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.

Guidelines for Calculating Machine HOURLY RATE

 

We tout this fact all the time in our marketing … at Kentech Inc. we are MACHINISTS … we cut chips, we programmed, we ran shop floors for years … then we became software engineers and designers and built software products we saw were lacking during those years. What we refer to as Real World Machine Shop Software. 

As a result, many of our clients come to us to take advantage of that experience … especially those just starting out. Since quoting and estimating is one of the first tasks a new shop needs to get right … we get asked quite a lot of questions about these areas. Our KipwareCYC® ( machining cycletime estimating software ) and KipwareQTE® ( cost estimating / quoting software ) titles are two of our most popular titles. One of the “hot” topics we encounter during online presentations of these titles is often concerning the cost to charge for a machining or a shop rate. So we thought it was a good time to add a blog post with some guidelines we feel are simple enough … but important enough … that can get you to an accurate figure.



Since many shops will utilize an hourly rate as a basis for charging for machining time, this post is dedicated to some helpful guidelines on how to calculate that machining hourly rate. Below are some points we consider important when calculating the hourly rate for a particular machine. The areas requiring calculations include :

Equipment – Cost Per Hour of Operation … a common formula : (machine purchase cost + expected lifetime maintenance cost) / expected hours of operating life.

Direct Labor Cost per Hour … a common formula : (total annual labor costs + taxes + benefits + paid time off) / (total annual hours worked – breaks and training time)

Overhead Cost Per Hour  : Any costs not directly involved in machining a part is overhead. These include costs for administrative staff salary, equipment, furniture, building lease, maintenance and office supplies. Calculate the annual costs of these, then divide by total labor or machine hours for the year. This will be your overhead cost per hour

Once the above costs are calculated … you can use the formulas and guidelines below to arrive at either a “general” shop hourly rate or an hourly rate based on a specific piece of equipment.

General Machine Shop Hourly Rate … a common formula : Average overall shop rate = (average machine cost per hour + labor and overhead cost per hour) x markup

Machine Specific Hourly Rate … a common formula : (specific machine(s) cost per hour + labor + overhead cost per hour) x markup

Somewhat simplified … and usually a work in progress as factors may change. It is important to gather all the figures in the formulas above as best you can … as accurate as you can … and to keep tabs on any factors that may change along the way.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

Why Cloud Computing Makes Sense … Even for an OLD GUY !!

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OK … I’m gonna admit it … I’m old. I’ve been around machine shops and CNC for more years than I wanna remember … since around 1978 to be exact. I cut my teeth on manual machinery in my 20’s … Bullard VTL’s … turret lathes … open side planers … boring mills … radial arm drills … gear cutters … tool and cutter grinders … and on and on. The company where I was a machinist actually rebuilt machinery … so I had the best of both worlds. A machine would come in and you would get assigned to it with the command … rebuild it. That meant finding what was wrong … re-designing the broken parts … then going into the machine shop and making new ones. I loved that job … and it taught me more than I could have ever hoped.

When the opportunity to advance came along … I joined up with the world of CNC. I had the greatest of experiences to take with me … I could fix machines and I could cut metal. I started out as a field service engineer  … then applications guy … then manager. Along the way I got some perks like a couple of trips to Japan for training … and I further learnt and upgraded my craft.

When things changed and I was asked to move my reluctant young family across the country … I decided it was time to move on and took that opportunity to start my own business. So in 1986 I started Kentech Inc.. I started out doing machine repair … then turn-key projects for Mori Seiki and other machine tool dealers. Along the way I took an interest in macro programming and then taught myself computer programming … and Kipware® was born. The rest … as they say … it history.

Why Am I Telling My Life Story?

Well if you suffered through the above … you realize … I’m old. But I wear that as a badge … because I have experiences many today can only dream of … and most will never obtain.  I make my living now through software running on personal computers … neither one existed for the individual user when I was born. Never mind when I was born … when I was in my twenties … they were still just a distant dream.

So when I talk with the “older” machinists out there who have shops .. even one or two man shops … I hear their hesitancy about cloud computing. The reliability, the security, the whole concept … because I’m coming from the same world. I feel your pain.

