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ME Consultant Professional V2.0 PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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ME Consultant Professional V2.0. The ultimate planning tool for CNC machining centers. A must-have for anyone serious about manufacturing!. Contents:. General Information Main Windows Getting Started with Machining Calculator Getting Started with Job Planner Material Planner Thread Data

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Me consultant professional v2 0 l.jpg

ME Consultant Professional V2.0

The ultimate planning tool for CNC machining centers. A must-have for anyone serious about manufacturing!

Contents:

General Information

Main Windows

Getting Started with Machining Calculator

Getting Started with Job Planner

Material Planner

Thread Data

Drill Depth Calculator

Surface Finish Calculator

Machining Data Editor

Machine Specifications Editor

Configuration Basics


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What Is MEPro?

ME Consultant Professional (MEPro) is a program written to help you with planning, estimating, and programming for CNC machining centers and lathes.

MEPro is a fast and accurate alternative to stacks of reference books, hours of Internet searching, and repetitive, error-prone manual calculations.

MEPro is extremely easy to use.  It gives you a massive amount of useful, well-organized information in exchange for a very small amount of your time.

MEPro is designed to be equally useful to users of the inch or metric system.

All functions are accessible through a dropdown menu in the Machining Calculator window, or a right-click context menu available in any window.

The program should run fine on any 32-bit Windows system.  Your screen needs a minimum resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels for best display of all the available functions.


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Who Needs MEPro?

  • CNC Programmers

  • Applications Engineers

  • Manufacturing Engineers

  • Design Engineers

  • Manufacturing Managers

  • Planners and Estimators

  • Supervisors

  • Inspectors

  • Machinists


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What’s In MEPro?

  • Advanced, Interactive Machining Calculator

  • Integrated Job Planner and Estimator

  • Material Weight, Volume, And Cost Calculator

  • Massive Screw Thread Database

  • Drill And Countersink Depth Calculator

  • Surface Finish Calculator

  • Comprehensive Drill Cross Reference

  • Center Drill Dimensions

  • Socket Head Cap Screw Dimensions

  • Hardness and Tensile Strength Comparisons

  • Machining Data Editor

  • Machine Specifications Editor

  • Highly Configurable Interface


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The Machining Calculator IsAmazingly Powerful and Easy to Use

The Machining Calculator gives you precise speed and feed information for twenty of the most common CNC machining center and lathe tools.

It comes with a database of twenty materials. You can easily modify or add to the material data.

Very little typing is required for efficient use - you change one value and all the others update automatically.


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The Job Planner

Summary Window

Viewer Window

The Job Planner takes data from the Machining Calculator and creates a Job Plan for your operation.

The data for each machining sequence, and all the totals to that point, are displayed in the Viewer and Summary Windows, respectively.

Add or remove a Tool - the Viewer andSummary Windows update instantly.

Change a Tool Diameter - machining data for that tool is recalculated. The Viewer andSummaryWindows update.

Add some Passes, change the Material, decide to run the job on a different Machine - do whatever - a click or two with the mouse and the entire job recalculates!

Job Plan Window


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The Machining Calculator and Job PlannerWork Together To Make Planning A Breeze!

The windows fit without overlapping on a screen having a resolution of 1024 x 768 or better.


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The Material Planner

The Material Planner instantly calculates the weight, volume, and cost of the material you'll need for an upcoming job.

It comes with a large database of the materials you're most likely to need. Adding more materials is easy, and so is adjusting the unit cost of a material in response to changing market conditions.

You can enter data in inches, feet, millimeters, or meters - or even switch around as you work!

Once you've made the calculation, the Material Planner can post it to the Job Planner.


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Thread DataMore Than 1200 Sizes

This is the information you're most likely to need for manufacturing threaded components.

An invaluable reference for programmers, inspectors, machinists, and design engineers.

The Tap Drill Guide automatically shows you the best drills for the thread you're displaying. Form taps are supported for most thread types.

An Info Window has application and plating guidelines, along with other useful information, for each thread type.

Infeed calculations for manual machinists.

Inch or metric display.

Prints a complete report for each thread size, which is especially useful to machinists and inspectors.


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The Drill Depth Calculator

Calculating the depth to feed a center drill, spot drill, or countersink to machine a specific chamfer diameter on the face of a part is one of those recurring time-wasters that every programmer and machinist is familiar with.

The Drill Depth Calculator turns this into a few seconds' work.

It can also tell you how deep to send a twist drill to machine a full-diameter hole of a specific depth.


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The Surface Finish Calculator

The main influence on surface finish, particularly in turning, is the combination of tool radius and feedrate.

The Surface Finish Calculator gives you the theoretical feedrate needed to achieve a specific surface finish when using a given tool radius.

CNC programmers and machinists need a reliable tool to make this calculation, so that they don't feed too fast and make unacceptable parts, or feed too slowly and increase costs.


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The Machining Data Editor

The Machining Data Editor lets you edit the data used by the Machining Calculator and Job Planner.

You can modify, add to, delete from, or rearrange the data.

