This article discusses converting QC-Gage 3.4 to 4.0. If you are looking to convert GageStation, make sure to follow this article for the QC-Gage part and then follow the Upgrading QC-CALC to 4.0 article (in related links) for the QC-CALC part. Generally conversion consists of 2-3 steps; installation, conversion of settings, and optionally conversion of spec plans to the new SP2 format.
Note: As of QC-Gage 4.0, newly created spec plans default to the newer .sp2 format (vs. the older .spl format). The new format is much faster than the older format when there are more than 20-30 features, but both continue to be supported by QC-Gage 4.0. To convert your existing spec plans, see the section below called "Converting SPL to SP2". This is an optional conversion and can be done at any time.
This involves installing the software and copying all settings from your previous version. As outlined above, start with the data collection software (QC-CALC Real-Time, Gagestation, QC-Gage)
- Install Gagestation/QC-Gage 4.0 on the same PC as Gagestation/QC-Gage 3.x if possible. If not possible, skip to Copying Settings Manually section below.
- On first run of QC-Gage, a message will appear saying QC-Gage 3.x was detected and offer you an opportunity to copy your settings forward. Choose Yes to keep your previous version's settings and use them with 4.0. QC-Gage will copy all settings and related files from 3.4 and use them going forward. If you are using the Administrative Tools, 4.0 will automatically be redirected to the same user group as your previous version.
- If you are using SQL Server as the database type, choose Tools > Options > Data Storage. Choose MS SQL Server from the Data Storage Type dropdown and enter your connection path into the 4 fields on the Data Storage screen.
NOTE: Spec plans from the previous version of QC-Gage along with their linked pictures and gage scripts will be copied to the 4.0 folders. In addition, the button file (file that determines the look and layout of buttons on the main QC-Gage screen) will be copied and all buttons will be re-linked to the new spec plan locations. Any quick launch (bar code) links will be updated to the new versions of the spec plans.
2. Copying Settings Manually
NOTE: Skip this section if you installed QC-Gage 4.0 on the same PC as your previous version.
Shut down any previous version of the software that is running. This will ensure you are not writing to the settings files as they are being copied.
Copy the following files from the old version's directory (i.e. c:\Prolink\QC-Gage 3.4\) to the new directory (i.e. c:\ProgramData\Prolink\QC-Gage 4.0\). Due to Microsoft's software requirements there are two new directories in QC-CALC 4.0; the ProgramData directory and the Users\Public directory.
The directories are typically the ones below unless you installed QC-CALC in a different directory than the default. In this case, the lowest folder will differ slightly in name.
ProgramData directory: C:\ProgramData\Prolink\QC-CALC 4.0
Users\Public directory: C:\Users\Public\Prolink\QC-CALC 4.0
WARNING: Do not copy any files not listed here.
Copy the following files to the ProgramData directory:
- Admin.ini - This may be hidden. Turn on "hidden files" in Windows Explorer.
- Global Gages.ini
Copy the following files to the Users\Public directory:
- \Scripts folder
- \SpecPlans folder
3. Converting Spec Plans from SPL to SP2
To convert your existing spec plans to the new SP2 format, use the following steps.
- In QC-Gage, choose Tools > Launch Spec Plan Bulk Edit Tool to launch the Bulk Spec Plan Editor.
- Navigate to a path where there are spec plans (choose option to show only .spl files).
- Move the spec plans you wish to convert to the selected list on right.
- Select the plus button to add an action.
- Choose the Finish Settings from the Wizard Screen drop-down list.
- Choose the Enable option under Save this spec plan in SP2 format.
- Click the Process button to convert your spec plans.
Note: The original spec plan will still be intact as a .spl file. It is recommended that you remove the originals (copy them to an archive area) so you do not get confused. In addition, any buttons or Quick Launch (bar code) shortcuts that are mapped to the original spec plans should be re-mapped to the new .sp2 files.
Running 4.0 in Parallel Mode
If you wish to try out QC-CALC 4.0 rather than migrating to it immediately, you can run it in parallel mode with 3.4. The concept is that your production QC-CALC 3.4/Gagestation 3.4 will stay exactly as is preserving your production process while you try out 4.0.
Note: Parallel mode only works with QC-CALC 3.4/Gagestation 3.4 and when QC-CALC 4.0 is installed on the same physical PC.
- Install QC-CALC 4.0 as instructed above including settings and data conversion for either QCQ or SQL Server.
- Launch QC-CALC Real-Time 4.0 and choose Help > Run in Parallel with QC-CALC 3.4.
Whenever QC-CALC 3.4 collects data from that point forward, QC-CALC 4.0 will collect the same data (regardless as to whether it's CMM data or Gagestation data) a couple of seconds later. You do not need to specify the same machine type in QC-CALC 4.0 or set any other settings other than the database type. If you have converted your existing QCC files to the new database type before enabling Parallel Mode, QC-CALC 3.4 and 4.0 should look identical from a data perspective.