But having done the hard work and the research … I can tell you with all honesty … it’s a pain you gotta get over. The benefits of cloud computing are REAL … SIGNIFICANT … and here to stay.  And it’s why I moved my company … one of the first CNC and machine shop software developers … to offer it.

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Cloud Computing is the FUTURE !!

Here’s WHY …

Let me try to give you some of my main reasons why I feel so strongly about cloud computing … and why I think every user should give it serious consideration. And … in fairness … I also list what I feel might be the biggest cons people might perceive.

PROS :

  1. NOTHING TO INSTALL … all applications are run in the cloud … all data can be stored in the cloud or on your local PC … your choice. This is huge … maintaining CD’s and installation files can be very cumbersome. You think you have it … then when the PC crashes … and it will … or you replace the PC … you find out you don’t have it or it doesn’t run on the new operating system.  BIG HEADACHE !!
  2. WORK FROM ANYWHERE  … all you need is an internet connection for access. We hear the question all the time with traditional software sales … “How many PC’s can I install this on.” With cloud computing … it’s limited only by internet access. If the PC … or tablet … or phone … has internet access … AND WHAT DEVICE NOWADAYS DOESN’T ??? … you’re running.
  3. WORK FROM ANY DEVICE … we hear this one too “Does it run on a MAC?” With cloud computing … YES YES YES … on a MAC on ANDROID on LINUX … whatever !! What freedom !!
  4. NO UPGRADE WORRIES … come on you know this is a major pain. Trying to keep up with upgrades … updates … maintenance agreements and fees … yikes !! With cloud computing … all upgrades, updates, maintenance are FREE … and you’re always running the latest versions of all applications … you’re always using FRESH SOFTWARE with FRESH FEATURES.
  5. ALWAYS ON CAPABILITY … ALL applications are always available … anytime. Use applications as needs arise … need to create a quote on a Sunday afternoon from home? EWith cloud computing … NO PROBLEM !!
  6. IMPROVED MOBILITY and IMPROVED COLLABORATION … data and applications are available to employees no matter where they are in the world. Workers can take their work anywhere via smart phones and tablets working even while roaming in the shop or in the plant.
  7. MORE COST EFFECTIVE … with a predictable monthly expense and with no software, equipment, upgrades and maintenance contracts to purchase … you actually save money over the long term. 
  8. FLEXIBLE CAPACITY … quick and easy to ramp up and add users or additional applications … still with nothing to install or maintain !!

After reviewing the above … I mean REALLY thinking about it … you gotta admit that cloud computing deserves serious consideration. The above are only my favorite reasons … users I’m sure could add many more.

CONS :

Again … coming from the older generation … below are some of the concerns I originally had regrading cloud computing.

  1. SECURITY … is my data safe? OK come on … what data? G code programs? Quotations? Estimates? In this particular scenario … The Kipware® Cloud … this is NOT an issue. We’re not talking about storing your banking or company information … our software does not involve anything that would be considered “valuable”.
  2. SECURITY II : taking the whole security thing a step higher … our hosting company spends all their time hosting and making sure the environment is safe and secure.  YOU DON’T EVEN DO THAT !! So we are already way more secure than even your local PC or company network !!
  3. COST : While it’s true you are paying a continuous monthly expense … for that low fee and for what you get and what you don’t have to deal with … upgrade fees, maintenance fees, equipment, crashes, lost time … it is well worth the fee for the convenience, accessibility, scale ability and reliability.
  4. INTERNET REQUIRED : come on … really … what device and where isn’t internet accessible? If not now it soon will be everywhere !!

So there you have it … cloud computing from an old man’s perspective.

BUT … we get it. Cloud computing might still be not right for you. That’s why we offer the BEST OF BOTH WORLDS. You can still purchase any and all Kipware® titles using the traditional delivery via CD or downloadable installation file for installation on a local PC. We aim to please.

If you are considering one or more of our Kipware® REAL WORLD software titles for your shop … your programming … your estimating … I would invite you to seriously consider The Kipware® Cloud. More information and complete pricing and package details can be found here at www.KipwareSoftware.com .