A customer calls and needs a rush quote, an old job but with a material change. He says the new material has historically run well at 20% higher speed and 10% higher feed than the old one.

You need to define that new material, and fast.

It’s so easy - a quick series of mouse clicks followed by typing in a name for the new material.

The supervisor tells you the normal machine for that job is down. It will have to run on an older model, a much slower one. How much will that add to the cost?

Three clicks in the Job Planner to recalculate the old job for the new material on the substitute machine.


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The Machine Specifications Editor

The Machine Specifications Editor lets you

define and modify six key performance

characteristics for each of your machine

tools. These values are used to optimize

output from the Machining Calculator and

Job Planner.


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The Configuration Window

This is where you decide how you want MEPro to be set up when it starts.

You can opt for a full-blown inch or metric setup.

Do you want tooltips turned on? They're great for learning the program, but you might want them turned off later.

How many decimal places to display?

What are your rapid clearances? There are safety and efficiency considerations.

What spindle efficiency rating do you want power calculations to be based on?

Do you want a "canned" set of labels for the printed Job Plan Report?

No matter how you have things set up in the Configuration Window, you can change the settings around as you work. They just won't be saved for next time unless you save them in the Configuration Window.


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Time Savers - No Explanation Needed

Socket Head Cap Screws

Hardness and Tensile Strength

Hardness and Tensile Strength


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More Time Savers

Center Drills

Drill Chart


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Getting Started With MEPro

The first time MEPro is run, this window will pop on your screen. You’ll have to select either inch or metric as the default startup mode. Don’t worry about locking yourself in to one system or the other here – it’s easy to reconfigure MEPro at any time, or even to switch back and forth between measurement systems as you work.

If you go with the inch system, a machining data file will be created with speed data listed as surface feet per minute and feedrate data listed in inch units.  This file will be named MEInchData.dat.

If you select the metric system, the data file will have speed data listed as surface meters per minute and feedrate data listed in millimeter units.  It will be named MEMetricData.dat.


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The Configuration File

A configuration file, me.ini, will also be created the first time MEPro runs.  It contains startup options for many MEPro functions.  The initial values assigned to me.ini are intended to be suited to the measurement system you selected (inch or metric). They’re all very easy to change to meet your needs.

All data and configuration files are located in the same directory as the main program file.  Any of them that can't be found when the program is run will be recreated by MEPro (with default values).


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The Machining Calculator

When MEPro is run, the first thing you’ll see is the Machining Calculator. It starts up with some arbitrary selections - Cast Aluminum, a pre-defined CNC machinecalled Machining Center 1, and a High Speed Steel (HSS)Spot Drillwith a diameter of .500, set to drill .100 deep.


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What The Machining Calculator Does

The Machining Calculator suggests speed and feed values for a specific combination of cutting tool and workpiece material.  Twenty tool types and twenty material types are defined initially.  You can easily create as many additional materials as you need.

In addition to cutting parameters, the Machining Calculator displays cycle times and power requirements for your proposed operation.

The Machining Calculator requires very little user input.  Much like a spreadsheet, when you change one value, all the dependent values are recalculated and redisplayed.  You can do “what if” experiments very easily and plan cutting operations that make the most of your expensive tools and machinery.


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A Bit Of Caution

  • Workpieces can be held securely or poorly.

  • Machine tools vary widely in their ability to take a cut.

  • Some workpieces are more rigid than others.

  • Sometimes cutting tools are used inappropriately.

  • Some cutting tool designs work better than others.

  • Some cutting tools are sharp, others are dull.

  • Some cutting tools are rigid, others aren't.

  • Unanticipated problems can crop up.

 There's no way for the Machining Calculator to factor in non-optimal conditions without your help. If your setup isn’t rigid or your workholding is inadequate, serious problems can result. If your cutting tool isn’t in good condition, or is inappropriate for the operation, you could see unexpected results.

You, the user, are completely responsible for the results of applying the recommendations made by the Machining Calculator.


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Getting Started With The Machining Calculator

Select aMaterial Type, Machine,andToolfrom the dropdown lists at the top of the window.  The Machining Calculator displays the suggested spindle speed(RPM)and feedrate(IPT, IPR, IPM)for the current combination ofToolandMaterial, along with the material removal rate(MRR)and machine power(HP)required.

If you want accurate information about cycle times, input the quantity (Hole Qty) and depth of holes(Hole Depth)or the quantity (Pass Qty) and length of passes (Pass Length).

Practice changing some of the displayed values to see the effect on others.  Change theMaterial Typeand watch practically everything else change.  Move the Tool Diameterscrollbar and see how many other values change in response.  Think about the reasons for those changes.

That’s really about all you have to do to get a wealth of information from the Machining Calculator. There are some options we’ll need look at, but nothing is really complicated about using it.


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Entering Data

To enter a value, just type it into the appropriate edit box and left-click anywhere outside that edit box. Instead of clicking, you can also press the Enter key or Tab key.  The Enter key inputs the value that's currently visible in the active edit box.  The Tab key inputs the value, then advances the focus to the next relevant edit box.

