This new programming tool
is saving shops big and helping close the skills gap
As transformative technology like more connected devices and simultaneous multi-axis machinery becomes more accessible, and skilled machinists more scarce, machine shops are faced with difficult, time-sensitive decisions about how to stay competitive. The status quo is not a safe bet. But do we spend on capital equipment, knowing the return will take months, even years, to realize? Do we invest in training our people, taking them off the floor in the process? Or do we exert the time, energy and resources to find new talent?
Sure, all can be done at once, but the effectiveness of each suffers and resources required aren’t realistic for most. It’s a very real conundrum with very real consequences. And it’s what inspired the creation of Prism.
Knowing its importance to the overall efficiency of a shop, we tapped into our global network of software and operational know-how and focused in on programming; in consultation with small and medium American job shops, we identified gaps that, if filled, could have sweeping impact:
- A lack of programming platforms that are tailored for simple parts and priced proportionally
- A disparity between the productivity of the expert machinist and the novice
- The time from start date of a new machinist to when they are truly productive
- The impending retirement of a large portion of the skilled and experienced workforce
- The modern users’ expectation that interfaces should cater to them and not the other way around
Prism addresses all of these.
This is a completely new way to think about programming prismatic parts. Prism is built specifically for the efficient programming of 2.5D parts. Gone are the days of the traditionally complex and time-consuming software and manual at-the-machine programming for simple milling and drilling work.
It’s as easy as importing a customer’s 3D CAD model into Prism, setting your stock dimensions and features to machine, and then choosing a tooling setup and data from your library. Prism visually guides the programmer through each part feature, generating a Prism program that can be simulated in the app and code that’s export-ready. Machinists of all skill levels will have the confidence that the G-code is right and be able to transfer it to the machine via any internet-connected machine control, DNC server or USB.
The tablet-based platform is so easy to use that inexperienced machinists are immediately comfortable and can come in and be productive on day one. Prism is even preloaded with packaged, ready-to-use machining knowledge called Recipes that provide cutting methods and data that make it easier to program for the most common tools and materials.
More than just efficient programming, it widens the pool of potential new employees by shrinking the learning curve. Not only does Prism help new employees get up to speed fast, but it allows top programmers and machinists to focus their time on the most complex work.
Prism is available on a by-machine, monthly subscription price that costs less than most shop’s hourly spindle rate. Employing Prism is a budget- and user-friendly way to get a leg up in this ultra-competitive time.