Thank you for your software interest … and for reviewing an old man’s post !!

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

What is SaaS? … and What is The Kipware® Cloud?

The innovators and pioneers at Kentech Inc. have once again released a ground breaking innovation to the world of metalworking and CNC with the Kipware® Cloud. Until now … SaaS for manufacturing was tailored to the “big boys” with complex and extensive CAD and MRP applications as the only choices available. The Kipware® Cloud is bringing SaaS offerings that are tailored both to the individual, small shop as well as the “big boys”.

Since 1986, Kentech Inc. has been delivering REAL WORLD software to the metalworking community. REAL software that solves REAL manufacturing issues for REAL metalworkers … REAL software for Fortune 500 companies as well as the one and two man job shops.

The Kipware® Cloud now makes those applications available to the masses in a hosted, SaaS environment. And the realistic pricing structure of The Kipware® Cloud makes it affordable for ALL users by giving users the ability to choose one, two, three or ALL of the Kipware® titles required to solve their productivity issues. Titles that include :

  • Machining cycletime estimating software
  • Machine shop job costing and estimating software
  • Conversational CNC programming software
  • Conversational CAD/CAM
  • Fanuc <–> Okuma G code conversion software
  • CNC programming training software
  • … and SOOO MUCH MORE !!

If you or your shop are looking for 21st century metalworking solutions … we invite you to check out the REAL WORLD machine shop and CNC software from Kentech Inc. … and The Kipware® Cloud through the links below.

Check out all the Kipware® solutions HERE

Check out the pioneering and innovative Kipware® Cloud HERE

Kenney Skonieczny
President – Kentech Inc.

First Look – The Kipware® Cloud – SaaS for Manufacturing

The innovators and pioneers at Kentech Inc. have once again released a ground breaking innovation to the world of metalworking and CNC with the Kipware® Cloud. Unlike other SaaS for machine shop offerings … and there are only a few and very limited … the Kipware® Cloud gives the user options to access ANY ( MINI Cloud ) or ALL ( MAX Cloud ) of our 14+ Kipware® CNC and machine shop software applications.

Our introductory … first look … at The Kipware® Cloud Video 

Are you tired of “PC crashes” that leave you with having to recover data or start over? Tired of trying to keep all your software up-to-date … tired of dealing with “seats” … hardware keys … activation codes? Do you like your Windows software and wish you could have access to it from your iPad? If you answered YES to any of these questions … then the Kipware® Cloud is worth a deeper look.

For more information on SaaS and the Kipware® Cloud … please visit our full cloud website … www.KipwareSoftware.com

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

The Kipware® Cloud Nears Launch – 4/15/2016

Years of planning … preparation … and execution are about to become reality as the innovators and pioneers at Kentech Inc. prepare to launch The Kipware® Cloud on April 15, 2016.

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What is SaaS ?

Software as a service (or SaaS) is a way of delivering applications over the Internet—as a service. Instead of installing and
maintaining software on a PC, you simply access it via the Internet, freeing the user from “seats”, maintenance, “crashes” and all hardware management issues. SaaS applications oftentimes have different names such as web-based software, on-demand software, or hosted software. However it is referred … the basic idea is that the software is not installed or run on a local PC but is installed and run on the SaaS provider’s server and is accessed through an internet connection and browser. The provider manages access to the application along with security, availability, performance as well as all updates and upgrades.

What is The Kipware® Cloud ?

The Kipware® Cloud brings all of our world renowned CNC and machine shop software applications … proven in-the-trenches since 1986 … 3 decades … together under one roof … hosted in the cloud. Users having unlimited access to ANY or ALL Kipware® applications … at ANYTIME … from ANYWHERE … on ANY DEVICE.

The Kipware® Cloud utilizes a “private cloud” type environment which basically means each user is using their own, individual PC hosted over the internet. Only that user has access to their PC and it’s environment.

