Couple questions for the shop owners
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    Default Couple questions for the shop owners

    Just a couple questions.

    1. How many of you have dedicated CAM programmers? People that program machines and that's it.

    2. How many of you have your CAD/CAM people working in a dark room?

    Was in a shop recently I was thinking about buying. It seems most places I have looked at have given up or never had dedicated programmers, which makes sense to me. Also, shops I've been in, in the past twenty plus years, CAD people do not work in a dark room, seems to me it would reduce productivity. I know old, old, old CRT monitors left a lot to be desired but new LED monitors are very good, and bright.

    Thanks!

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    Yes, plenty of shops including mine have people who only program.

    Working in a dark room? Why not in an office like regular people? What on earth?

    "Hey new guy, your workstation is in the basement. Sorry, no lights down there"

    Good luck keeping employees worth half a shit. Never heard of that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by douglas-G90 View Post
    Just a couple questions.

    1. How many of you have dedicated CAM programmers? People that program machines and that's it.

    2. How many of you have your CAD/CAM people working in a dark room?

    Was in a shop recently I was thinking about buying. It seems most places I have looked at have given up or never had dedicated programmers, which makes sense to me. Also, shops I've been in, in the past twenty plus years, CAD people do not work in a dark room, seems to me it would reduce productivity. I know old, old, old CRT monitors left a lot to be desired but new LED monitors are very good, and bright.

    Thanks!
    Being in a dark room were not staring at a 100 watt light bulb all day

    you can dim the monitor

    the monitors were plenty bright

    maybe the though process has changed, but it certainly was never about punishing the CAD programmers

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    Yes, CAd & Cam monkeys used to work in the corner, and keep the lights off
    (I used to pull the bulbs out over my desk)

    And non technical people would stop in and ask why the dim/dark corner...
    "Optimum Mushroom growth" is my standard answer....

    True the LCD monitors are a great improvement, however direct light
    is still bad for me. The rest of my office is normal light.

    As far as "Giving up" accountants try to reduce "overhead" thinking
    that getting rid of that programmer will lower costs.

    It depends on how much work you have to program, but most good CAM
    people can earn their company several times their yearly wages, in reduced
    cycle times, less on the floor "futzing" time, etc.

    Figuring out how to attack a job, what fixturing to use, etc. takes a quiet
    office and time to do a good job.

    And it can pay off, and make you win more bids.

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    I program in a dark room cause that’s just how we do. I could turn the light on but it doesn’t impact my ability to use the computer. We have 4 programmers who also do setup and run when necessary. Nowadays everyone needs to versed in both parts of the job.

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    I much prefer programming with the lights off.
    About 12 years ago, I worked for a rich ass-hole. He used to have to walk right past "my" programming station, and he would always flip the lights on as he walked through the door. And, I would reach up and flip them back off. Halfly because that is how I prefer to work at a monitor. But, mostly just to piss him off. I can focus on my work much better with the lights down when programming. I also focus much better with music playing. My mind wanders less. If it is quiet, my mind wanders, and I stall out. Background music playing, and, I just keep rolling.

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    If I was buying a shop, I wouldn't be looking at the lighting...

    I would be looking at the fixturing setups and the shop flow. If those are outstanding, and the programmers wanted to live in black painted rooms with blacklights, I would let them.

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    At my day position we have a staff of dedicated programmers and designers. A friend's business where I am a silent partner is small, 4 employees, but still has a dedicated programmer and they run 24-6 with only some downtime during the day to do setups. You must be only accustomed to relatively small shops because most shops that are not small have dedicated positions. Spindle on-time is paramount in any sized business and the only shops you don't find dedicated programmers are smaller shops. It's very rare to find medium and large shops without dedicated programmers and if they do have multi-role personnel it is on a very limited basis.

