fbpx skip to Main Content
The Future Of Manufacturing: Impactful Tech On The Horizon

The Future of Manufacturing: Impactful Tech on the Horizon

The future of manufacturing is brimming with opportunity—it is full of new technologies designed to reduce waste and maximise process efficiency and flexibility through software and hardware capabilities. Article by Rahav Madvil, Simulation Product Manager for Siemens Digital Industries Software, and Noam Ribon, Senior Business Consultant at Siemens Digital Industries Software.

Industrial manufacturing as a sector has been an early adopter of robotics and other forms of technological improvements for decades. Robotics have been one of the best options to increase production efficiency for large and often highly repetitive manufacturing processes. But the era of producing large quantities of just a few products with low mix is coming to an end, giving way to increased product personalisation requiring a more flexible production process with less waste than ever before.

Fortunately, the future of manufacturing is brimming with opportunity. It is full of new technologies designed to reduce waste and maximise process efficiency and flexibility through software and hardware capabilities. Almost all of this promise is built upon a foundation of digital transformation – and the digital twin. Everything from raw material tracking to process optimisations to hardware selection stem from insights gained from the digital twin and a closed-loop optimisation of entire facilities.

The most difficult aspect of any change to operation are the inevitable changes to process—they are expensive twice over, because nothing is being produced and resources are still being consumed. An autonomous transport initiative squarely addresses this, relying on a few, key technologies to make it happen.

The Power of Virtual Commissioning

Creating a comprehensive digital twin of your production process can greatly reduce downtime for new machines, new processes and new products.  Let’s say you need to install a new CNC station. What if the processes for this new machine could be validated before it ever arrived on the production floor by using the digital twin of the production line? Less time could be spent integrating the new component into the overall production lines through line integration as a part of virtual commissioning.  Available today, virtual commissioning is the critical underpinning to an efficient production environment enabling a closed-loop iterative optimisation of the entire facility.

Virtual commissioning is vital, not only for testing software controls, but for adding insight to the efficiency of the controls strategy. It is also essential for embarking on the advanced robotics journey, laying the groundwork for implementing greater process automation and flexibility needed to efficiently implement tomorrow’s manufacturing technologies today.

Simulate Everything Upfront

One of the best options to minimise risk when updating an existing process or making a new one is to simulate the new operations. It nearly eliminates upfront investment in machinery before knowing whether the new process will operate as expected on the shop floor. For new digitalisation efforts, this is where a digital twin should be established for the process. Without a comprehensive study of the actions within a plant new equipment could be under-utilised leading to lost investment.

Just as important is the implementation of IoT devices, that serve to close the loop between the digital twin and the physical processes once the new processes have been initiated. Although these devices are often embedded in new production equipment, but it is important to consider how to best maximise the voluminous data they generate to gain crucial insight into the production process.

Next Generation Programming

Another route to maximising production time even when supporting a high product mix is to expedite the reprogramming of the robotics in use on the factory floor. Without integrated robotic control, updating a robotic arm for a new task can be incredibly time-consuming. It needs to be taken offline, reprogrammed, validated and restarted, for each robot that will handle the new processes.

In a partnership between AtriMinds and B/S/H/, Siemens Digital Industries Software helped bring flexibility to robotic arms by enabling automation for flexible products.

Siemens Digital Industries Software bring flexibility to robotic arms by enabling automation for flexible products.

All that changes by integrating the programmable logic controllers for these robots into the comprehensive digital twin. Much of this process can be streamlined. Does a bolt spacing on a phone need to be shifted slightly to accommodate the latest 5G wireless antenna? If the entire fleet of robots working on that production line could understand the change, that would save many hours across multiple engineering and production teams. Engineers simply need to let the robots know of the change and any differences in manufacturing tolerances can be accounted for with closed loop sensing through visual or force feedback. With force feedback within the robotic arm, any force exerted over a defined threshold can initiate a pause to the robotic arm’s actions and readjust positioning to address the perceived problem.  Instead of shutting them down for reprogramming, all the robots working on the project can adjust independently to subtle changes.

Although this might sound like some futuristic scenario, task-based programming has already been tested in the real world. In a partnership between AtriMinds and B/S/H/, Siemens Digital Industries Software helped bring flexibility to robotic arms by enabling automation for flexible products. Previously, one of the largest hurdles to automating assembly was how to work with flexible components. Traditional robotics rigidly follow predefined movements, so if something were to inadvertently shift, the whole assembly could be destroyed. But by implementing force sensing on the robotic arms, there is an almost intuitive understanding of the parts and how the robot is interacting with the workpiece at its station. If a hole is slightly out of place on a panel, the input from force sensors can help the robot redirect its movement and thread a screw through without complex, preprogrammed instructions for misalignment scenarios.

Optimising Production with Autonomous Robotics

Simulation, virtual commissioning and advanced robotics programming lay the foundation for a fully flexible production floor, but automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) weave it all together and bring it to life. Historically, conveyor belts acted as the material flow paths on a shop floor. They efficiently move product from point A to point B but require semi-static positioning. Even mobile conveyor systems, common in logistics work, take time to move and to ensure a safe path for product.

