Thermwood smart-router technology is...

Posted by Duane Marrett on Wed, Jun 24, 2015

Tags: Thermwood, CNC Router, smart-router, Cut Ready, Cut Center, smart-router series


Just like a smart phone does more than make phone calls, a “smart-router” does much more than route parts. The “more” in a smart-router saves material and labor and makes it really easy to use. A smart-router does cost more but is substantially more profitable, making it a much better overall investment.


Thermwood smart-routers process part programs two ways:

  1. The traditional way by using CNC program output from virtually any design software. Thermwood smart-routers can even run existing programs written for other brand machines (even if those programs contain codes specific to that machine). This means, with a Thermwood smart-router, you can use software configured for almost any machine and you can run programs you already have without reprogramming. Thermwood smart-routers are pretty much compatible with anything.
  1. Instead of using traditional CNC programs developed with software and a PC, Thermwood smart-routers can also use part information directly, and create the actual cutting programs within the machine itself. Major software vendors offer database output to Thermwood smart-routers, and any software that can output DXF files will work with Thermwood smart-routers. You send the design to a Thermwood smart-router and it, rather than you, worries about how to make the parts. This offers significant advantages.

Thermwood smart-routers technology is...


Request More Information from Thermwood  

What can a smart-router do for you? (part 4)

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Jan 17, 2014

Tags: Thermwood, smart-router, nested based, smart-router series, flycut, spoilboard, mobile, app

This is part four in our blog series demonstrating some of the ways that modern smart-routers can make your job easier as well as help save you money. 

Here, we focus on a couple of ways a smart-router can improve your nested-based production process: 

  • Allowing you to automatically flycut the spoilboard in the middle of a job

  • Smart-routers can be monitored and managed from your smartphone or tablet

Smart-routers easily flycut the spoilboard in the middle of a job

Maintaining a good working spoilboard surface with ordinary routers is involved and prone to problems. With a smart-router, this process is automated and easy.  If you need to flycut the spoilboard in the middle of a job, just press the "Flycut" buttom on the control and the smart-router will automatically walk you through the steps.  This can save a lot of hassle by allowing you to quickly level the surface of your spoilboard at any point in the job.

 


Smart-routers can be monitored from your mobile device

Smart-routers live on the web. They access updates on the web, are serviced through the web and let you monitor and manage your smart-router using your smart phone or tablet.

Smart-routers do this through the use of apps that allow users to monitor their CNC router(s) and the programs that run on them from anywhere. These apps permit users to obtain the following information and more:

  • A listing of every machine (includes an optional user customizable nickname)

  • The current state (ready, running or in e-stop)

  • The current Feed Override setting

  • The current program loaded and or running

  • A listing of all current and past part programs loaded/ran in chronological order with extensions

  • A listing of machine events during each part program in chronological order

  • iPhone Screenshot of Thermwood CNC Mobile AppA listing of the cycle time of every part program ran in chronological order

  • A listing of completion or interrupt times in each part program ran in chronological order

  • All machine events in chronological order with filtering

  • Monitor scheduled maintenance with a cycle time countdown as well as a graphical countdown progress bar

  • A time stamp listing of all previous maintenance performed

  • The ability to request a service phone call from a support technician right from your device.

 

 

 

 


 

 


Request a Consultation

What can a smart-router do for you? (part 3)

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Jan 10, 2014

Tags: Thermwood, smart-router, guide, nested based, smart-router series, scrap

This is part three in our blog series demonstrating some of the ways that modern smart-routers can make your job easier as well as help save you money. 

Here, we focus on a couple of ways a smart-router can improve your nested-based production process: 

  • Allowing you to easily use material left from a previous job

  • Guiding you with step-by-step instructions

Smart-routers easily use material left from a previous job

Smart routers easily use scrap materialReplacing bad or scrap parts is really easy with a smart-router. At the end of a job, simply scan the labels of any parts you want to recut and the machine nests them on any material still on the table so you can recut them. This saves a lot over having to create new CNC programs to make replacement parts.

With a smart-router you can even add parts from previous jobs to a new job, provided you are running the same material (it monitors that for you). When replacement parts from another job are cut, a red bar on the label lets you know this part is for a different job.



