PieceMaker Online Help - Overview

This reference manual is meant to be read and searched in PDF form for keywords and subject matter.  However, reading the entire manual which can be done in under an hour is required for every programmer and operator prior to the start of training.  It is not necessary to memorize any part of it.
PieceMaker is an EMI-Registered Trademark and Copyright.  The software's strength is that generally anyone involved in the industry who is adept at reading prints or who can sketch a skeleton of the structure with a pencil can quickly use the software to get into production with circular cross section parts (tube and pipe).  The software not only creates geometry but handles other aspects of running the machine such as torch control, lift management, auto-loading, and part nesting.  This is particularly helpful for companies without engineering resources who are just interested in making pieces from sketches or supplied prints.  Many of our customers fit into this category.
There are some optional import capacities.  Some of the importing abilities include importing cut lists of previously programmed parts.  Importing Piece- and Batch-level data from Tekla via STP files and SigmaTube or Lantek.  Importing all data including piece level data can be done at the Access database level via Excel or the other Office standard file formats by customers with the right resources.  Please research this subject thoroughly prior to purchasing a TPC, PieceMaker, or other related software.
The industry is awash with different ideas and standards on interoperability between software packages and or machines.  Here are some specifics that apply to handrail manufacturing and these machines.  For example, the DSTV (NC1) standards do not cover round material assemblies.  This is further complicated by the fact that handrail is often not detailed as if it were going to need valid geometry for export.  Similarly, even the CNC files that most steel packages export do not adequately cover the geometry of the pipe joints and again there is no standard for breaking down assemblies or complete railings into useable parts.  Further there is a lot of work done in handrail shops that only resembles the original prints.  How joints and elbows are done and applied is a shop-by-shop preference and is never adequately represented in the models.  Weep holes and field splices are rarely represented in the models.  It is for these reasons that the team on the floor will need to modify many of the pieces that would be imported anyway.  We at EMI caution prospective buyers that there are no magic wands.  Please research these matters thoroughly prior to purchasing a TPC, PieceMaker or other related software.