With an internet based business … your website is your company. It is your “brick and mortar store”. So it’s gotta be good !!
Kentech Inc. has been business since 1986 … and launched the first version of www.KentechInc.com around 1989. Since then it has gone through quite a few versions as we try to keep it modern, fresh and employing the latest technology. We have always designed and coded on our own and made it a point to learn the latest in web publishing and to employ that technology in our website.
In today’s day … it’s not enough to simply put together a website … it MUST function well on all devices. That means on everything from that big PC screen to that small iPhone or Android cell phone screen. Well … we are software people … so we put the same thought, consideration and testing into our website build as we put into our CNC and machine shop software products.
If you’re shopping around for CNC and machine shop software … take a look at the website of the company you are considering on multiple devices. If it doesn’t function well on everything … do you really want to consider their software?
The latest version of our website was COMPLETELY DESIGNED — CODED — CREATED by our staff of programmers and engineers … no outside assistance whatsoever. And we are pretty proud of it.
We invite you to visit the latest version of www.KentechInc.com … and send along any feedback to our Sales Team at Sales@KentechInc.com.
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.
Our Kipware® CNC XChange and KipwareXC® software continue to be the industry leading tools for removing the “control incompatibility” issues from today’s shop floor. Today’s typical shop floors contains many different CNC machines with different CNC controls … and the inability to quickly move G code programs from one machine to another means loss productivity and efficiency.
Since 1986 when we first started creating G code conversion software for Raytheon Corporation … Kentech Inc. has become the pioneer and leader in G code conversion software … enhancing efficiency and productivity in thousands of manufacturers by allowing all their CNC machines to operate seamlessly.
Today we are announcing the release of NEW features to our Kipware® CNC XChange … Fanuc <–> Okuma Milling Conversion application … that enables a “look ahead” feature for inserting the “next tool” call into converted programs. When converting Fanuc milling G code to Okuma OSP … this new feature will scan ahead in the Fanuc program to find the next tool being employed … and will auto-insert that call into the tool change line of the current tool. This insures greater efficiency by getting he next tool indexed and ready for tool change … saving valuable cutting cycletime in the newly converted G code program.
Here’s how it WORKS …
As with all features in Kipware® CNC XChange … and after living on the shop floor for 30+ years … we know that no two G code programs or formats are alike. That’s why we build customizable features into our conversion software … to allow the user to select and customize the conversion and output.
Initially … the user can use the powerful USER OPTIONS in Kipware® CNC XChange to set-up this “look ahead” feature as the screenshot below illustrates.
Users have the ability to customize the output by :
ENABLING or DISABLING the Look Ahead function … and if enabled to specify the LETTER ADDRESS to be used by Kipware® CNC XChange when adding the next tool call to the G code. In the above case … a Q# would be output with the # being the next tool number.
Users can also specify a TOOL CHANGE RETURN LINE to be automatically inserted as a line prior to the tool change command line, This features gives the user the ability to customize the tool change return line per their own requirements.
Here’s the RESULT …
With a simple push of the CONVERT button … Kipware® CNC XChange goes to work … all automatically … in seconds … to execute this and many other conversions to produce the sample as illustrated below.
First the TOOL CHANGE RETURN LINE was added as defined … and then the LOOK AHEAD Q# was auto-inserted onto the converted tool change line.
You can also watch the presentation video below …
Industry leading Kipware® CNC XChange and KipwareXC® can help any size shop remove the “control incompatibility” issue from their floor … and bring with it increased efficiency and productivity.
We get asked a LOT about the differences between CAD/CAM systems … such as Fusion360, Bobcad, Mastercam etc. … and Kipware® conversational software and our approach to “shop floor CNC programming”. We always love to take the opportunity to offer the explanation about our design and concept that differentiates Kipware® from CAD/CAM programming. We feel it is a major difference … and one that when understood can bring increased efficiency and flow to any shop floor from the production shop to even a home shop.
Let’s first start by stating that when we refer to “shop floor programming” we are not only talking about creating G code programs at the machine … on the shop floor … but are talking more about creating G code programs outside the realm of a “programmer” inside a “programming department”. Having qualified chipmakers have access to a tool to assist them in creating G code programs that do not require the training and knowledge required to create CAD drawings or function inside a complex CAD/CAM environment. Basically … G code creation for the masses !! This type of G code creation can include not only production type machine shops but prototype shops as well as even home shops … anywhere you feel the phrase “this job DOES NOT require a CAD/CAM system” rings true.
The ORIGINS of CAD/CAM
It is essential in ANY discussion about CAD/CAM to fully understand the history of where it came from. Way back around the late 50’s or so … the first CAD system was created and served as mere replacements for drawing boards. It is definitely an undisputed fact that the origins of CAD/ CAM lie in it’s drawing and design features. From these simple origins of computer aided drafting to the modern 3D engineering, simulation and inter-connectivity features … CAD is probably one of the most important tools in the areas of design and engineering. This is where it was born and is still where it’s main features lie. Look at any of the major CAD/CAM websites and you’ll see it’s all about design and the design features.
The CAM part of it came along later tagging on the design apron strings as a follow-up to CAD … but has always been an after-feature … never the main player. The simple fact that you CANNOT create any cutting toolpaths in ANY CAD/CAM application …. even to simply drill a hole … without a CAD model illustrates this fully. No Drawing … No Toolpath … PERIOD.
