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Generating Better Labels Improves Automation

Working with many parts with many manufacturing steps poses a challenge in keeping things organized.   To have even a fighting chance parts need to be identified – labeled – to ensure that everyone know what the part is.

Even with the sophisticated – ‘123-4567’ / project-part numbering scheme we very often need more information and to ensure that the next guy know what to do.

ONGAA CAM has expanded its label printing capabilities in Nesting to support not only the following information:

  • Project with Sheet number
  • seq# and Part Number/Name
  • Dimensions
  • Material Name

These have been expanded to include 5 Solidworks custom properties (one of which can be printed as a barcode) and an image of the part itself.

In the above example, the first custom property indicates the edge banding color and sides to edgeband.  The part number is barcoded for QC / Part Count as well as auto … Read the rest

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Automatic Nesting Contours

With many facilities using multiple software packages to program/optimize/nest it gets hard to keep track of what parts were actually programed and which were not.

Many shops use Cut Rite for the simple rectangles and WoodWOP for the more complex components.  We see this as the best of both worlds — except that its gets messy keeping the parts straight.  Cut Rite ‘wants’ a file with dimensions or a MRP to load dimensions and WoodWOP definitely wants a program.

ONGAA CAM can now take the tedium out of programming the ‘regular’ rectangles automatically, whether or not you have made allowance for edge banding in the Solidworks parts or not.

With both ‘Edgeband Size Vars’ and ‘Add Nesting Contour’ turned on, ONGAA CAM will automatically create a ‘bounding-box’ contour and associated a Vertical Route process with it.  All process options are configurable including Tool, direction, compensation, approach and even ‘midline start’.… Read the rest

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ONGAA CAM – Biesse – CIX file generation

In order to promote the effectiveness of ONGAA CAM when working with bSolid instead of BiesseWorks, ONGAA CAM now produces CIX programs in addition to BPP.

Although bSolid will import straight forward BPP files without any need to manipulate the file in any way, we have had several reports of bSolid importing some process options incorrectly which would either ‘break’ a process or negate its usefulness.  In particular, Vertical milling in steps was rendered ineffective as Z and Depth were swapped when imported.  Horizontal steps was also ‘broken’ due to the step increment being imported as a negative.

To support our customers who are now using bSolid, we have endeavoured to both debug the BPP  import issues as well as provide a better working solution.… Read the rest

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Edgebanding considerations when using CutRite

Do I model with edgebanding included in the parts or do I model the raw parts and add edgebanding are parts to my assembly?  Do I have to make two models?

Modelling parts which may or may not be edge banded (depending on materials) pose a challenge when it comes to other software which may be part of a production flow.  This is particularly challenging when both sets of programs / files  are always sent to the shop and the flow is chosen on the floor.

Take for example a shelf which may be made or oak or  a plywood of some kind.  In the case of the plywood the 2 visible edges would need edgebanding, in the case of oak however it would not be.

Ideally the model of the part would be the same and therefore so would the program IF all possible production streams are equal.  But … Read the rest

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Tool Visualization

By far the fastest way to verify the programs do not have ‘basic’ programming errors would be to ‘see’ what has been programmed.  ONGAA CAM now shows a reasonable representation of the tool in is starting position.  The tool dimensions are taken from the Tool Database and are shown with the programmed compensation, depth (or through depth).  This will help in ensuring tool compensations are correct as well as showing potentially unexpected interference with other areas of the part.

Tools that are incorrectly identified appear as red tools of a standard diameter where as all recognized tools appear as green.

V Drill, V Route, V Pocket, V Saw, H Drill are all supported.

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Nesting interface improvements

The ONGAA CAM nesting interface has been improved to provide easier manual movement of parts as well as allowing renestiong of single sheets (in a multi sheet nests).

USER INTERFACE

The initial view of the nest remains the same with the first 4 sheets displayed.  By double clicking on any sheet a full screen view of the sheet is displayed.  Both the initial 4 sheet and the single sheet now includes the sheet scrap material and also left and right mouse button drag & drop movement.  If the sheet boundary is exceeded both the part and the sheet scrap boundary are highlighted to indicate this.

RENESTING

An option has been added to allow renesting of a single sheet for those times when then nesting strategy works for most sheets but not all.

The renest option also allows you to resize the ‘working area’ of a sheet and/or change the strategy … Read the rest

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MPR Naming from Custom Properties

MPR creation is often only one step in the overall manufacturing process.  The flow from ERP to program generation to ‘production’ to post production steps often relies on filenames to connect the steps.

In ONGAA CAM MPR names are traditionally based on the model name.  This poses a challenge when ‘other software’ cannot read a longer filename or when the programs need to adhere to a specific naming convention that is not related to the SolidWorks part names.  This situation is particularly relevant when MPR programs on the shop floor come from a library rather than generated each time they are needed.  Orders arrive on the floor with product codes and quantities.  For example:

86400-02 QTY 30

86300-04 QTY 30

With properly created barcodes on the orders, these are efficient and accurate for loading jobs.

For this reason, ONGAA CAM has a new feature to read SOLIDWORKS custom properties to … Read the rest

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Reset the SolidWorks Planes to Z axis up — and call that the Top.

From those of us that are accustomed to working in ‘Machine Space’, the Z-Axis is always UP.   So why on earth does SolidWorks insist that Y is up?

Rather that ask and then answer the question, I’d would rather show you how to change it.  What we will do in the steps below is reset the default views and rename the default planes for both parts and assemblies and save the changes into the Part and Assembly templates.

 

Open Solidworks and create a new PART

The default view is most likely trimetric view and look like this.

We will be using the Triad to change and verify the views we want in several steps.

 

 

 

First, change to the Front View.  Use Ctrl-1 or the Heads-up menu or Spacebar
The Triad should look like this.

 

 

 

 

 

Now use the Spacebar to get access … Read the rest

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ONGAA CAM Generates MRPs in Inches

INCHES for Operators

Although the ‘underlying’ Units of measure of both SOLIDWORKS and WoodWOP are metric, this does not help operators accustomed to units in Inches.

Since one of the 4 ‘Guiding Mandates’ of ONGAA CAM is ‘ allow the operator to perform all operations as before’, we felt we should do something about this.

As of version 1.3.34, ONGAA CAM generates WoodWOP programs in Inches.  This is independent of the Units of Measure of the model or programming units.  Simply turn the option ON and ONGAA CAM creates the MPR with the WoodWOP Inch indicator ON and values in inches.  All ‘geometric measures’ are converted to Inches as the MPR is generated.  This includes all X,Y,Z locations, distances, radii and depths.

It should be noted that, at this time, programming in ONGAA CAM is still in metric (expected and displayed).  This ensures that all programs (old and new) will … Read the rest

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ONGAA CAM for Biesse – Nesting module is now available

With the release of 1.3.12 of ONGAA CAM for Biesse, the optional nesting module is now available.

The Nesting Option provides the ability to nest complete assemblies at one time. Nesting features include 8 fill/nest options auto nesting, grain alignment, manual moves after auto nesting, tool change / free motion optimization and automatic sheet splitting based on named material and material thickness.  Up to 99 sheets can be nested at one time.  When sheet splitting is used, each material ‘sheet size’ can be selected from a sheet library.

Different options can be tried while in preview and once satisfied the layouts can be ‘Accepted’.  Printed layout sheets are also available.

A nested program is created for each sheet as a standard BPP program.  This allows the operator to make ‘on the shop floor’ changes without the need to regenerate the files etc.  This is particularly useful when tools need to … Read the rest

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