … DMG Mori … Mazak … and more … G code formats for equipment on their shop floors.

Kentech Inc. is now pleased to announce the release of our latest version of CNC XChange that can auto convert Fanuc and “fanuc compatible” G code to Fagor format for 2.5 and 3 axis milling programs. All models of Fanuc controls are supported as the “convert from” format … and Fagor models 8055 / 8037 / 8060 / 8065 / 8070 are supported as the “convert to” format.

An option is also available to auto convert Fanuc MACRO B code to Fagor Variable Prgramming format.

For additional information and an in-depth look at how CNC XChange operates … we offer a brief release / informational video below.

Please visit www.KentechInc.com for more information on CNC XChange and ALL our Real World CNC / Machine Shop Software products.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

KipwareM® new release : Auto Tool List Creation

We are pleased to announce the release of our auto-tool list creation feature for KipwareM® – Conversational CNC Programming Software for milling.

As the name describes, this feature will create a tool list for tools used in the currently developed program and includes for every tool in the program :

  • Tool #
  • Height Offset #
  • Cutter Compensation Offset #
  • Tool Diameter
  • Work Offset

This information is critical in set-up and users have the ability to have that tool list created :

  • And inserted directly into the G code program as text blocks at the start of the G code
  • Displayed in the KipwareM® EDITOR where it’s contents can be edited / added to directly in the Editor and also to have the ability to print the Tool List from within the Editor.

Below is a video link that illustrates this new feature in action :

Auto tool list creation is now shipping standard with all new KipwareM® orders … and is available in all KipwareM® UPGRADE purchases.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Product Review / Comparison — G-Wizard Conversational vs Kipware® Conversational

If you do a google search for “conversational cnc software” … one of the displayed option is for a product from CNCCookbook called G-Wizard Conversational CNC. OK then … if you’re taking up market space then you are fair game … so let’s see what it is.

Conversational CNC is part of the G-Wizard Editor package. The editor is a G code creation / editing / plotting application and the conversational “wizards” allow you to create snippets of G code to be inserted into the editor as you build a G code program. It truly is what I would call a “wizard” … quite limited in scope with only a very few simple operations available for G code generation. CNCCookbook touts that “conversational CNC is free during beta testing” … you can see why. The product hasn’t changed much in over two years and seems to be something that has lost the interest of the developer. However … as I stated above if you’re taking up market space … you are fair game for an honest and thorough review.

Here’s a quick video of our review of the TURNING wizards …

A couple of other annoying / unprofessional “features” :

(1) It outputs TONS of lines of code … most simply messages … but if your control has limited memory capacity … it’s an issue.

(2) There doesn’t  appear to be any way to go back and edit code that was already created through a wizard … you have to start all over again in a new instance of the wizard. KipwareT® allows for complete recall into the conversational menu or direct edit of the cycle G code created.

(3) Roughing and finishing are always done … doesn’t seem to be any way to select ROUGH only or FINISH only … both are independently selectable in KipwareT.

Overall … the look and feel of G-Wizard conversational is that of a “wizard”. It will generate snippets of G code but is very limiting and without many options if you are trying to use it as a replacement for complex CAD/CAM for simpler workpieces … and there is no DXF import if the shape you are programming has some non-standard features.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Product Review / Comparison : CAD/CAM vs. Kipware® Conversational [ Fusion 360 vs Kipware® Conversational ]

FACT : Using a CAD/CAM system to program the simpler, everyday workpieces is costing you money.

FACT : CAD/CAM OVERKILL is real … and is costing shops in labor hours and dollars.

FACT : CAD/CAM was NEVER designed to be a G code generating tool first and foremost … it is a design tool first and foremost. If you’re not designing … DUMP the CAD and KEEP the CAM with Kipware® conversational.

FACT : Fusion 360 may be cheap … but even FREE software can disrupt efficiency and productivity if you can’t produce G code … and chips … in a timely manner.

Here’s the proof :

Get the low down on real world software that can save you time and money … Kipware® conversational … at our website : www.KentechInc.com

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

True Conversational Programming for a Tormach CNC Mill and Lathe [ Kipware Conversational CAM for Tormach ]

Did you know that KipwareM® and KipwareT® will allow you to program your Tormach PCNC Mill and / or Slant-Pro Lathe completely conversationally?

It’s true. KipwareM® (milling) and KipwareT® (turning) are 100% compatible for programming your Tormach mill or slant-pro lathe RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX !! No “post processor” or anything additional is required.