Numerical data can be input in several formats. If you want to enter a value of .250, type in .250 or any numerical expression that evaluates to .250 (1/4 or 1-3/4 or .5*.5 are some examples).

Because the program is designed for manufacturing, you can also input an expression with one space (for example, you can specify a drill diameter of 1 3/16 and MEPro will convert it to 1.1875). Remember, only one space is allowed in your expression.

MEPro won’t let you make many mistakes. Non-numerical input won’t be accepted. If numerical input isn’t within the allowable range for a particular characteristic, it will be adjusted to the closest-possible legitimate value. For example, the diameter range for carbide twist drills is .015 to .750. Values smaller than .015 will be adjusted upward, and values larger than .750 will be adjusted downward.


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Materials

MEPro comes with extensive machining data for twenty materials commonly used in manufacturing operations. This data is the result of averaging recommendations from a large number of technical organizations and cutting tool manufacturers.

These materials, with perhaps some "tweaking" to suit specific needs, will probably be enough for most users. Later in the tutorial we'll see how easy it is to modify the machining data or create entirely new materials.


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Tools

MEPro can make machining calculations for twenty different types of cutting tools. These tools are commonly used on CNC machining centers or lathes, and most of them show up on both.

Five of the tools (those with an "HP" prefix) are included to let you define cutting data for some of today's high-performance tool geometries and coatings. As we'll see later, they can easily be configured to reflect their enhanced cutting capabilities.


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Cutting Speed

Changing cutting speed values causes recalculation of

machining time, material removal rate, and power

requirements

RPM - Revolutions Per Minute

SFM- Surface Feet Per Minute

SMM- Surface Meters Per Minute

RPM Limit - A means of limiting the maximum revolutions

per minute displayed or used in calculations.  All machines

have an absolute maximum RPM, and some tools or setups

have a maximum safe RPM.

Spindle %works like the spindle override on a CNC

machine.

Reset - Sets Spindle % to 100.0

Becomes pink when Spindle %is over 101.00, and blue

when under 99.00.


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Feedrates

Changing feedrate values causes recalculation of

other feed outputs plus machining time,material removal rate,

and power requirements

IPT - Inches Per Tooth (Chip Load)

MPT - Millimeters Per Tooth (Chip Load)

IPR - Inches Per Revolution

MPR- Millimeters Per Revolution

IPM- Inches Per Minute

MPM - Millimeters Per Minute

Feed %works like the feed override on a CNC

machine.

Reset– Sets Feed %to 100.0

Becomes pink whenFeed % is over 101.00, and blue

when under 99.00.


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Cut Variables

Length, Depth, and Clearance values affect machining time.

Cut DepthandCut Widthvalues affect material removal rate,

power requirements, and end milling speeds, feeds, and

machining time.

Pass Length- turning and milling tools

Hole Depth- holemaking tools

XY Clearance - rapid clearance for milling tools

Z Clearance- rapid clearance for holemaking tools

XZ Clearance- rapid clearance for turning tools

Cut Depth - axial depth of cut for milling tools

radial depth of cut for turning tools

Cut Width - radial depth of cut for milling tools

radial depth of cut for boring tools


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Cutting Tool Characteristics

Flutes- holemaking and end milling tools

Inserts- face mills and turning tools

A change causes recalculation of feed outputs, machining times, material removal rate, and power requirements

Tool Diameter- holemaking and milling tools

Turn Diameter - turning tools

A change causes recalculation of speed and feed outputs, machining times, material removal rate, and power requirements.

When the diameter of an end mill or face mill is reduced,Cut DepthandCut Widthmay also be reduced.


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Machining Calculator Options

Inch - inputs and display in inch units

Metric- inputs and display in metric units

Tips- Turns the Machining Calculator tooltips on or off.

Sticky Data- When checked, saves the most - recent data for each tool type, so you can go back to a previous tool without having to input all the cutting conditions again.  When unchecked, tool data is reset to defaults each time you select a new tool.

Mill Radius - When checked, adds the radius of a milling tool to the pass length for cycle time calculations.

Radial Feed- When checked, applies a radial chip thinning factor to the feedrate calculation for face mills and end mills when theCut Width is less than half the Tool Diameter.

Decimals - Lets you specify how many decimal places to display for some of the machining data.


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Machining Time

Minutes Per Hole - Shows the time in minutes per hole or pass.

Display only.

Minutes Total - Shows total time in minutes for all holes or passes.

Display only.

Hole Qty – holemaking tools

Pass Qty – turning and milling tools

Change causes recalculation of Minutes Total.

Maximum Qty is 10,000


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Machining Power

HP- machine power (horsepower) required to perform the defined operation. Display only.

KW - machine power (kilowatts) required to perform the defined operation. Display only.

Both measures are based on the material removal rate for the active material.

MRR- material removal rate - volume of material, expressed as cubic inches or cubic centimeters, removed per minute with the currently defined operation. Display only.

