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Controls and CAD/CAM

Latest controls and software enhancements can dramatically improve productivity

Manufacturers seeking a productivity boost should look no farther than adding some of the latest CNC controls or CAM software to increase their metalcutting efficiencies.

With the latest developments in CAD/CAM software and CNC controls, manufacturers can improve overall machining efficiencies and compete more effectively in the tough manufacturing field. Among the improvements in the CAD/CAM field, CAM software developers are increasing support of 3-D solid models and newer multifunction/multitasking machine tools, adding feature-recognition capabilities, and adding new toolpaths for highspeed machining and five-axis machining techniques.

"The major trend in CAD is the increased use of 3-D design data rather than 2-D representations," notes Hugh Humphreys, managing director of Delcam plc (Birmingham, UK). "While this has been common in larger companies for some time, especially in the automotive and aerospace industries, 3-D is now becoming more common in all sectors. The consequences of the adoption of 3-D methods for design can be seen in the downstream operations. For example, more tooling design is now being carried out completely in 3-D, rather than in 2-D.

"Similarly, more programming is being undertaken offline from 3-D CAD data using a CAM system, rather than on the machine tool control based on drawings, and inspection is being carried out against CAD data rather than drawings," Humphreys adds. "Developments in CAM are mainly linked to developments in machine tools, in particular the increasing popularity of high-speed machining, five-axis machining, and mill-turn equipment. A range of products are now available to program these advanced machines, and so take advantage of the increased productivity and flexibility they offer."

At IMTS, Delcam plans to show visitors the latest CAM and inspection software offerings, as the company recently introduced new versions of all of its range of CAD/CAM software. New advanced machining strategies to Feature-MILL3D from Delcam USA (Salt Lake City) will permit significant increases in calculation speeds for 3-D toolpaths, resulting in faster machining and improved surface finish.

In addition, Delcam's new version of its PS-Moldmaker 3-D package will make mold design with the software even faster, both in the generation of the initial design and when making design modifications, according to Humphreys. Delcam's PowerMILL CAM system also has been updated with new functionality for three-axis and five-axis machining, including a wider range of five-axis strategies, intelligent plunge milling, three-axis swarf machining, and parametric surface finishing, along with faster calculation times and easier data management.

Interoperability issues in CAD remain an obstacle for manufacturers, according to Chuck Mathews, vice president, DP Technology Corp. (Camarillo, CA). With new functionality called Esprit FX included in DP Technology's Esprit 2007 CAM package, users can automatically capture the original design intent and clearly define what they're machining, allowing faster and more accurate programming of parts. "We think that this idea has been missing and sometimes the customers doesn't know what to ask for," Mathews notes. "What's happening is that when a designer designs a part and passes it to the CAM programmer, they're always thinking about passing geometry, then the CAM programmer has to interpret that geometry, using some method, maybe experience, talking to the designer, or from other documentation, in order to understand what the part is actually comprised of, and that helps them decide how to make it.

"A classic example would be surface finishes or a hole; if it's a casting, some parts are machined and some parts are not," Mathews says. "If you have multistep operations, like in turning, you might have some diameters that need to have a high degree of tolerance, and your machining dimensions don't even match the part dimensions. You might need to machine leaving some extra material, to do some grinding later on. So many of these types of things are lost when you just talk about transferring geometry, and we believe there's a big need to transfer the complete intent of the design."

With the new FX technology in Esprit 2007, users can transfer portions of the original CAD data that previously were lost, according to the company, including features, tolerances, material properties, surface finishes, and other data. The system allows users to map CAD data on features and associated properties into machinable features, providing a complete definition of what should be machined.

"In any CAD system you're describing some features of a part, which create the actual geometry," Mathews says. "Most CAD systems today, such as SolidWorks, Autodesk Inventor, or PTC's ProEngineer, are feature-based so you describe a feature that you want on the part, and then the software actually creates some geometry. What they then do is they pass that geometry into the CAM system, and then the CAM system uses feature recognition—it's like reverse-engineering, which actually just looks at the geometry and from the geometry tries to re-interpret what the original feature was."

