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Четверг, 04 июня 2020 16:39

Achieving process optimization through simulation

Force IcebergProcess optimization links all the machining operations end-to-end to evaluate and improve the entire manufacturing process. Each step along the way, through engineering, design, CAM programming and machining and up to the final quality and inspection phase, can and should be optimized. Simulation ensures programs are error free and all operations work together as intended, but optimization ensures the whole process is operating as efficiently as possible to save time and money.

As machining gets more complex and customers expect more for less there is room for improvement in any manufacturing process. These improvements, which are not just about reducing costs, might include reduced NC program runtimes, increased throughput, making parts cheaper or getting a product from start to finish and out to market faster.

There are some very significant warning signs that will indicate when process optimization is clearly a must in a manufacturing business – missing delivery dates? Losing out on bids or not as competitive as rivals? Lost contracts and unsatisfied customers? Or declining profits?

Every level of the manufacturing process that a job goes through requires careful planning and communication and the aim of manufacturing is to make it through each step as quickly and efficiently as possible, with the least cost incurred.

In a typical manufacturing workflow VERICUT resides between CAM programming and machine set up.

Manufacturing workflow with VERICUT

Typical Manufacturing WorkflowCAM programmers know that modern machines move so fast it’s pretty much impossible to stop them before a crash occurs. VERICUT CNC simulation and verification software does a superior job at finding problems lurking in NC programs and warning of unexpected machine behaviour, even those occurring between multiple setups. It lets programmers resolve these issues before they reach the shop floor, crash the machine and waste valuable machine time.

With VERICUT the shopfloor can be confident that programs will run correctly. Verification will show if there are any errors or any areas that can’t be reached by the machine or the tools due to fixturing interference. Machinists don’t have to worry about crashes and they don’t have to waste time proving out because it’s already been done between the VERICUT and programming stages.

Having access to the free VERICUT reviewer at the machine tool to check the simulation against reality at anytime is a huge benefit to both shop floor and programmers as it avoids the “what happens next” disturbances during one off or first off production.

There’s also a positive ripple effect for other departments that coordinate with programming. Engineering and design can learn through verification if parts can be manufactured or if changes need to be made before metal cutting. Planning and scheduling will have more accurate cycle times and they won’t have to schedule prove-out times on the machines. The quality control and inspection team can expect higher levels of conformance and fewer issues which makes it easier to approve parts and get them delivered.

These are all areas where VERICUT is helping save time and money.

Silent Killers of NC manufacturing

But there are also the hidden issues, inefficiencies and missed opportunities to optimize processes that erode profit margins. Things like poor cutting methods, non-optimal feedrates in new and existing NC programs, over or under utilizing cutters and/or machine tools, all of which can be draining money with every part made. Some companies work really hard and very diligently optimizing programs but there are opportunities and savings to be had for all machine shops.

This is where Force and Force analysis charts come in.

Force Analysis and Charts

Force Fill ComparisonVERICUT Force recalculates feedrates to maintain ideal constant chip thickness while simultaneously reducing feedrates when needed to maintain safe cutting forces and spindle power, and it does this for each tool. Force is based on calculations and proven cutting data that’s been gathered from tooling manufacturers, material specifications and dyno testing.

It uses very specific cutting parameters, takes into consideration what kind of material is being used, as well as tool type and geometry. It couples this with the cutting conditions that VERICUT collects to give the best data that can be used to analyse and optimize the NC program.

Force charts visualize what’s happening during the machining process and expose areas of opportunity that exist in each NC program, such as erratic chip thickness, chip thinning and inefficient CAM paths that can all be resolved by optimizing feedrates. The charts also show areas of concern, for instance where the force exceeds what the tool capable of, such as excessive cutting conditions or potential for chatter, broken/chipped cutters or damage to part of the machine. In these instances VERICUT Force will lower the federate to keep the force under the limit that of the tools capability.

The impact of optimizing is dramatic, including reduced machining time and longer tool life, which will help the shopfloor by giving more machine capacity and maybe even postponing the purchase a new expensive machine. There will be less post machine clean up because produced parts will be better quality saving even more time per part. Programmers are going to benefit from having correct speeds and feeds information to achieve consistent machining results. All these positives reach all the way back to the quoting and estimating and mean manufacturers can be more aggressive and competitive with schedules and bids.

Simulating, verifying and optimizing simultaneously with VERICUT Force equates to a cumulative effect on process optimization resulting in significant time and money savings.

Published in Press Releases 2020

VERICUT Inspection ReportAs machining gets more complex and customers expect more for less the need for to simulate, verify and optimize the machining process has never been more compulsory in order to ensure reliability and efficiency, and to maximize productivity.
The highest level of NC simulation and verification is achieved using a highly accurate digital twin representation of the CNC machines, which are driven by the same post processed G-code or NC programs that run the machine. A digital twin means to digitally replicate real world component manufacture processes within software.

