How Conversational Programming Can Make Machining Easier Than Ever
Virtually all shop owners and managers are looking to shorten set-up and production cycle times. When considering options to achieve these goals, some shop owners and operators consider conversational programming tools such as Okuma’s Advanced One Touch (AOT). Conversational programming allows your operators to easily generate programs on a CNC machine control in a matter of minutes, with a series of built-in data prompts involving part geometry, work piece material, and tooling to guide operators through the machining process.
Discover the ways in which utilizing conversational programming can help you efficiently create simple part programs and speed up your production processing time.
Easier Part Design
All parts are not created equal. For simple part geometries, conversational programming, such as AOT, can provide a simple, fast solution for drawing part designs directly on the machine’s control unit. For more complex parts, however, some shops choose to use CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) software to program cutting toolpaths and generate G-code that controls CNC machines operations. In fact, you’ll find that many shops have dedicated CAM departments. The decision on whether to use CAM software or not is usually driven by part complexity. To that end, some shops may not have a need to use CAM software because their parts are not complex, thus making conversational programming an easy and cost-effective way to machine a part.
Again, depending on the complexity of the part, conversational programming offers a fast and easy way to create prototype part designs using the machine’s control. This is especially beneficial for new projects that require substantial prototyping and for shops that have high-mix, low-volume production runs.
Accommodating All Skill Levels
Conversational programming doesn’t require you to have past programming knowledge - tools such as Okuma’s AOT have introduced menu-driven software applications that allow operators at every skill level to enter information on the machine’s control using drop-down menus and prompts. Even if your shops’ machinists are well-versed in programming, conversational programming can still be a time-saving solution for them. Tools like AOT can also be a useful training tool to aid in making the transition from conversational programming to G-code programming if needed. With a side-by-side view of both the conversational program and G-code, users are able to link the conversational programmed feature to the actual code that drives it.
Reduced Turnaround Times
For jobs that require quick turnaround times, using conversational programming software can eliminate extra steps that are typically involved when working back-and-forth with a CAM programmer or CAM programming department. This results in shortened lead times, which is always an asset when bidding on jobs.