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.
Our Website : www.KentechInc.com
Arrange a LIVE – ONLINE Demo here :
Thanks so much for exploring our Blog !!
Kenney Skonieczny – President
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