Now some user will say that Tormach already includes “conversational” programming … but the fact is it is not TRUE conversational programming. It is what is more commonly referred to as a programming “wizard”. It allows you to create simplistic G code for simplistic shapes … not true robust conversational CAM like Kipware® conversational. Why limit yourself? … and your potential? … and for that matter, the type of work you can produce?

Simply put Kipware® conversational allows users to do more … kick your programming up a notch … be real world … such as :

(1) Create multi tool programs that can machine a workpiece complete with multiple operations.

(2) Import DXF files and create G code for non-standard shapes.

(3) Use professional programming and “best programming practices” like cutter compensation … canned cycles … and more.

We have hundreds of Tormach users who found the standard Tormach wizards too confining or limiting … and have graduated to real world programming with Kipware® conversational with great success.

If you are a Tormach owner or thinking about a Tormach purchase … we invite you to contact us at any of the options below to discuss in detail how Kipware® conversational can take your Tormach mill or lathe to the next level.

Want a Kipware® conversational crash course … click the link below to view our in-depth Kipware® conversational videos on our YouTube channel :

Milling : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQjgskQuLfsSSOaztXUfV7Namy7iGoT8M

Turning : https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQjgskQuLfsS8j4Wb72o_fRGloXIIPzDw

Contact us by voice in the USA : 508.754.14198

Contact us via email : Sales@KentechInc.com

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

New MRP Features Released for KipwareQTE® [ Simple MRP and Cost Comparison for Machine Shop Estimating ]

Kentech Inc. is pleased to announce the release of Version 16.0.0 of our KipwareQTE® – Machine Shop Job Costing and Estimating Software.

With Version 16 we have moved beyond just quoting and estimating and have included optional modules that integrate with KipwareQTE® to provide cost review and analysis as well as real time material resource tracking and planning.

KipwareCRM® – Cost Review / Analysis Module

KipwareCRM® was developed to allow users to see clearly estimated costs vs. actual costs between what was estimated and was was actually utilized in production. This module will give users a clear view of profit and loss for each of the major areas of quoting with KipwareQTE® – material, tooling, labor and non-machining costs.

Users can load a previously created KipwareQTE® estimate and either load a report that can be generated either on the shop floor or use manual inputs to create an ITEMIZED or GENERAL analysis for each area. Through these features actual costs incurred during production can be entered … and KipwareCRM® will create a cost analysis to reflect profit or loss for each area.

The screenshot above illustrates a sample cost analysis showing profitable areas in blue and non-profitable areas in red. The costs analysis is a complete itemized breakdown to keep your quoting and estimating on track.

KipwareMRP® – Real Time Material Resource Tracking

KipwareMRP® was developed to integrate with KipwareCRM® and to allow for real time material resource tracking and planning. The KipwareMRP® module can be installed on an unlimited number of computers on the shop floor to allow shop floor personnel to input resources used in production in real time. Items like number of inserts used, number of bars used, number of end mills used, time spent deburring, or packing can be logged into the report from KipwareMRP®. That report can then be loaded into KipwareCRM® and used to auto-generate a cost report / analysis against the original KipwareQTE® estimate to view profit and loss.

As illustrated in the above screenshot, KipwareMRP® allows for tracking of material … perishable tooling … labor … and all non-machining hours that are applicable.

You can watch an in-depth video on KipwareCRM® and KipwareMRP® below :

As with ALL our software … KipwareCRM® and KipwareMRP® bring cost analysis and resource planning and tracking to the Real World. Without the clutter, the big bucks or the unnecessary complexity … any size manufacturer can realize realistic and profitable quoting … estimating … and production with Kipware®.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

New Fusion360 Pricing … Here We Go !! [ If you’re not designing, DUMP the CAD … KEEP the CAM with Kipware ]

As of this writing … end of September 2018 … the eventual has become the norm. We all knew this would happen … and the constant uptick of pricing has begun for  Fusion 360 users.

An announcement has just been made the pricing level of Fusion 360 for the will jump from $310 to $495 … and that is PER YEAR !!  That’s not a forever, buy it once and your done price … that is $42 / month or $495 per year.

We all knew this would happen. Once they got users hooked using their “cheaper”, introductory pricing  … got you to do all your drawings and store all your data in their environment … that they would eventually have to increment up pricing to keep making profits and stay ahead. And it is happening. And as any business owner knows … it will keep ticking up little by little … forever.

If you’re not designing …

DUMP the CAD … KEEP the CAM !!