Smart-routers guide you step by step through the program

smart-routers guide you step by stepDuring program operation, smart-routers tell you what they are doing and offer instructions every step of the way. They tell you how many steps are in the program,what step they are on and what step is coming up next. 

If you can read you can run a smart-router.

 



Request a Consultation

What can a smart-router do for you? (part 2)

Posted by Duane Marrett on Fri, Dec 20, 2013

Tags: Thermwood, smart-router, nested based, Profile Modeler, smart-router series, nest around defects

This is part two in our blog series demonstrating some of the ways that modern smart-routers can make your job easier as well as help save you money. 

Here, we focus on a couple of ways a smart-router can improve your nested-based production process: 

  • Allowing you to nest around defects in damaged material

  • Giving you the ability to create a profile edge with standard tooling

Smart-routers allow you to nest around defects to use damaged material

Smart-routers allow you to nest around defectsThis feature can save you a lot of material, which in turn can save you a lot of time and money.

When using this feature on nested based jobs, a smart-router saves you money by reducing the amount of scrap material that is wasted.  This in turn saves you a substantial amount of money, and ordinary routers just do not focus on this area. They rely on the user to take care of checking the material for flaws, and this means that the operator must be both skilled and well trained to work within the limits of these systems.  

Smart-router Advantage

Smart routers address areas like this in a big way - they address the areas where you spend the most money because that’s where you can make the most money.  Ordinary routers may seem less expensive at first, but may prove to be much more expensive in the long run.


Smart-routers machine a profile edge without a profile tool

Smart-routers allow you to quickly create a custom profile shape without special toolingSmart-routers can machine a profile edge without a profile tool, by tracing over the edge multiple times with standard tools. It even works on curved moldings.

This saves a lot for any shop that makes custom moldings by allowing you to use Profile Modeler to quickly create a molding or custom shape from a sketch or drawing with no special shaped tooling required.

 

Overview:  Smart-routers machine a profile edge without a profile tool

In depth:  Profile Modeler - from Sketch to Production

Request a Consultation

What can a smart-router do for you? (part 1)

Posted by Duane Marrett on Mon, Dec 16, 2013

Tags: Thermwood, smart-router, nested based, smart-router series, Personal Pause Button, broken tool recovery

Today's smartphones are essentially handheld computers that also make phone calls.  The speed of technological advancement in this area has been nothing short of phenomenal over the past decade.  Not so with CNC routers.  There has been the occasional improvement here and there, but not until recently with the introduction of the modern smart-router, has a CNC router come along that does much more than just route parts.

A modern smart-router saves material and labor and is really easy to use. The intial cost may be a little bit more than a traditional "dumb" router, but the benefits make it an overall much better investment for nested-based manufacturing.

Over the next several postings, we are going to demonstrate some of the ways that modern smart-routers can improve your production process and help you save money:

Pause button allows machine operator to safely do other jobs

Personal pause allows machine operator to safely do other jobsWith standard routers, the operator must remain close to the control so he can stop the machine if something goes wrong. The only job he can really do is watch the machine. With a smart-router, a pause button clips to his belt. Pressing it anywhere in the production cell stops the machine. It works like an emergency stop, but is not a “wrench in the gearbox” emergency stop. It immediately stops the machine, but offers options.  With this feature, the operator is free to perform other tasks away from the control. A progress bar, visible from a distance, shows the operator how long before he needs to service the machine. It’s like getting an extra worker for free.  More info on this feature.


Smart-routers can recover from broken tools without scrapping the material

Smart-routers easily recover from a broken tool

One great feature of a smart-router is the ability to recover from a broken tool without scrapping the sheet you are cutting or restarting the job. This can save a lot of time, effort and money.

If a tool breaks, press the Pause button to stop the machine.  Then select the Replace Tool option on the control, and the smart-router drops off the tool holder and notifies you to replace the tool. The machine then picks up the new tool, automatically measures it, adjusts the program for the new tool length, recuts the path of the broken tool and continues with the job.  More information on this feature.


Request a Consultation