Multitasking/multifunction machines have become more popular in recent years, and CAM software developer CNC Software Inc. (Tolland, CT) will be adding multitasking support to its Mastercam software by the end of the year, according to Mark Summers, CNC Software president. At IMTS, CNC Software plans to showcase Mastercam enhancements for high-speed machining and five-axis machining.

"Among the top trends, as far as toolpath and direct machine-tool support, I would say there's a lot of activity going on with multitasking machines," Summers notes. "There's no absolute standard yet, the sky's the limit, and everybody just dreams up their own idea of what a multitasking machine should be, but the bottom line is pretty much the same—that they'll do more operations on a part than a standard two-axis lathe or a three-axis mill."

Multitasking machines also offer manufacturers less setup time, less part handling, and often better accuracy, Summers adds. "Every time you transfer a part from one machine to another, you have to worry about the accuracy of the fixture; how accurately did the part go into the fixture? If you don't have to re-fixture the part then theoretically, the accuracy should be much better," he says. "If you have better accuracy, you should be able to maintain your tolerances better. If you've got some really tight parts and there's a problem going from one machine to another, then certainly you could scrap more parts."

Adding multitasking support means a significant investment in programming. "From a CAD/CAM perspective, it's not a simple machine to support," says Summers, who says that Mastercam Multitasking should be completed by the end of this year. "It's a lot of work to do a nice job with it, and it's a struggle to make a streamlined interface so the average person, the average machinist, can quickly understand how to use that type of software, because you're supporting a pretty complex machine. It's an order of magnitude more complex than a three-axis mill or a two-axis lathe—there's a lot more thinking involved. We're always trying to make it smoother and create more tools that detect changes from CAD systems more automatically, and have a better interaction."

Controls equipment suppliers are driving new developments in concert with the push toward lean manufacturing and other efficiency strategies, including new software to help manufacturers control machining costs and boost their overall automation productivity. "A push for increased automation is a major driving force in the industry," notes Paul Webster, CNC controls product manager, GE Fanuc Automation (Charlottesville, VA). "As manufacturers strive to be lean in their production techniques, more robotics in flexible machining and assembly cells is a current trend, and Fanuc is a major manufacturer of robots, machine tools, and CNC controls. This tight integration of products fits very well, and GE Fanuc will be demonstrating several machining and assembly cells at IMTS.

"Five-axis machines are gaining popularity outside the traditional aerospace markets," Webster adds, "as demand for more complex designs spreads across the manufacturing industry. The new requirements for five-axis machining are user friendliness and programmability." At IMTS, GE Fanuc will show new solutions that emphasize speed and accuracy for programming five-axis applications, he notes. "Setup, tuning, and simulation assistance significantly increased visibility this year," Webster says, "and CNC controls and servosystems are extremely complex. Software packages have been implemented to assist the machine-tool builders while commissioning a machine."

The company also will show solutions for parameter support, CNC with logic simulators, and servo tuning at its booth. "Metal fabrication and injection molding have typically been the realm of hydraulics," Webster says. "A recent trend pushed by rising energy costs, productivity, and accuracy demands is a move to servo-driven industrial machines. GE Fanuc will be highlighting servo technology for large industrial machines in addition to our offering to our core CNC market."

Network-centric controls are among several trends that are forecast to significantly affect new emerging control architecture and functionality, according to Wolfgang Rubrecht, general manager, Siemens Energy & Automation (Elk Grove Village, IL), who sees the evolution of new network-centric control architectures with the emergence of Profinet (Industrial Ethernet) as becoming the dominant standard in factory automation.

Other trends Rubrecht notes will affect controls vendors include highly reliable integrated control solutions with a reduced footprint, such as the new generation of Sinumerik controls and drives; increased usage of integrated motor spindles and direct drive linear motors within the machine construction; and mechatronics, a service from Siemens that is offered to machine tool OEMs to reduce the development time of new machines with integrated spindles and linear motors.

