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WinCNC , Tracking sheet count per bit, possible?4/29/16
I will contact WinCNC directly about this but also wanted to graze on the thoughts of the folks here.
We are trying to find a way of tracking the sheet count of our individual bits between bit swaps.
Router is a 4x8 CNT Motion, using WinCNC on a desktop pc.
The only tool we routinely change during the day is the main cutter tool 1 (going from ply to melamine, to occasional hardwood).
Other than that, they all stay in use until worn out.
It's tricky to keep up with a sheet count on them all, but we have been having issues with premature bit failure (particularly 8mm back Dado and 5mm line bore).
We are in the process of solving that issue, so I'm not directly addressing it here. Just looking for ways of tracking sheet count on each tool in WinCNC.
Open to other methods of bit tracking that don't involve a paper and clipboard apocalypse.
I have used Wincnc on multiple machines since 08, pretty sure it will not do a sheet or file count. my operator has a sheet list and ticks off completed sheets because we are loading a run file for each one. I am pretty sure you are doing the same.
Thanks James, and yes, we are. We don't currently track all the tools because there are 8 of them, and they all get replaced on very different intervals based on cut quality. Having my guys track all 8 of them manually (esp. with some just being a couple dollars) isn't a good return on investment..... but if WinCNC had a way of doing it, it could prove to be very helpful.
Wincnc is easy enough to contact and will answer this,, i have known them for many years.
I think this would have to be done via manual spreadsheet. But you should be able to track the sheet count based on the cam program you're using to generate your g-code.
The word from WinCNC is that there is no plugin for it available, at least not one generated by them. I'm not sure if WinCNC is open source or not, someone may have produced such a thing.
Basically I think the ideal plugin would be something that tracks the sheet counts starting a 0 every time you calibrate the tool. Generally speaking, we only calibrate the tool once, use it until it's spent, and change it. So that sort would work great for us.
We are currently just using a sharpie to write the date on the bit, and that's so-so, I'll keep looking.
The spreadsheet idea sounds interesting but I'm trying to avoid having the CNC guy have yet one more step to worry about.
It's possible to do this, even without a plugin/etc. It is more complicated than you might like though.
So, yeah, if you really want to do this, and there is no other mechanism, ...
I am not familiar with the control, but based on the link above the control has parametric capabilities? Does it have a variable register? It would be a screen with variables (usually numbers such as 100~199, etc. They are called within most Gcode programs with the # symbol)
1) See if you can glean the required info from the WinCNC log file. Run time, tool run time and I/O info is in there. You will have to open this into Excel or another spreadsheet app and manipulate the data, and it may not be as accumulative as you need. And, unless you put a discreet signal at the beginning of a sheet, you will most likely not get that info. Maybe an operator button?
2) Use a bank of digital counters and/or hourmeters hooked to discreet outputs and clock each action. Could be a simple version or have a PLC added to give specific information.