Where are your parameters?

May 18, 2017

Notice this isn’t, “What are your parameters?” It’s,“Where are your parameters?”

Have you ever tried to restore your CNC machine’s parameters, only to find you never backed them up in the first place?

It happens. And it costs you a lot of machine down-time when it does.

Controls often need to be re-initialized following a repair. During re-initialization, you can lose all data, which includes your programs, offsets, and parameters. Service engineers often repair problems within minutes, but if you don’t have a backup copy of your parameters, you can waste days waiting for the engineer to get your CNC machine running again. Yes…days!

So with that in mind, do you know that you have a backup of your parameters? If you don’t have a DNC system with your current CNC machinery, write each parameter’s value down in a notebook. Then, scan those pages and store them to the cloud.

Yes, that takes a few hours of work. But, your CNC machinery will need repair sometime in the future. And you don’t want to be caught in a situation where you have no information regarding your parameters.

Every Smart Business Has a Backup Plan

Former General and US President Dwight D. Eisenhower famously said,”In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”

In other words, you must have a backup plan in place. But, situations change, so that can force your plans to quickly change also.

We’ve covered what to do with your parameters. And you need to do this with all your CNC data too. You need to back up:

  • Copies of recent programs
  • Custom macro variables
  • Previous project data
  • Much more

It should all go on an external, secure hard drive, which you store on-site. And another copy should be stored off-site. You could also go to the cloud, although that does expose you to hacking risks.

You never know when a hurricane, tornado, fire, flood, or earthquake could take down your whole business. The physical stuff will be replaced by insurance. But the data has to be replaced by you, or a third party you hire to manage your backup processes for you.

Will your business get destroyed by an unforeseen disaster? Probably not.

But it’s a smart idea to have a backup plan in place, just in case the worst possible scenario happens.

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