"Siemens carries out a 'dynamic stiffness analysis' of the machine concepts at the pre-design stage by combining the finite element model of the machine tool together with the transfer functions controlling the inner workings of its drive and control set," Rubrecht says. "Another trend is the desire to monitor individual machines on the production floor for productivity and predictive maintenance—Siemens MCIS [Motion Control Information Systems] and ePS Network Services are both geared towards plant monitoring and maintenance over standard Ethernet or the Internet."

At IMTS 2006, Siemens will introduce its new Sinumerik solution line, which is based on a completely new design architecture centered around a new generation of digital drives called Sinamics, and will include the Sinumerik 802D sl, Sinumerik 840D sl and Sinumerik 840Di sl controls. "The accurate machining of extremely large parts is indeed a challenge for the aerospace industry," Rubrecht adds, "and Siemens will introduce a new product called SinVCS [Sinumerik Volumetric Compensation System] at this year's IMTS. With this software option, the Sinumerik 840D, a standard in the American aerospace industry, is capable of compensating the mechanical inaccuracies of the machines in the three-dimensional cutting envelope within which a part is placed, during five-axis machining."

New digital control solutions from Bosch Rexroth Corp. (Hoffman Estates, IL) include the IndraDrive line of controls that offers manufacturers a wide range of products to improve productivity. With the IndraDrive platform, Rexroth can provide finished solutions totally based on the IndraDrive, eliminating the need for external PLC controllers, according to Scott Hibbard, vice president, technology, Bosch Rexroth Electric Drives and Controls.

At IMTS, Rexroth will showcase its IndraMotion CNC platform including the MTXcompact, which features the same form-factor as the panel-mount Inline I/O system. The MTXcompact offers full CNC functionality for eight axes across two independent CNC channels, including a fast IndraLogic PLC. Like the other MTX CNC form factors, the MTXcompact offers Sercos drive communication, a full Profibus DP master/slave interface, and Ethernet interface.

"Specifically machines with multiple stations, such as rotary and linear transfer machines, can be economically designed by networking multiple MTXcompact to a single PC-based HMI at the head station or zone controller main station," notes Hibbard. "Low-cost machines with any HMI, such as Windows XP and Windows CE PCs, can also take advantage of the its performance and the uniform IndraDrive from Rexroth."

The following products are representative of the equipment that will be shown in the Controls and CAD/CAM pavilion at IMTS 2006. — Patrick Waurzyniak

Simulation Software

Company will showcase updated Vericut 6.0 CNC machine simulation and optimization software. Enhanced software has new features designed to increase the ability of CNC programmers and manufacturing engineers to analyze and optimize the entire machining process in order to increase manufacturing efficiency. Software package ties complex machining processes together with the ability to simulate multiple setups in a single simulation session. New version also includes enhanced collision-checking that monitors spindle states for milling and turning simulation, enabling the software to catch common programming errors with spindle and cutting-tool usage.
CGTech Corp.
Ph: (949) 753-1050

Updated Control

Company will display its new Sinumerik 840D solution line controls offering the latest CNC technology that increases performance and user productivity. Targeted at the aerospace market, the 840D solution line is a universal and flexible CNC system featuring the innovative Sinamics S120 drives and can be used for up to 31 axes. The control is a distributed, scalable, open and interconnecting system offering a wide range of specialized functions for milling, drilling, turning, grinding, and handling technologies. The system offers users innovative features that increase productivity on the manufacturing floor, especially the challenging segments of high-speed and fiveaxis aerospace machining.
Siemens Energy & Automation
Ph: (800) 879-8079

Productivity Software

Company will showcase its manufacturing productivity solutions, including the Proficy Machine Tool Efficiency (MTE) software program, designed to pinpoint production bottlenecks and improve the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) of existing machine tools. The new Proficy MTE version 4.0 will be displayed with demonstrations of how the software collects real-time availability, performance, and quality data from machine tools, and analyzes it visually to show trends, understand the dynamics of the shop floor, and identify root causes of cost inefficiencies for immediate action.
GE Fanuc Automation
Ph: (800) 433-2682

