CNC program control is vital to quality control, consistent production standards and, ultimately, to business continuity.
It is not enough to back up the programs from the machines and simply overwrite the old version. More and more engineering customers and auditors are asking for a program revision history with full traceability. Indeed the latest Aerospace AS9100 Rev D standard released last year, and now in force, insists on this. The most recent FDA standards also make this a stipulation.
Yet we often visit companies without any formal method of controlling their CNC programs and who openly admit they have multiple variations of the same program from different operators or programmers. Some machines are loaded by memory stick, some by RS232, some by memory card and, quite often, there is no recent backup of the machine memory at all.
Where companies do have a formal method, they are only keeping the current, proven, program without any audit history. This is no longer sufficient and is beginning to affect more and more precision engineering companies.
So let’s be really clear here. If you use CNC machining methods and you provide a sub-contract service for any of the larger Aerospace, Medical, Military or Motor companies they will insist that you adhere to the same standards.
That’s where Cambridge Numerical come in. We have a solution from Cimco, the world’s Number One DNC software company, and it is called NC-Base.
NC-Base controls program flow to all your CNC machine tools and makes sure that every program change is logged and fully audited. CNC programs sent back from machines are compared and quarantined automatically for review by a supervisor. CNC operators can only ever access the current, proven program. Every single version of a program is kept and can be restored and when the auditors visit they can print a revision history and audit trail for all programs.
A few years ago this was niche software used by a few big companies. Since 2014 it has become the largest selling product in our portfolio.
For more details on how NC-Base can provide you with the solution you’re looking for, or to discover what else we can do for you and your business call us on 01480 468 639.