Jon Weaver is a Controls Specialist and part of Gosiger’s Aftermarket Support Department. He characterizes the department’s mission this way: “We’re here to help our customers operate their Okuma machines more efficiently. Because the Okuma OSP control allows us to write software interfaces, we can adapt the control to meet the customer’s needs. Specifically, we examine the machining process to get to the core functionalities and then create an easier, quicker, safer and more consistent interface between the operator and the machine.”
According to Jon, unlike the many proprietary operating systems on the market, the Okuma OSP is built with Windows® technology, can run existing Windows programs and provides an Application Program Interface (API). The API enables Gosiger, or the machine owners, to develop customized APPs that make life much easier for the machine operator. Instead of writing programs, the operator can simply click on a photo or other image, scan a barcode, or enter minimal information and the APP does the rest behind the scenes.
“This is very much like what’s happened in the cell phone industry,” Jon explains. “Initially the phones had proprietary, closed operating systems. Then Blackberry, Apple, Google, and others created smart phones with operating systems that allowed anyone to develop APPs to vastly improve the cell phone’s usefulness.”
There are virtually infinite uses for these custom APPs since they can be tailored to fit specific user requirements. However some APPs address fairly common problems encountered by CNC machine shops. For example ensuring that a parts program is up-to-date. There could be multiple copies of a program scattered around a shop and if any edits have not made it back to the master program, an operator could run a batch of bad parts or, worse yet, experience a machine crash. Either way, it costs time, materials and profits. With an APP that uses an off-the-shelf barcode reader, the operator can scan a barcode into which the program name, date and other pertinent data is embedded, to be certain he or she is using the right program.
As Jon tells us, “Gosiger not only provides high quality machine tools and accessories, we create custom APPs and other solutions that enable our customers to maximize their productivity.”