  • Need to generate a machining cycletime estimate … just log on and start KipwareCYC®.
  • Need to generate a cost estimate and quotation … just log on and start KipwareQTE®.
  • Want to create a CNC program for turning or milling using our world renowned conversational software … just log on and start KipwareM®, KipwareT® or the SketchPad.
  • Need to convert a G code program from Fanuc format to Okuma format … just log on and start Kipware® CNC XChange.
  • Need to convert ANY G code program from one format to another … just log on and start KipwareXC®.

The Kipware® Cloud frees the user from the constraints of the desktop or laptop or any single device … from installed software … from “seats” … from upgrade headaches … and so much more. Through the Kipware® Cloud, the innovators and pioneers at Kentech Inc. have taken another giant leap toward providing unprecedented efficiency and productivity to our Kipware® family.

WHY is the Kipware® Cloud a
MUST HAVE ?

While some CNC and machine shop software and CAD/CAM providers give the user access to ONE application … the Kipware® MAX Cloud gives the user access to a complete SUITE of applications as listed below … or build their own Kipware® MINI Cloud that would include only the application or applications they require from the list below. If your shop struggles with the “CNC control incompatibility” issue … The Kipware® CONVERSION Cloud can be the ticket to increased shop floor efficiency and productivity.

  • Create a machining cycletime estimate through our KipwareCYC® application.
  • Create a cost estimate and quotation through our KipwareQTE® application.
  • Create a milling G code program using our KipwareM® conversational CNC application.
  • Create a turning G code program using our KipwareT® conversational CNC application.
  • Create a turning or milling G code program from a DXF file or a user drawing using our Kipware® SketchPad conversational CAD/CAM application.
  • Convert a FANUC formatted milling or turning G code program to OKUMA format using our Kipware® CNC XChange application.
  • Convert an OKUMA formatted milling or turning G code program to FANUC format using our Kipware® CNC XChange application.
  • Convert any milling or turning G code program from one format to another using our KipwareXC® application.
  • Want to LEARN G code programming? Have a question about a G code command or it’s use? Fire up our KipwareEDU® CNC Programming Training and Reference application.

Through the Kipware® MAX Cloud, registered users have UNLIMITED access to ALL the applications outlined above … from anywhere … and on any device. And since it’s hosted in the cloud …

  • There’s nothing to install … just log on from anywhere and any device using only an internet connection.
  • No upgrades to worry about … you’ll always be using the latest version of all applications.
  • No PC “crash” worries … it’s not installed on your PC !!

All at a cost FAR LESS than the single application offerings of other providers !!

And the Kipware® MINI Cloud gives users the ability to have unlimited access from anywhere on any device and to select the
applications that make the most sense for their requirements. A Kipware® MINI Cloud subscription includes ANY (1) application from the list above with the ability to add additional titles for a small additional monthly charge. This option gives users the ability to BUILD a cloud solution based specifically on their needs and requirements.

The Kipware® CONVERSION Cloud gives users unlimited access to ALL the groundbreaking Kipware® G code conversion applications … from anywhere on any device. If your shop struggles with the “control incompatibility” issues … The Kipware® CONVERSION Cloud can put those issues behind and open up the door to increased shop floor efficiency and productivity. And because it’s cloud based … it’s available to anyone … anywhere … on any device.

If you are wondering about the PROS and CONS of SaaS and cloud computing … we put a list together and invite you to browse over to the Kipware® Cloud website to check ’em out HERE.

The Innovators and Pioneers at Kentech Inc.

Just want to take a moment to thank everyone who has been involved with the realization of this next step for Kentech Inc. and our Kipware® family. Lots of long hours and hard work have gone into this over many years … and we are SOOOO proud to be bringing one of the most innovative and pioneering machine shop / manufacturing tools to market.

You can rest assured that the work will not start with the launch but will continue as we support and continue to innovate as the years roll on.

Want to get in on the EFFICIENCY?

The first step is a trip to fully investigate The Kipware® Cloud and SaaS for Manufacturing … TAKE THE FIRST STEP HERE !!

