Are you a machine tool salesperson looking to add CONVERSATIONAL PROGRAMMING options to your machines?
Are you a machine tool salesperson running into the CNC CONTROL INCOMPATIBILITY issues when offering your equipment?
Are you a connected metalworking individual interested in generating some additional income?
If so … Kipware® software can help !!
Many machine tools now offer conversational or shop floor programming as an option on their CNC controls. While we are HUGE believers in conversational and shop floor programming over CAD/CAM only model … having your programming being locked to the machine tool has many disadvantages that can be easily exploited when offering a PC based conversational alternative like Kipware® conversational. CLICK HERE to watch the video for more on this topic.
If the machine tool you or your company offer does not include conversational programming but it’s what your customer is seeking … or your CNC control conversational option is sub-par … becoming a member of Kentech Inc.’s REFERRAL PROGRAM with the ability to offer Kipware® conversational as an option is a GREAT alternative. Our REFERRAL PROGRAM is easy to join … has no commitments … and requires nothing on your part other than a referral. Basically … refer a client and earn $100 !!
TAKE CONTROL INCOMPATIBILITY ISSUES OFF THE TABLE
Over the years … we have helped hundreds of FANUC and OKUMA based CNC machine tool users realize complete seamless integration between their machines with our CNC XChange G code conversion software. In addition … our KipwareXC® G code conversion software has helped thousands of CNC programmers quickly and easily convert their G code from one format to another to make their shop floors run smoothly and efficiently.
Machine tool sales professionals oftentimes find themselves in a situation where the customer comments “I love your machine but my operators and programmers don’t know the control.” or “I have hundreds of programs written for my current machine … can I use them?”
As a member of the Kipware® REFERRAL PROGRAM … you can not only offer a proven-in-the-trenches solution that can mean the difference between a sale and a bust … but you can earn $$$ in the process. Our REFERRAL PROGRAM is easy to join … has no commitments … and requires nothing on your part other than a referral. Basically … refer a client and earn $100 !!
YOU LIVE IN THE TRENCHES … PROFIT FROM IT !!
Our Kipware® titles are powerful … easy-to-use … and proven-in-the-trenches applications that include :
We are always looking for knowledgeable, connected manufacturing professional who are looking to help other manufacturing professionals find solutions to their shop floor issues. Perhaps a Kipware® title can help … and by joining our REFERRAL PROGRAM you can point your friend or colleague in the Kipware® direction and even earn some $$$ in the process. We invite you to explore our Kipware® titles and the Kipware REFERRAL PROGRAM. Let’s all work together to make manufacturing strong.
Kentech Inc. is pleased to announce the release of Version 17.0.0 of our KipwareM® – Conversational CNC Programming Software for Milling.
This version contains new support options for RIGID TAPPING in all conversational hole menus in KipwareM®. The first area to set-up would be in the SETTINGS page …
… where the user can define the PRE-COMMAND G code … and then select whether or not to include the S command on that line as well. Some controls … like most Fanuc controls … require a command prior to the G84 tapping canned cycle command line … and some require the appropriate S command to also appear on the line. For example … the standard Fanuc command for rigid tapping is :
G99G84 X— Z— F—
Some controls … like Okuma … require the pre-command but do not require the S command.
With this new upgrade … KipwareM® will format and output the code according to this SETTING … and will carry the appropriate S command value and place it on the pre-command line if desired.
Also … on all hole menus … a new field has been added for the user to define the PERCENTAGE of calculated FEEDRATE to use when generating the G code program. All feedrates calculated through KipwareCSF® will now be output using a 100% value for the feedrate calculated.
Previously … we had a built-in factor of 90% to accommodate non-rigid tapping … where the standard 90% of actual feedrate is used to allow the compression holder to pull out just a little to avoid bottoming out the tap when tapping using a compression holder. We have removed that 90% factor … and all feedrates are now calculated to a 100% factor. This field on the form allows the user to input a desired percentage factor if not employing rigid tapping … or to leave the default of 100% if employing rigid tapping.
With almost all of today’s CNC machines having the capability of using rigid tapping … these new features in KipwareM® will keep pace with this trend … and allow both older CNC and current CNC users to employ rigid tapping … or not … quickly and easily with any KipwareM® program created.
Over the last 2-3 months we have seen a growing interest from Fusion360 users for our Kipware® conversational CNC programming software. We have been polling those users as to why they’re interest has peeked and overall we have received answers along the same line … complexity vs. simplicity.