Full-Function Control

Company will demonstrate its new TNC 320 control, which incorporates the best features of its high-end flagship iTNC 530 control, including the ability to control five axes, but at a lower cost. Reasons for this include the TNC 320's analog drive interface, making it suitable for interfacing to existing drive systems on retrofit applications, and its one-piece construction that minimizes cable runs. The new control offers a 15" TFT color flatpanel display featuring 1024 x 768 pixels, and onscreen user support. Its main computer has a large number of onboard cycles to simplify most machining operations, from drilling and milling to workpiece probing.
Heidenhain Corp.
Ph: (847) 490-1191

Multiaxis CAM

Company will showcase its Mastercam X Maintenance Release 2 software, which introduces significant new capabilities including a suite of new advanced multiaxis toolpaths. The software adds a new engine to the advanced multiaxis toolpaths that provides a customized, streamlined interface that is fine-tuned to specific applications, such as impellers and turbine blades. Depending on what toolpath is being used, the software's parameter pages display only parameters applicable to the specific toolpath type. Advanced controls for gouge-checking allow full control of the tool motion.
CNC Software Inc.
Ph: (800 228-2877

Machine Simulation

Company will introduce enhancements to the GibbsCAM Machine Simulation option, which complements its GibbsCAM software's integral Cut Part Rendering supporting material removal simulation and verification. The enhanced software supports accurate simulation and validation of a CNC program's machine tool motion, including 5-axis simultaneous milling machines. The enhanced version adds support for turning, mill/turn and multi-task machine tools. Machine tool models can be built and set up like the real machine tool, then the CNC program is simulated to validate it prior to running the CNC program on the actual machine tool.
Gibbs and Associates
Ph: (800) 654-9399

CAD-to-CAM Exchange

Company will demonstrate updated Esprit 2007 CAM software, which includes enhancements for milling, turning, and wire EDM programming. Enhanced package also includes Esprit FX, the company's latest technology in advanced CAD-to-CAM feature exchange, allowing users to automatically capture the original design intent, clearly define what the user is machining, and program parts quicker and more accurately. New functionality provides portions of the original CAD Feature Tree directly inside the Esprit user interface, thereby including the complete original design intent—features, tolerances, material properties, surface finishes, and administrative data.
DP Technology Corp.
Ph: (805) 388-6000

Toolpath Editing

Company will showcase its FeatureCAM Version 2007, which adds a number of new features including a new toolpath-editing capability. With toolpath editing, users can make changes to part toolpaths after the toolpaths have been generated, without needing to retrace their programming steps back to the feature setup. Once the toolpaths have been generated, users simply click on the section of the toolpath they want to edit and indicate the desired change. For production machining, having the ability to make a few minor changes in generated toolpaths can reduce cycle time and save significant amounts of time with large runs.
Delcam USA
Ph: (888) 393-6455

Off-line Mazatrol Support

Latest versions of company's CamLink software product line now include off-line support for the Mazatrol Fusion 640 MT Pro CNC control. For users of the Fusion 640 MT Pro, CamLink offers powerful, time-saving features including the ability to program and edit Mazatrol offline; verify the part shape in a 3-D solid model; and extract geometric information from a part and convert it to Mazatrol. The off-line programming software, GB\DataEntry MT Pro, provides Mazatrol programming and editing support, and features all the familiar prompts and fields found on the Mazatrol control.
Griffo Brothers Inc.
Ph: (541) 758-8421

Multiaxis Machining

Company will demonstrate the latest release of EdgeCAM. Version 10.5 introduces new capability for four and five-axis simultaneous machining and other productivity enhancements to reduce programming times and improve manufacturing efficiency. Update includes simultaneous multiaxis milling strategies designed for the production machining requirements of industries including aerospace and automotive. Software includes machine simulation capabilities, offering dramatic improvements in visualization of the machining process with machine simulation for mills, lathes, and mill/turn machines, allowing the user to avoid expensive collisions and ensure safe operation even during complex multiturret machining and spindle-to-spindle part transfer operations.
Pathtrace Systems Inc.
Ph: (248) 356-8800

