Using custom macro to streamline tool length measurements
This rather advanced technique assumes your control has parametric
programming (example shown in custom macro B). If you have this feature, you can
eliminate the error-prone calculations and tool length compensation offset entry
needed for tools on machining centers. This technique dramatically reduces the
time, effort, and potential for operator error when measuring the program zero
position during setup. In this article, we use the same principle to help with
on-line tool length measurements....(Article)
When should you tap?
Tapping tends to be the most error prone and frustrating operation a
machining center performs. Depending upon the tap style, the material being
machined, the size of the thread being tapped, and even the machine tool itself,
tapping poses a variety of special problems. In many tapping applications, the
operator must also blow out the chips formed during drilling and apply tapping
Using Standard And Inexpensive DNC Software
Gem number one is a device called PC Companion Plus, manufactured by Cybex
Corporation of Huntsville Alabama (ph: 205-534-0011). It costs about $500.00 and
consists of two small boxes and a cable that allowed us to hook up a remote
monitor, keyboard, and mouse for the computer that the CAD/CAM system runs on.
Now we have a computer work station in the shop and about ten feet from the
machining center, with the original monitor, keyboard, mouse, CPU, and printer
remaining upstairs. The CPU pays attention to whichever keyboard/mouse is being
Do you know where your parameters are?
According to one of the most popular control manufacturers in the industry,
one of the biggest causes of machine down-time is related to parameters. It is
not uncommon for a control to be re-initialized during a repair. During this
process all volatile data in the control will be lost, including programs,
offsets, and parameters. This control manufacturer says it is not unusual for
the service engineer to repair the control problem within minutes of arriving at
the machine tool. However, if the CNC user has not kept a backup copy of the
parameters, a great deal of time will be wasted (possibly days) while the
service engineer uses trial-and-error techniques in an attempt to get the
machine running again.
Prompting Operators With Parametric Programming On Fadal Machining Centers
I have written a program to control our probe on our Fadal 30-16 VMC. There
is a main menu (printed to the screen with the #print statement) which lists a
series of chooses for the operator. Chooses include probing for corners, probing
for centerlines, etc. Sub menus are printed to the screen for each choice on the
main menu which prompts the operator for needed information to set up the probe.
What Is Parametric Programming? The best kept secret of CNC
There are few CNC people that even know what parametric programming is --
and fewer still that know how to use it! Given the enhancements that this kind
of programming brings, it is surprising that more machine tool builders, control
manufacturers, and technical schools don't say more about it. In this short
discussion, we'll explain what parametric programming is and show its main
When is a 5 axis machining center required?
Many companies must simply expose different surfaces (planes) to the spindle
for machining. Such would be the case on a very odd shaped workpiece that must
be machined on several sides. In one sense, this kind of machining is simply an
extension of what can be done with the fourth axis. If this is your area of
interest, you'll want to learn more about "variable plane selection". This
feature is like the standard G17, G18, and G19 (XY, XZ, YZ) plane selection
commands, but it allows you to define any plane for machining. This allows you
to use many of the standard programming features like canned cycles, cutter
radius compensation, and axis rotation, making programming much easier.