Heatmap from simulating AGV and AMR activity on a manufacturing floor.

In contrast, AGVs and AMRs can change their path during transit. This saves time that would have been spent readjusting existing features, this is critical for a flexible production environment. Imagine a production floor, making two distinct version of a product. For version one, the bolts need to be added before the secondary assembly is added, while in version two bolts cannot be added until after the sub-assembly has been mounted. In a static conveyor facility, this could be completed given enough conveyor length and a sorting mechanism. Beyond a couple variations to the production sequence the factory would fill up with conveyor loops that only transport a few products at a time, defeating one of the  main goals of the technology But with a fleet of AGVs or AMRs moving materials and work pieces throughout the facility, products can be rerouted and the sequence reordered to another machine. Or, in the case of highly customised consumer products, components could be routed to the best machine for the task. It can account for how much time is required to switch over to the new process, how many units can it produce compared to other machines, and even the impact of a re-route on other processes on the shop floor.

Reaping the Benefits of Tomorrow’s Robotics Today

Achieving all this requires a highly integrated production process. To guarantee a product is still made correctly during an automated process change, it needs to be simulated beforehand using a digital twin. To certify the product can be made in the new location, the production machine needs to be validated for the task using virtual commissioning. And to ensure the slightly different parts don’t produce errors in the process, the machines themselves need to be flexible to adapt to in real time to changing conditions with AGVs and AMRs.

Properly managing all these variables can have an incredibly positive effect on process performance, in fact it can produce up to a 40 percent improvement in labour productivity, according to a 2020 McKinsey study. Understanding the shop floor is an invaluable proposition and will continue to net savings and improvements through the life of the facility, even making it last longer by reducing maintenance overhead and costs with the improved condition monitoring of extensive IoT and the comprehensive digital twin.

Learn more of how Tecnomatix brings the tools of tomorrow’s factories to the factories of today with Siemens’ Xcelerator portfolio with free trials for the Process Simulate and Plant Simulate tools.

 

Check these articles out:

Would You Trust The Algorithm?

Ensuring Manufacturing Safety Using Digitalised Production Design

Empowering Manufacturing Transformation

Siemens Workplace Distancing Solution Helps Manage ‘Next Normal’ Manufacturing

Siemens Connects Healthcare Providers And Medical Designers To Produce Components Through AM

[WATCH] Siemens Discusses Initiatives, Outlook Amid COVID-19

Siemens Improves 3D Printing And Scanning Workflows

ABI Research Names Siemens A Leader In Manufacturing Simulation Software

Siemens Opens Additive Manufacturing Network

 

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

NUM Launches Digital Twin Technology For CNC Machine Tools

NUM Launches Digital Twin Technology For CNC Machine Tools

CNC specialist NUM has launched digital twin technology that enables machine tool manufacturers to reduce their time to market dramatically, by using powerful Industry 4.0 simulation techniques.

Powerful 3D simulation realistically illustrates the dynamic operation of the machine.

Originally known as pairing technology, and first used by NASA in the early days of space exploration, digital twin technology is now rapidly gaining industry acceptance as one of the most cost-effective means of accelerating the development of products, processes and services.

For automation products such as machine tools, a digital twin is a virtual model that uses simulation, real-time data acquisition/analysis and machine learning techniques to allow full evaluation of a machine’s dynamic performance before constructing a physical prototype. The same technology can also be employed for customer presentations, virtual commissioning and operator training purposes – and all well before the actual machine itself has even been built.

NUM offers two versions of digital twin technology, to best suit customers’ needs. Both versions are designed for use with NUM’s, open-architecture Flexium+ CNC platform. One version uses a naked Flexium+ controller and resident virtualisation software running on the system’s industrial PC to simulate the twinned machine automation. The other version uses the actual Flexium+ controller that will eventually be incorporated in the machine, linked via EtherCAT to a standalone PC running specialist high speed hardware simulation software to represent the mechatronics of the twinned machine.

The virtual controller version includes a software development kit for creating the software model of the machine. The model is a standalone PLC program that uses predefined components to simulate individual machine elements, such as sensors, spindles, pneumatic cylinders, etc. It is loaded into the integrated PLC of the Flexium+ controller. The Flexium NCK in the controller executes the NC programs and simulates the changing position values of the machine’s axes. To help users visualise the process, NUM’s package includes the CODESYS Depictor software tool produced by CODESYS GmbH, which is used to produce 3D visualisations from the IEC 61131-3 code created by the simulation.

The other version of NUM’s digital twin technology package accommodates real-time data acquisition and analysis. It is based on the ISG-Virtuous hardware simulation software produced by Industrielle Steuerungstechnik GmbH (ISG). The Flexium+ controller that is intended to be used in the physical machine is connected via an EtherCAT network to a standard PC, and interacts with the simulation software in real-time. The PC acts as the twinned virtual machine – with all simulated, virtual components behaving like real components in terms of their interfaces, parameters and operating modes – to accurately replicate the structure and dynamic performance of the real machine. The movements of the machine are displayed realistically on the PC, using the supplied 3D simulation software.