For users looking at Fusion360 as a CAM package … they are finding it all to complex … confusing ( as in not intuitive ) … and just plain overblown. These factors are leading to slow G code creation that leads to lost profits and related inefficiencies that basically eat away at profits. Most of the reasons expressed confirm our “sales pitch” as outlined in our many blog posts … full links are below and recommended reading if this topic has spiked your interest.
Of course for CAD and design work … Kipware® conversational is not in the same ballpark as Fusion360 … it includes a CAD / drawing package and we do not … we are focused on the CAM side of things.
But for creating G code programs and as a CAM package … where design work is not required ( say in a job shop setting ) … Kipware® conversational basically blows the doors off of Fusion360. KipwareM® ( milling ) and KipwareT® ( turning ) offer users a G code creation tool for the common, everyday type workpieces with ease-of-use, an intuitive interface, and powerful features that allow novice to expert machinists to create powerful G code programs quickly and easily.
And what about being cloud based … with nothing to install or maintain … and able to be accessed through any device from anywhere. BOOM !! Kipware® conversational is also offered with a cloud based delivery through our Kipware® Cloud. Complete information can be found HERE.
If you have been looking at Fusion360 as a CAM alternative … we encourage you to take a look at Kipware® conversational. We invite you to request a live, one-on-one online demonstration … or attend one of our Live Events … we where we can show you the full Kipware® conversational experience and you can ask question / get answers in real time. Links are below.
Let me begin by explaining that this post is not a knock on the Siemens 840D controller. We have limited experience with the controller in regards to reliability as a CNC controller.
This post will, however, deal with two point of interest that we think are important for CNC personnel to know and consider when applying this CNC control to their shop.
Control output ( G code ) compatibility with other CNC controls on the market.
Ease and power in regards to conversational CNC programming
In the US market … Fanuc has been the dominant CNC control for many years. Reliable and abundant … Fanuc has been the go to CNC control for many machine tool builders. In the last 5 years or so … Siemens, Mitsubishi and to a lesser extent Fagor … have begun making their way into the US market … both in retrofit packages and factory installed on newer machine tools. Mitsubishi has mainly made their way through lower cost and good reliability … but one of Siemens’s selling features is their “conversational” approach to CNC programming.
While Mitsubishi has maintained their G code format … in fact Mitsubishi … smartly … maintains their 100% “fanuc compatible” G code format … they have given themselves the ability to attract those millions of Fanuc programmers out there by offering great reliability and the same programming format they already use.
Siemens on the other hand … only maintains their “fanuc compatibility” in their DIALECT or ISO mode. ISO mode is basically a secondary mode to the 840 control … and when in ISO mode many of the features of the control are unavailable. It is evident that the 840 pushed the user to the standard programming mode … which in Fanuc language is really a macro programming output. Difficult if not impossible to decipher and edit manually … and incompatible with any other G code format on the market.
If you have ever worked on a real wold shop floor … you know the problems and issues that “control incompatibility”. The inability for one G code format for one machine and one CNC control to function on another machine with another CNC control. This results in multiple “posts” if using a CAD/CAM system … and much re-programming or re-posting required to move programs from one machine to another. Not to mention the experience required and cost incurred for programmers who have the ability to program all formats for all machine on the floor … or the issues raised when they can’t.
When it comes to the Siemens 840 controller … compatibility with other CNC G code formats is a big consideration … it is NOT compatible. The 840 uses a macro format output … and as mentioned … difficult if not impossible to decipher and edit manually … and incompatible with any other G code format on the market.
TURNING : Here is an example an example of a turning canned cycle output per the following illustration example :
MID : Maximum insertion depth (enter without sign)
FALZ : Finishing allowance in the longitudinal axis (without sign)
FALX : Finishing allowance in the facing axis (without sign)
FAL : Correct finishing allowance for contour (without sign)
Versus a G71 / G72 Fanuc cycle … or a LAP cycle for an Okuma machine ( the two can be auto-converted between formats with our CNC XChange ) … the Siemens CYCLE95 is completely foreign … and is not compatible with any other G code format.
MILLING : Below is an example of a simple drilling cycle … so common on a Fanuc or Okuma control with a G73 cycle.
DP Final drilling depth/elongated hole depth/slot depth/pocket
DPR Final drilling depth/elongated hole depth/slot depth/pocket
depth relative to reference plane (enter without sign)
DTB CYCLE82: Dwell time at final drilling depth (chip breaking)
FDEP First depth (absolute)
Again the complexity of the macro statement makes it overly complex and completely foreign to most G code programmers.
