The latest CAM simulation software release from Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence (North Kingstown, RI) includes new and enhanced functionality that provides users with the ability to execute tasks for existing projects on a remote server. Based on client/server scheduler architecture, this version of the NCSIMUL machining module includes automation functionality that gives the user wider control of their jobs on other devices by communicating with distant servers. “Users can follow the status of the job and receive a notification when it’s complete,” said NCSIMUL technical director Philippe Legoupi, who adds that a dedicated GUI allows tasks such as simulation, cut analysis and 3D movies to be performed on any device. The Automation Module provides a number of significant benefits, including a guarantee that a full 100 percent of the program sent to the workshop is validated by the simulation.
“For most minor modifications in the CAM, such as the number of passes or changing the cutting conditions, the end user won’t verify the program because it’s too tedious – for example, starting the software, reloading the program and starting the simulation,” noted Legoupi. The system enables customers to implement their own automation rules according to constraints and production priorities. Legoupi explained how the tasks all feature in a command file that also shows the parameters to use and can be customized. This means customers can be sure that all program verification and simulation accurately follows requirements. It also maximizes license usage. For example, if a shop has just one license, they can use this module to postpone tasks with the scheduler until lunchtimes or overnight. “Shops with several licenses don’t need to use the scheduler at all – the server starts automatically when there are enough licenses for interactive sessions,” said Legoupi.
The high-end NCSIMUL MACHINE 2020.0, which detects NC programming errors and any potential collisions from the same NC code that drives the CNC machine, also contains enhancements to a variety of functions, including:
- Probing. It is now possible to set specific simulation parameters for probing simulation during decoding. There is also the option to simplify the tool shape to reduce calculation times, define default values into preferences, and use interactive comments and ACNU functions to define any elements to ignore during the calculation of probing contact points.
- Optitool. The latest version of NCSIMUL features an improvement of chips flow computation and display on each increment, and the flow can also be used for optimization as a limitation parameter.
The latest release of 4CAM, the NCSIMUL flexible CNC programming module, also includes a number of items of new and enhanced functionality:
- Sequences optimization – Dependencies computation displays the link between operations, allowing the user to know which ones create the initial stock. Proposal of tools sequence reorganization to reduce the number of machine stops for changing inserts.
- Link between operation – Calculates, by iterations, the nearest link between operations which have the same tool orientation.
- Apt Import – It is now possible to import multiple files in one process for each group of operations, and the default settings are defined into preferences. “Also, the import can update existing trajectories, while keeping the options and repeat functions,” explained Legoupi. “And a report displays the actions carried out during the import, such as updating, and adding and deleting operations.”
Other enhancements to NCSIMUL 4CAM include options within Scraps Management for computing intermediate stock and cut analysis, the ability to write an interactive comment in the program, defining an origin on rotary axes, and managing tool sisters by writing a tool change code in the program for a selected operation that culminates in the machine loading the sister tool if required. “NCSIMUL MACHINE continues to build user confidence that their parts will be accurately and swiftly validated offline, speeding up production, and optimizing resources and machining results,” concluded Legoupi. “And updates in this latest 4CAM module enrich the existing CAM process by simplifying CNC programming even further while providing unparalleled flexibility on the shop floor. With one click users can change the target machine without any CAM reprogramming.”
For production management, WORKPLAN 2020.0 from the Production Software business of Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence includes new and enhanced functionality that makes it the first integrated project management system combining ERP and MES in a single database. Incorporating new features normally only found in MES solutions, this system now positions itself as the main tool for centralizing company data to improve production management, including machine events, monitoring, CMMS, CAM supervision, workflow, and part traceability. “This is the first ERP system to integrate MES functions as standard, putting it firmly as the backbone of a company, combining sales and production management, as well providing workshop supervision in real time,” said brand manager Christophe Mas. WORKPLAN 2020.0 integrates internet solutions for job-time tracking on the World Wide Web, including clock-in/out time tickets at the start and end of the working day, and time spent on both productive and non-productive activities to avoid the need for additional time-consuming data input.
Not all shops managing steel panel-type materials have the capacity or desire to set up a complete management system. “WORKPLAN 2020.0 offers a simple and efficient stock-management solution for them, including aspects such as stock reception/withdrawal, inventory, scrap management and traceability,” explained Mas. The system is even more time efficient when interfaced with ALPHACAM programming software. As soon as a program is validated, data reporting in WORKPLAN and information about panels and plates is all completed in a few mouse clicks. An Activity Basket performs a variety of functions to manage diverse production processes. “When several tasks from different projects are performed simultaneously within a single production operation, such as 3D printing, heat treatment, punching, or laser cutting, it’s difficult to monitor and assign real cycle times and materials to each project without causing issues with job reports,” noted Mas. “Now, when preparing production, users can create an Activity Basket of operations, grouped by service, and manage all cost distribution according to their individual needs.”
The supervision window allows consolidation of all pending, in-progress or finished baskets and programs, either by operator or service. And information is available on real-time progress, documentation, and the number of components produced. An improved interface in WORKPLAN 2020.0 connects with the Enterprise and Online version of QuickBooks accounting software to swiftly transfer all customer and supplier invoices data, along with full company records. It is also possible to import the full list of manufacturing operations from a Cabinet Vision project into a WORKPLAN quotation, incorporating the expected time based on the Bid Center’s rate tables. All of this new and enhanced functionality further increases performance for project-based shops competing in the aerospace, automotive, mechanical and sheet metal sectors. “Users can accurately manage and analyze their entire manufacturing process step by step, from quotation to invoicing,” added Mas. “This is the first ERP system to integrate MES functions as standard.”
Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, 250 Circuit Drive, North Kingstown, RI 02852, 401-886-2000, Fax: 401-886-2727, www.hexagonmi.com.
Allied Europe and Wohlhaupter Added to Allied Machine and Engineering’s Digital Platform
This addition to the platform provides the unique opportunity to get to know Allied Machine as a global tooling solution provider.
ACE Provides Free Machine Tool Training
NTMA has endorsed America’s Cutting Edge training program to engage the next generation of machinists and revitalize American manufacturing.