Virtual Machine

Virtual Machine — Machine Simulation & Verification

Logo of PredatorProduct Description

Predator Virtual CNC and Virtual Machine integrates CNC verification and machine simulation within a single Windows-based product. Predator Virtual Machine is designed to accurately simulate the CNC, the machine and the machining process.

How it Works

Predator Virtual Machine works just like a machine tool. It requires CNC programs, offsets, stock material, tooling, and fixturing details. A 3D virtual machining environment is displayed to the user with VCR buttons to control the simulation. Unlike a machine tool, Predator Virtual Machine will safely detect machine crashes, broken tooling, CNC programming errors, and numerous other problems.

Initial setup requires the user to design a machine with any major CAD/CAM system. By leveraging the strengths of today’s solid modelers, machine design is faster and easier then ever before. The machine’s base and moving parts are imported into Predator Virtual Machine and the kinematics are defined. A library of machine types such as VMCs and HMCs simplify the kinematic definitions. CNC specifics are configured down to the G-code & M-code level. A library of 150 CNC controls that can be edited by the user, dramatically simplify initial configuration.

Key Benefits

Using Predator Virtual Machine to perform CAS (or computer aided setup), the prove-out process is done offline. Where most CNC users recognize the benefits of offline CAM, offline CAS provides identical productivity improvements. Machine tools stay up and running, and setup time is kept to an absolute minimum. In addition, html-based documentation is automatically created for shop floor personnel. This process significantly reduces trial and error setups and costly prove-outs.

Within educational settings, machine simulation has become even more critical. Educators can provide access to virtual machine experience without having to maintain physical machines or incur liability when trying to teach complex manufacturing processes. With educational budgets being so tight, machine simulation can reduce maintenance, material and tooling costs. Even remote learning of manufacturing processes is possible.

Predator Virtual Machine’s ability to machine a part with accurate cycle times and then inspect it before a single chip is made provides manufacturers unlimited opportunities to improve their processes. Since Predator Virtual Machine behaves just like a real machine; every improvement in CNC programming, materials, tooling, fixturing, and more, is shown graphically.

Within industry, driving factors differ from shop to shop. With some, the material costs are so expensive that simulation of the cutting process is required because there is no second chance. With others the risk of machine crashes is too great to risk potential liability or production downtime. As more and more complex machines are built the need to simulate their use in a stress free PC environment makes more and more sense to manufacturers worldwide.

Real World Applications

Many industries rely on machine simulation and CNC verification. Aerospace, automotive, mold and die, consumer products — virtually any manufacturer — stands to benefit. Unfortunately, many manufacturers have seen machine simulation as a high-end luxury for Unix-based workstations. Today’s PC-based solutions are priced to be affordable to even the smallest shops. Forward thinkers embrace this technology early on to prevent problems. Unfortunately many manufacturers wait until it’s too late.

A full 30-day trial is available from Shop Floor Automations, Inc. web site:

About Shop Floor Automations Inc.

Shop Floor Automations Inc. is the largest independent supplier of Predator Software products in the world. Serving as the Western United States Service Center for Predator Software, SFA provides sales, service, and support for all Predator products. Based in La Mesa, California, with offices and personnel in Los Angeles and Lancaster, California; Eugene, Oregon and Phoenix, Arizona, SFA has remained Predator’s top reseller for three years running.

About Predator Software Inc.

Predator Software Inc. develops turnkey DNC Communications and Shop Floor Control Applications, and CNC Verification Software. The company also provides a line of products that together make up the Predator MES (manufacturing execution system) suite, which includes manufacturing data collection, electronic work instructions, and tool and gage management. Predator Software is based in Portland, Oregon, USA, with offices in; Cambridgeshire, UK; Copenhagen, Denmark, and Barcelona, Spain.

For more information:
619-461-4000 Office
877-611-5825 Toll Free
619-461-5918 Fax

Shop Floor Automations and the Shop Floor Automations logo are trademarks of Shop Floor Automations, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Predator Software Releases DNC v3.2

Update Provides Increased Reliability and Integration

PORTLAND, OR – August 20, 2002 – Predator Software Inc., a leading provider of shop floor communication and automation software, today announced the release of Predator DNC (direct/distributed numeric control) version 3.2, the latest update to the company’s shop floor networking and communication application, which enables personnel to electronically automate the sharing of CNC program files between PCs and CNCs.