Being the pioneers and innovators in the field of G code conversion software since 1986 ( more info here ) … we know the issues that control incompatibility can cause on the shop floor … and the money and time lost through those issues. If you are contemplating bringing a Siemens 840 control onto your shop floor … we would encourage you to weigh the G code format and incompatibility issues that will result.
If this is your only and only CNC control … or control incompatibility is not a concerns … then let’s take a look at the “conversational” approach from the 840 vs. our PC based Kipware® conversational.
Conversational CNC Programming
Siemens calls their conversational programming ShopTurn … and we’ll let the Siemens YouTube video speak for itself …
Ease-of-use and Power … Using the CNC control ( which is not a PC ) for input is cryptic and involves multiple changing menu bars. The PC is much more familiar, powerful and easy to use.
Portability … programming MUST be done at the machine and in the confusion of the shop floor. PC based conversational installed on a laptop is portable so programming can take place anywhere and and can be used to program multiple machines … giving every CNC machine a conversational control.
Conversational programming in any format is designed for the simpler, everyday type CNC programing. The main feature is to allow for “shop floor programming” of these type of workpieces … leaving the complex 3D and mold type programming for the complex CAD/CAM systems. We also deal with this issue in depth in our post Shop Floor Programming vs. CAD/CAM Programming … see it in full HERE.
But what happens when “somewhat complex” and non-standard shapes require programming … through perhaps a simple drawing or DXF import. On a conversational CNC control … if it is even available … it is even more cryptic and difficult to program. But with the included Kipware® SketchPad … simple drawing and DXF import is simple and easy to program easy in Kipware® conversational.
The mere fact that any CNC control is no match for the personal computer for power and ease of use is in itself a big factor and speaks volumes when considering control based conversational vs. PC based conversational. And we didn’t even mention the cost !!
As I mentioned at the start of this post … we do not intend to knock the Siemens Sinumerik control in regards to it’s CNC control capabilities or it’s reliability. We are merely outlining what we consider to be “real world” points to consider in regards to conversational programming and control compatibility. If you are considering a conversational CNC control of any type … we encourage you to learn and explore additional points through the links below :
As we continue to ramp up our sister woodworking company … KÄRV … we continue to demonstrate and prove our mantras for our Kipware® machine shop software. Metalworking operations … woodworking operations … both have a lot of similarities and requirements and we continue to prove our Kipware® real world machine shop design and features in our now real world woodworking environment.
We recently blogged regarding how we utilize our KipwareCYC® and KipwareQTE® machine shop cycletime and cost estimating software to estimate retail costs for some of our wood products. If you missed it … see the full article HERE.
We are also proving our “not every job requires a CAD/CAM system” programming mantra at KÄRV as well. We recently put our KipwareM® – conversational CNC programming software for milling … to work on a shop floor programming project we were working on in the KÄRV workshop. If you haven’t read our article on shop floor programming vs. CAD/CAM programming … it’s quite the eye-opener … you can read the full article HERE.
The Rest of the Story …
We came up with an idea for a unique clock design that featured a quartz clock movement inside a slice of an oak log. To house the clock body … we needed to mill a 3″ diameter hole in the slice … and we wanted to use our X-Carve CNC router to mill the hole. Simple enough … and it really illustrates how a simple programming project could turn into an overblown programming project if we were to use a CAD/CAM program to create that G code program.
In a CAD/CAM system we would have had to first create a drawing … why? … and then use that drawing to create the toolpath. Some extra steps that would not only cost us time but that time expense has to go somewhere and that would mean additional labor costs associated with the cost of the clock … which would eventually be for sale on our website. Want one … get it HERE !!
So we started KipwareM® … no drawing required … and with a couple of fill-in-the-blank forms completed … we had our G code program to rough pocket and finish mill … using a helical milling routine … the 3″ hole needed to mount the clock movement. Here are some screenshots of the forms … simple, plain english, fill-in-the-blank forms with tons of machining options that created a quick and efficient toolpath … no drawing nor drawing time required Bang bang done !!
As I mentioned we roughed the pocket using a pocketing routine … but we finished the side walls using a helical type cutting routine. Very easy to create in KipwareM® and posted out using KipwareXC® with our X-Carve Profile. We sent the G code and drove the X-Carve using the Universal G Code Sender application. The results were outstanding and the fit for the clock movement was perfect … first shot.
