Next Generation Shopfloor Programming

Next Generation Shop Floor Programming (NGSP)

Revolutionize On-Machine CNC Programming using Next Generation Shop Floor Programming

Challenges Faced by Manufacturers

Scarcity of Highly Experienced/Skilled CNC Programmers

Highly skilled CNC programmers with higher professional experience are moving towards retirement age. It is a big challenge to consolidate the deep knowledge of CNC programming which is limited to these highly experienced individuals. This makes the organization highly dependent upon them. The new generation in today’s digital era is reluctant to learn classical on-machine CNC programming. So, there is a scarcity of experienced skilled CNC programmers in the market.

Longer Time for CNC Programming and Longer Machining/Cycle Time

The manufacturing industry is growing at a fast pace and the demand for experienced, skilled CNC programmers is rising due to the complexity of products to be manufactured and complexity of CNC machine tools. The learning curve for the new CNC programmers is very steep which results in longer programming cycle times and, hence, longer overall machining cycle times.

Inconsistency in Program Output and Quality

Depending upon the skill levels and professional experience of CNC programmers, they may follow different approaches to programming. In the absence of a structured step-by-step guided approach, this may result in inconsistent NC code output. This may lead to inconsistent quality of the parts produced.

Higher Risk of Loss of Productivity

Lack of skill level and hands-on professional experience of a CNC programmer can lead to incorrect NC code output which may result in gouges, collision, tool breakage as well as air cutting on the machine tool during the manufacturing process. This may result in damage to the machine tool, down time, loss of productivity, and delayed delivery of the product to the end customer.

Solution Offered by ModuleWorks

It is our vision to help manufacturing companies to increase their throughput while maintaining full availability and optimum utilization of the machines by empowering skilled as well as new operators to be even more productive on the shop floor.

In line with our vision, we have developed Next Generation Shop Floor Programming (NGSP) to support machine tool builders and controller manufacturers to overcome the above-mentioned challenges. It is an innovative and highly automated embedded CNC programming solution for on-machine programming on the shop floor.

It empowers operators to program a large variety of prismatic parts easier, faster, safer, and in a cost-effective manner than before. This is especially helpful in a high mix, low volume type manufacturing environment.

Key Features of NGSP

Touch-Based Feature Detection

It enables a CNC programmer to select a feature through touch and offers options on how this feature can be seen in different ways. This provides a step-by-step guided approach towards CNC programming via interactive selection and definition of features. This shortens the learning curve for new programmers and improves efficiency through intuitive user interface.

Flexibility with Multiple Features and Operations

Programmers can program machining for multiple features in one operation and multiple operations within one feature.

Automatic Selection of Tool and Cutting Parameters

Based on the geometry of the feature and type of machining operation, NGSP proposes the most suitable available tool for the operation. If connected to a tool database, the correct cutting parameters are automatically selected based on the tool grade and the stock material.

Support for Multiple Types of Features

It provides support for programming for machining of various types of features such as Planar, Cavities, Drill holes, Chamfers and many more.

Support for Variety of Machining Capabilities

It supports programming for 3+2 axis machining including the indexing of the work setup to any required plane. Every toolpath calculated by NGSP respects the defined fixture plane and considers the safe distance to be maintained around the job, ensuring a collision-free programming environment.

Changeable Operation Parameters

It provides flexibility to the programmer to override the machining operation parameters. Only relevant parameters and options are shown, and the toolpath is recalculated automatically.

Stock-Aware Smart Machining

It recalculates the stock after each machining operation and avoids non-productive air cutting to optimize the toolpath for certain applications.

Toolpath Verification

It provides the ability to simulate the toolpath and detect collisions during the machining process.

Feature-Dependent Machining Cycles

It chooses the correct machining operation based on feature input.

Touch-Based Input

It supports the programmer with touch-based input making it easier and intuitive with improved operating speed.

Major Benefits of NGSP

  • CNC programming cycle time is significantly reduced irrespective of skill level & professional experience of the programmer. This also helps to reduce the machining time and, hence, the overall cycle time and manufacturing cost.
  • As per the benchmarks conducted, NGSP enables on-machine CNC programming which is approximately 70% faster than regular G-code programming and up to 50% faster than classical conversational programming, in terms of programming time required.
  • CNC programming output is more consistent irrespective of skill level & professional experience of the programmer, ensuring better control over the quality of the part manufactured. This minimizes rejection and rework during the machining process, allowing better control over Cost of Poor Quality (COPQ).
  • The learning curve for new CNC programmers is shorter due to user-friendly interface and inbuilt programming knowledge based on features. This results in less training time and training cost. Dependency on highly experienced, skilled programmers is also reduced.
  • Through the awareness of the complete manufacturing environment, which includes the in-process stock calculated after each operation, the final part geometry, the fixture, and the safe clearance to be maintained, NGSP reduces the risk of gouges, collisions, and tool breakages as well as eliminates air cutting.
  • This avoids downtime and enables completion of machining operations according to the plan, ensuring on-time delivery to the end customer. This also enables optimum utilization of the CNC machine tool, providing better Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

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