Category Archives: Kipware® Quoting and Estimating Software

This category pertains to all things involved with KipwareQTE® – cost estimating software and KipwareCYC® – machining cycletime estimating software and KipwareTRK® – Machine Shop Quotation Tracking and Analyzing Software.

The State of Manufacturing in 2022 – And Why Manufacturing Should Never Be The Same

This article is SHORT and SWEET … TOTALLY TRUE … and illustrates a point that if heeded … and you should … can help all size manufacturers and machine shops move forward with speed and confidence.

Let’s start with two main points :

  1. Today’s manufacturing is grappling with a multitude of issues … as listed below.
  2. Kipware® software can alleviate EVERYTHING listed below.

Let’s List the Problems :

  1. Constantly thinning margins caused by supply chain issues including sourcing raw materials. Even if they can find what they want … prices have increased to levels that are threatening margins. Profit Margins grow are thinner and thinner by the day … winning unprofitable work WILL ruin your business.
  2. A significant increase in demand … all those delayed products, plans, and purchases from last year are now happening all at once. Clients want their orders fulfilled NOW … or they’ll walk.
  3. The challenges of implementing new technologies into the production process are creating bottlenecks as manufacturers try to bring emplyees up to speed on new, complex technology. Software companies have shops bamboozled into thinking that only their products … overly complex, overly expensive, constant maintenance fees … can solve their problems. And they all come with huge learning curves … or lock you into finding employees who are familiar with them.
  4. Finding and retaining enough employees with the skills manufacturers need continues to be a top challenge. Instead of software helping inexperienced users grow and meet new challenges and become more helpful … today’s software requires more and more training and lock out good employees from stepping in.

Let’s See the Solutions … and Why Kipware :

  1. MARGINS are getting thinner by the day with the cost of raw materials rising and the ability to obtain raw materials getting more and more difficult. Manufacturers need to absolutely insure that jobs they are winning are profitable and KipwareQTE® cost estimating software and KipwareCYC® cycletime estimating software are essential tools for anyone quoting and estimating potentail work. Proven in the trenches since 1986 with constant innovation and improvements … Kipware® estimating software insures quality, profitable work … and stops the downward spiral of winning work that just loses money.
  2. DEMAND : Timeline for deliveries of manufactured goods are tight and manufactureres need to absolutely insure that any bottlenecks in the production process are removed. CNC programming models that rely solely on the “cad/cam guy” or the “programming department” should be a thing of the past. Relying on them for tasks like creating fixtures and jigs, boring jaws, simple part programming or in the case of Kipware® conversational, anykind of part programming … creates bottlenecks including editing or updating part programs as dictated by cutting conditions. KipwareM® and KipwareT® are real world tools that allow good chipmakers, novice CNC programmers and even advanced CNC programmers to create G code faster and easier than any CAD/CAM system … no CAD or CAD drawing experience required. With Kipware® conversational … you make chips … not drawings.
  3. IMPLEMENTING NEW TECHNOLOGIES : When deciding to add new technologies to your shop … one key fact to consider is the learning curve. How fast can I get the technology up and running … positively effecting my business … and what is my return on investment. Kipware® software … whether quoting and estimating or conversational CAM … are designed around intelligent interfaces so users spend more time doing and less time learning. Easy and intelligent user interfaces mean getting results faster and making a faster positive difference in your bottom line. Don’t be fooled … more expensive, more complex … does not mean quality or performance. ALSO … our innovative and pionerring G code conversion software can make acquiring new equipment and/or transferring G code seamlessly between different machines and controls … effortless. Got Fanuc controls/ Got Okuma controls? Got Haas controls? Our CNC XChange software will easily convert G code between these formats allowing for the quick and easy transfer of G code programs between different machines / controls. Eliminate the CNC control incompatibility issue and make your whole shop operate seamlessly.
  4. SKILLED PERSONNEL : Skilled personnel are getting harder and harder to find. Again, the easy and intelligent Kipware® software interfaces allow anyone … even with minimal skills … to create accurate cycletimes, accurate quotes and estimates and quality, efficient  CNC cutting programs. Kipware® conversational can turn anyone into a master CNC programmer … because the software does all the work automatically.  Kipware® quoting and estimating allows anyone to create accurate cycletime and cost estimates to insure the work you win is actually profitable work. And the routing sheets and road maps created from your quotes and estimates by Kipware® mean that the shop floor and estimators are in sync … a key factor for profitable quotes and estimates. Whatever you quote or cost out … must be able to be achieved by YOUR SHOP FLOOR. Book knowledge or pie-in-the-sky parameters only means more lost profits.