Spindle Efficiency

Change causes recalculation of power requirements.


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Tap Pitch Selector

These controls are enabled when aTapis the active tool type. The screenshots show some of the tap pitch options available in MEPro.

When the TPI option button is selected, the valuesrepresent threads per inch. When theMMoption is selected, the values represent the tap pitch in millimeters.

TPIandMM are both usable whether you're working in Inch or Metric mode. If you're working in Inch mode and need data for an M8-1.0 tap, for example, just select the MMoption button, then 1.0 from the pitch selector. Click on the Metric mode option button, input 8.0 into theTool Diameteredit box, then switch back to Inch mode. Everything will be converted for you.

Of course, you could stay in Inch mode the whole time and just input the expression 8/25.4 into theTool Diameteredit box to get the same result.


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Opening The Job Planner

When the Job Planner is first opened, what you see are three new windows arranged around the Machining Calculator. There aren't any numbers showing in these three windows, except in theMachine $,Eff %,Setup, andTool Secboxes.

The values in those edit boxes are taken from the MachineSpecsData.dat file, where the performance characteristics of your machine tools are defined.

Machine $ - hourly rate for the active machine

Eff % - overall efficiency factor for the active machine

Setup - default setup minutes for the active machine

Tool Sec- tool change seconds for the active machine

Select a different Machinein the Machining Calculator and you'll see some of these values change in the Job Planner.


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Adding a Sequence

What we're trying to do here is have you tell the Machining Calculator what kinds of tools and cuts you want to have in your proposed job, so that it can figure out all the machining parameters and send them to the Job Planner, which will keep track of and display everything. If you want a printed report after everything looks good, you can have that too.

There's already a machining operation defined in the Machining Calculator (I'll refer to a unique machining operation as a"sequence" after this). It's the one that shows when you first run MEPro, aSpot Drillgoing .100 deep.

Start out by clicking theSeq + button in the Job Planner and see what happens.

The machining data for the sequence is posted to the Viewer Window, while current time and cost totals appear in the Summary Window. The Spot Drillis now shown as theActive Sequence (sequence #1) in the Job Planner,

Select a different materialin theMateriallist of the Machining Calculator and watch what happens to your machining times and summary values. It's that quick and easy to play what-if games with different materials, whether you've defined one sequence or a hundred.


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Job Planner Commands #1

Active Sequence- this can be either the sequence you've just added or the sequence you've chosen to make active, perhaps for editing or deletion.

To change theActive Sequence, you can either select a new one from the dropdown list in the Job Planner, or click on the ID number of the desired sequence (leftmost column) in the Viewer Window.

Notes - you can insert a descriptive note for each sequence. The note will display on the printed report.

Active Material - this is the material upon which the current Job Plan machining calculations are based.

To change theActive Material, select a new one in the Materialdropdown in the Machining Calculator. The Job Plan will instantly recalculate.

Active Machine- this is the machine upon which the current Job Plan non-machining calculations are based.

To change theActive Machine, select a new one in the Machinedropdown in the Machining Calculator. The Job Plan will instantly recalculate.


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Job Planner Commands #2

Move- this is used to rearrange the order of your defined sequences.

Say you had five sequences defined, and wanted to move sequence 5 up to become sequence 3. Type 5 in the Frombox and 3 in theTo box, then click on the green button (it will be green if you have more than one sequence defined).

Tips- this turns the tooltips on and off for the Job Planner.

Win Sync - when this is checked, all four windows minimize as a group rather than individually. When they're hidden, some external applications allow them to maximize as a group and some don't.


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Job Planner Commands #3

These values can be modified freely. Each change results in an update of the Summary Window data.

Machine $- the Active Machine hourly rate

Eff % - Active Machineefficiency ("fudge factor")

Material $- unit material cost

Setup - Active Machinesetup minutes

Tooling $ - tooling and fixturing cost for the job

Tool Sec - Active Machinetool change seconds

Process $- job process cost (plating, heat treat, etc.)

Part Sec - part change seconds per part

Lot Size - lot size for the job

Extra Min - extra minutes per part (for any purpose)


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Job Planner Commands #4

Seq - deletes theActive Sequence.

Seq +assigns the data currently displayed in the Machining Calculator to a new sequence.

Tool - subtracts one from the current number of tool changes - useful if you're doing more than one sequence with the same tool and don't want the extra tool change seconds added to the total.

Tool +adds one to the current number of tool changes.

Editlets you edit any value in theActive Sequence.

Updaterecalculates the Job Plan after usingEdit.


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Editing A Job Plan Sequence

You can change any value in a previously-defined sequence.

Make the sequence you want to edit theActive Sequence.

Click theEditbutton. It will turn pink as an indicator that you're in edit mode.

All the machining data for theActive Sequencewill be pasted into the Machining Calculator.

Using the Machining Calculator, make any changes you like to the values.

ClickUpdateto recalculate the Job Plan and exit edit mode.

You can exit edit mode without saving changes by clicking the pink Editbutton.