We are now accepting pre-orders for The Kipware® MINI Cloud – The Kipware® MAX Cloud and The Kipware® CONVERSION Cloud HERE. Orders received will be operational form 4/15 to 4/18.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

New Feature Release – KipwareCYC® Runtime Calculator

Kentech Inc. is pleased to announce the release of the Runtime Calculator (RTC) feature for KipwareCYC® – Machining Cycletime Estimating Software.runtime_ad_logo

RTC is designed to allow users to quickly and easily calculate total hours … total days … and total labor costs for production runs from 1 to 1 million.

RTC can be used as a stand alone application with manual data entry … or users can import previously created KipwareCYC® cycletime estimates and KipwareQTE® machine database information for more automated and accurate calculations.

Below is a screenshot illustrating the available user inputs and options available in RTC.

RTF_screenshot

Please view the animated release video below for additional information and to view RTC in action.

Whether used as a stand alone application … or as a fully and seamlessly integrated application with KipwareCYC® and KipwareQTE® … RTC will provide users with accurate and consistent delivery and production data for scheduling or quoting.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

A Major Hidden Cost Missed When Quoting

We developed our KipwareQTE® quoting and estimating software from our real world experiences on the shop floor and running a variety of different machine shops. Over the years, one main category when quoting that is often misunderstood, under quoted and even completely ignored is perishable tooling.

Do you include perishable tooling in your costing and quoting?

If your quoting a part that needs 100 holes drilled … do you include the cost of the drills and center drills?

Our experience from talking with potential clients shows that 80% of estimators DO NOT include perishable tooling in their costs and estimates. A major mistake … that is directly effecting their bottom line … negatively !!

KipwareQTE makes it easy to include perishable tooling into your estimating process. How?
Two ways.

ONE – users can create a database of perishable tools and their associated costs. Then adding tools costs to the quote and estimate is simply a matter of pulling down a drop-down list and selecting the tools that will be used in manufacturing.

TWO – Using an estimated tool life … KipwareQTE® will perform all the calculations to include the complete cost for each of the tools and also calculate the number of each tools required for inclusion in the Bill of Material creation. That way the shop will be prepared when the job hits the floor.

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Beyond the feature.

We like to think that thoughtful and important features like this illustrate what sets Kipware® and Kentech Inc. apart from our competition. A simple design, a meaningful feature … that can make the difference between making and losing money … and isn’t that what it’s all about.

We invite you to explore our Kipware® Business Software titles … and discover the difference that REAL WORLD MACHINE SHOP SOFTWARE can make.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.

KipwareCYC® – New Release – Multiple Part Machining Time Estimating

The design of KipwareCYC® from the start has been to assist users accurately create machining time estimates for their workpieces … and has been based on creating that time to machine one part from start to finish. Estimates are created while users walk the part through each machining operation for each machine required … creating a time to complete each operation on each machine.

This release of version 7.0.0 of KipwareCYC® now includes the ability to take that single part estimate and research and calculate how that single part time will be effected by using :

  • Multiple pieces in a fixture
  • Multiple fixtures
  • 4th axis or tombstone fixturing using multiple pieces per side of the tombstone while machining multiple sides of the tombstone
  • Multi-axis spindle and multi-turret turning centers
  • Swiss style turning centers

Making use of many of our proprietary formulas already employed inside KipwareCYC® … rapid time, cutting times and handling times ( indexing times ) can now be easily incorporated through the use of these new features and the Multi-Milling and Multi-Turning option screens.

Details are outlined in detail below … or you can watch the video :

MILLING OPTIONS

mill_screenUsing the MILLING option … users have the option of choosing either a MULI-FIXTURE or INDEXER type set-up. Using the FIXTURE TYPE option … users can define

  • # of pieces per fixture
  • # of fixtures
  • distance between the fixtures

Using the INDEXER type option ( designed for HMC’s utilizing a tombstone or 4th axis indexer ) … users can define

  • # of pieces per side of the tombstone
  • # of sides that will be used for machining
  • Indexing time of the table or 4th axis indexer.

KipwareCYC® will then auto-calculate the additional RAPID TIME, CUTTING TIME, and HANDLING TIME ( indexing time ) required and present the user with all the new calculations for comparison. This new feature will not only produce a  more accurate cycletime for multiple parts … but will allow the user to research and compare what might be the better fixturing options to employ.

