The Benefits of Conversational Programming in CNC Machining

There are different approaches to CNC machining, beginning with the machine itself. Depending on your needs, one brand and model of machine might work better than another. When selecting your CNC machine, it’s especially important to consider the control and operating system and how that might aid or impede automation and programming. In many cases, selecting an option with conversational programming can be a game changer. Developed more than three decades ago as a means of simplifying operator programming on the shop floor, conversational programming (CP) allows the machine operator to easily generate programs on a CNC machine control in a matter of minutes through a series of built-in data prompts for specific machining functions. Through simple keyed-in commands, requests are sent to the control, which automatically creates the NC program in the background, making time-consuming line-by-line programming unnecessary. The operator has the ability to program the next job while the machine is currently in production, further eliminating unnecessary downtime.

Conversational programming isn’t always the right approach. While more complex projects require in-depth CAD/CAM programming, and a deeper understanding of optimized code, CP provides a number of benefits for a wide variety of smaller scale projects, making it the right choice for a variety of applications.

Easy to Learn, Easy to Use

A short learning curve is a key advantage of CP. Extensive programming knowledge isn’t required, with some software applications providing menu driven prompts. This enables operators to automatically create a machining program by inputting simple information such as a part shape, tool information, and machining method when prompted. Using CP is also a great gateway to learn more conventional programming.

Faster Turnaround

Time is money. And when a job requires a quick turnaround, the extra steps that are often involved when working with a CAD/CAM programming department can be costly. Using CP can eliminate these steps. Conversational Programming is also useful for faster prototypes and shorter run projects, with the ability to save pre-programmed settings for more consistent, efficient program generation.

Is conversational programming right for your shop? We have a full line of Okuma machines with OSP and conversational programming available. Speak to a Hartwig expert today to learn more about Okuma’s innovative and reliable CNC machining technology, and their Advanced One Touch conversational programming system all backed by our comprehensive, localized service protection.

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