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Job Planner Commands #5

Feed- reduces all feedrates in the Job Plan by 5%.

Feed + increases all feedrates in the Job Plan by 5%.

Spindl -reduces all speeds in the Job Planby 5%.

Spindl + increases all speeds in the Job Plan by 5%.

F-100sets all feed overrides in the Job Plan to 100%.

S-100sets all speed overrides in theJob Plan to 100%.

Calc forces a recalculation of the Job Plan.

Zerosubtracts the Active Sequencevalues from the Summary (it "zeros out" the sequence). Clicking the Zero button a second time restores the values. This can be useful for "what if" experiments.


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Job Planner Commands #6

Notesopens the Notes Window, where you can define up to twelve sets of notes for the heading of a Job Plan Report.

Hideminimizes the Job Plan Window. If Win Sync is checked, all Job Planner windows and the Machining Calculator will be minimized.

Savesaves the Job Plan data as a .csv file, which can be easily imported into your favorite spreadsheet program for use with custom report formats.

Clearclears the Job Planfrom memory.

Loadloads a previously-saved Job Plan (.csv file) into memory.

Close closes the Job Planner.


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Adding Notes To The Job Plan Report

Click Here To Add A Label

After the sequences are defined, you might want to add some descriptive notes before printing or saving a report.

The Notes Window has space for up to twelve labels and associated notes, which will be displayed at the top of the printed Job Plan Report.

Labels and notes may be edited freely, but the total number of characters for a label and its companion note can’t exceed fifty.

To create or edit a label, click in the background area just above the appropriate note box.

Clear Data erases the notes but not the labels

Clear Allerases everything

Close Windowcloses the NotesWindow. Any labels or notes are retained.

Clear Labels erases the labels but not the notes

Reload Labels loads any default labels you've created in the ConfigureWindow.


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The Job Plan Viewer

Compact View

Expanded Viewenlarges theViewerWindowto show as much of the Job Plan data as possible.

Compact View shrinks the Viewer Window to show a smaller amount of the Job Plan data.

Increment controls the range of lot sizes displayed in the UnitCost section of the Job Plan Report.

Preview displays a detailed Job Plan Report, with option to print. Print prints the report immediately, without a preview.

Hide minimizes the Job Plan ViewerWindow.

Expanded View


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The Job Plan Summary

Values shown in this window update as required whenever you make changes to the Job Plan.


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The Job Plan Report

This job has twenty-two tools.

The labels and notes from the Notes Window are at the top.

The machining data from the ViewerWindow is in the middle.

There's a complete Summary at the bottom.


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The Material PlannerGetting Started

The first time the Material Planner is run, it generates a data file. Depending on your configuration, the density values in the file represent either pounds per cubic inch or grams per cubic centimeter.

If configured for inch data, the file will be named WeightUSData.dat.

If configured for metric data, the file will be named WeightMetricData.dat.

Materials can be added to the file by opening it in a text editor like Notepad. Cost information for each material type is maintained in the same file.

You can also modify and save material cost information directly from the Material Planner.


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The Material Data File

The format of the data file is simple. Here's a typical line:

Aluminum,.0975,.50

As this line was taken from WeightUSData.dat, it says that the material named "Aluminum" has a density of .0975 pounds per cubic inch, and costs fifty cents per pound.

The metric equivalent, taken from WeightMetricData.dat, would be:

Aluminum,2.6988,.50

It says that the material named "Aluminum" has a density of 2.6988 grams per cubic centimeter, and costs fifty cents per kilogram.

You can modify the density and cost values as needed. If you add a new material, be sure to include a number for the cost, even if you don't plan to use it (.50 would be fine).


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Materials And Shapes

Choose a material category by clicking on the appropriate option button (Metal, Wood, Plastic, Other). Next, select a specific material from the dropdown list.

The density will be displayed to the right, in pounds per cubic inch or grams per cubic centimeter, depending upon the active input mode. The density value can only be modified by editing the data file.

Select a shape from any displayed in the frame at the left edge of the MaterialWindow.

Depending on which shape you pick, you'll have to furnish from one to six dimensions before volume, weight, and cost calculations can be made.  The labels above the input boxes will change to fit the requirements of the active shape.

In the case of Fabrications (Pipe, Angles, Channels, I-Beams), you'll have to select a size from the dropdown list.  Except for the length, all inputs for the selected size will be entered automatically.  These values represent industry standard dimensions and can't be modified.


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Material Units

Dimensions can be entered in any combination of Inches, Feet, Millimeters, and Meters.

The current input mode is displayed at the top of the Inputs Frame.

You can enter everything in the same mode, or switch around as you dimension a shape. Selection of the input mode is done in the OptionsFrame at bottom-center.

As an example, if you had round stock with an outside diameter of thirty millimeters and a length of ten feet, you could input the diameter in Millimeters, then switch to Feet for the length.

All values display in the currently selected mode.


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Material Planner Inputs

When you select a shape, two or more of the labels above the six edit boxes change to indicate the inputs required.

