Nowadays, a large number of companies work with enormous databases containing numerous parts and details manufactured with CNC machines. What is more, the NC programs for those parts are about 5 times more, at some companies their number goes beyond tens of thousands. This is not the regular case, of course; however, many CNC professionals face challenges and workflow issues such as:
- Search and locating of the right NC program.
- Transmit NC program from/to machine’s memory.
- Version management or saving of archive copies.
- Setting of status for a particular NC program, defining level of access or stage of completeness.
- Adding notes, associated with the NC program.
- Automatic generation of tools list by the NC program itself.
- Association of the NC program with schemes of fixtures/positioning.
- Prohibition of NC programs transfer while in edit mode….and many others.
The best solution to these and many other problems is implementation of CIMCO Edit Professional and CIMCO DNC-MAX – two of the most popular software tools for editing, transmitting and managing programs for CNC machines. Transmission of NC programs in the local network is achieved through CIMCO DNC-MAX, and some of the capabilities for communication with the machines’ controls are: Ethernet (LAN cable), Wi-Fi and RS-232, depending on the controls’ characteristics. CIMCO DNC-MAX is a universal tool when we talk about old and new machines/controls, different controllers and their specific communication reports. Exactly these specific and standard communication reports enable us to get out of the frames of the regular data transfer and to put the beginning of continuous communication with the machine – functionality also known as MDC or Machine Data Collection.
Another application of CIMCO Integration is CIMCO MDC-MAX, a specialized MDC system for data collection and monitoring with respect to the work processes on a particular machine/workplace, regardless if it is digitalized or not. The data can be extracted directly from the CNC machine’s controls or from special hardware installed on a non-CNC machine. More data can be sent to the MDC system by operators.
When having this information at our disposal we can analyze in real time:
- Processing cycle time of one part/series of parts/manufacturing order/prototype/ etc.
- Number of good parts produced.
- Number of scrapped parts.
- Give an account of the machining and handling time.
- Give an account of the deviation from planned production time.
- Idle time of machine/workplace.
- Downtime reasons.
- Calculation of the Availability and Performance.
- Computation of the setup time, quality control activities, maintenance, and more.
- Calculating the time, when the machine has been damaged or its controls have displayed alarm message on the controls display.
- The production results achieved by an employee on a particular workplace or a machine.
- OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) – give an account for the factor of efficiency of the equipment….and many others.
Besides the big number of functionalities, the MDC system has the option to announce (by a text message or an email) for any events that have occurred during the manufacturing process, for example: damage, lack of material, missing cutting tool and other. It is possible to collect data for the life of cutting tools, and this data can contribute for the maintenance of optimal inventory levels.
All or selected manufacturing events can be monitored in real time in the form of dynamic tables and timelines; reports, graphics and tables can be generated as well. All the information can be stored in SQL database.
The expert company RAPID PROGRESS LTD. offers and implements software solutions in the area of CAD/CAM/CAE technologies and CNC communications, including the products of CIMCO Integration. A team of certified professionals gets acquainted in details with the companies interested in successful implementation of software for CNC communications and monitoring (DNC and MDC) in order to offer the most suitable and rational solution for their specific business needs.