OK … that’s it. As stated in the beginning … short, sweet and all true. Kipware® is one of the fastest growing brands in machine shops around the world … fact … and it is because it is REAL WORLD software solving REAL WORLD issues and was designed and created by REAL WORLD developers.

And I can say I am proud to be :
Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Kentech Offers Pay Over Time Option for Kipware® Software

Kentech Inc. is pleased to partner with SEZZLE and PAYPAL to offer our U.S. and Canadian clients pay-over-time options for software purchases through BuyKipware.com. Here are the details :

SEZZLE is a BUY NOW – PAY LATER – INTEREST FREE platform that allows users to spread their software purchase over 4, interest free payments, over 6 weeks. Making a purchase with payment through SEZZLE allows users to get their software now and mitigate the financial impact in these difficult times. Some additional details :

  • Get what you need now … pay in 4 over 6 weeks.
  • Instant approval decision
  • SEZZLE is offered in over 47,000 online stores
  • No Credit Impact … shopping with Sezzle won’t have any effect on your credit score.
  • SEZZLE is the highest shopper rated pay-over-time solution.
  • Get individual Kipware CONVERSATIONAL CAM or QUOTING & ESTIMATING titles with payments as little as $123.75.

Kipware - Pay Over Time Option

Like SEZZLE, PayPal’s Pay in 4 is a feature that lets you split your purchase into 4 payments, with the down payment due at the time of transaction and 3 subsequent payments made every 2 weeks thereafter.  If you choose Pay in 4 as your payment method when you check out with PayPal, you will be taken through the application process. You will get a decision instantly but not everyone will be approved based on our internal checks. Some additional details :

  • Get what you need now … pay in 4 over 6 weeks.
  • Instant approval decision
  • No Credit Impact … shopping with Sezzle won’t have any effect on your credit score.
  • Get individual Kipware CONVERSATIONAL CAM or QUOTING & ESTIMATING titles with payments as little as $123.75.

We realize that times are challenging. Kipware® software offers game-changing solutions that mean fast ROI and will make immediate positive impacts in your manufacturing environment. We are pleased to offer our clients the ability to mitigate financial impacts yet get the solutions they need through SEZZLE and PayPal Pay-In-4 options.

To take advantage of these options … just select SEZZLE or PayaPal as your payment method at checkout through BuyKipware.com

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

New Reporting features Released for KipwareCRM® – MRP / ERP Cost Review Module for KipwareQTE®

We continue to improve and innovate our KipwareCRM® – Cost Review Module for our KipwareQTE® – Machine Shop Job Costing and Estimating Software.

KipwareCRM® allows users to easily compare estimated costs vs. actual costs as related to quotes and estimates created with KipwareQTE®. After client suggestions and requests for enhanced reporting features … we are pleased to announce the release of Version 2.0.0 of KipwareCRM®. Two new enhancements contained in Version 2.0.0 are :

(1) The ability to PRINT either a side-by-side or actual cost only report for cost reviews created with KipwareCRM®.

(2) The ability to SAVE as a CSV ( Excel compatible ) spreadsheet a side-by-side or actual cost only report for cost reviews created with KipwareCRM®.

Cost review report enhancements for KipwareCRM®
Cost review report enhancements for KipwareCRM®

These new reporting features will allow users the ability to dig even deeper to insure that work being won is actually profitable work and to take the necessary steps to make any cost corrections as required.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

INCH / METRIC Enhancements for KipwareCYC® – Machining Cycletime Estimating Software

Kentech Inc. is pleasesd to announce the release of Version 10.0.0 of our KipwareCYC® – Machining Cycletime Estimating Software.

The first enhancement deals with the inclusion of separate INCH and METRIC databases for BOTH the cutting parameters database and machine specification database. Previously inch and metric settings were contained in a single database … but we feel the two separate databases give users more flexibility and options when having to change between creating estimates in inch and metric. When the user selects INCH or METRIC in the KipwareCYC® SETTINGS page … the appropriate databases will automatically be loaded at start-up.

The second enhancement allows the user to have KipwareCYC® automatically convert the INCH specific database to METRIC … and REVERSE. This new feature allows users to create the database contents using, say, inch specific parameters and then have KipwareCYC® automatically convert that database and save it as a file with metric settings automatically. The reverse can also be accomplished with a single button push … as the image below illustrates.

