Since Gerald Roch, co-founder of Hurco, invented their conversational programming back in 1974, Hurco has set the standard for easy-to-use part programming software and they’re continuing to lead the way with advances in their 5 axis programming capabilities. The directive given to the software engineers at Hurco has been to develop features for the Hurco control powered by WinMax® software with the primary focus being on those features with the highest capacity to increase profit for customers and bring value to those shops. Hurco software needs to do more than just operate their machine, it needs to make their customers money. The software needs to be equally powerful for both NC programming as well as conversational programming. One way they have achieved this is by maximizing the flexibility of the Hurco control to ease the programming process for shops that have a high mix of parts.
Hurco also recognized early on the movement towards 5 axis work and has stayed ahead of the game with their 5 axis software offerings. The combination of many of their new features allows customers to program 5 axis parts without a full CAM package by simply using their 5-sided conversational features. One great example of this is, Transform Plane. This key feature eases the transition between a 3 axis and a 5 axis machining center. By essentially changing programming on a 5 axis machining center back to a 2.5D program, which is used on a 3 axis machine, it allows the machinist to move part files between various machines and get running more quickly. All the machinist has to do is establish the initial part origin, program the first side of the part, enter the axis angle(s) to the next side, program the features on that side of the part, and tell the control the axis angel(s) to the next side. After these steps are completed for each side of the part, Transform Plane will calculate the tilting and rotating required automatically.
“Hurco engineers have focused on the development of 5-sided programming features like Transform Plane because the fastest way for shops to instantly increase their profit margins on existing parts is to transition from 3-axis machining to a 5-sided machining process on a 5-axis VMC. It’s been a major initiative at Hurco since 2008 to make sure that the Hurco control leads the industry in making this transition to 5-sided machining as easy as possible in an effort to help customers be more profitable,” said a company spokesperson.
Another key feature shops use in order to increase profitability is the NC/Conversational Merge. It combines NC programming with conversational programming. NC/Conversational Merge allows the machinist to pull up an NC program but then use the standard conversational features that many find extremely useful for quick changes such as scaling, tool probing, pattern operations and part probing. Many of these processes are either not possible or are much more cumbersome if done without the conversational programming tools.
Of course Hurco recognizes that in order to have powerful software their control must also have powerful hardware. In order to accommodate these features and the larger part programs that are becoming common Hurco recently upgraded their already robust technical hardware specifications to 128-GB Solid State Storage Drive, 4 GB of RAM and 3,000 bps of processing power. This helps Hurco customers meet today’s requirements as well as stay ready for industry changes in the future.