    Out engineering room is partially dim; one side is dim and the other bright. A long time ago we had a dark room but when we grew, that consideration went away. The problem with going dark is then you have a situation where any light source, even across a room, will produce annoying reflections on screens. It doesn't really have much to do with screen brightness but rather the screen surface. Pretty much all modern monitors have matte screens which is good. The only people I know who prefer glossy screen are graphic designers.

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    I have 8 toolmakers and 6 seats of Master Cam. Everyone writes their own programs, does their own setup, runs the parts. Typically 1 -5 pieces. We probably average 20 new programs per day between milling, turning, and wire EDM For our work environment, a programmer(s) wouldn't be efficient. We program in a well lit room.

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    I'm a full time programmer (work depending) and we've been doing that for probably 15 years.

    There are lots of reasons it works for us:
    -Consistency across programs and documentation
    -Accountability,
    -A consistent face to the customers and a rapport that goes with it,
    -It's cheaper -- one or two seats being used full time rather than a shop computer that is costing you money when it isn't being used,
    -No bottleneck with guys waiting for a computer to work on their next job

    I work with my guys, if you need help or are unsure about something I will drive the machine through the sketchy bit or come stand next to you and help you through it since in the end it's a team effort and I think they appreciate the fact that helping them get parts off of the floor successfully is my number one goal.

    I also sit in a darkened corner that I inherited. It's comfy

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJT View Post
    I have 8 toolmakers and 6 seats of Master Cam. Everyone writes their own programs, does their own setup, runs the parts. Typically 1 -5 pieces. We probably average 20 new programs per day between milling, turning, and wire EDM For our work environment, a programmer(s) wouldn't be efficient. We program in a well lit room.
    I worked in a shop like that for a while. As the employee, I much preferred that situation!
    I have no interest in setting up and running somebody else's program.
    As an owner, man there were an awful lot of idle spindles! Would drive me insane (kinda like my shop right now).
    I guess if the work makes enough money, that is fine. My work does not make that much money.

    The moral is: there is no master blue-print to model every single shop after. Soo many variables!

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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelieking71 View Post
    I worked in a shop like that for a while. As the employee, I much preferred that situation!
    I have no interest in setting up and running somebody else's program.
    As an owner, man there were an awful lot of idle spindles! Would drive me insane (kinda like my shop right now).
    I guess if the work makes enough money, that is fine. My work does not make that much money.

    The moral is: there is no master blue-print to model every single shop after. Soo many variables!
    I go sit in the corner everytime I fck up

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    Glad to see I'm not the only mushroom around here who's pulled the bulbs above his desk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RJT View Post
    I have 8 toolmakers and 6 seats of Master Cam. Everyone writes their own programs, does their own setup, runs the parts. Typically 1 -5 pieces. We probably average 20 new programs per day between milling, turning, and wire EDM For our work environment, a programmer(s) wouldn't be efficient. We program in a well lit room.
    Do you know that? Just curious... i agree with Wheelie, if I am the employee, damn straight i want to program and run my own stuff, but as the owner/check signer... A guy jumping between machine/PC/toolcrib/inspection looks like he is busting ass (and he probably is), but I bet it is not efficient, speaking from experience having done that.

    20 programs/day between 8 guys is *only* 2.5/day. That could be sh*t ton on a complex part, and it could be nothing if the parts are simple.

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    I used to be a dedicated programmer for about a decade or so. Now I design, process engineer, program, setup, and run, and I can tell you I've been learning a lot faster this way. It's really hard to tell how well your programming techniques are working when you're not allowed to go watch them run or talk the the operators.

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    The day my floor guys can't handle CAM programming is the day they should be looking for the door.
    I don't need baby sitters and I don't need those who will not learn.
    Yes, I have "fixed" such with no regrets.
    This actually was a very big deal as cncs came onboard and clashed with old school toolmakers. Some did not survive.
    Bob

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    There are programs, and then there are programs. What are you making? Face, mill the profile, drill, tap, and bore a few holes? Or are you talking 20+ tools, rotary positioning, multiple parts, significant multi-level contouring, or hundreds to thousands of lines of code?


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