OSP Conversational Lathe Programming
Matt Roux 02.01.2017
Even with the increased complexity of many of today’s parts, we still have some that are fairly simple and don’t need highly technical CAM packages to create code for a CNC machine. When there are times the programmer is busy on a new program and the machine is not operating, what can help your productivity? For many years Okuma has had an on-machine conversational programming tool to help with the task of programming. What started as Interactive Graphics Function (IGF) has evolved to the third major version of Advanced One Touch IGF (AOT IGF). This powerful tool can help keep the machine producing parts, and even making new programs while the machine is in operation.
Now Easier Than Ever
With the release of the AOT IGF version, the user interface has become very user friendly and has an improved ease of operation. The layout and graphical process selections contribute to a better flow of process operations. Of course the types of work have increased over the years and AOT attempts to keep up, adding new functions and programming abilities as they’re available on the machine. The software allows for full user control of process creation and selection, or as I find useful, the One Touch function can do all the processing from a part shape. Of course the created process can still be modified to the user’s desire, but many steps and time can be saved.
Excellent Learning Tool
An advantage of having an OEM provided programming package is that the CNC code output will work with the first program file created. A number of customers have used this advantage as a tool to learn the machine and code structure while working on a third party package to provide the proper output. A powerful feature of AOT IGF is for those users who are not so comfortable with CNC code - actually running the AOT file and not a separate CNC code program. Changes of the override knobs can be fed directly to the file and the process is updated with no code update to worry about.
Many Helpful Functions
Typically conversational means inputting value data, which can be tedious, but another tool is to use a DXF file of the shape. This has multiple advantages including saving on input errors or calculations and time. The import ability covers most of the lathe and milling processes, even drill hole patterns.
The software handles the standard turning functions and continues to milling, Y-axis and even slope function on Okuma’s highest tech machines, the MULTUS series. The software also supports up to 3-turrets on the LT-series. Some highlights of advanced usage are two turret balance cutting, gauging choices, recess cuts, milling pockets and helical hole processes.
Much More to Come
Those who use this software know that it’s a powerful package. And if you haven’t used it yet, hopefully you now understand the potential. AOT IGF is still a work in progress, and the next exciting function will be the use of a step file for part geometry. Programming has come a long way in 20 years - I started using hand drawn prints, to 2D prints and now 3D models. But we’re still looking for the day when we can supply the part data to the control and it does the processing with just a few button pushes. Maybe in a few more years…
Matt Roux is Senior Applications Engineer, Okuma America Corporation.