Needless to say we saved ourselves a ton of time by not having to create a drawing and by using our shop floor programming ( not CAD/CAM programming ) model and KipwareM®. We did the programming right at the machine … no expensive CAD/CAM system required and no drawing or CAD/CAM experience required.
Another unique wood design produced in the KÄRV workshop !!
If you would like to learn more about KÄRV woodworking and see our other products and designs … please visit our website … www.KarvWoodworking.com
If you would like to explore our conversational, shop floor programming applications or any of our other REAL WORLD machine shop software … please visit our website … www.KentechInc.com
President – Kentech Inc.
Woodworker – KÄRV Woodworking
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.
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.
Users can pop-up a form where up to (12) locations can be entered directly on that form all at once.
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.
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.
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.
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 :
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 :
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 !!
Conversational CNC Programming Software for Turning
Current Version : 19.1.0
Conversational Tapered Radius Groove menu released … for more info CLICK HERE.
Conversational Ball Turning Menu released … for more info CLICK HERE.
Conversational CNC Programming Software for Milling
Current Version : 16.13.0
New conversational 3D EDGE RADIUS menu released … for more info CLICK HERE.
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 :
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
Today we are proud to be introducing a new conversational feature for our KipwareM® – Conversational CNC programming software for milling for our groundbreaking 3D conversational option. This option allows for the creation of G code programs to machine a radius along the edge of workpiece using only a conversational or fill-in-the-blank form. As we often do … this conversational menu was created because of a request from one of our clients …. and we are happy to help make their shop more efficient through our development.
As the menu screenshot above illustrates … we have included many powerful options such as :
The ability to select any of the (4) locations to correspond with the workpiece set-up and radius edge location. In addition … the user can use multiple operations which each different quadrant to machine a complete “box” configuration.
Any angle of the sidewall which means the radius does not have to be inside a 90 degree edge but virtually any edge and sidewall combination.
The ability to select ZIG-ZAG or ONE WAY machining where zig-zag cutting will take depths of cut via a user defined stepover in both directions for a faster operation or with one direction cutting only.
KipwareM® and our 3D conversational operations has become the PREMIER PC based conversational programming software on the market. The complete array of available conversational 3D options is illustrated in the menu screenshot below and includes Tapered Cone … Tapered Hole … Tapered Boss … Tapered Pocket … Horizontal and Vertical Troughs … Male and Female Bending Dies … Curved Surface … Bowl shape and now the Edge Radius option.
For additional information on KipwareM® and our family of Kipware® CNC and machine shop software family of products … please visit our website at www.KentechInc.com.
After 30+ years in the metalworking industry … we are about to expand our scope as ITAKE MY TALENTS TO … WOOD !!
On October 22, 2016 … KÄRV was born !!
Personally I have been dabbling in woodworking for quite a while and I felt the time had come to take it to the next level. I mean why not?? Through Kentech Inc. we have developed all the software needed to operate a manufacturing business through our quoting and estimating … CNC programming … and shop utility software. When you come right down to it … making products from wood is very similar to making products from metal. A collaboration between Kärv and Kentech is a NATURAL !!
We invite you to follow our progress along here at the Kipware Blog and on our CNC Machinist Blog as we rev up. We will be detailing our progress as we receive and set-up our X-CARVE cnc router from Inventables. We we will be illustrating and blogging all the steps from unpacking to first cut at the blogs … so please follow along.
After we get the X-CARVE up and running we will be illustrating and blogging about how we integrate our Kipware® quoting and estimating software and Kipware® programming software into winning work … and producing work !! … so please follow along.
We will also be publishing more on the offerings from Kärv on the Kärv website … www.KarvWoodworking .com. So please visit the website as well. Who knows … you might even find some items of interest for yourself or for gifts.
As the creators of the industry’s premier PC based conversational CNC programming software … Kipware® conversational … we hear the question quite often “Why should I consider your PC based conversational software over a CNC control with conversational built in?”
It certainly is a valid question … and we would like to take this post to explain what we consider to be the TWO MAIN facts that anyone considering purchasing a CNC machine based on the fact that the control includes conversational programming should consider. There certainly are others … but we consider the two outlined here to be the most important.
FIRST … Consider the PC vs the CNC Control
The first consideration is to start at the basics … the hardware. A CNC control is designed around it’s ability to RUN the CNC machine and it’s axis. That means that it’s components … screen … keyboard … processor … are designed and created to make the axis move with speed, precision and accuracy. After all … that is the main job of the CNC machine. And … it’s designed to withstand and handle the harsh shop floor environment. Those factors dictate the features and capabilities included in the CNC control. The main point of the CNC machine and therefore it’s controller … IS TO BE A MACHINE !!
