Does my Software fit my Process?

It seems hard to believe that this question does not come up more often when we look to improve our software tools and our processes.

In general, changing software will require changing your process but there are times where some parts of the process are just not allowed to change.

Take for example a custom furniture manufacturer who has Homag CNC machines and uses SOLIDWORKS to ‘design’ and WoodWOP to program. Process seems simple enough – 1) design it – 2) program it – 3) make it – 4) deliver it.  How this company is organized has a big impact on whether some additional software can be used to improve the process at all. (Did not see that coming)

If the ‘designer’ is the ‘programmer’ then changing your drawing ‘style’ to meet the programming software requirements can be done.  But why does the designer have to change ‘drawing style’ at all?  Because the software needed to program the CNC machine won’t work with parts drawn in a particular orientation or with certain features.

On the other hand, if ‘designers’ and ‘programmers’ are different people, in different departments, style changes are hard to achieve.  Programmers get what they get. They don’t change the model.  They can’t change the model!  This is where and why CNC programming can be so time-consuming.

This is precisely the situation many manufacturers are in today. SOLIDWORKS AddIns claim to generate MPRs or export DXFs to WoodWOP – seamlessly – (well sort of…).  But you still have to model things in certain ways or else you are left with hand crafting in WoodWOP.

There is an alternative to the ‘don’t draw it that way’ standard answer. Have the software vendor think like the manufacturer. Don’t change the model, add the functionality!

ONGAA CAM for SOLIDWORKS was designed with ‘every model should work’ in mind.  Wrong orientation – well – inconvenient orientation, no problem.  Flip the part without a second program, no problem.  Last minute model changes, no problem.

Find out more about how ONGAA CAM for SOLIDWORKS can improve the efficiently of one of you most valuable resources – ‘your people’.