The third enhancements was a soft-release in 2021 and allows the user to easily create back-up copies of all the KipwareCYC® databases with a push of a single button. The date of the last back-up is saved and displayed on the SETTINGS page.

KipwareCYC® Webpage : https://kentechinc.com/kipwarecyc/

UPGRADE Pricing and Purchase Options : https://www.buykipware.com/product-category/kipware-upgrades/kipware-estimating-upgrades/

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

New KipwareQTE® Release – Auto Quotation and Invoice Numbers

Version 17.0.0 of KipwareQTE® has been released as of 9/30/2020.

This version now includes the ability to configure KipwareQTE® to use auto quotation numbers and auto invoice numbers when creating these two reports. In addition … the user can configure these values to be auto incremented whenever the software closes.

The first to set up this feature is through the KipwareQTE® SETTINGS page … a screenshot is below.

Checking the checkbox will allow the software to load the configured current values for quotation and invoice reports when the software loads. Unchecking these values will allow the user to configure the values manually on each form when required.

The user can also configure the CURRENT NUMBER and INCREMENT value for both quotations and invoices.

When the software closes … the user is now presented with a screen that gives the ability to auto increment the values for either or both quotations and / or invoices.

Checking the appropriate box will cause the software to auto increment the current value by the increment value configured in the SETTINGS.

Version 17.0.0 of KipwareQTE® is shipping standard as of 10/01/2020.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Covid-19 … CNC Machine Shops … and Kipware®

I think we have all heard this more than enough … “these are unprecedented times,” We all know it … because we are all living it. Unfortunately.

First off … we salute everyone for their efforts from staying at home to social distancing to the most needed front line workers. You have our gratitude for fighting the good fight … without all our efforts we, the fortunate ones, would not be here … surviving. And we remember the ones we lost. The numbers are staggering but we remember that each one was a mother, father, son, daughter, brother, sister … each was a vital member of a family that will never be the same again. Each one will be missed … and forever remembered.

As business … including machine shops … begin “opening up” … the workplace looks much different than it did at the start of the year. Kentech Inc. is an internet based company and we have been up and functioning throughout … but now we are hearing from a different clientele.

Machine shops are functioning in a different light … smaller workforce with oftentimes a limited skill level … or smaller workforce just due to the financial consequences of limited work and trying to make the most with what you have. Everyone is being asked to do anything … and sometimes a little help is all we need.

BUT … Kipware® Was Made for THIS !!

Since our birth in 1986, Kentech Inc. and Kipware® software was built from the shop floor up. Built by real world machinists, engineers, chipmakers and shop foreman and leaders. We know that not everything is rocket science … not everything requires a bachelors degree … sometimes all we need is a simple tool to give us a leg up … and that is Kipware® software.

For CNC Programming …

We all know it … not EVERY job requires complex CAD/CAM nor a programmer well versed in CAD/CAM. Kipware® conversational was made to help good chipmakers become good G code generators … and that takes the burden of the CAD/CAM programmer and opens up the programming capability of any size machine shop. And that means increased efficiency and increased output.

Agree? CLICK HERE to explore Kipware® conversational for milling and turning.

For Winning PROFITABLE Work …

Now more than ever margins are tight and the work you win has got to be WORTH WINNING. Kipware® ESTIMATING software was created on the shop floor and has been proven in the trenches since 1986 !! KipwareCYC® will ensure that your machining cycletime estimates accurately reflect what happens on your shop floor … the ABSOLUTE KEY to real world estimating. KipwareQTE® will, ensure that you are not only winning work … but winning PROFITABLE work.

CLICK HERE to check out our Kipware® REAL WORLD ESTIMATING software.

For Ending CNC Control Incompatibility …

With time constraints and more … moving jobs from machine to machine is more and more common. Re-posting or manual editing is NOT AN OPTION !! Kipware® CONVERSION software makes the machine and CNC control incompatibility simply go away !! KipwareXC® and CNC XChange can make all your shop machines … all your CNC controls … run seamlessly. And that means moving that job from the DMG Mori to the Okuma or the Fadal to the Haas can be done in seconds … not hours.

CLICK HERE to check out how Kipware® cam make your shop floor run seamlessly !!

And We ALL Need a Good ROI !!

And Kipware® can accomplish ALL of the above without breaking the bank. Kipware® has simple interfaces to get you up and running quickly. And priced for the REAL WORLD … a Kipware® purchase means a fast return on your investment. That’s a WIN-WIN for productivity and profitability.