TURNING OPTIONS

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The TURNING option was designed with multi-spindle and multi-turret type as well as swiss-style turning centers in mind. The cycletime on a multi-spindle machine is in essence the time for that turret with the longest machining time. In KipwareCYC® the user now has the ability to move operations between the turrets to define that turret’s cycletime … and in essence the cycletime to machine the part that was originally estimated using a single spindle machine.

The user is presented with a drop-down list of all the operations from the estimate created for the single spindle machine … and can then move the operations between turrets to find the optimum time and sequence of operations.

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What does it all mean?

In addition to quickly and easily turning a single part machining time estimate into an estimate for multiple parts on multiple fixtures or time using a more powerful and capable machine … users have new power to research and explore the best machining option to obtain the optimum machining time available on their equipment.

These new features are … once again from Kentech Inc. … cutting edge and innovative. These options coupled with the proprietary formulas employed inside KipwareCYC® give users added power and flexibility to not only win more work … but win more profitable work.

Kenney Skonieczny – President

Kentech Inc.

 

 

 

Machine Shop Quotation Tracking … The Difference Between Trudging Along and GROWING.

Let’s face the facts … shall we. If you are like most shop owners :

  1. You do your best to make sure that you get your quotes and estimates out the door on time and as accurate as possible.
  2. Once the quote is sent … you might even follow-up with a phone call or email … sometimes.
  3. You might even check to see what quotes are outstanding … occasionally.

But the dirty truth is … You don’t REALLY track and analyze your quoting and estimating process … DO YOU ??

If the above show fits … we invite you to click the link below and watch our fun and informative animation on our KipwareTRK – Quotation Tracking and Analyzing Software.

As the animation points out :

  1. KipwareTRK® is a completely user-configurable software application that allows users to quickly and easily analyze their quoting and estimating process.
  2. KipwareTRK® will present you with views and information on your quoting and estimating process that you never dreamed of. Information that will help you to find the weaknesses … the problems … so you can formulate a process to address them and keep your business and your profits strong.
  3. Users can create an UNLIMITED number and type of sort and search criteria … so you’ll see what you want to see … when you want to see it. Having access to the data that will be presented to you through KipwareTRK® can be the difference between growing your business … winning profitable work … or just trudging along.
  4. When used in seamless conjunction with our KipwareQTE® – Quoting and Estimating Software … you don’t even have to do anything to build the database of quotes and estimates that will be tracked and analyzed. When you create a quote in KipwareQTE® it can be automatically added to the KipwareTRK® database.

We invite you to look at your quoting and estimating process in a new light … and in new ways … with KipwareTRK®. Please visit our website or YouTube channel through the links below for additional information and video presentations on all our Kipware® Business Software titles.

Estimating

Website : www.KentechInc.com/KipwareBusinessSoftware.html

YouTube Channel : https://www.youtube.com/user/KTSoftware

Kenney Skonieczny – President

Kentech Inc.

The FARCE that is Feature Based Cost Estimating

Taking a trip around the net you might find a few of the machine shop job costing and estimating software applications out there touting their application as “FEATURE BASED” estimating. My first reaction is always … REALLY ??? Does anyone really fall for that sales gobbly-gook speak ???

What else would you want to estimate … 
THE NON FEATURES ?????

With further thought it becomes abundantly apparent that it simply sounds good … makes for a good sales pitch … catches the eye … but the reality is … don’t be fooled. As a professional think about it. If you have a part with a variety of “features” that need to be machined … the simple act of estimating the time to machine those features … WHICH IS REALLY ALL THE ESTIMATE IS BEING CREATED FOR … is the act of feature based estimating. THERE ISN’T ANY OTHER TYPE !!!

And What About Those Features ??

AND … if you are touting feature based estimating you better be able to handle ALL kinds of features … not only simplistic milling and turning of simplistic parts. Real world workpieces have odd shaped pockets and contours … odd shaped turned parts with various types of grooves and undercuts. Simplistic “feature based” estimating app’s simply don’t handle the “real world” well.