CAD and CAD/CAM were primarily developed as design tools … use as a CNC programming tool has always been secondary. If you look deep at an application like Fusion360 … it is primarily about design and collaboration regarding design work … which is great for someone designing and building a product. For shop floors and job shops that have the task of delivering machined components … it really makes less sense.
And herein lies the main difference between CAD/CAM and the Kipware® “shop floor programming” system.
Kipware® Shop Floor Programming VS.
The truth of the matter is … despite what CAD/CAM companies might have you believe … is that turning the above “pretty picture” 3D model … which CAD is essential in developing … into actual physical components is not as simple as clicking the mouse and watching the parts roll out of your CNC machine. It comes down to the more intense basics of fixturing and workholding, cutting tools, toolpath / G code generation, and actual CNC machining … for EACH of the components that comprise the model. There is no CAD/CAM MAGIC involved … it’s simple down and dirty, programming, chipmaking and machining. The picture may look fabulous … but making the actual physical components still requires a skilled CNC programmer / machinist.
AND this is the essence of why what we refer to as “shop floor programming” makes soooo much sense.
Let’s face the facts that not every skilled machinist is a skilled draftsman or CAD operator … but are still one of the most valuable assets on the shop floor. Should their lack of drafting or CAD skills eliminate them from the CNC programming process? Should their lack of drafting or CAD skills eliminate them from applying their skills to program / G code generation. We think that following that path is leading your shop floor down the road of extreme inefficiency.
Kipware® conversational allows skilled chipmakers but unskilled CNC programmers or CAD/CAM personnel to get involved in the programming process. Bringing additional layers of options and efficiency to the shop floor. Kipware® conversational gives them a simple tool to assist them in creating G code programs for the day-to-day type workpieces … leaving the more complex “stuff” to the “CAD/CAM guy”. Have a quick peek at our animated video below that illustrates a scenario we see time and again on shop floors around the world.
Chipmakers better understand the shop floor, their machine and fixturing and tooling. It is natural progression to allow them to process the part based on fixture / tooling availability as well as fixturing / tooling understanding. They know how to hold the part … the tools to use to cut metal … and so who better to create the toolpaths? Kipware® allows for employing multiple chipmakers to creating multiple programs … financially because a purchase includes (2) full seats out of the gate … but also because learning the software is quick and easy due to it’s intuitive design … unlike the complexity entailed with a CAD/CAM system. Any good chipmaker already has the basis for a good CNC programmer. While anyone can be taught to make the tool move around on a CNC machine … chipmakers and machinists understand the most important facets of actual metal removal. It’s not the other way around … someone with no chipmaking experience usually makes a lousy CNC programmer.
The REALITY of Part Programming
Taking a deeper look at the “pretty picture” from our 3D model reveals that it contains a ton of the simpler, every-day type workpieces that can easily be programmed with Kipware®conversational by tons of good chipmakers currently not involved in the programming process because of their “CAD/CAM ignorance” … usually their inability to create a drawing.
The reality of shop programming is that for 95% to 98% of workpieces produced every day in shops around the world … CAD/CAM is overkill … removes good chipmakers from the programming process … and can actually slow down production and contribute to inefficiency. True efficiency on virtually every shop floor dictates that NOT EVERY JOB should be put through the CAD/CAM system … through the “CAD/CAM guy” … nor requires a drawing to create G code.Efficient programming requires that you have an arsenal of tools available so that your CNC programming is not akin to forcing square pegs into round holes. CAD/CAM is one bullet … Kipware® conversational should be another.
The REVOLUTION is ON !!
If the points we have outlined here make sense to you … why not join the revolution? … the Kipware® conversational CNC shop floor programming revolution.Give us a call today or click HERE and arrange for a live, online demonstration of Kipware® conversational. Let us show you Kipware® in action and show you how shop floor programming can FREE you from the CAD/CAM shackles and bring new, improved productivity to your shop for the New Year !! JOIN THE REVOLUTION … say NO to CAD/CAM OVERKILL !!
Toll Free ( within the US ) : 1.888.754.1198
Voice : 1.508.754.1198
Email : Sales@KentechInc.com
URL : www.KentechInc.com
I read posts in other blogs and this question gets kicked around A LOT. I guess each has his / her own opinion. Mine has been formed from being a 3rd generation machinist … having grown up around and having worked in many machine shops … machining with everything from manual machines to the highest of tech CNC.
If you’re a REAL MACHINIST … aspire to be one … or are just an admirer of the skills and of the trade … this post is for you.
I recently came across this channel on YouTube and I have become a real fan … and a real admirer. Although I grew up and was trained on a lot of the machines illustrated on this channel ( of course with electricity … come on I’m not THAT OLD !! ) the steam power aspect adds a whole new dimension of interest.
Below is just a sample video of Dave Richards videos. I highly recommend you take a peek. WARNING : If you’re a REAL MACHINIST … you’ll be hooked !!
Thanks Dave !!
For the memories of these two guys !!
Kenney Skonieczny – President
3rd Generation Class “A” Machinist
The place for all things Kipware® from www.KentechInc.com