CLICK HERE for Kipware® Pricing and Purchase information.

So Sure … Times are Different

But Kipware® is here to help.
And we’ve been here since 1986 … creating tools for the Real World.
So grab some Kipware® and let’s discover the “new normal”. Because now more than ever … it’s REAL !!
Oh ya … it’s REAL !!

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Real World Machining Cycletime Estimating & Why It Matters

The phrase … the guess … “That should take us about 2 minutes to machine.” … is costing you  money … plain and simple.

I would say that most of our clients who request an online demonstration of our KipwareCYC® software answer the question “So how do you estimate your cycletime currently?” in a similar fashion. Inevitably most pass it on to the machinist on the floor or the production manager or the manufacturing engineer … and they provide the machining time estimate. And when we push a little harder … it turns out that most usually use the scientific form of GUESSTIMATING to arrive at their times based on their 30+ years or so of machining.

The fact of the matter is that even with all that machining background … their cycletime estimate is still a guesstimate … and cost estimates produced from that will be incorrect. No matter what you are using for cost estimating … if the cycletime estimate is incorrect it could lead to winning work … but work that just loses money.

The other side of the coin is the “feature recognition” software that claim they can produce a cycletime estimate based on a solid model. So now we go from a free guess to a very high priced software application … but the result is probably the same … inaccurate times. Why? That high priced app probably can figure a machining cycletime estimate based on that 3D model … but the key is will the machining process it determines be the same process that will take place on your shop floor? Will the speeds and feeds it calculates be the same speeds and feeds that will be produced on your shop floor? Probably not … and that means the time it calculated is no better than a guesstimate.

The key to accurate cycletime estimating is simple … make certain that the machine specs, cutting process and parameters used accurately reflect what will happen on your shop floor. Period.

Our KipwareCYC® is real world cycletime estimating software that was developed in the real world over years of providing time estimates for machine justification and time estimates for high volume production. KipwareCYC® will provide you with consistency … and most important accuracy … in your cycletime estimating process. The real world design and features of KipwareCYC® will insure that machine specs and cutting parameters utilized in the estimate will accurately reflect what happens on your shop floor. In fact … the design insures that the more you use KipwareCYC® … the more accurate it becomes !!!

Want to learn more … we invite you to visit www.KentechInc.com and explore KipwareCYC® in more detail.

Better yet … why not arrange for a personal online demonstration and let us show you how we can back up our claims … click here to set one up.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

New Length of Cut Calculators for CLC [ New Release ]

We have been touting for years that calculating the amount of time a tool is actually engaged in the cut is the best method to use when calculating machining cycletime. Cycletime based on things like “volume of material removed” are not as accurate as using length of cut … and we all know that if the cycletime isn’t accurate … if speeds and feeds are not based on what actually happens on YOUR shop floor … you might as well just guess the time. Your cycletime will not reflect the time that will be achieved on YOUR shop floor … so what’s the use?

Our KipwareCYC® has always been built on the length of cut feature … and the newly released version 11.1.0 of our Cut Length Calculator app for KipwareCYC® makes it even easier for users to calculate length of cut. CLC is , of course, a standard app that is included free with KipwareCYC®.

Here’s a breakdown of the new calculators :

 

#1 

We have included new 3D calculators for milling which can calculate length of cut for complex 3D milling operations as shown above. Using just a few simple inputs … the powerful calculations in CLC will auto calculate the tools length of cut.

#2

All pocketing menus now include the option to specify an island or number of islands that may be contained in the pocket. This feature is available is square / rectangular pockets as well as round pockets. After intense testing … a simple description of the outline of the pocket in round or rectangular format has proven sufficient enough to produce an accurate length of cut … without having to go overboard and describe an island shape greater than just contained in a square or rectangle or circle.

Again … the point of cycletime estimating is to produce an accurate estimate … without spending too much time or going overboard in terms of complexity.

#3

A new taper cutting feature has also been added on the turning side … to enable length of cut for tapers which the user may feel is not covered accurate enough using the various straight turning options in CLC. Again … simple inputs employ powerful behind-the-scenes calculations in CLC to produce the length of cut.

These new menu options are now shipping standard with KipwareCYC® as of this writing. Users who wish to UPGRADE to the latest version of KipwareCYC® which includes the latest version of the Cut Length Calculator … click here.

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 KipwareQTE®.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

The Story of Kipware® [Why we created our REAL WORLD CNC Software]

Our story ( really my story ) is most likely very close to your story.