As usual, left-clicking the mouse outside of an edit box inputs the value you’ve just typed in. The Enter key or Tab key can also be used to input the data. Additionally, the Tab key shifts focus to the next required edit box for further input.

For shapes where they are geometrically possible, internal and external fillets are established and initialized to zero. They're skipped in the first run-through - you can go back and change their values later if you want to.

Remember that you can use numerical expressions for your inputs, so 1.500 is the same as 1+1/2 or 1 1/2

Note that Feet is not the same thing as feet and inches - to input 1 foot 6 inches while in Feet input mode, you could enter 1.5 or 1+6/12 or 1 6/12 or 1+(6/12), but not 1 6.

Inputs that are recognized as being geometrically impossible are adjusted up or down as appropriate.


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Material Planner Outputs

Once you've input all the required dimensions, Volume and Weight will be calculated and displayed. Cost Data will be displayed also if you have that option enabled.

You can change the dimensional values, quantity, and input mode at will to evaluate the effect on volume, weight, and cost.

Changing the Material Type will cause a recalculation and redisplay of volume, weight, and cost.

Changing the MaterialShape clears all boxes - you start from scratch.

Outputs in Inches or Feet mode are in cubic inches (volume) and pounds (weight).

Outputs in Millimeters or Meters mode are in cubic centimeters (volume) and kilograms (weight).


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Material Planner Limits

Maximum Length

300 inches or 25 feet or 7620 millimeters or

7.62 meters

Minimum Length

.001 inches or .0254 millimeters

Maximum Outside Diameter

100 inches or 8.333 feet or 2540 millimeters

or 2.54 meters

Minimum Outside Diameter

.001 inches or .0254 millimeters

Maximum Inside Diameter (Bore)

99.998 inches or 8.333 feet or 2539.949

millimeters or 2.539 meters

Minimum Inside Diameter (Bore)

.001 inches or .0254 millimeters

Maximum Thickness - Width - Height

100 inches or 8.333 feet or 2540 millimeters

or 2.54 meters

Minimum Thickness - Width - Height

.001 inches or .0254 millimeters

Maximum Wall

49.999 inches or 4.166 feet or 1269.975

millimeters or 1.269 meters

Minimum Wall

.001 inches or .0254 millimeters

Maximum External Fillet

50.000 inches or 4.166 feet or 1270.000

millimeters or 1.270 meters

Maximum Internal Fillet

49.999 inches or 4.166 feet or 1269.975

millimeters or 1.269 meters

Minimum External or Internal Fillet

0 - a sharp corner

Maximum Quantity

10,000


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Material Planner One-Shot Calculations

There are two options for making simple one-shot calculations.

If you know the volume of an object and the material density, selecting the User Input Volume mode lets you input the volume and calculate the weight.

If you know the weight of an object and the material density, selecting the User Input Weight mode lets you input the weight and calculate the volume.


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Material Planner Tricks

Some of the limits (maximum length or maximum quantity, for example) are designed to keep things manageable.

An item that weighs 50,000 pounds is fine, but displaying the total weight of two million of them wouldn't be.

In some cases it's possible to "fool" the program.

For example, if the length limit of 300 inches (25 feet) is inadequate for a specific calculation - say, 5000 feet of wire - a workaround would be to enter the wire diameter, then select Feet mode and enter 25 for the Length.

Input the expression 5000/25 into the Quantity box, and the correct Total Weight will be displayed.

This method should work equally well with most of the other shapes.


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A Lot Of Thread Data

The ThreadsWindow displays detailed dimensional information for more than twelve hundred common screw threads.

There's a sophisticated Tap Drill Guide with more than seven hundred twist drill sizes. Form tap drill sizes can be displayed for many of the thread types.

An Info Window has application and plating guidelines and additional geometric information for each thread type.

Lathe infeed calculations are available for manual machinists.

You can Print a detailed report for each thread size.

The display can be toggled between Inches and Millimeters.

Tracking down thread data is one of the biggest time-wasters in manufacturing. Manual calculations based on partial data are likely to cause expensive errors.

It's all here, fast and accurate.


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The Tap Drill Guide

75% Thread Selected

When you select a Thread Size, the minimum minor diameter (internal) is checked and the first drill in the database which is at least that large is positioned at the middle of the sorted Tap Drill Guide. This gives a thorough overview of drilling options for a specific thread, and is much more useful than an ordinary tap drill chart.

There's another worthwhile feature in the Tap Drill Guide. For those Thread Types that have Percent Thread data available, clicking the desired percent value in the Percent Thread listbox will cause the suggested drill size for that thread to be positioned at the middle of the Tap Drill Guide.

Tap drill data for form (roll) taps is available for many of the thread types. If the Form option button at the top of the Tap Drill Guide is enabled, selecting it will cause display of recommended drills for form taps.

55% Thread Selected


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The Thread Info WindowSome Useful Information


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The Thread Report

You can display and (optionally) print this report by clicking the Preview button. To print the report immediately from the Threads Window, click the Print button.


