Software Update: New Integrated Simulation Software Speeds CNC Machining Processes
Silvère Proisy is general manager of Spring Technologies Inc. (Cambridge, MA, and Paris), a developer of NC simulation and verification software for optimizing CNC machines.
Manufacturing Engineering: Your company recently announced that Missler Software’s TopSolid’Cam software will use Spring’s G-code simulation. Tell me about this partnership.
Silvère Proisy: Missler Software (Addison, IL; Evry, France), founded in 1984, is a leading global developer and supplier of CAD, CAM and ERP solutions. The company provides an integrated software solution for product design, manufacturing and data management. Spring Technologies, established in 1983, enables optimal use of manufacturing CNC machines, maximizing their productivity. Our NCSIMUL Solutions portfolio integrates the complete machining process, in real time, including cutting parameters and tool libraries, postprocessing, NC simulation, technical content publishing and DNC monitoring.
ME: Describe the benefits of using your simulations integrated with Missler Software’s TopSolid’Cam.
Proisy: Missler Software and Spring Technologies have created the new package, TopSolid’NCSIMUL, which is a perfect combination between the high-end CAM software, TopSolid’Cam, and our world-class simulation software, NCSIMUL Machine. This integration ensures a flawless execution between the manufacturing elements created in Missler’s software, such as tool definitions, fixture, parts and the simulated environment in NCSIMUL Machine. With a common strategy, the software user will be certain to see the future released versions coming all together for the CAM and simulator. Going forward, using NCSIMUL Machine will be completely transparent for TopSolid’Cam users with a single ‘look-and-feel’ interface.
ME: Will NCSIMUL Machine continue to be run independently?
Proisy: We have many customers in common with Missler Software; while this integration is a certain advantage, other CAM users will continue to be able to reduce potential collisions and check the G-code with NCSIMUL Machine.
ME: How difficult is it to integrate an NC simulation package within CAM software?
Proisy: CAM and verification software integration challenges reside in the diversity of data exchanged and the interoperability between the different versions. As an example, tools can be based on parameters, sketches or 3D model designs. Integrating two software solutions required handling those three different types of tools for turning and milling; with all the possible shapes and accessories available, it’s a lot of possible combinations. The commitment between the two companies ensures our capacity to anticipate the integration for future software features.
ME: When will the new integration of NCSIMUL and TopSolid’Cam be available?
Proisy: Beginning in the second quarter 2014, TopSolid’NCSIMUL will be available within the new release of TopSolid’Cam 7.8. Different evolution will occur along 2014 to enhance the user experience.
ME: Why should machine shops use a true G-code simulation system when programming today’s machine tools?
Proisy: Using a true G-code simulation system becomes a ‘must have’ if you want to stay competitive in the market. Machining companies have to reduce the number of unnecessary manipulation, such as unclamping and reclamping a part, to accelerate the production and reduce dimension variations. As a result, machines are more complex today, with true five-axis milling and turning cuts in the same operation. Adding the increasing chances of a dramatic collision, most machinists get nervous during a dry run with a high-velocity machine. I like to do the comparison with a car after a bad crash: it will never drive as it did before the crash. You can continue to gamble, but you certainly would be better to bet on verification software instead.
ME: What industries are best deploying such solutions to boost machining productivity, and what manufacturers are currently using this technology?
Proisy: Aerospace, defense, energy products, transportation and medical device manufacturers are the best industries deploying such solutions. We see an increasing number of customers sharing their simulations with their suppliers and collaborating with workshop operators through our NCSIMUL Player. They lower the time dedicated to dry-run the first cut, and can shave 8–25% off machining time with toolpath optimization. The tablet-enabled use we initiated more than 12 months ago is showing the potential for mobile software use.
ME: What other developments are coming?
Proisy: We are improving the integration of NCSIMUL Publisher [automatic documentation] in the simulation. The idea is to synchronize the instruction with the G-code, and create a story board for the workshop review. The simulation will become interactive with the machine with future features; one of them will be an activity ‘snooze list,’ giving the time left to the operator before the next actions. Another one will be a ‘jog assistance’ mode, helping the machine user to move the machine axes safely in a manual mode.
ME: How does the current business climate look for manufacturing?
Proisy: The manufacturing business climate is good for certain sectors that require high-quality production or single-part machining. Our NCSIMUL Solutions is specifically made for this market with a zero-defect target. It’s not a surprise to see more and more demands in aerospace and defense, or in machining volume parts, as we observe in the energy or transportation industries. For obvious reasons, that production has not been outsourced and will remain a big growth opportunity for energy production in the near future. ME
CIMdata Forms New Aerospace PLM Action Group
Market research firm CIMdata Inc. (Ann Arbor, MI) on March 20 announced the formation of a new Aerospace & Defense Action Group PLM service aimed at improving aerospace and defense manufacturers’ PLM strategies.
The new group is an association of A&D companies within CIMdata’s PLM Community Program. The PLM advocacy group will function as a defining organization for unfulfilled common-interest PLM-related capabilities, CIMdata said, as well as sponsoring collaborative research on prioritized industry and technology topics. Membership is open to A&D OEM companies and select Tier 1 suppliers. The group will be led by James L. Roche, CIMdata senior consultant and A&D practice manager.
CIMdata’s September 2013 research report “Aerospace and Defense Industry PLM Value Gap Survey,” noted that, with few exceptions, the aerospace and defense industry’s PLM investments have fallen short of manufacturers’ goals for the technology.
For more information, see www.cimdata.com/en/memberships/aerospace-defense-plm-action-group, or contact CIMdata at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elysium Inc. (Southfield, MI) on March 4 announced the release of CADfeature 11.3, the company’s new browser-enhanced, feature-based program for repairing, migrating and reporting on product engineering data exchanged within manufacturing organizations and their supply chains. The updated software addresses industry goals of speeding the creation of master CAD models used to build products ranging from appliances to medical devices, automobiles, aircraft, and other products.
The new software draws on lessons learned from migrating millions of 2D drawings and 3D models for major manufacturers worldwide, said Ken Tashiro, president of Elysium. The update enables high-definition translation of 2D/3D content, Tashiro said, and a quick and highly accessible way to analyze the status and quality of modeling data.
The Elysium 3D Reports Model, or dashboard, allows manufacturers to drill down and view assemblies, parts, details of sketches and features—the very recipes of 3D model creation—for their collaboration needs. CADfeature 11.3 includes quality assurance checks on translations and remastering is done automatically, and it features an HTML-based document style enabling opening reports from an Internet browser so users can rotate, pan, and zoom on parts and assemblies and see the associated images and underlying CAD data.
ERP software developer Infor (New York) on March 26 announced its new Infor CloudSuite, the first group of industry-specific application suites available on the Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud. Infor CloudSuite will be available in several industry suites, all delivered on AWS, throughout 2014, beginning this spring with CloudSuite Automotive, CloudSuite Aerospace & Defense, and CloudSuite Hospitality. CloudSuite also includes Analytics, Technology, Core Enterprise Management, and High Value Extension Applications. The company’s CloudSuite Analytic Packs provide industry components, data models, and industry dashboards to transform information into actionable insights.
Software Update is edited by Patrick Waurzyniak: email@example.com.
This article was first published in the May 2014 edition of Manufacturing Engineering magazine. Click here for PDF.
Published Date : 5/1/2014