Processing Station Associates for Reports (Reference)

Processing Station Associates for Reports

For information about setting up part transformation functions required for builds 15.6.2404 through 21.1.0604, see Configuring Part Transformation Functions (Legacy Support).
This article contains a detailed reference for setting up and using the processing station associates for reports.  Microvellum software includes the ability to process data to multiple CNC machines simultaneously. For example, you may want to direct individual parts to one of several CNC machines to equalize the workload of those machines. Alternatively, while printing labels for your nesting CNC, you may want to machine your remake parts on the point-to-point machine instead of the nesting machine.

The data passed by the processing station associates and the relationship between that data and other data is defined by the secondary stations you configure in the “Associates” tab of the primary Processing Station. The primary station is the station for which you will print labels. Secondary machining is machining that is not produced by the primary station. The primary stations are usually the Microvellum nesting or sawing optimizer stations.

For example, you may want horizontal boring data produced by an edge boring machine station to appear on the reports and labels produced for the nested panels. This is secondary data because it is not produced by the nesting station. 

Configuring & Using Processing Station Associates

The order of processing stations matters when setting up associates. Hbore processing stations must be listed before Single Part Processing Stations.

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.

Records of all stations are still recorded. Certain records are moved from the child station to the parent station for reporting and labeling. Row 1 in both examples below is the HBore station that is associated with the nest. Associate data is not used by saws such as Ardis or Cut Rite, those stations will need to get the data in a different way.


Processing Station Associates Tab

Click Toolbox Setup > Options > Processing Stations > double-click the primary station to open it for editing > click the Associates tab.


Fig. 01 – Processing Station Associates Tab with No Associates Set Up

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. 


Fig. 02 – Associate ‘Index’ Property

Type  – select the Associate type from the list.


Fig. 03 – Associate ‘Type’ Property

Name  – select the name of the child processing station that will be used by the selected Associate to produce data.


Fig. 04 – Associate ‘Name’ Property


Fig. 05 – Completed Sample Processing Station Associates Tab with Associates

Multiple Processing Station Processing Order

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.

  1. Custom plugin
  2. Single part stations, including edge boring stations
  3. Sawing stations
  4. Nesting stations
  5. Parts File stations

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.

Parts File Processing Station Associates

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.

FileNames and Barcode Generation

  1. Barcodes are only generated when machining is being done.
  2. If it appears barcodes are missing, verify the file on disk got created.
  3. All parts get a face 5/6 filename regardless of associates in us or not.
  4. Parts on a nest should not get a Face 5 Barcode when no associates are present.
  5. Parts on a nest should get a Face 5 Barcode when processing with associates and it has Face 5 machining.
  6. A part should get a Face 5 Barcode when processing any Processing station that is not a Nesting station

HBore Barcodes

  1. Two styles of machines, per part and per edge.
  2. Per Part will write to the Face5Barcode field.
  3. Per Edge will write to the EdgeBoreBottomRotated, EdgeBoreLeftRotated, EdgeBoreRightRotated, and EdgeBoreTopRotated fields.

Troubleshooting

  1. If using multiple HBore or Single part stations, the order they are listed will matter. Change the order by renaming the stations so the one you want the barcode on is last alphabetically.
  2. All associated stations need to be assigned and processed at batch creation for the fields to get the correct records.
  3. When printing nest labels the nest station is referenced for all fields. When looking at the Database, you can quickly figure out what the nest station parts are by looking at the LinkIDSheet column.  The same is true for a saw station when it is in use.
  4. When having trouble with fields appearing on labels wrong or not at all, it is best to ignore the labels entirely and look at the database to see what is listed. Label fields can be modified and can lead to false conclusions.
  5. All Filenames, Barcode, Edgebanding, Pictures, part sizes need to come from the OptimizationResults Table.
  6. Avoid using the custom functions in a label, like MVEdgebandPosition or MVRotatedPart. The software has been modified so these will no longer be necessary and will most likely cause issues when used.

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