Okuma App Store


Okuma has recently launched an App Store. The site is not just for Okuma-developed apps: products by several THINC partners are featured on the store.

Registration is required to download, but to see the range of possible THINC solutions, you can browse the apps at MyOkuma.com.


Unfinished Proj

My last post looked back on some of my unfinished projects. At the time of its writing, I was in a retrospective mood, and not just because it was the end of the year.

After five years with the same company, I left my position at the end of the year. Three weeks into the new year, it’s too early to say how things will work out, but I know it was the right move. Still, I look back to see a lot of unfinished business: proofs-of-concept, prototypes for products that never materialized, pet projects perpetually on the back-burner, and so forth.

Sadly, I won’t get to see them finished.

I enjoyed working both in the THINC realm and in the growing MTConnect realm. Most of my posts in this blog were about one or the other. Since my new job is in a different field, unfortunately it seems unlikely that I’ll be able to continue working with either.

To the folks who visited this blog either for THINC or for MTConnect, thank you for visiting. I’m always open to answering questions or providing quick code examples for either technology. (My ability to answer questions about THINC may be limited, as all of my documentation and libraries now reside with my former company.)

As for this blog, time will tell what direction it moves from here.

Checking the installed THINC API version

From time to time, I need an easy way to check the installed THINC API version on an Okuma P200 control. 

The problem is that the assembly version numbers don’t always reflect Okuma’s “official” release version number for the installation package. In fact, the Command API and Data API assemblies from the same release usually have different version numbers. 

Credit goes to Casey at Okuma for letting me know a simple way of checking the THINC API version as it’s listed on the installation package. The information is stored in the Windows registry, in the uninstall information, so just search HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall for the THINC-API entry.

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Frequently Unasked Questions

Since the time I created this blog (a little less than a year ago), I’ve checked the site statistics quite a few times. Of particular interest are the search keywords that lead new visitors here: knowing the terms that people search for when they visit this blog helps me understand what type of information visitors expect.

Predictably, many of the terms have to do with machine tools: “MTConnect”, “Okuma”, and “THINC” turn up quite often in the search terms. Others are a little more surprising.

I think of each search term as a question that was never asked. So in this post, I thought I’d take some time and answer a few visitors’ unasked questions.

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Remote Access to THINC API, part III

Over the past month or so, I’ve been working on a project to provide remote access to Okuma’s THINC API. Since I’ve been working on this in my spare time, progress has been slow. Still, I started this series more than a month ago, and rather than meandering through numerous future entries, I’m going to try to bring some closure in part III.

So I’ll start at the end. Here’s the finished system…

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Remote access to THINC API

For developing custom solutions that run on the control itself, THINC API provides a powerful set of tools. We can read (and often write) a wide range of data: machine status, common variables, tool offsets, and so forth.

If we want access to that same range of data outside of the control, though, our options are a little more limited. For quite awhile, most solutions for remote THINC access were homegrown, and provided access only to the subset of THINC functionality needed for a specific project.

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Creating a Panel Mode application for THINC controls

The Okuma THINC controls are advanced CNCs that are based on the Windows platform. This makes it easy to provide solutions using off-the-shelf Windows software. Additionally, Okuma provides a THINC API to enable .NET developers to create new applications that interface with the CNC.

For this example, I’ll develop a simple application that addresses a common problem: changing the CNC panel mode. This is not a new idea: I’ve seen at least three different implementations, and it makes a simple introduction to THINC development.

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