The first step in the procedure is to set up your primary processing station with ‘associates’ to stations producing secondary machining data. Your primary processing station is the station set up for the CNC machine requiring part labels. For example, if you are creating G-Code for a nesting router and printing labels for parts that come from that router, the processing station for that router will be your primary machine. If you are creating G-Code for a CNC panel saw, and printing labels for the parts that come off that saw, the processing station for that saw will be your primary or parent station. If you are optimizing with either the Microvellum Nesting or Microvellum Sawing optimizers, the parent station will usually be the processing station set up for the machine that runs the G-Code from the optimizer.
Click Toolbox Setup > Options > Processing Stations > double-click the primary station to open it for editing > click the Associates tab.
Click the button with the Plus symbol to add an associate.
Click the button with the Trash symbol to delete the selected associate.
Index – select a number that represents the priority of data to appear on the labels. In other words, if you have multiple machines set up as associates for a processing station that produce the same type of G-Code, the lower this number, the higher that Associate will be in priority for displaying its data on the labels for that parent station.
Type – select the Associate type from the list.
Name – select the name of the child processing station that will be used by the selected Associate to produce data.
It may be common practice in your shop, or there may be times when you need to process with multiple processing stations of different types. The reasons for this are varied but may involve producing G-Code for all machines simultaneously. The software processes various parts with two separate levels of precedence.
The first level determines the order of processing for stations contingent on their type. It is used when multiple processing stations of various types are selected and used to process a work order. The stations are processed in the order below. That order is defined in the software code and is not accessible to the user.
Within each of these station ‘buckets’ or categories, you may also have multiple Associates of the same type. The processing order of those Associates contained in the buckets is in ascending alphabetical order and is further modified by the associate Index property. The data found in the Index column contains a number that modifies the order of priority set by the alphabetical order of the names. In other words, if you have multiple machines that produce the same type of G-Code (e.g., multiple point-to-point machines, multiple edge boring machines), the lower this number, the higher that Associate will be in priority for displaying its data on the labels.
Your company may process Microvellum data for use in a third-party optimizer such as Ardis, CutRite, or some other type. The processing order of the associates changes under these circumstances.
The processing station associate Index value applies only when processing to non-parts file type combinations. When processing to a parts file (Ardis, CutRite, etc.), the associates of the types HBORE and P2P are processed in the alphabetical order of their processing station names.
The reason for this is that the HBORE and P2P station ‘associates’ are considered as a group when processing to a Parts File. The associates for those two types of stations are processed first, regardless of the Index value assigned to each associate. In other words, within any single parts file group of processing stations, the individual stations are evaluated alphabetically. After the parts files processing stations have been processed, any station that is not an HBORE or P2P station is evaluated. This would typically be a sawing or nesting type station.
As an example, you might configure associates for processing to a parts file. The station is set up as a CutRite ASCII type that contains two associates. One of the associates is named HBORE, and the other is named P2P. If you want the P2P associate to evaluate first, you must rename it to precede HBORE alphabetically. Perhaps name the two stations 01_P2P and 02_HBORE, respectively. This will force the P2P station to process first.