Vero Software and SPRING Technologies are celebrating the first anniversary of their partnership in May, which has led to manufacturers fully simulating how NC programs will perform, before they start cutting metal on their CNC machines.
With just one mouse click, relevant NC code data is transferred from inside the market-leading CAM system Edgecam, to SPRING Technologies’ NCSIMUL machine simulation software, preventing expensive collisions, optimising the cutting process and reducing cycle time, whatever the complexity of machines or machining processes.
Engineers simply transfer information about the generation of NC programs through the Edgecam/NCSIMUL interface to run a full simulation. As well as safeguarding both the machine tool and cutting tool, simulations reduce the testing time on machines which yields higher productivity rates.
Edgecam General Manager Raf Lobato says: “It allows engineers to simulate and verify NC code produced by Edgecam, before it is actually sent to the machine tool, giving complete peace of mind. It simulates the true life tool path before it goes to the NC machine and verifies it, inspecting the program, verifies the complex movements and optimises the machining operation settings.”
SPRING Technologies CEO Gilles Battier says: “The time required to test a program on the NC machine tool is the difference between the machining time needed for a real part, and the time the test takes. This difference varies according to the test methods that are used: before machining, on a resin, wood or foam model, then a real part using the "block by block" method; machining the real part, but using the "block by block” method; or machining the real part at reduced speeds.
“However, if a problem occurs immediate action will have to be taken to modify the program, causing the machine and the operator to stand idle while this is done. The Edgecam/NCSIMUL interface does away with this time consuming process, reducing costs and ensuring profitability around the manufacturing operation.”
But collisions are what all NC programmers and operators fear the most, as Raf Lobato explains: “The ability to avoid it can, by itself, justify adopting machining simulation. The breakage of equipment or machinery can be expensive to repair and leads to lengthy machine downtime, but it can also be a source of risk for personnel. Therefore everything should be done to eliminate it.
“Though technological progress has reduced levels of breakage of tools, clamps and other fixtures, it still happens enough for manufacturers to build it into a cost analysis. But using Edgecam with its NCSIMUL interface prevents these costly collisions.”
Gilles Battier concludes: “When we entered into this partnership a year ago the aim was to give production engineers and manufacturers a way to optimise their machines with CNC programming to improve productivity.
During the last 12 months we have seen many companies use the Edgecam/NCSIMUL interface to prevent the risk of collisions and tool breakages, and reduce testing times to yield higher productivity rates of up to 40%.
“Users range from small production engineering subcontractors, through to large global corporations manufacturing their own products.”