Deciphering CodeClick image to enlargeby Todd Drane

What's best, conversational or G-code programming?

 

Many have heard of CNC conversational programming systems, but they may not understand the role conversational programming can or should play in a manufacturing environment.

Conversational programming systems are exactly that, conversational. The programmer tells the system what he wants to do by accessing a hot key or soft key, and then the conversational programming system via a graphic assist screen will prompt the operator through entering the variables necessary to execute the desired function. In most cases, the graphic screen is accompanied by the actual command of the CNC telling the programmer what to enter.

This type of programming requires no prior G-code experience, just the ability to read a blueprint and enter the variables when told to do so by the CNC.

The image at the bottom right demonstrates the screen shown after an operator has chosen the circular pocket hot key on the CNC keyboard. You have a graphical example on the left side; on the right and the bottom variables are entered directly off the blueprint. At the very bottom, the CNC tells the programmer what the variable is he needs to input based on the variable window the programmer is in, which is marked in red. In the case demonstrated in the image, the programmer is being asked to enter in the Z axes safety plane coordinates. Even variables such as spindle direction are chosen via a visual choice as opposed to a G, M or S code. When the operation is completed, the programmer presses the enter key and the operation is automatically saved to the program. Roughing and finishing pass variables are entered on the same page as well as spindle and tooling information. Having all variables necessary to program a complex operation on a single page simplifies the entire programming process.

Is a conversational system right for your manufacturing environment? It depends on if you frequently create programs on the shop floor. If you do, incorporate a conversational system, even if your programmers are fluid G-code programmers. Conversational will speed up the process and even assist in simplifying the editing/modifying stage of your program creation. When you recall a cycle to edit, it pulls up the entire cycle including the graphic assist screen allowing you to easily and accurately administer any program corrections. Most G-code programmers, who may be hesitant to utilize conversational code, fall in love with the programming system after just an hour or two of use. They quickly learn it is geared for program creation speed and simplicity, and makes life easier and simpler for programmers.

Conversational programming systems provide the ability to insert or mix and match G-code with conversational code. A key element to take into consideration is that a conversational programming system does not forget; it will always ask you the spindle speed, spindle direction, feedrate, tool and other general functions, whereas with G-code, it is often up to the programmer's memory to insure the appropriate variables are entered.

Many conversational systems incorporate an on-board CAD/CAM system that allows for simple and even complex profiles to be created right at the CNC keyboard. These can be inserted directly into the program, utilized within a canned cycle or saved as a frequently utilized subroutine.

Is conversational programming right for you? If you answered yes to the shop floor programming question, then the answer is probably yes to conversational code. SMT

Todd Drane is marketing manager for Fagor Automation, Chicago, IL, and Toronto, ON.

 

CMTS keynote: Why Canada is a great place to grow a manufacturing business

Canadian manufacturers can compete and win on a global scale if they devote themselves to innovation in their products and processes, and efficiency in their operations. That’s the message from the keynote speaker at the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show (CMTS) Linda Hasenfratz, CEO Linamar Corp.

Take an Engineered Approach to Deep Hole Drilling

by Jeff Price

Preparation is the first step to successful runs and positive margins on each job

Machining: In Focus

By Kip Hanson | Photos by David Afriat

 Quebec camera accessory designer and manufacturer solves a problem that many would like to have

Ferro Technique, Windsor University collaborate

Machine tool distributor Ferro Technique and the University of Windsor's Engineering deparment are holding a "Research Showcase" on April 13 in Windsor that will highlight the collaborative efforts between the two groups.

Planning Beyond Survival

by Michael Ouellette

Manufacturing experts discuss how to position your company for recovery and invest for post-pandemic growth

Taking the heat off live tooling

Live tooling with coolant-fed bearings can run at high speeds and high duty cycles without the accuracy and failure frequency problems of conventional bearings

$40 B US industrial robotics market by 2020

The global industrial robotics market is expected to exceed USD 40 billion by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc.

Cut down your machine buying cycle

by Bryan Jacobs

Be ready to produce production parts prior to machine delivery

Fabricating Tech Tips: 3 Ways to reduce material handling

by Josh Hill

Move parts through welding stations more efficiently

Robots producing robots

KUKA robots producing robots together with workers.

Thomas Skinner, Haas celebrate 30 year anniversary in Canada

Joey Warren, applications technician with Thomas Skinner, middle, with customers in front of the Haas VF-3 machine at the Calgary facility.

 

Thomas Skinner's recent Haas Factory Outlet DemoDay20 events at its Calgary, AB, and Winnipeg, MB, facilities on October 2 celebrated the two companies' 30 year partnership in Canada.

The Temperature Effect in Turning

After researching and studying the influence of coolant on its inserts, Iscar has launched new and groundbreaking cooling technologies in turning operations.

Productivity gains for Canada

Increased activity in manufacturing spurs real GDP of goods-producing businesses

by Shop MT staff

The latest economic data from Statistics Canada, while modest, points to an improving economy.

Stay In Touch

twitter facebook linkedIn