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cassette efficiency, and "hands-off" time
The FASTechnologies Dr. Count program offers a simple, reliable tool for
creating optimized Excellon TMS cassette maps. Drawing heavily from FASTechnologies'
extensive drilling CAM technology, Dr. Count extracts the needed hit counts directly from
your CNC drill programs, eliminating hit-count induced errors in the cassette maps. It
produces cassette maps and loading diagrams which maximize cassette "hands-off"
time, while minimizing costly cassette over-loading.
Mode 1 does long-run jobs with no over-loading
Dr. Count is actually two products in one. Dr. Count/Mode 1 supports the Mode 1 cassetting
style for long runs of an individual part number. The Mode 1 version optimizes not only
the cassette maps, but also the actual number of required tools as well: When an odd
number of table loads would not fully exhaust the last set of cassettes, the Dr. Count
load diagrams reflect this, preventing wasted tools.
Mode 2 does short-run jobs with no over-use
Dr. Count/Mode 2 creates optimized cassettes for use with a selected group of
different part numbers, letting your operators load their drill cassettes only once for
the entire group of jobs. This maximizes short-run drilling productivity while reducing
wasted tools to a minimum. Even jobs with varying maximum hit counts are handled
intelligently, to avoid accidentally over-using dull tools.
There are two versions of Dr. Count included in the software package; Dr. Count/Mode 1 and
Dr. Count/Mode 2. The Mode 1 version creates Excellon TMS cassette maps for the
tool-number addressing mode, useful for drilling large quantities of a single part number.
The Mode 2 version creates Excellon TMS cassette maps for the tool-diameter addressing
mode, useful for drilling smaller quantities of several different part numbers from one
Dr. Count extracts the needed part program hit counts and maximum hit values directly from
the CNC drill programs and diameter pages actually used to drill the production jobs. The
program allocates cassette space for the needed tool sizes in the pattern which will
result in the maximum utilization of the available cassette space.
Dr. Count supports drilling machines using Excellon 120-tool TMS drill cassettes. The
cassette map files generated by Dr. Count conform to the format specified in the Excellon
CNC-7 User Reference Manual, and they are generally compatible with all Excellon software
revisions. Support for other cassette types may be available in the future, or upon
request: Contact FASTechnologies for details.
Drill hit counts are extracted from actual production drill programs.
These programs must be coded in Excellon Format-2, although there is some format
flexibility available via a user-defined editing script in the FASTechnologies
"Swapper" language. Where diameter pages are used, these must conform to
Excellon Format-2. Note that the hit counts accorded to high-level drilling commands such
as the "G84" nibbled circle, "G85" nibbled slot, and "M97"
"M98" drilled text commands are consistent with the actual hit counts produced
on the current revision of the Excellon CNC-6 operating software.
A special case occurs in the Mode 2 product when jobs having different maximum hit counts
for tools of one diameter are encountered. In this case, Dr. Count forces the job(s) with
the higher maximum hit counts to be listed prior to those with the lower maximum hit
counts. The purpose of this is to prevent a tool dulled but not exhausted in a small
number of hits (in a tough material) from being overused in a subsequent job. Dr. Count
will refuse to accept different jobs whose conflicting maximum hit counts cannot be
consistently resolved in this fashion.
Dr. Count offers printed output of the cassette maps. These printed
outputs delineate the needed tool diameters and quantities, as well as depicting a matrix
showing the appropriate locations for the tools in the cassette. The matrix may be printed
in either a "points up" or a "points down" orientation, based on a
user menu selection. In the case of the multi-job Mode 2 version, a listing of the
appropriate sequence in which to drill the jobs is also provided.
A PC compatible computer running Microsoft Windows '95 (or 3.1), with one
megabyte of available hard disk space. A network connection to the drill file storage
directory (or directories) is highly recommended.
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