Logo of PredatorPredator DNC v3.2 provides nearly 40 enhancements, including new features to improve the user experience, as well as numerous performance-based upgrades to existing features. Recognized for its object-oriented flexibility, version 3.2 has added, among other key features, multiple file selection, wildcard directory searching, and improved Object functionality and reliability. More than a dozen new Objects have also been added, including integration Objects for Predator MDC and Predator Travelers, Regular Expression Objects, and CNC-specific protocols.

“Predator DNC v3.2 continues our emphasis on improving product quality while expanding the power of our application”, said Jim Abbassian, Predator Software President. “We received a tremendous amount of customer feedback, which drove many of the improvements in this latest release. The result is an excellent product update with an exceptional value-to-performance ratio.”

One of the biggest changes is a new installation process based on Microsoft®’s Install Services. This technology was introduced in Windows® 2000 and is supported natively. If the user is running Windows® 95, 98 or NT v4.0 and Microsoft’s Install Services have never been installed, the new install procedure will do it automatically.

The emphasis on providing the user with comprehensive HTML-based help has been continued and all additional and enhanced features have been documented. Users need only press F1 at any time in the program to access more than 250 content sensitive help topics detailing every aspect of Predator DNC.

Two new Predator DNC Objects have been added for the parsing of data using Regular Expressions. The RegEx Command Object provides an advanced search and replaces tool that enables multiple Commands to be fired from a single line of NC code. For example, when an operator requests a CNC program, the RegEx Command Object can expand the request in order to send the file back to the CNC, print the file, and email the supervisor all at the same time. This functionality complements Predator MDC perfectly for the automatic collection of “job start” data.

The RegEx Remote Request Object is also a very powerful tool for communicating with older CNC controls that either have a limited keyboard or do not support the editing of comments.

New Predator DNC Objects have been developed for faster integration with Predator MDC (Manufacturing Data Collection) and support the three major database formats which are supported across all Predator database applications – Microsoft® Access, SQL Server, and Oracle. In total 6 new Objects have been added for the collection of standard, drip-feeding, and custom manufacturing data.

New Predator DNC Objects have also been developed for integration with Predator Travelers (electronic work instruction management). The PPM (Parametric Part Manufacturing) Objects support three major database formats and allow parametric part programs to be generated on the fly from a part family program template.

Version 3.2 provides numerous improvements to already existing Objects, including the Clean Code™ Object which now has even better compatibility with more CNC controls. The Remote Request™ Object has been re-designed for greater hardware compatibility, 24x7x365 reliability, and wildcard support. One of the new features is to allow hubs to be turned off and on while Predator DNC remains in Remote mode. This improvement provides greater system uptimes with intermittent network connections.

Lastly, for prospects shopping for DNC, Predator DNC still maintains the demonstration license which provides the equivalent of a DNC/1 with support for NC programs up to 50 lines. Although the demo will not expire, the save function has been disabled.

Predator DNC system requirements for the Microsoft® Windows 98, 2000, XP and NT operating systems are an Intel Pentium-based processor or equivalent, 64MB of RAM, and 40MB of hard disk space.

Current pricing is available- please email us or contact us via telephone @ 877.611.5825 Toll-Free

Predator DNC 3.2 is available from our download section. All patches to the current version are available from our Support Page

About Predator Software Inc.

Predator Software develops software to automate the shop floor and improve production efficiencies. Predator products provide the network “backbone” to communicate across any shop floor or production facility and then add vital productivity components, including network security, document viewing, Internet browsing, data collection and analysis, tool and gage management, and electronic work instructions. Other Predator applications focus on CNC programming, such as CNC/Machine verification and simulation, and universal CNC translation. Together, Predator’s products make up the Predator MES (manufacturing execution system), an integrated suite of products for the shop floor.