Look let’s be honest … if you are designing and creating new products … Fusion 360 is probably a good deal. IF ON THE OTHER HAND … YOU ARE LOOKING TO GENERATE G CODE FOR MACHINING … KIPWARE® CONVERSATIONAL IS A MUCH BETTER ALTERNATIVE … PERIOD. CAD/CAM was NEVER designed to be a G code generating tool first and foremost … it is primarily a design tool … made especially for users designing and creating new products on a constant basis. Thus … everything starts with a drawing. If you are looking to primarily create G code to machine a workpiece … why do you need to start with a drawing. It is time consuming (wasting) and requires CAD skills which may preclude some good chipmakers from even getting involved with the programming process. For a shop owner … limiting the people who can create CNC programs means limiting efficiency and limiting output … limiting profits !!

Take a look at the video below … agree ??

Go Simple … Go Real World … Get Productive !!

One of the things that Fusion 360 touts with this new pricing is that the new subscription will include ALL Fusion 360 “features”. Great … they just added MORE COMPLEXITY to the package. If you are trying to create G code for say a simple turned part … you’ll have to weed through menus for live milling, Y axis, and others. WHY ??

If the video above makes sense to you … we encourage you to think twice about jumping on the Fusion 360 ever-increasing bandwagon and to take a deeper look into what “shop floor programming” and Kipware® conversational can mean for your shop … your productivity … your profits !!

Get more info HERE at www.KentechInc.com

Kenney Skonieczny — President
Kentech Inc.

CNC XChange Featured in the Okuma App Store [Okuma / Fanuc G Code Conversion Goes Mainstream]

Okuma Corp. is a leader in CNC controls and CNC machinery and laid the foundation for a whole new world of productivity and possibilities with the release of their OSP-P open architecture control in 2004. Among other features, this open architecture allowed for the inclusion of Windows based applications to run directly inside the CNC control. This has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for manufacturers now having the ability to run “apps” as well as full Windows software directly in the CNC control.

Kentech Inc. is proud to be recognized by Okuma and to have our Kipware® CNC XChange G code conversion software featured in the Okuma App Store. We are proud that Okuma has recognized the features and power of CNC XChange and the importance and power of G code conversion in the constant battle to eliminate CNC control incompatibility in today’s manufacturing.

You can learn more about Kipware® CNC XChange and the Okuma App Store by clicking on the links below.

Kipware® CNC XChange : http://www.kentechinc.com/cncxchange.html

Okuma App Store :
https://www.myokuma.com/

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

New Drill Nibbling Menu Released in KipwareM® [Plunge Milling Means Decreased Machining Time]

Have you ever had to machine a slot but didn’t want to mill the slot out completely with an end mill?

Looking for a quicker way to remove material from slots or other linear type patterns?

We just completed what we call a new “drill nibbling” or what others might call a “plunge milling” conversational menu in our KipwareM® – conversational CNC programming software for milling. For the machining described above … why would you pull out your complex and expensive CAD/CAM system or run to your overpaid CAD/CAM operator to create this G code ?? … when you could pull up KipwareM® … answer a few questions … and bang out some awesome G code in a matter of minutes.

The details …

Here’s a look at some of the screen and results.

plunge milling CNC conversational

The DRILL NIBBLING conversational screen has a number of unique features like :

  1. The ability to select the step over amount and number of plunges to make per location. This gives the user complete control over the cutting conditions.
  2. The ability to enter the “slot” center locations either manually or through a direct DXF file import.
  3. The ability to use any standard drill cycle … spot, peck, peck with complete retraction or drill with dwell. Again … alowing for complete control over the cutting conditions.
  4. The number of “slot” locations is not limited … any number of slot or pattern locations can be input.
  5. The pattern can be drilled along the X or the Y axis … so vertically or horizontally.

plunge milling with CNC example

You can create efficient plunge milling G code in a matter of seconds with KipwareM® … no drawing … no complex and expensive CAD/CAM system required. Just answer a few questions and BANG … G code.

As this capability demonstrates … Kipware® conversational is NOT a G code “wizard” creating underdeveloped and simplistic toolpaths … but rather a robust, shop floor programming system that can tackle the everyday CNC programming quickly and easily because it IS a powerful, complete CNC programming system.

If you are ready to STOP the CAD/CAM OVERKILL and reap the benefits of shop floor programming … we invite you to explore Kipware® conversational in more detail at www.KentechInc.com.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Kipware and a Customer Success Story [Kentech’s CNC Consulting in Action]

We love success.
Do you love success?
Who doesn’t love success?