There are two critical items – are the virtual models correct, matching physical ones, and are the subroutines and parameters from the machine tool being used.

First critical aspect for simulation is making sure that the virtual models of all machine components, attachments, fixtures, clamps, cutting tools etc. match as closely as possible to what is being used on the shop floor in order to create the digital twin. The more accurate the simulation is the more reliable it will be in providing dependable outcomes.

If short cuts are taken, like omitting input data, relying on rough block size or using generic tools, it’s likely that surprises, issues and errors will arise later, which can be inconvenient and expensive on the shopfloor. This is where VERICUTs connectivity comes in.
Secondly is making sure the virtual machine uses actual parameters, subroutines and probing logic taken from the actual machine tool, making the digital twin behave exactly the same as the machine tool and its motions.

It helps having Connections

VERICUT can directly connect and communicate with multiple sources of software, including CAD/CAM, tool management systems and data from vendors and the cloud. This gives access to the most current information available and ensures that the virtual machine and simulation is as accurate as possible.

Using direct interfaces with all leading CAM systems VERICUT creates a seamless integration between the CAM system and simulation software, which streamlines data flow, avoids replication, eliminates human error and makes the transfer for multiple setups and operations quick and easy. Different stock models, design or finished parts and fixtures can be selected and imported into VERICUT ready to run a simulation – as simple and easy as that.

Likewise, with connections to various Tool management systems, including the Machining Cloud, Novo and Zoller etc. VERICUT can access a central source for cutting tool information and obtain highly accurate tool models. Other information such as speeds and feeds can be brought into VERICUT from the TDM system and used by programmers as a guideline to ensure that tools are not being over or under utilized or as a starting point for optimizing programs.

Connection goes both ways

Virtual machineConnectivity also goes beyond the information imported into VERICUT and also extends to the resulting simulation data that can be shared with other departments in order to improve efficiency. VERICUT has various tools that streamline communication and connectivity throughout the manufacturing process.

As well as reports that can be configured to run automatically after the simulation, log files, cutting data and images, VERICUT offers a complete Reviewer file. This is a file that can be opened by any Windows PC or tablet and allows users to view the full simulation. It’s a 3D representation of the simulation that can play forward and backward while removing and replacing material. The user can rotate, pan and zoom just like normal VERICUT, and the cut stock can be measured using all the standard X-Caliper tools. Tools such as reviewer and reports allow complete visibility throughout the manufacturing process of how parts should be produced and connects the entire workflow together.

Accurate simulation data means that the planning and scheduling department will have a better indication of cycle times, tool life information will be available for pre-setters, machinists will have confidence that the fixtures and programs are going to run correctly, NC Programmers can be assured that the process is actually producing the part as intended, and process engineers and quality control can easily trace errors or issues in the design or NC program. All this data can be collated before any actual machining is done, without wasting machine time, and can be fed back to high level personnel for operational planning and budgeting.

ConnectionsSo when the virtual world matches the real world chances for surprises in the shop are massively reduced, the manufacturing workflow operates more efficiently and maximizes time and therefore cost savings. VERICUT connects the process together and ensures the most accurate and reliable representation of the real world.

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Note to Editors
About CGTech
CGTech’s VERICUT® software is the standard for CNC simulation, verification, optimisation, analysis, and additive manufacturing. CGTech also offers programming and simulation software for composites automated fiber-placement, tape-laying, and drilling/fastening CNC machines. VERICUT software is used by companies of different sizes in all industries. Established in 1988, and headquartered in Irvine, California; CGTech has an extensive network of offices and resellers throughout the world. For more information, visit the CGTech website at www.cgtech.co.uk, call +44 (0)1273 773538, or email info.uk@cgtech.com.

Published in Press Releases 2020
Четверг, 04 июня 2020 16:48

VERICUT Version 9 fully optimized for maximum efficiency

The latest version of VERICUT CNC simulation, verification and optimization software was released earlier this year but continues to be improved and enhanced with additional incremental releases, which maintained users are automatically.

vericut 9 optimizedVERICUT 9 is a game changer for verifying NC programs, with sharper displays, clearer views of the cutting process and better utilization of the system resources, making it easier to spot problems and imperfections in machined parts. It runs a lot of operations multi-thread and really makes use of GPUs that previous versions didn’t do.

The biggest improvement visible to the end user in VERICUT 9 is the new, more flexible and all open GL viewing environment. Users get optimal performance running simulations in a single view or multiple views, seamlessly switching between Workpiece, Machine, or Profile views, or view layouts for optimal viewing.

Users no longer have to use individual views to perform each operation – run a machine simulation, cut a section while it’s running or use X-Caliper and AUTO-DIFF all in the same window. All this runs smoother and quicker than in previous versions and streamlines the verification effort to increase productivity.

With other enhancements users can automate many processes with just a click of button. Check cutting limits, check spindle direction, check coolant, check syntax, check tools – all these can be pre-set, saved in a master template and VERICUT will run the checks automatically. These are all things that will help even the most experienced VERICUT users to use the software more effectively.

