View Full Version : Automating Job Time Estimation

Robert . Payne
12-12-2015, 6:43 PM
Hey All,

We have a ULS VLS 4.60 and running the latest UCP. We spend a lot of time running artwork through UCP (5-10x a day) to estimate times to formulate quotes and we're finding it extremely cumbersome. Was curious if anyone has any advice on how to better estimate job timing for estimates?

As a software developer I get really frustrated with the horribleness of all of these laser control panels but without firmware documentation it's what we're stuck with! I had a few ideas though if someone could maybe help point me in the right direction:

1. Modify an open source laser controller:

I was thinking if I found an open source laser controller, I could probably modify the software so one could feed it a PDF and it would provide a time estimate back. Wouldn't probably be identical to UCP but if it's within 10% it'd be good enough for us. Problem is I can't find any decent open source controllers, does anyone run a laser with an open source controller?

2. Create a macro engine:

Was thinking about running a web interface that under the hood runs a input macro against UCP. So when you upload a PDF the macro would run through the steps to import it into UCP, click the estimate time and get the estimate time back to you. Less than ideal and probably quite prone to breaking but it would be accurate?

3. Create a custom algorithm / estimator:

From what I can tell the software appears to be running the machine in "software" and estimating the time. Could in theory replicate this algorithm though it wouldn't be perfect. I'd struggle to try and figure out what speeds are required for 'tight' corners where even at 100% speed the machine is obviously running much slower.

I'm planning on doing one of the three above over the holidays because we're loosing too much time dealing with time estimations. Anyone have any recommendations or tips?