CloudNC has developed a world-first autonomous manufacturing technology, able to program CNC machines automatically direct from CAD using AI technology – the company is collaborating with DMG MORI to support its expansion and aims to produce fully autonomous factories.
At the heart of the technological advance is the use of AI, advanced manufacturing processes and an industry-leading manufacturing culture.
“We’re leveraging this software to produce components to aerospace grade quality at breakthrough prices,” says Theo Saville, co-founder and CEO of CloudNC. “Reduced cycle times and a total lack of CAM programming costs are just part of the picture. We’re building an all-encompassing Factory Operating System to automate and streamline all aspects of the precision manufacturing process.”
Proof of concept is taking place at CloudNC’s Factory 1 in Chelmsford, UK, and it has agreed to a collaborative partnership with DMG MORI to supply, install and maintain its CNC machine tools. Already the company has chosen the DMU 50 3rd Generation, 60 eVo linear and DMU 95 monoBlock platforms and is using Factory 1 as a testing ground for the machines, their configuration and its software and methods.
“We intend to replicate the successful configuration of Factory 1 at our future manufacturing plants and we identified DMG MORI as a company capable of manufacturing and delivering the volume of advanced machinery we will require,” Saville added. “It has an excellent reputation, an international presence and a support and service network which will match our plans to bring autonomous machining to market, regardless of where we go.”
With autonomous manufacturing, CloudNC is making the future of manufacturing a reality. Till now, metal additive manufacture has been seen as the future solution for high value parts, but the technology is faced with significant problems such as speed, quality of finish and the need for post manufacture machining operations to achieve the required accuracy.
“Clearly, additive manufacture has its place for parts which are impossible or very difficult to manufacture with subtractive techniques,” says Saville. “However, it is a niche application and the technology we have developed will make it possible to manufacture simple to complex parts in any volume with no human intervention directly from the CAD data. Our Autonomous Machining Technology iterates through millions of possible manufacturing solutions for any part to find the optimum method, delivering the cost and time saving benefits associated with mass production for small quantities. Perfect parts delivered in any quantity in a matter of days, on-time and to-spec every time, at half of today’s price will gradually become the status quo.
“This service is in beta testing across a range of clients and we’re now expanding capacity to add more.”
Steve Finn, Managing Director of DMG MORI UK says, “CloudNC’s concept of an autonomous factory is very exciting and once realized will initiate a significant change in high value part manufacture. We are delighted to be selected as the collaborative partner and, with our international support network and our machine building capacity we will be able to provide the level of service and support that this project requires.”
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