15.6 Processing Center

Overview: 15.6 Processing Center

The Microvellum Processing Center is an indispensable tool in the production of manufacturing data for your company. Countless users depend on it every day to edit processing stations, create g-code, print reports, and labels, work with the nest drawings, and manage scrap materials. With those objectives in mind, we are continually looking for ways to enhance the usability of the Processing Center.

This article does not explain the full capabilities of the build 15.6 Processing Center. It centers primarily on what is new.

Here is a brief list of those items, followed by a complete description.
  • Configure a custom parts list display.
  • Grid context menu commands.
  • Multiple part selection.
  • Increment batch name.
  • Processing Station editing tools
  • Other interface changes

Configure a Custom Parts List Display

In previous versions, you opened a work order in the Processing Center, and the parts list was displayed in ascending alphabetical order by the part name. It was possible to re-sort the list by clicking on the preferred data in the column header to sort the data in that order. In build 15.6, you may customize the appearance of the processing center, much like you would customize your reports or labels.

One such customization is the ability to display the data based on user-defined groups. That means that you may add a group for material that displays all parts from any single material in the same group. You may add a second group for part names that groups each identical part name together underneath each material from the first group. Once the groups are configured, click and hold while dragging across the parts in the group to select them for processing, or click the first row, hold down the Shift key while clicking on the last row.

Create groups by dragging a parts list column header the dark grey area just above the headers. You will now see a lighter grey band containing the material name that divides all the parts.

When you drag a column header to the dark grey group configuration area, it is removed as a parts list column.

The order that grouping will be performed on the parts list depends on the order of column header tags from left to right in the group configuration area. The left-most tag is the first group, proceeding to the right. In the figure below, the parts are grouped first by material, then by a part name.


Fig. 01

Rearrange the grouping by dragging the group tags to a different position in the order of tags left to right. A red bracket indicator will display the new position of the tag you’re moving.


Fig. 02

You may want to view various levels of your parts list grouping by checking and unchecking the checkboxes at the left end of the group configuration area. These checkboxes correspond to the group tags that you dragged to the group configuration area.

After adding groups to your parts list, you may decide that you don’t like the groups you set up and want to delete them. Drag the group tag back to the row of column headers at the desired location. A red bracket will indicate the location where the column header will be inserted.


Fig. 03

Use a similar procedure to modify the order the columns appear in the list. Drag the column header to a new location and drop it there. This new view will revert to the system default unless it is saved.

We will discuss how to save your view from the grid view settings in the sections below.

Grid Context Menu Commands

To save a view, set up your columns and group tags as required. Then, right-click anywhere in the grid area of the Processing Center and click “Grid View Settings” from the context menu.


Fig. 04

The grid view settings window displays the columns you configured in the left side box, and the groups display in the right side box. You have two options. One is to set up the view before you open the grid view settings, and the other is to set it up from within this window. Once it’s configured correctly, click the “Save As” button and give your new saved view a name. If you want the new view to be your default view, check the checkbox “Save as default settings” and then OK. The next time the Processing Center opens, it will display the columns and groups as defined in the saved view.


Fig. 05

You may also print the grid view as you have configured from the same grid context menu. You must set up the view BEFORE you print the grid view.


Fig. 06

The last option from the context menu is to export the grid view. The options are file types of CSV and XLS.


Fig. 07

Multiple Part Selection

It is now possible to select isolated parts from the list using the Ctrl+click method. Click a part; hold down the Crtl key while selecting other parts.

As in previous builds, you may also select consecutive parts using the Shift+click method. Click the first part; hold down the Shift key while selecting the last part.

You may also drag across multiple parts to select them.

Increment Batch Name

In some cases, it may be necessary to increment the Batch Name, but it may not be obvious what number to use next. For example, you may open a batch that is not the last one in the consecutive numbering system and need to process a new batch using the next available number. Click the plus character at the right end of the Batch Name text box.


Fig. 08

Processing Station Editing Tools

The buttons for activating the Processing Station editing commands are now graphical instead of text. The location is now above the list of station instead of to the right of the list. We feel this is a simplified interface.


Fig. 09

Also, the Activity Stations are now directly accessible from the Processing Center screen.


Fig. 10

Other Interface Changes

As you may have noticed in figure 9 above, the graphics for the processing controls have been updated to make their function clearer.

The last interface change is the Processing Center zoom control. Use this control to make the text smaller, with more screen area visible. Alternatively, zoom closer, so the text is larger, but less screen area is visible.


Fig. 11
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