Proprietary Software: In-house software development
Since the beginning of the microcomputer revolution in the 1970s, we have written our own software. Whether it be in assembly language for the 6809, Windows Presentation Foundation in Visual Basic for Windows 10 or Objective-C for OS X and iOS, having custom apps allows us to focus on the manufacturing tasks we need to accomplish. Order entry and tracking, quality control, SQL client ware, web apps and CNC control software are all written in house, giving us the unique ability to build custom product solutions not only for ourselves, but also for our customers in the form of custom barcoding, documentation or RFID tracking.
TASK10 is the latest version of our production management software. Quotation, purchasing, order entry, job tracking, scheduling, expediting, shipping, quality control and more, all custom tailored to our unique requirements.
Proprietary hardware: In-house built precision CNC machine tools
During the mid-1980’s, the ever increasing demands for our tooling compelled us to find new ways of increasing production while maintaining our excellent quality and value. Using our skills in electronics and programming, we started with the construction of a single in-house built 2-axis CNC machine tool and that one machine quickly became many. 2-axis became 3, then 4 along with other capabilities such as wheel changing and dressing. We currently operate more than 70 multi-axis CNC carbide grinders with more coming on-line every quarter.
And innovation is not limited to capability. Oliphant Tool is concerned with the triple bottom line which includes consideration of the environment. Through an evolution in machine tool design, each machine, including its spindle motor, electronics, CNC drives, display, operates on less than 800 watts. That is less than a typical household vacuum cleaner.
We do it our way
By designing the hardware and coding the software ourselves, we were able to change a lot of the things we didn’t like about generic and extremely overpriced CNC machine tools.
- Our machines understand English. At the heart of our CNC machine tools is our proprietary CNC programming interpreter that speaks directly to our hardware. It utilizes simple English language commands; more capable than G-Code without having to know complicated G-Code. The conversational programming system is so intuitive, yet powerful, that a person with no prior experience in CNC programming can learn how to manufacture the most complex tooling in a matter of a day or two, rather than weeks or even months as is the case with traditional G-code training.
- Superior reliability. Traditional CNC machine tools are overly complicated. They typically utilize highly proprietary hardware and software running on Microsoft Windows. When the software or hardware develops a small problem it can render the machine inoperable until a field tech can repair it at an exorbitant cost. And with the CNC software being proprietary, operators are not in a position to customize it or add features to meet their unique needs. Our system is radically different. Simple and robust solid state micro-controllers accept the CNC machine code generated by our proprietary software directly into its built in flash memory. Only an inexpensive text based terminal is needed run or make adjustments.
- We support what we build. Since we design and build our own machine tools, we are not at the mercy of third parties to maintain our equipment. In the unlikely event that a machine should develop a mechanical, electronic or software issue, large or small, it is easily and quickly resolved, typically within half an hour instead of days, weeks or even months as is the case with traditional pre-packaged CNC machine tools. And those repairs are done at a tiny fraction of the cost. Additionally if a operator requests a new software feature for a tool he or she is making, our software engineers can quickly add it. OT-CNC technical support is down the hall not in another state or country.
- Superior performance. We don’t have to compromise performance by supporting unnecessary features or suffering from software limitations. The task-oriented nature of these machines provide superior accuracy, reliability and repeatability. These machines are the best in the world for doing what they do.
- Lower cost. The economic advantage of ease of use, self-support, higher performance and reliability all at a 80-90% lower per unit deployment cost allows us to deploy and support dozens of these capable purpose-built machines with single operator running up to 20 Oliphant OT-CNC machines simultaneously.