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The Drill Depth Calculator

The Drill Depth Calculator outputs the depth to feed a center drill, spot drill, or countersink to machine a specific chamfer diameter on the face of a workpiece, as well as the depth to feed a twist drill to machine a full-diameter hole of a specific depth.


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Drill Depth Calculator Usage

ForCenter Drills, you'll need to enter theDrill Size andChamfer Diameter.

ForSpot Drills, you'll need to enter theDrill Angle, Chamfer DiameterandDrill Diameter.

For Countersinks, you'll need to enter theTool Angle, Chamfer Diameter andTip Diameter.

For Twist Drills, you'll need to enter the Tool Angle, Drill DiameterandFull-DiameterHole Depth.

For all but center drills, there are two ways to specify the included angle of your tool.  The first is aStd Angledropdown list of industry-standard angles for the active tool type.

The second is aUser Angleedit box that allows you to input whatever geometrically-valid angle you like.


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The Surface Finish Calculator

The most important factors affecting the theoretical surface finish are feedrate and tool radius.

The Surface Finish Calculator displays the range of feedrate/surface finish combinations available when using a specific tool radius.

The best way to get started is to make sure you're in the correct units mode, then select the radius of your tool from the dropdown list.

Next, enter the finish you need to achieve.  The theoretical required feedrate will be calculated and displayed.

Changing the feedrate updates the surface finish for the active tool radius.

Changing the surface finish updates the feedrate for the active tool radius.

Changing the tool radius updates the feedrate for the active surface finish.

The maximum value allowed for surface finish is 500 microinches or 12.7 micrometers.

If Turningis selected in the Machining Calculator, you can assign the feedrate determined by the Surface Finish Calculator to theTurningoperation by clicking on thePostbutton.


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The Machining Data Editor

The Machining Data Editor lets you edit the data used by the Machining Calculator to calculate recommended speeds and feeds.

Each tool has edit boxes beside it that contain either a cutting speed or a feedrate value.

The boxes labeled SFM or SMM show the cutting speeds for the various tool types when machining the Active Material.

The labels for the other boxes represent tool diameters, and the edit boxes contain the corresponding feedrate values for the tools when machining the Active Material.

Machinability is used to calculate machine power requirements for a specific material.  In the Machining Calculator, a material with a larger Machinability value requires more power than does a material with a smaller value.


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Modifying Machining Data - The Basics

The editor initially loads data for the Active Material. If that's not the material you want to modify, then select the one you want to work with from the Defined Materials dropdown list.

The material you select then becomes the Active Material.

The Modify function lets you change the machining parameters for a material that already exists in your data file.

Once you've clicked it, the option to pick a different material is disabled, and several of the other input buttons turn green and are ready to use.


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Modifying Machining Data - Individual Values

This is how you modify individual values, in contrast to making mass

changes.

Click the Modify button.

Change the values you're interested in by typing in the new values.

To cancel unsaved changes, click the Undo button.

If you cancel, the editor will exit Modify mode.

If you're saving the changes, click the Save button.

You'll be asked to confirm the Save.

If the editor detects a syntax error, that error will be highlighted and

you'll be able to correct it.

When there are no errors, the data will be backed up and saved.

The editor will exit Modify mode


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Modifying Machining Data - All Feedrates

This is how you modify all the feedrates by a

percentage factor.

Click the Modify button.

Click the Feed - or Feed + button.

All feedrates will be changed by 5% with each click.

To cancel unsaved changes, click the Undo button.

If you cancel, the editor will exit Modify mode.

If you're saving the changes, click the Save button.

You'll be asked to confirm the Save.

The data will be backed up and saved.

The editor will exit Modify mode.


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Modifying Machining Data - All Speeds

This is how you modify all the cutting speeds by a

percentage factor.

Click the Modify button.

Click the Speed - or Speed + button.

All speeds will be changed by 5% with each click.

To cancel unsaved changes, click the Undo button.

If you cancel, the editor will exit Modify mode.

If you're saving the changes, click the Save button.

You'll be asked to confirm the Save.

The data will be backed up and saved.

The editor will exit Modify mode.


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Creating New Machining Data

Clone creates data for a new material by duplicating the data from an existing one.

Select the material you want to Clone in the Defined Materials dropdown list.

Click the Clone button.

The new material data is created, and assigned the name "Unnamed Material".

To discard the new material definition, click the Undo button and exit Clone mode.

Before saving, rename the new material in the Active Material edit box.

Click the Save button.

If you've renamed the new material, the data will be backed up and saved.

If you haven't renamed the new material, you'll be reminded.

After saving, the new material will be appended to the list of materials.

The editor will exit Clone mode. You can now use Modify on the new material.


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Deleting Machining Data

The Delete function deletes the data for the Active Material.

Select the material you want to Delete in the Defined Materials dropdown list.

Click the Delete button.

A confirmation dialog will appear.

If you click No to cancel, the editor will exit Delete mode.