Five-Axis CAM

Updated hyperMill version 9.5 adds a host of new and improved functions including extended Feature Technology and a significant overhaul of multiaxis cutter orientation control. Software's Feature Technology allows users to standardize programming processes for parts with recurring or similar geometries for 2.5 through five-axis applications. Feature Recognition adds intelligence to native or neutral CAD data, and machining processes are stored in macros to capture corporate knowledge and to reuse on future similar jobs. The extended functions include User Defined Features and database control of stored machining processes.
Open Mind Technologies USA Inc.
Ph: (781) 239-8095

Conversational Programming

Company will demonstrate its flexible CNC 8040 MC and TC controls featuring an icon key conversational programming system that requires no prior programming experience to operate. The programming method greatly simplifies programming process even compared to more conventional conversational systems by integrating the cycle into a single graphic assist screen, thus eliminating multiple screens. Graphic assist is used within all programming screens. All CNC 8040 MC and TC systems also contain a very powerful ISO G-code programming system that offers both ease of programming features with an interactive editor, yet retains high-level programming capability.
Fagor Automation USA Corp.
Ph: (800) 423-2467

Virtual Machining

Company will preview its latest version of PartMaker Software for programming CNC mills, lathes, wire EDM, turn-mill centers, and Swiss-type lathes. Updated package will feature a new full machine simulation module that allows the user to view a photorealistic 3-D model of the machine for which they are programming a part. Simulation module will provide improved error-checking and collision-detection to users by allowing them to perform an even more robust machining simulation than currently offered. The machine model being simulated incorporates machine-specific toolholders and attachments to assure any possible collisions that could occur on the machine will be detected off-line on the user's PC.
PartMaker Software/IMCS Inc.
Ph: (215) 643-5077

Shop Software

Company will display the latest release of its Visual EstiTrack 9.0 software for shop management software. New features include a re-engineered Visual WebTrack web-based customer portal written in ASP.NET; a redesigned Time and Attendance subsystem written with both Web and Windows .NET forms; improved e-advisor executive briefing screens with new text to speech business briefing technology; a new reporting engine that supports report editing and improves the report preview screen functionality; and improved Material Requirements Planning and Bill of Materials reporting.
Henning Software
Ph: (330) 650-4212

NC Software

Company will exhibit new tool shop optimization solutions with an updated Version 7.1 of its Cimatron E CAD/CAM software package. Updated software includes change management, hybrid CAD functions optimized for tooling, new and improved applicative tools, and enhanced catalog capabilities. Enhancements include a Micro Milling NC application and advanced five-axis milling. New dedicated software for five-axis production gives experts productive tools to create highly-efficient, gouge-free toolpaths that produce complex parts with high surface quality, greater efficiency, and shorter delivery times.
Cimatron Technologies
Ph: (248) 596-9700

Prismatic Machining

Company will display its new WorkNC Version 18, which adds 2-D enhancements for users performing prismatic machining in WorkNC Version 18. The software's new deep hole drilling routines will automatically split the toolpath when an intersecting hole is encountered. Designed with toolmakers in mind, it will be particularly useful when cross drilling cooling channels. Splitting the toolpath at a hole intersection minimizes the chance of tool breakage and gives the machine tool a chance to clear the swarf. Crossing hole detection is automatic in WorkNC Version 18, which has hole detection and cylinder angle detection tolerances to ensure its reliability.
Sescoi USA Inc
Ph: (248) 351-9300

Open Control

Company will demonstrate the advantages of its open-architecture OpenCNC Version 6.6 control, which includes improved programming flexibility and speed, part program simulation, an improved graphical user interface, plus other features that save programming time and improve usability and flexibility across a wide range of machine tools and automation. System's open architecture control can be used with machining centers, lathes and grinders, as well as die-cast machines, CNC retrofits, custom machine and automation solutions, and entire factories for efficient data collection with minimal hardware.
Manufacturing Data Systems Inc.
Ph: (734) 769-9000

Modeling Software

Company will display its Deform 3-D software, a process modeling system used for the simulation of cutting tools. Because Deform captures the fundamental physics of the process, it can model common metalcutting processes, and accurate prediction of chip shape, cutting forces, and temperature is possible. Additionally, the influence of important cutting-tool features, such as edge preparation, chip-control geometry, and nose radius are possible. Many leading companies use the software to perform trials on a computer before running a physical test, and cutting-tool manufacturers use simulation to reduce development costs and speed time-to-market.
Scientific Forming Technologies Corp.
Ph: (614) 451-8330