AND … this is not a “fluff it off” input either. Watch some web demos and you’ll see the demonstrator utter the famous words … “OK let’s say that’s 10 inches.” Great for a demo but how did you get that figure? If they don’t show you … they must be hiding something … like it’s really hard to obtain.  This input is just as much at the heart of an accurate estimate as insuring that the speeds and feeds used accurately reflect your shop floor cutting parameters … not just some “book knowledge”. Our KipwareCYC® has been tested and developed on real shop floors and we have hundreds of clients who purchased our KipwareCYC® after having compared their actual machining times against times created with KipwareCYC®. You don’t get any better than that. And the system we have created using the tool’s length of cut … is by far the most accurate way to estimate cycletime … and our Cut Length Calculator app is the easiest and most accurate way to calculate that length of cut.

Accurate speeds and feeds without accurate tool engagement time produces inaccurate estimates as well.

There is really only two ways to calculate the amount of time a tool is engaged in the cutting process … and therefore determine the cutting time for the tool. Those inputs are (1) measuring volume of material being removed and (2) tracing the tools length of cut while doing the cutting.

Using Volume of Material Removal as an input Is NOT REALISTIC !!

If the machining time estimating software is using an input related to volume of material being removed … that should be a RED FLAG. Why?

  • FIRST – Volume of material is NOT an indicator of the time a tool is engaged in the cut. And calculating the time the tool is actually engaged in the cut is the BEST way to determine cutting time. This type of input does not accurately reflect the tools time of engagement … because the tool may follow an unorthodox path while cutting … and that takes time.
  • SECOND – it already assumes that you have or are going to create a CAD drawing of the workpiece … and an accurate, to scale drawing at that. What if that’s not the case … as in about 85% of work that gets quoted in the real world. From sketches, from drawings that are not to scale, from prints … the volume input is next to impossible to obtain without an ACCURATE – TO SCALE CAD drawing … so you’ll need to create a CAD drawing.

Using Extends or Outline as an Input

The most accurate input for determining a tool’s length of time or engagement in the cut is the length of cut input. Why? Because this input actually traces the tools path while in the cut … which may not consist of “standard” type movements as reflected in the simple volume of material being removed.  This input is a little tougher to achieve … a little bit more of too much and it will be overkill … but you can get much closer to the actual time of engagement with this method. BUT … the toolpath must be accurately reflected for the calculation. Having a part that has a non-standard outline and saying that the extends are 6 x 3 is NOT accurate enough. You need to trace or follow the tool will take around the contour to insure you are as close as you can get. As mentioned above … our Cut Length Calculator app which comes standard with KipwareCYC® is by far the most accurate way to obtain a length of cut … using either a conversational, fill-in-the-blank format … or a DXF input.

Take a look at “feature based” estimating on STEROIDS in our KipwareCYC® – CUT LENGTH CALCULATOR video … the link is below :

Soooo … let’s Review

  • “Feature based estimating” is really just the act of creating a machining cycletime estimate … since you are really only creating the estimate so you can tell your customer how long it’s going to take to machine the part, and the associated costs. DON’T BE FOOLED.
  • The most accurate way to estimate cycletime for machining is yto utilize the time of engagement for the cutting tool. Volume of material being removed is a very subjective and inaccurate input and a tools length of cut is the most accurate.
  • KipwareCYC® is coupled with the Cut Length Calculator application and can provide users with a quick and accurate length of cut for traditional, standard operations for BOTH milling and turning … or utilize a DXF file so users can accurately trace the path the cutting tool will take around a non-traditional shape … giving closest length of cut calculation without the overkill.

If you agree with the points we have outlined here … we welcome your thorough review of KipwareCYC®, the companion Cut Length Calculator application and for costing … our KipwareQTE® software.

For additional information on the complete KipwareCYC® – Machining CycleTime Estimating Software application … CLICK HERE.

AND … for complete information on turning that cycletime estimate into a complete COST ESTIMATE and QUOTATION … check out KipwareQTE® … CLICK HERE.

Kenney Skonieczny – President
Kentech Inc.