If you click Yes to proceed, the data file will be backed up as MEInchData.dat.bak

or MEMetricData.dat.bak.  The active data file will then be saved, after deleting

data for the Active Material.

The editor will exit Delete mode.


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Rearranging Machining Data

The Move function moves the data for a material to a new location in the Material list.

Click the Move button.

To cancel the move, click the Cancel button.

Enter the From and To positions for the material to be moved.

Click the green input button below the From and To edit boxes.

The data is moved.

To undo the Move, click the Undo button. The Move is reversed and the editor exits Move mode.

To save the Move, click the Save button. The Move is saved and the editor exits Move mode.


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The Machine Specifications Editor

  • You can add, remove, or modify a machine, as well as change its position in theMachine dropdown list.

  • The following values can be modified.

  • Max RPM - Maximum RPM available to the machine

  • HP orKW - Power available to the machine spindle, expressed as HP or KW

  • Spindle % - Spindle efficiency of the machine tool, expressed as a percentage

  • Tool Change - Chip-to-chip tool change time, expressed in seconds

  • Setup- Average number of setup minutes per job

  • Shop Rate- Monetary value of one hour of machine time

  • Except for the machine name and the power rating, these values can be temporarily changed inside ofMEPro.

The first time you run MEPro, a text file is created which stores performance information about

five theoretical machine tools. By modifying the values in this file to reflect your actual machines,

you can increase the accuracy of calculations made by theMachining Calculator andJob Planner.


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Modifying Machine Specs - The Basics

The editor initially loads data for theActive

Machine. If that's not the machine you want to

modify, then select the one you want to work with

from theDefined Machines dropdown list.

The machine you select then becomes the Active

Machine.

TheModify function lets you change the

specifications for a machine that already exists in

your data file. Once you've clicked it, the option

to pick a different machine is disabled, and

the edit boxes become ready to receive input.


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Modifying Machine Specs

This is how you modify individual values

Click the Modify button.

Change the values you're interested in by typing in the new values.

To cancel unsaved changes, click theUndo button.

If you cancel, the editor will exit Modify mode.

If you're saving the changes, click theSavebutton.

You'll be asked to confirm theSave.

If the editor detects a syntax error, that error will be highlighted and

you'll be able to correct it.

When there are no errors, the data will be backed up and saved.

The editor will exit Modify mode


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Creating New Machine Specs

Clonecreates specifications for a new machine by duplicating the data from an existing one.

Select the machine you want to Clonein theDefined Machines dropdown list.

Click the Clone button.

The new machine specs are created, and assigned the name "Unnamed Machine".

To discard the new machine definition, click the Undo button and exit Clonemode.

Before saving, rename the new machine in the Active Machineedit box.

Click the Save button.

If you've renamed the new machine, the data will be backed up and saved.

If you haven't renamed the new machine, you'll be reminded.

After saving, the new machine will be appended to the list of machines.

The editor will exit Clonemode. You can now use Modifyon the new machine.


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Deleting Machine Specs

TheDelete function deletes the data for theActive Machine.

Select the machine you want to Deletein the Defined Machinesdropdown list.

Click theDeletebutton.

A confirmation dialog will appear.

If you click Noto cancel, the editor will exitDelete mode.

If you click Yes to proceed, the data file will be backed up as

MachiningSpecsData.dat.bak. The active data file will then be saved, after deleting

data for theActive Machine.

The editor will exitDelete mode.


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Rearranging Machine Specs

TheMove function moves the data for a machine to a new location in theMachine list.

Click theMovebutton.

To cancel the move, click the Cancel button.

Enter the From andTo positions for the machine to be moved.

Click the green input button below theFromand To edit boxes.

The data is moved.

To undo the Move, click theUndo button. The Move is reversed and the editor exits Movemode.

To save theMove, click the Save button. TheMove is saved and the editor exitsMove mode.


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MEPro Configuration Basics

Startup options for MEPro can be modified by clicking the Configure button at the right edge of the Machining Calculator.

Changes are saved to the configuration file me.ini, and take effect the next time you run MEPro.

Options can be changed at any time for the window you're working in, but the startup mode will always be determined by settings in the configuration file.


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MEPro Configuration Categories

The Units section lets you specify which measurement system is to be active, at startup, for each of the MEPro functions. The option buttons are labeled I for the inch system and M for the metric.

The Tooltips section lets you choose whether to have tooltips turned on or off, at startup, for six of the MEPro functions.

The Decimals section lets you choose how many decimal places to display, at startup, for four of the MEPro functions.

The Machining section lets you modify startup parameters related to the Machining Calculator and Job Planner.

Controls to modify startup parameters for the Material Planner are located in the lower left corner of the Configure Window.

The Job Planner Labels section gives you space to create up to twelve default labels for the printed Job Plan Report. If you don't want labels, leave these boxes blank.

You can change the labels from inside the Job Planner to customize an individual report. They'll revert to the default set each time you close and reopen MEPro.

Detailed explanations of Configuration features are in theUser Guide.


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The End

Thank you for your interest in ME Pro!


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