In manufacturing, there are instances when the simplicity of conversational-type part programming applies, and then there are those applications when EIA/ISO G-code programming is a must. Aerospace and medical machining programs, for instance, often require incremental control and documentation of tool movement, and automotive production programs must be free of all time-consuming machine motion where fractions of seconds become critical when producing hundreds of thousands of parts.
In terms of machine tools, G-code programming is essential when simultaneous, multi-axis machine movement is involved. Emerging technologies such as friction stir welding and some gear machining methods also require G-code programming.
In these and similar situations, G-code programming puts the programmer in full control of every step of metal cutting operations and outcomes. Programming in G-code minimizes the number of non-cutting preparatory and safety machine movements that are characteristic of conversational-type programs.
For the best of both programming worlds, MAZATROL Smooth CNC technology from Mazak offers G-code as well as conversational programming capabilities. Contrary to a popular belief, programming in G-code on a Mazak machine does not require knowledge of MAZATROL conversational programming. In fact, the foundation of MAZATROL conversational programming is G-code; MAZATROL conversational programming is simply a graphical user interface (GUI) for G-code.
Mazak’s expertise in providing both G-code and conversational programming extends nearly 40 years. In 1985, Mazak offered the combination of G-code and conversational programming optionally on its T-2 and M-2 controls. By 1994, fourth generation MAZATROL CNCs came standard with both G-code and conversational programming in a single control. Four years later, the 64-bit CPU in the MAZATROL FUSION 640-T marked the further integration of program and production information into a PC.
Today, MAZATROL conversational software is a powerful companion to G-code programs. It is included with almost all Mazak machines and is easy to learn. G-code users can use conversational methods to quickly and easily program prismatic parts or routine operations such as part probing, tool measuring and part engraving. MAZATROL’s integrated system leads users through the programming process for those types of operations and creates programs that can be stored in the machine’s program directory. A G-code program can call up a MAZATROL conversational program as a subroutine allowing interchangeability and efficiency.
Additionally, MAZATROL Smooth controls can run G-code programs not created on a Mazak machine. Existing G-code programs can run faster due to advanced functions such as Mazak’s Smooth Machining Configurator (SMC) and Smooth Corner Control. With built-in support for EIA/ISO G-code, MAZATROL runs code posted for other brands of controls and edits usually may only involve changing a few preparatory codes.
Because the entire family of Mazak MAZATROL Smooth controls is G-code based, all Smooth controls ship with Mazak’s ultra-high speed machining software with advanced look-ahead features that functions within both G-code and conversational programs. Smooth controls also offer an exclusive “Quick EIA” feature that enables programmers or operators to correct programming issues by opening a graphic of the toolpath and touching the segment that's in question. The control jumps to that line, making editing the code quick and easy.
Smooth controls utilize multi-core processors for both the NC and HMI that together have the processing power to provide unlimited look-ahead and handle up to 67-million pulse servo encoders. Users can also manipulate Mazak’s Smooth Corner Control via the controller’s SMC page for real-time process optimization.
When it comes to part programming, there’s a time for conversational and a time for G-code. To ensure today’s manufacturers are ready for both, Mazak’s MAZATROL controls provide both G-code and conversational programming that allow shops to boost productivity and efficiency across a wide range of applications.