Shop-Floor Software

An updated version 9 of Exact JobBoss will be demonstrated. New version includes significant enhancements to material control, purchasing, and cash flow for shop purchasing staff. Enhancements include features that can help improve purchasing material efficiency and reduce interruptions to check on the status of material ordered. In addition, the purchasing staff can also keep up with changes to the job, assure materials are available when required by the floor, improve communication with the shop floor, and meet ship dates.
Exact Software North America
Ph: (978) 474-4900

NC Simulation and Verification

Company will display its MachineWorks v6.3 software, which includes enhancements designed to increase performance and improve accuracy. Latest update includes new methods for programming full machine simulation, as well as enhanced forward kinematics, better clash detection, plus support for rendering of nonsimulation geometry, simultaneous B-axis turning, subtraction of electrodes, and Windows XP 64-bit platforms. Software also includes improvements when using hollow tools; faster performance of visual target part comparison; and better quality and greater accuracy of wire EDM simulation.
MachineWorks Ltd.
Ph: +44-114-223-1370 (UK)

Jobs Scheduler

Company will showcase its JobPack Production Scheduler, which is now available with a biometric-fingerprint logon for operator data-collection and reporting. The operator simply touches the fingerprint reader to access the shop-floor data-collection screen. The system checks the fingerprint in the JobPack data base, and if authenticated, logs the operator into the system with an electronic time and date stamp. This updates the graphical scheduler to provide a delivery date based on current machine/workcenter loading, and shows jobs and operations queued at each machine.
JobPack Inc
Ph: (847) 741-1861

Digital Readout

Company will introduce its newly designed Digital Readout System, the 200S, for all manual machinetool applications. The 200S DRO console features a new LCD display that replaces the traditional LED and VFD display technology. The consoles offer 5.7", 320 x 240 resolution transmissive LCD displays, the latest in flat screen technology, which allow users to configure the console for a two or three-axis display and can set the application software for milling, turning, grinding, or general use, eliminating the need to buy multiple application-specific consoles.
Acu-Rite Companies Inc.
Ph: (800) 344-2311

ERP Software

Company will show its single-source ERP solutions including WorkShop Manufacturing and ALERE Accounting packages that are suitable for mid-sized manufacturers. System employs a tightly integrated underlying architecture to assure high functionality and product stability, including features such as the ability to include images in the Inventory and BOM Modules. Company's Treevision technology is used in the product to provide an Explorer-like graphical interface offering an overview of product structure for rapid navigation and easy access to information.
TIW Technology Inc.
Ph: (610) 258-5161

Machining and Modeling Software

Company will exhibit its updated software packages for tooling. The VISI-Series software offers a combination of applications including fully integrated surface and solid modeling; comprehensive two to five-axis machining strategies with highspeed routines; two and four-axis EDM; and dedicated tools for plastic injection molds and progressive dies. Updated packages include VISI-Series Release 14, with a new Relationship Manager to handle relations between objects and families of components, and a new History Tree Management; VISIFlow, for the analysis of plastic flow into injection molds; and Machining Strategist version 8, with new combination strategies, improved rest machining, and a new tool library editor.
Vero International USA
Ph: (248) 869-4040

Inventory Management

Company will show its RFID-enabled inventory management system with the new Accu-Cab RFID Cabinet for managing tooling, spare parts, or any indirect material at manufacturing sites. Driven by the company's CribMaster software, an inventory management application for indirect materials in manufacturing and productive environments, the Accu-Cab adds another inventory management option to an already extensive line of solutions. The new system consists of a heavy-duty, double-walled cabinet internally equipped with four RFID antennae and an electromagnetic door lock. Users must identify themselves prior to the door being unlocked, either by using the system's touchscreen monitor or with a bar-code or proximity badge scan.
WinWare Inc.
Ph: (888) 419-1399

