Touch-screen solutions How to simplify on-control programming
Software company Module Works announces its Next Generation Shopfloor Programming (NGSP) software that enables machine tool builders and CNC manufacturers to offer highly automated touchscreen programming as part of their proprietary on-control solutions.
A lot of parts, especially prismatic parts, are programmed directly on the CNC. That is why Module Works aims to help machine tool builders and controller manufacturers simplify and speed up the programming process with intelligent touch-screen solutions.
Built upon the Module Works toolpath calculation and simulation technology and integrated directly into the CNC, Module Works NGSP brings the graphic touchscreen environment of automated programming to the shopfloor, enabling machine tool operators to quickly build, simulate and run NC programs without in-depth knowledge of G-code programming. Because it is embedded in the control, NGSP has access to the tool library and physical parameters of the individual machine tool. This enables NGSP to apply automatic decision-making to guide operators through the setup procedure and assist with the tool selection, machining strategy and optimal cutting parameters for each job to speed up programming and increase the competitiveness of machine shops that work with fast cycles and short lead-in times.
NGSP takes a 3D CAD model as input and displays the target workpiece and the initial stock geometry on the CNC screen. Human-assisted feature detection identifies geometries such as channels, pockets and holes and an initial toolpath is calculated and shown on the model. The system guides users through the programming sequence and each operation removes part of the stock all the way to the roughing and finishing cycles. Built-in intelligence analyzes the geometry together with the required machining strategy and automatically recommends the appropriate tool and cutting parameters. Touching an operation block at any time opens menus to adjust parameters and select different tools and machining strategies if desired. The toolpath instantly updates each time a new setting is selected.
The combination of touch-screen selection, human-assisted feature detection and intelligent decision-making eliminates many of the time-consuming and error-prone steps of conventional on-control programming. In benchmark tests conducted by Module Works, programming a sample part with NGSP was 70 percent faster than a conventional conversational programming system.