At MTB one of our core competencies is software development. You can install a new state of the art CNC, drives and motors, but the machine still will not work without the software provided by the machine builder. This includes both the PLC logic and the operator interface and programming environments. Over the years we have developed some standard software that is reused again and again. As the software has matured, it has evolved into very robust and reliable code that we are comfortable installing in our rebuilds and recontrol projects, as well as into other OEM’s machines. We have conversational based programming software for gear hobbers, gear shapers and gear grinders, spread across multiple platforms from GE Fanuc, Siemens and NUM Corporation. Our current development programs are moving into the PC arena, as the newer CNC’s today allow the front end to be a PC running the Windows operating systems. Currently we have hobbing, shaping and grinding software that runs on a PC front end implemented and running on machines in the field. Our development in this area continues constantly by adding enhanced features and functions to the already feature rich packages.
All of our PC based gear manufacturing software revolves around the concept of libraries. The user builds libraries of gears, tools and processes though the normal course of operating the machine. As time passes the number of gears, tools and processes are naturally increased, and soon become a powerful tool for shortening the programming time by reusing these previously stored files. The individual gear, tool and process files can be extracted from the library and then combined together to create a program to machine a gear. Essentially it’s a four step process.
Below are examples from our gear hobbing package, showing in the four main steps required to create a program.
Step 1, enter gear data
Step 2 enter tool data
Step 3 enter process data
Step 4 then select the three items (Gear, tool and process) to make a program.
In addition to the greatly simplified data entry process, and the easy navigation through the software, we also have some features not available from any other dedicated rebuilder or recontrol provider. For example, we have the ability to make size corrections by measuring over pins, balls or span. The resulting tool offset which is calculated, brings the part on size the first time, without the need for multiple re-cuts to find size.