Finding and fixing problems is now quicker than ever before. Program preview quickly runs through the program without actually cutting the part, identifying machine crashes, fixture crashes and travel limit errors Issues are identified in the VERICUT logger and clicking the error it takes you directly to the block in the NC program where the error occurs where changes can be made. Using the new Restart function there is no need to verify from the start. Just verify the NC code from the line where changes have been made. This will be a huge benefit anyone verifying large NC programs.

view base machineAs well as simulation and verification enhancements, Air-Cuts only optimization allows users to optimize tool motions that are not in contact with material with. This is included in Verification, it’s easy to use and it runs while simulating. For more advanced optimization, the VERICUT Force module comes with enhanced charts for analysing cutting conditions, chip thickness and tool deflection.

“The software is constantly improving making things quicker and easier for all users” Says Gavin Powell, CGTech Ltd Technical Director. “The aim is to help our customers be more efficient, more competitive and therefore more profitable.”

Published in Press Releases 2020
Понедельник, 29 июня 2020 18:34

VERICUT Version 9.1 - Raising the Bar for Simulation

CGTech is pleased to announce the latest release of VERICUT software, Version 9.1. VERICUT CNC machine simulation, verification, and optimization software simulates all types of CNC machining, additive, and hybrid manufacturing processes. The software operates independently, but can also be integrated with leading CAM system.

VERICUT 9.1 raises the bar for CNC simulation once again with several new cutting-edge features that increase efficiency and empower users to do more in less time. New visibility options, plus enhancements to toolpath optimization, Additive Manufacturing, tooling & Multi-tool Stations, measuring & Inspection/Reporting are just a few of the noteworthy features in this latest release. Hundreds of customer-driven improvements and software requests were also incorporated in this latest version.
 
“VERICUT 9.1 continues to enhance the User Experience through continued advancements with graphics and display controls, streamlined user controls, and more new capabilities and features than ever before”, says VERICUT Product Manager, Gene Granata. “Version 9.1 also introduces a Learn mode for Force optimization - a form of Artificial Intelligence for faster/easier NC Program optimization. Using Learn mode, almost anyone can create highly optimized NC programs from existing programs, without having to reprogram them.”

Enhanced Visibility
New visibility features have been added to the Project Tree and VERICUT’s right-click convenience menus for components and models, enabling users to toggle between visible and invisible states, or to enable/disable 3-D objects for the simulation. Quickly see unobstructed views of the cutting process and gain better access to the part by removing enclosures, models of sheet metal or shrouding, and other “in-the-way” objects via “Invisible” or “Disable” actions.
 
New Visibility Options for AUTO-DIFF
Similar to the above, new features have been added to AUTO-DIFF giving users a higher degree of control over component visibility, such as when Fixture models should appear.
 
X-Caliper Annotated Images
Setup Plan has been renamed to Annotated Images. VERICUT Inspection is also now included with Annotated Images. Both Setup Plan and IVERICUT91 AnnotatedImagesmallnspection functionality is greatly enhanced with dimensions, notes and tolerances for checking parts at various stages of machining. Easily create professional looking and informative setup plans and inspection images stored with view layouts - ready to print as “shop aid” documents, or to appear in VERICUT’s comprehensive Reports.

Shanks in Cutting Tool Assemblies
Defining shanks as separate objects from the holder and cutter enables programmers to see where these non-cutting portions of the cutter are - relative to the stock workpiece, and allows more discrete control over near miss and collision detection properties and tolerances. Tool holder models can also be used as “Shanks”.
 
Streamlined Optimization with A.I.
The Optimize Control window has been streamlined to fit in a single window with no tabs. Relevant features become active in subsections depending on which Mode is selected. A new Force “Learn” Mode is available, providing Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) for optimization. In Learn mode, VERICUT learns from simulating cutting, then automatically configures & optimizes tools for increased cutting efficiency and reduced machining times.
 
Force Charts
VERICUT91 ForcesmallNew “Save All As” Optimization Settings option added to the right mouse menu when clicking on a Force Chart. New ability to ‘Learn From Results’ enables optimization settings for a tool or all tools that were analyzed.

Additive Manufacturing
VERICUT 9.1 has a new “Additive” Default Machining Type. This enables VERICUT to predict system resources that will be needed to additively build the as-designed part, including a starting stock build plate or model.
 
VERICUT can build multiple parts created by a “nested” build NC program, enabling additively built parts to be independently relocated or assembled for finish machining, or exported. This feature is especially helpful for Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) and Large Scale Additive Manufacturing (LSAM) parts.

DXF Import
The DXF Import feature has been enhanced with several new features. The DXF reader can now read the layers within a DXF file and automatically detect CUT/NOCUT layers. Additional layers can be checked on to use as additional components.

Published in Press Releases 2020

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