This article is about one of those successes we can all appreciate. It as much a success story about Kipware® software … as Kentech Inc.’s product support … as personal triumph on display because of hard work and determination. Here’s the story … as briefly explained as possible without leaving out the important details.

It all started with an email from a potential customer in Pennsylvania who needed to create G code programs to machine a workpiece that a previous supplier had stopped producing. The client supplied us with a print and inquired if our KipwareT® software had the capabilities of creating the G code required to machine the workpiece complete. Along with the email came the comment “we are not machinists”.

We explained that KipwareT® had all the features to create the G code programming … so they made the purchase. After some initial questions and then some additional in-depth discussions … it became clear that the client needed some serious support … and that they really needed to get the part up and running.  We love to help so we decided to go into full support mode and lend a hand … anything we could do.

With no machining strategy in place … and the part being quite long and requiring multiple set-ups … we first developed CNC specific part prints … along with a recommended machining strategy. Below is a glimpse of the part to be created.

We operate our CNC consulting and mentoring services using the “teach a man to fish” philosophy. In other words … yes we could write the program for you but it’s better if we work together … and have you create the program so you will understand all of what is happening. Better training … better for future programming … better for set-up and running the parts.

Once the prints were approved … we decided on a machining strategy. The parts would be machined on (2) Mori Seiki lathes with live tooling … tailstock … Fanuc control.

First op … machine the shaft shown above in the top print … pretty straight forward. Facing and rough / finish turn the OD … groove the OD. We sent screen shots of the KipwareT® screens and the client followed the instructions and created the G code using KipwareT®. Loaded the program into the machine … followed our assistance in set-up and tool touch off … and ran the first op with good results. Nice job guys!! They really worked hard … listened to our instructions … and grew leaps and bounds along the way.

Second op … on machine #2 … leave some of the material swallowed in the chuck and machine to the print on the left side above … rough turning, finish turning, grooving, threading, mill (2) flats. We agin sent screen shots of the KipwareT® screens … and using all the experience gained in the first op set-up were able to get the second op off with good results.

Third op … still on machine #2 … move the stock out and using the steady rest for support … machine the remainder of the part … rough / finish turn … groove the OD … and thread the ACME thread. Again … the client was great and the result was a finished part all to spec and ready for production.

Here are some finish pics …

and comments …

“Thanks Kenney!!! Honestly , we owe it all to you. We could not have done it without you or your software. I can’t thank you enough …”

The start of the production run ..

Completed pallet of parts … a complete production run !!

Did I Mention …

When the client got to start the 3rd op. … they discovered that the turret was out of alignment. After further investigating … they found out that the turret was crashed in it’s previous life. Well … good thing I was a Mori Seiki service tech in my earlier life and have blogged about such things. Using a CNC Machinist Blog post from March of 2016 … http://kentechinc.biz/cnc-turret-alignment-tips-and-tricks/ … and a little additional consulting they were able to perform the service and re-align the turret. I’m telling ya … these guys are good !!

Nights … Weekends … whatever

The client was in a real bind needing these parts and put the hours and effort in to get it up and running. And we were right there. Days … nights … on the weekend … we supported the client whatever and whenever it was needed.

As you can see from this story :

  1. KipwareT® is great tool for both beginner and experienced CNC programmers.
  2. KipwareT® can handle a variety of turning operations … all conversationally … from facing to rough / finish turning to grooving to standard and ACME threading.
  3. KipwareT® was created by REAL MACHINISTS for REAL MACHINING and we have the EXPERIENCE to back it up.
  4. Our product support is unmatched in the industry. We could tell the client was in a real bind and needed some help so we stepped up to the plate … and since we are REAL MACHINISTS we were able to assists in many ways. From programming to machining strategy to set-up to machine repair.
  5. YOU REALLY CAN DO ANYTHING if you put your mind to it. These guys worked so hard and really put in the effort … an example to all … and the end result was complete success.

If you are ready to STOP THE CAD/CAM OVERKILL … are in the market for shop floor programming to handle your everyday CNC programming … we invite you to explore Kipware® conversational.  Kipware® was created by the REAL WORLD for the REAL WORLD … using real shop floor experiences and ………. IT SHOWS !!

If you are tired of limited, underdeveloped “wizards” developed and created by non-machinists … it’s time to step up. If you’re tired of support people who don’t know or really don’t understand machining … CNC machines … production … it’s time to step-up.

If you are in the need for support … consulting … or mentoring services …CLICK the image below.

Thanks for taking the time to read our story … and for considering Kipware® software.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.