- Temporary programming of workload due to capacity constraints.
There are various reasons your capacity can become constrained, holding back the ability to get your jobs programmed. An employee may be on vacation, out sick, on medical leave or worse, left the company. There may be an uneven load of programming work that exceeds your current programming capacity during a tight timeline. Whatever the reason is, do not let it hold you back, hire a contract CNC programmer.
- Programming of machining processes that require software capabilities you presently do not have.
CAD/CAM software is usually sold in modules that have different capabilities. Most CAM software modules are sold as building blocks, with each additional module increasing your programming capabilities. Not all companies can justify purchasing all the CAD/CAM modules due to their work piece mixes. Some companies work with mostly 2-2.5 axis machining, on mills and lathes. The workpiece geometries of their work do not justify purchasing a CAM module that will only be used occasionally. However, when a project presents itself that requires 3D surfacing or another multiple axis programming, without the CAD/CAM software modules supporting that type of programming, you most likely will not be performing that job. Unless, of course, you purchase the required CAM, module or hire a contract CNC programmer.
- Programming Processes you are not familiar with.
Many companies have moved to more sophisticated equipment that can “multi-task.” For example, this equipment could be a multi-axis lathe or 5 axis mill. These workhorses reduce the number of required setups needed to process a workpiece, because of the ability to perform multiple processing tasks on one machine tool platform. These types of jobs are more in-depth from a programming perspective; performing this type of programming efficiently usually requires a CAM software and an experienced programmer. When you get your first multi-tasking machine, hiring a contract CNC programmer could help you get up to speed while you and your team learn the new capabilities of your multitasking machine tool.
- Machining processes that require fixture designs.
When a job requires fixturing for the work holding, an experienced programmer will look at the workpiece design, develop the process around the parts geometry, taking into consideration the GD & T. Other areas of the fixture design that need consideration are the number of pieces that will need to be machined and how often will this process be set up. By looking at these areas of the machining process, the designing and programming of the process work well together. The fixture and program process design can be developed simultaneously reducing and or eliminating unexpected issues at the machine during setup, due to the ability of program simulation with the designed fixturing.
- Programming a machine with code you are not familiar with.
If you have been programming with a conversational machine tools specific language and have a part that would require an ISO type G-code program you may want to hire a contract CNC programmer. You can learn a lot from an experienced contract CNC programmer that can save you time in the future when generating your own programs. An experienced CNC programmer knows and understands code structures for the safe execution of a program.