Deliverable: Proofing programs can be slow and expensive. You'll learn how to proof them faster and more cheaply.
The best way to save on proofing is with Simulation...
It should be ovbious that Proofing programs can be slow and expensive. The more expensive the CNC Machine, and the more work that is backed up waiting for that machine, the more expensive it becomes. If you're going to make a lot of parts, you can amortize the cost of proofing over all those parts. But if you're only going to make the part once, proofing can more than double the machine time needed to make the part.
How can we do better? How do we proof programs faster and more cheaply?
The alternative to proofing programs by hand in the manner described above is to have a system that ensures that by the time a program lands on the machine, it can be run without the need for proofing.
Most CNC operations can't eliminate proofing entirely, but those that do, report they nearly doubled their profitability. What are the major areas we need to address if we are to save on proofing:
- We need to make sure the G-Code Programs don't have errors. Even the best CAM software sometimes generates g-code with errors. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as problems with the postprocessor. But, those errors are usually very obvious in a Simulator.
- We need to make sure the right tools are loaded and the right tool data is there to go with the tools. This is also something that could be carefully checked and even automated via tool touch setters (one example) to avoid the need for proofing.
- We need to make sure the right fixtures are loaded, the workpieces are properly in the fixtures, and the right Part Zero or Work Offsets are set up. Again, this can either be carefully checked by the operator or automated to an extent with, for example, in-process probing.
- See our Series on Tool Data Management for information on how to automate Tool Data needs.