Widespread CAM software use at MACH

Partnership arrangements with machine tool manufacturers, along with considerable interest in its new Designer CAD for CAM system, were Vero Software’s highlights at the recent MACH 2018 exhibition.

With a total of 18 partner hotspots around the show, Edgecam programmed 12 CNC machines on nine manufacturer stands, demonstrating five-axis simultaneous machining, Waveform turning and milling, mill-turning, wire EDM and certified posts.
For instance, DMG Mori ran Edgecam on its DMU 60 Evo Linear machine with a five-axis simultaneous program, and an NTX 2000 for mill-turning operations.
“The linear machine is especially dynamic, moving at 80 m/min, and we created an impeller from an aluminium block which was the maximum size for our handling system – 410 mm wide and 200 mm high,” explains DMG Mori’s UK showroom manager Christopher Cooper (pictured). “We used Edgecam to produce code which would show the machine’s full capabilities, moving the part around and removing material in the most efficient way.”
Edgecam also reported considerable interest in its new Designer module – a direct modelling system which is intended to fill the gap between CAD and CAM, focusing on the specific needs of machinist programmers.
As a stand-alone, optional application, Designer enables users to create new designs or modify existing geometry from third party CAD systems. As it
is not dependent on having a series of parameters that drive it, or a feature tree, it is said to provide a quick and dynamic editing and modelling environment, where users sketch, drag, hold, push or twist, to create and modify models.
As well as Edgecam, Vero also demonstrated VISI, Radan, WorkXplore and its ERP systems, generating strong leads from increased footfall in comparison with the previous MACH.
For further information www.verosoftware.com

Fast and simple tooling data solution

CNC Software Inc, developer of Mastercam, has collaborated with carbide tooling specialist Widia, to provide a solution that enables CAM users to quickly import tool assemblies from Widia Novo directly into Mastercam 2018.

Mastercam developers worked closely with Widia to let users import 3D tool assemblies directly into Mastercam, validate them, and save them in their Mastercam file and/or tool library. Features such as automated filtering ensure that the holders and tools which are selected can work together for the particular job. Users of Mastercam benefit from having the correct tooling for the material and type of machining operation, plus an accurate 3D model that can be used for visualisation and collision checking, in addition to the time savings.
“We found that in the past, our customers complained of having to search through big complicated catalogues to find related parts, then having to request or build the assemblies from scratch for use in systems such as Mastercam,” says Rich Taft, product owner at CNC Software. “With the integration of Widia Novo and Mastercam, customers save significant time searching for desired tools and building 3D tool assemblies that can be brought directly into Mastercam for easy use by most shops.
“Accurate tool definitions are a critical factor in modern CAM applications. Tool-path algorithms take advantage of these definitions to provide safe and efficient motion. In addition, the models that we import from Widia Novo help us to generate accurate in-process stock models that can be leveraged in subsequent operations. Customers can also make use of these models in verification and machine simulation to catch programming errors before the program ever gets to the machine tool.”
For further information www.widia.com/novo

Balancing automated and manual input

The 2018 R2 release of sheet-metal software Radan, includes newly developed functionality that gives users a greater degree of manual control whenever flexibility is required for certain aspects of their individual production processes.

According to the company, while full automation is ideal for simple parts, and plays an important role in manufacturing complex components, there is often the need for some complementary manual input. As a result, the company has added several more focused tools that allow users to better control this requirement.
One such tool is ‘Grid Nesting’, which gives additional flexibility for users wanting to create or manipulate a nest manually. For example, if a sheet is not completely full, users can either let the automatic nester take over or, if they have a clear idea of what is required, deploy Grid Nesting to provide an easy way of filling a space with a particular part. Users can even stipulate the component nesting direction. The previous version allowed users to manipulate automation to get the required result, but Grid Nesting achieves it much faster.
Moving on to new automation functions, a major update is an improved way of calculating the most effective remnants. Previously, the operator had to manually choose the shape of the remnant – square or rectangle – but the ‘Improved Remnant Handling’ function ensures the best possible option is always cut.
Another newly developed function, ‘Picker Arm Movement’, provides additional automation on the machine tool. Automated systems which manipulate the part after it is cut are becoming increasingly popular, even for large, complex components; Radan now automatically predicts the best way to handle the part, so the operator does not have to make that decision.
For further information www.radan.com

Edgecam helps optimise tooling performance

A cutting-tool distributor has reduced a customer’s machining cycle on a complex aerospace component from 4 hours 20 minutes to just 93 minutes, by programming it with Edgecam.

It was part of the technical solutions programme from Advanced Cutting Tools (ACT), where the company optimises customer machining strategies. The technical solutions programme is a partnership with Vero Software’s CAM package, Edgecam.
ACT owner and managing director Michael Richardson says the company now provides its customers with machining strategies and Edgecam CAM programming for specific parts. “Our philosophy is that the cutting tool you buy from us isn’t important, but what you do with it, is. So we look at the components our customers want to produce with the cutting tools, and what they’re looking to achieve with them. That may include increased productivity, greater efficiency or faster machining cycles. In many cases we’ll suggest changes to the strategies and give them an Edgecam program for optimum machining of the part.”
To ensure that the cutting tools are always implemented with the correct CAM strategies, two ACT employees have recently undertaken a four-day Edgecam training course, one of whom is Mark Ranft. “We introduce Edgecam to our customers whenever we believe that there’s an opportunity to improve their manufacturing process,” he says. “It gives our technical department considerably more depth and means we can offer an important added-value service, giving us a serious competitive edge.”
Ranft programs parts on Edgecam at customer premises, and says they can instantly see the benefits. “We’ve recently carried out a job where Edgecam reduced a cycle time by more than half, from 25 minutes to 12 minutes.”
For further information www.edgecam.com

CAM features many enhancements

NCG CAM Solutions has released the latest version (v16.0) of its NCG CAM software.

This major release includes a number of new features, including: selected surface machining for waterline passes; combined passes for waterline and constant step-over; tangential extension for raster passes; five-axis flank machining; and many user-interface functions and enhancements.
Selected surface machining for waterline passes provides the ability to machine up to the surface edges without the need to create a boundary, in the same way as can be selected for shallow raster, radial and spiral strategies.
Retaining the waterline theme, a further new routine is available that allows the creation of waterline passes between the upper angle of 90° down to a specified lower angle. Constant step-over passes are then created to ‘fill in’ the shallow areas between the specified lower angle and 0°. Linking is a single operation from the top down, so that the linking order is a combination of waterline, constant step-over, waterline, and so on. This strategy will give a smoother finish because it allows the machining to be done in one operation, avoiding the problem of cutter wear.
In previous software versions, extending raster passes would allow the cutter to roll over the edge. Now, a new extension option creates passes which are extended at a tangent to the ends of the existing passes, and therefore extend the path beyond and away from the material being cut. The result of this functionality is that sharper edges are maintained. A horizontal pass extension has also been added.
With regard to five-axis strategies, flank machining is a new process that can be used typically for turbo-engine components, including turbine and impeller blades.
For further information www.ncgcam.com

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