Professional CNC controls are NOT computers … in the vain of “personal computers”. The harsh shop floor environment means the exclusion of features we take for granted every day with our PC … that make it’s operation seamless and easy. A mouse … full QWERTY type keyboard … screen resolution … file storage and retrieval … and so on. Conversational CNC controls are forced to use cryptic, backward operational features like using the handwheel or arrow up and down keys or cryptic F keys to maneuver around.
Screen size and resolution along with the lack of “standard” computer hardware and lack of real “computing power” further restrict control based conversational. The ability to import a DXF file … for example … for program creation of non-standard type shapes is often lacking. And if present … is severely restricted by the screen size and resolution … often allowing for only the simplest of file importation.
Because the CNC conversational is married to the particular CNC machine … the conversational interface is restricted by the CNC machine capabilities. Menus are often cryptic … with simplistic images and prompts. The conversational layout and design often feels like an extension of the CNC control rather than a “programming system”.In some respects that is good … because the programming is output being 100% machine specific. But again it’s locked to that machine … the output is only good for that machine … and the programming must be done at that machine. Lack of portability means lack of expandability … and who wants to stay stationary in their business life?
The CNC CONTROL HARDWARE makes operating conversational programming on a CNC machine less intuitive … less powerful … slower … more error prone … and more time consuming when compared to operating CNC programming software on a PC.
SECOND … Portability
Second … consider the fact the your CNC conversational programming is locked and tied to the machine. That means ALL of the programming MUST be done at the machine … on the shop floor.Oftentimes … that means the machine is NOT cutting chips while programming is being done … or if programming and machine operation are done simultaneously, the operator is performing two tasks at the same time. Come on … seriously … that’s a recipe for disaster.
Consider that PC based conversational like Kipware® conversational comes with multiple “real world” shop floor features.
The ability to move the programming from machine to machine … making ALL your machines conversational. Your shop can program multiple machines with one PC or laptop. Loading PC based conversational like Kipware® onto a laptop … or today on a Microsoft tablet … adds new and powerful programming options to the shop floor. The tablet makes the “programming system” portable … being able to be moved from machine to machine … or into the office for some “quiet time” programming. Smaller shops can even take the laptop / tablet home for programming offsite.
Since you are using the same laptop / PC and the same software … all conversational programming for all machines is done using the SAME interface. Professional conversational software like Kipware® conversational uses the same interface for both milling and turning programming. This means that users spend less time learning the software and more time creating programs that cut chips … and make profits.
Professional PC based conversational like Kipware® has power that allows for the program creation for machine with different controllers. For example … Kipware® conversational can create G code programs for Fanuc … Haas … Okuma and any other “fanuc compatible” controls standard, out-of-the-box. For non-fanuc-compatible machine / controls … our powerful KipwareXC® option allows Kipware® conversational to handle them as well.
File storage and retrieval can be done off the machine … even on a server … which means safer and more secure data. Repetitive programs can easily be recalled and edited and updated … and done using the same conversational interface if using Kipware® conversational. Most CNC controls do not have the capability to recall a conversational program or cycle … which means family of parts or similar parts must always be re-created from scratch. Professional conversational software like Kipware® … and you can compare this feature on other “hobby software” … can recall any cycle created through the conversational menus. This means that if you are programming a part similar to a part you programmed one month or one year ago … you can simply recall that cycle … make a few changes using the conversational, fill-in-the-blank form … and create a completely new cycle in seconds. Kipware®‘s unique cycle recall feature even allows you to maintain the same, proven speeds and feeds used in the original cycle.
AND … we didn’t even mention cost !!
Almost always on professional CNC controls … conversational programming is an OPTION ,,, and an expensive option. Consider this … for less than $1,000 you can ADD conversational programming to multiple machines on your shop floor through a Microsoft tablet and Kipware® conversational software !!
As I mentioned earlier … these are only two of the many factors that really make PC based conversational software a much more powerful … efficient … profitable option than CNC control based conversational software. If you are contemplating making a purchase of a CNC machine … and the fact that the control has a conversational programming option … we invite you to take a look at Kipware® conversational … arrange for a live, online demonstration … and let us show you why a PC based, professional conversational application like Kipware® conversational is the smarter option.
You can use any of the links below to get additional information … or to arrange a live, online demonstration of Kipware® conversational.