Started out as a machinist … working on the shop floor running manual machinery … lathes, millers, grinders, planers … basically any machine tool you can imagine.

Worked up to Class “A” Machinist … Tool & Die maker … working with close tolerances learning CAD and fixture design.

Moved to CNC … service tech (Mori Seiki), programmer, applications engineer, then learning CAD/CAM and 3D programming.

Moved to management … quoting, estimating and production scheduling and management.

In 1986 I started Kentech Inc. starting off doing CNC machine repair, CNC programming training and contract CNC programming. But all the while I had the thought …

“There’s got to be an easier way.”

Being in the shop every day with all that experience with me … I never stopped looking at the status-quo and saying “There’s got to be an easier / better way.” I was determined to create quality solutions to handle issues I tackled every day and found lacking in my work experiences. That was the type of software I wanted to create … REAL WORLD software.

For simple every day CNC part programming … either having to program by hand (error prone) or having to use the CAD/CAM system (overly complex) … there was a tool needed to make the every day programming faster and easier. Born … Kipware® conversational.

For accurate cycletime estimating … working as an application engineer required tons of cycletime estimates to show potential clients how long it would take to make their part on our machines … and it better be right !! Born … KipwareCYC® cycletime estimating software.

For quoting and estimating … using spreadsheets (very clunky and not user friendly) or looking at spending thousands of dollars for software with “features” I didn’t want or need (who designed this stuff anyway ??). Born … KipwareQTE® quoting and estimating software.

For making the shop floor run seamless … even though it contained a variety of CNC’s with a variety of  CNC controls. Having to re-post (dumping proven toolpaths) or make manual edits  (dealing with typos or mistakes) … Born … KipwareXC® and CNC XChange.

Kipware® was BORN from actual Chipmaking Experiences

Over the last 30+ years … intermingled with still working with shops and on shop floors … we created the variety of Kipware® software we offer today. I’m proud that I created software not driven by profit or gouging my customers … but software that deals with the Real World issues machinist’s, programmers and shop management deal with every day. You know what I mean … I’m sure you have thought or uttered the statements …

  • Jeez this CAD/CAM is overkill for this part
  • I can’t keep up with these RFQ’s … our quoting system is really outdated.
  • Are we even making money on these jobs?
  • I wish some of the guys on the floor could create some of these simpler programs.
  • I wish these machines all talked the same language.
  • I wish I could get some help with all this quoting.

If you look deep at the CNC and machine shop software companies out there and their background … Kentech Inc. is one of the ONLY software developers out there that can boast this type of background on which their software is based. The gamut runs from software only developers with no machining background to individuals who think they know everything about everything CNC because they read it on the internet. Some of these guys even steal other people’s ideas from the company name to the products in their line-up.

At Kentech Inc. we ARE different … and we are proud that thousands of machinist’s and machine shops profit with our applications around the world every day.

AND … we USE Kipware® EVERY DAY !!

We still assist local users with their shops … from providing programming assistance to assisting in tool selection to just generally answering questions about CNC and manufacturing. And we use a variety of our Kipware® software in those shops.

In addition … I started a woodworking business in 2016 that blends my knowledge of CNC with hand craftsmanship as I design and build custom wood creations  … take a look here : KÄRV Woodworking.

Look … woodworking or metalworking … they both are very similar as far as business / shops go. They both need material planning … machine time planning … costing, estimating, quoting and as far as machining goes … wood or metal … it’s machining … very similar.

With our X-Carve … I use KipwareM® every day. Yes I use VCarve for the carving but I use KipwareM® for the “everyday” programming … circles and squares for joinery and for milling contours and sooo many other features. It’s faster than CAD/CAM or carving software and just plain simpler and allows me control of the machining process so I can machine how I want.

I use KipwareCYC® (cycletime estimating) and KipwareQTE® for costing and quoting custom projects … sooo nice, accurate, easy-to-use … and I can rest assured my quotes will lead to profitable projects.

And I use KipwareXC® to automatically make modifications to G code created by VCarve to correctly run my X-Carve router.

Kipware software proves it’s worth every day in the REAL WORLD. And the use of Kipware® in real world situations insures constant updates and enhancements that solve real world issues that present themselves in real world situations.

If this rings true to you …

If the points made here ring true for you … we invite you not to waste any more time and profits. Become a member of the Kipware® family today and start realizing increased productivity … increased profits … and a healthier business and bottom line.

CLICK HERE to Buy Now

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.