Next Generation Shopfloor Programming (NGSP)

July 14, 2022
NGSP Simplifies On-Control Programming

ModuleWorks announces its Next Generation Shopfloor Programming (NGSP) software that enables machine tool builders and CNC manufacturers to offer highly automated touchscreen programming as part of their proprietary on-control solutions.

“A lot of parts, especially prismatic parts, are programmed directly on the CNC and we aim to help machine tool builders and controller manufacturers simplify and speed up the programming process with intelligent touch-screen solutions that assist operators as much as possible,” Soroosh Eghbali, Head of Business - CAM Automation at ModuleWorks

Built upon the ModuleWorks toolpath calculation and simulation technology and integrated directly into the CNC, ModuleWorks NGSP brings the graphic touchscreen environment of automated programming to the shopfloor, enabling machine tool operators to quickly build, simulate and run NC programs without in-depth knowledge of G-code programming. Because it is embedded in the control, NGSP has access to the tool library and physical parameters of the individual machine tool. This enables NGSP to apply automatic decision-making to guide operators through the setup procedure and assist with the tool selection, machining strategy and optimal cutting parameters for each job to speed up programming and increase the competitiveness of machine shops that work with fast cycles and short lead-in times.

“We worked in close consultation with machine tool builders and CNC manufacturers to develop an innovative 3D programming solution that helps machine shops cope with the demands of fast-cycle manufacturing. We’re excited about the release of NGSP and look forward to deploying it via our industry partners,” Sebastian Viebach, Product Manager at ModuleWorks

NGSP takes a 3D CAD model as input and displays the target workpiece and the initial stock geometry on the CNC screen. Human-assisted feature detection identifies geometries such as channels, pockets and holes and an initial toolpath is calculated and shown on the model. The system guides users through the programming sequence and each operation removes part of the stock all the way to the roughing and finishing cycles. Built-in intelligence analyzes the geometry together with the required machining strategy and automatically recommends the appropriate tool and cutting parameters. Touching an operation block at any time opens menus to adjust parameters and select different tools and machining strategies if desired. The toolpath instantly updates each time a new setting is selected.

The combination of touch-screen selection, human-assisted feature detection and intelligent decision-making eliminates many of the time-consuming and error-prone steps of conventional on-control programming. In benchmark tests conducted by ModuleWorks, programming a sample part with NGSP was 70% faster than a conventional conversational programming system.

Related Glossary Terms

  • G-code programming

    G-code programming

    Programs written to operate NC machines with control systems that comply with the ANSI/EIA RS-274-D-1980 Standard. A program consists of a series of data blocks, each of which is treated as a unit by the controller and contains enough information for a complete command to be carried out by the machine.

  • computer numerical control ( CNC)

    computer numerical control ( CNC)

    Microprocessor-based controller dedicated to a machine tool that permits the creation or modification of parts. Programmed numerical control activates the machine’s servos and spindle drives and controls the various machining operations. See DNC, direct numerical control; NC, numerical control.

  • computer-aided design ( CAD)

    computer-aided design ( CAD)

    Product-design functions performed with the help of computers and special software.

  • computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM)

    computer-aided manufacturing ( CAM)

    Use of computers to control machining and manufacturing processes.

  • conversational programming

    conversational programming

    Method for using plain English to produce G-code file without knowing G-code in order to program CNC machines.

  • numerical control ( NC)

    numerical control ( NC)

    Any controlled equipment that allows an operator to program its movement by entering a series of coded numbers and symbols. See CNC, computer numerical control; DNC, direct numerical control.

  • toolpath( cutter path)

    toolpath( cutter path)

    2-D or 3-D path generated by program code or a CAM system and followed by tool when machining a part.