Simple Control

Company will showcase its easy-to use ProtoTRAK Edge control aimed at first-time CNC users or for basic knee-mill work. System's features include programming canned cycles, part graphics, math help, and DRO routines. Programming can be done directly at the conversational-style control, or by downloading a CAM file. The control comes complete with digital servoamplifiers and motors, precision-ground ballscrews, and floppy disk storage for part programs. Unit is available as a complete retrofit package or integrated into a TRAK Knee Mill.
Southwestern Industries Inc.
Ph: (310) 608-4422

Programming Software

Company will introduce its updated MazaCAM CAD/CAM version 4.4 software, which allows users to program in both G Code and for the latest generation of Mazak CNCs. Version 4.4 features a Mazatrol Editor that can program the newly released Mazaks with Matrix controls, the newer Fusion MT-Pro/MPro, as well as the earlier Fusion, T-Plus, M-Plus, T32, M32, T3, T2, M2 or T1 controls. The updated software includes a customized tool sheet, the ability to output in XML, and an optional module that can load files from other applications such as SolidWorks, ProEngineer, AutoCAD, and CATIA.
SolutionWare Corp.
Ph: (888) 3CAD-CAM

Software Controller

Company will introduce its Automation 3200 control platform, a software-only control offering 32 axes of synchronized motion control. The software NMotion SMC retains the best features of the company's previous controllers and combines them with an advanced, highperformance control architecture for motion, vision, and I/O system. System uses a distributed architecture that enables it to maintain performance independent of the number of axes being controlled. Company's Intelligent Network Drive (NDrive) handles position and current-loop closure, and trajectory generation is done on the PC using the Windows operating system. The PC executes programs and sends the incremental position commands to the NDrive via the high-speed serial bus IEEE-1394 (FireWire).
Aerotech Inc.
Ph: (412) 963-7470

Wireless System

Company will show its new GS Wireless System, which can be accessed by users of PDA devices. With the system, users can monitor transactions including bin-tobin transfers, purchase order receipts, physical inventory, issues to work orders, standalone issues and receipts, shipments, standalone receipts to work orders, labor transactions, and others. To run the system, users need a wireless network 802.11 a/b/g/n/p; Pervasive V8.5 or higher; and a device running web browser capable of rendering HTML 4.0.
Global Shop Solutions
Ph: (800) 364-5958

CAD/CAM Software

Company will introduce its new BobCADCAM Version 22 2-D and 3-D software. Updated package offers a large list of enhancements, including a new user-friendly interface, fully associative job tree for managing jobs from start to finish, user-definable operation sequences, complete tool and material libraries, as well as pre-definable, composite operation sets geared towards giving the operator ultimate control and improved automation. The new job tree offers capabilities for reordering operations or simply turning operations on or off as needed when posting to the machine. Software also offers major advancements in 3-D toolpath for models that include an equidistant offset contour toolpath operation that allows maintaining an equal tool step over regardless of the surface topology.
Ph: (877) 262-2231

Software Tools

Company will showcase its latest NC postprocessor and control emulator development tools that bridge the gap between CATIA manufacturing solutions, digital manufacturing systems, and various machine tools. Company will introduce its CAM-Post V-17 and Control Emulator V-17 software as fully integrated solutions with CATIA V5 CAD/CAM and Delmia simulation software. CAMPost V-17 is a generic postprocessor solution integrated with CATIA V5 that can be used with machine tools including the most complex multiaxis mill-turn machines. The company also will showcase its Control Emulator V-17 integrated with Delmia software. The package allows virtual emulation of machine controllers, reads ISO codes, and simulates machine tool behavior in Delmia.
ICAM Technologies Corp.
Ph: (514) 697-8033

Control Retrofits

Company plans to showcase its CNC retrofit solutions for GE Fanuc controls and machine enhancements. A GE Fanuc Five Star Retrofitter in North America, the company works on projects from simple two-axis lathes to complex 19-axis machining centers. Company offers machine rebuilds and remanufactures, rotary tables and additional axes, inspection and toolsetting probes and lasers, and tool monitoring and adaptive control systems.
CNC Engineering Inc.
Ph: (860) 749-1780


This article was first published in the August 2006 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine.   

Published Date : 8/1/2006

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