How to display the total cycle time at the beginning of a program

It is a common practice for most NC programmers to include a series of comments at the beginning of all programs. These comments are used to provide useful information such as the part and program name, the date and time, the name of the programmer and various other information specific to the shop floor. Additionally, they may include a tooling summary and other concrete information about the program. These lines are either displayed on the control screen or simply used as comments when viewing the tape file.

One particularly useful information is the program cycle time, which is extremely important for logistic reasons. It is the most important information for shop floor management, production planning and cost estimation. So clearly it would be useful to have the cycle time included at program startup along with other information.

The problem is that, since most post-processors compute the cycle time throughout the process, they only make it available at the end of the program. This makes it difficult for a post writer to find a way to display the actual total cycle time at program startup.

Since CAM-POST has the ability to look ahead for information that would normally become available later in the process (including at the end of the program), the task is very simple: it consists in writing two simple macros, as outlined below:

  • In the Post-processor Customization section, the following lines should be added to the Machine startup macro:

$$ Display cycle time information
DISPLY/’Total Cycle Time: !(s6.2) min.’,%L01/60

  • The following lines should be added to the Machine shutdown macro:

$$ Obtain cumulated cycle time in seconds
$LOOK(1)=$FEDTIM+$RAPTIM+$MISTIM $$ Feed, rapid, miscellaneous

Benefit to User
Provide more detailed information about the program.

For more information or comments, please do not hesitate to contact Phil at

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