because of the cost of investments,” Nelson said. “In small shops across the USA, the most important thing is a real practical conversational programming capability. In a job- shop environment dominated with one-offs and very small lots, a single operator can be productive beyond all possible expectations of only a few years ago. Full CAD/CAM systems are expensive and require a lot of learning. Fagor Conversa- tional Controls are both conversational and G-code capable.”

Software drives CNC productivity Nothing adds functionality quicker to machine controls

like new software, and several CNC makers recently added new packages or updated existing software that add key capabilities to machinists’ toolbox. In September 2015, Okuma added to its OSP-P300 control’s software with its new OSP Suite, which Kosmala said is similar to having a Microsoft Office suite for machine tools. The new OSP Suite features a bundle of open-architecture

applications for enhancing Okuma machine tool users’ pro- ductivity. The suite adds operating efficiency apps, allowing users to customize the touchscreen for three different opera- tors, and digital manufacturing features give users manuals, checklists, and process sheets on orders stored in the control. OSP Suite also includes Okuma’s ECO Suite, which takes

advantage of the Okuma mechatronic approach in the design of its control and machine tools. ECO Suite uses ECO Idling Stop functionality to stop energy-wasting machine tool idling and nonessential functions. Its Thermo-Friendly Concept

technology automatically stops the cooling unit if needed, while maintaining machine accuracies, and the software gives reports tracking energy consumption and savings. “OSP Suite on your machine tool is like Word, Excel and PowerPoint is on your PC,” Kosmala said. “Microsoft gives you the Windows environment and those applications for 70% of what you do. Okuma gives you the OSP environment and OSP Suite for 70% of what you do in making parts.” The Okuma App Store gives its users a unique way

to take advantage of productivity-enhancing third-party software that is available through the company’s Partners in THINC. “One cool app is the Part Flip Monitor,” Kosmala said. “If you flip your part, it’s very useful. Often, the Nol. 1 source of scrap for some shops is when an operator forgets to flip a part, or maybe he flipped it twice. This is a little app that helps a lot of operators that have to flip a part every 30 seconds for eight hours a day. A few hours into the day, it’s easy to lose track of whether the part was flipped or not. This reminds them so they won’t scrap a part.” Hurco recently released some new control features,

called AdaptiPath, Job List, and Stream Load, Cope said. “The AdaptiPath feature allows the operator to program high-speed toolpaths conversationally, and produces the same type of toolpath generated by expensive CAD/CAM software packages that are equipped with high-speed programming capabilities,” he said. “This technology will ... increase the amount of metal that can be removed in a given period of time, and will ... reduce cycle times.” Due to

The new Hurco Max5 machine control includes an adjustable keypad, touch-screen navigation and a folding auxiliary screen.


Summer 2016

Photo courtesy Hurco Companies Inc.

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