NUM’s new digital twin technology provides machine tool manufacturers with a very powerful and cost-effective means of reducing their developments costs and accelerating their time to market. The virtual controller version is especially useful for the early development stage of a project, before the CNC system has been finalised, while the real-time hardware simulation version has the advantage that all sequencing (PLC) and motion control (CNC) programs that are created during development can simply be transferred to the real machine as soon as it becomes available.

For other exclusive articles, visit www.equipment-news.com.

 

Check these articles out:

Profound Machinery Benefits Of A Multi-disciplinary Design

ANCA Launches CIM3D V9 With Time-Saving And User-Friendly Enhancements

TRUMPF AI Assistant Optimises Sorting Process

Empowering Manufacturing Transformation

Hexagon Enhances Post-Processed Simulation, Automation Features In ALPHACAM

New Holroyd Gear Grinding Centre Offers Greater Levels Of Efficiency In Precision Gear

VinFast Deploys Siemens’ Full Portfolio To Deliver Cars Ahead Of Schedule

 

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

Haimer USA Joins TITANS Of CNC For Manufacturing Education

Haimer USA Joins TITANS Of CNC For Manufacturing Education

Haimer USA has partnered with TITANS of CNC—an organisation that uplifts students, educators and the manufacturing workforce in over 170 countries worldwide.

Titan Gilroy, CEO and founder of TITANS of CNC is focused on developing and delivering high-level manufacturing education through the TITANS of CNC : Academy and Aerospace Academy. Over the past few years, TITANS of CNC has reshaped the way manufacturing education is approached and delivered. With its free, online, video-based, step by-step, training system, TITANS of CNC continues to provide real solutions to real manufacturing problems.

As part of the collaboration, Haimer USA introduced various industry leading products to Titan so he can implement the HAIMER technology into his academies and teach his students about how HAIMER products provide consistent solutions for machinists to increase their productivity. “We are excited to be working with Titan and his team,” President of Haimer USA, Brendt Holden stated,

“Through the TITANS of CNC: Academy, together we will be able to educate operators on why our system solution of balancing, presetting, shrinking and measuring are so important to implement in machine shops.”

“TITANS of CNC is proud to partner with HAIMER who is a world leader in the area of shrink fit, balancing, and presetting technology,” Titan Gilroy – CEO of TITANS of CNC stated, “We are excited to introduce our audience to these incredible products and solutions and we look forward to using them to help teach the trade at the highest level.”

For other exclusive articles, visit www.equipment-news.com.

 

Check these articles out:

Are Cheaper CNC Machine Tools More Cost Effective?

Upcoming Webinar: AM Deployment and Future Developments in Southeast Asia

Driving Industry Forward With Intelligent Technologies

Optimised Tool Management Through Integrated Process Chain

Vietnam: A New Crossroad In Manufacturing Industry

3D Printing And Counterfeit Automation Parts

Industrial Robots VS Cobots—Which Is Right For You?

 

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

Bending In The Smartphone Era

Bending in the Smartphone Era

How exactly do newer CNC press brakes create more parts than older mechanical or hydraulic press brakes? Find out in this article by Marcel Fiedler of Bystronic Inc.

Older controls required manual numerical programming.

Do you remember getting your first cellphone? What was the first thing you took out of the box and spent time with? It was probably the user manual. The cellphone was a new technology, and you needed time to understand and learn to use it. It wasn’t intuitive, and you absolutely needed that manual.

What happens when you get a new smartphone today? You unwrap the well-designed package, admire your shiny new device, turn it on, and get started. It’s probably already charged and just waiting for you to use it. That’s it. It doesn’t have any buttons or dials; the entire surface is a human-machine interface, or HMI. And it probably doesn’t have a manual. A pop-up notification shows you received a new message, and you just tap to see what it is. It’s intuitive.

Press brakes last much longer than cellphones, of course. That’s why in many job shops today you might find both mechanical and hydraulic press brakes with old controls. They can last 30 years or longer and still bend parts. Of course, just because a machine turns on does not mean it can produce parts efficiently. If you see less seasoned operators attempt to run the shop’s oldest brake, you’ll probably hear them say, “Does anybody know how to operate this machine?”

Learning and understanding bending theory is probably as challenging as learning to be a good welder. It takes time and patience to learn the differences between every machine. Those differences can be significant, especially in a bending department with both old and new equipment. They require different training strategies, all driven by technology that has literally changed how operators learn about sheet metal bending: the software and machine control.

The Pre-Smartphone Era

Imagine starting a new job as a press brake operator around the same time that you received your first cellphone, before the smartphone era. You spend most of the time going through the manual, guided by a veteran who knows the machine inside and out. You read the blueprint and adjust the machine settings as necessary. You learn how to adjust the position of each axis, determine where the backgauge needs to be, dial in the part, make other adjustments by typing nominal values into the controller, then run production until you need to switch over to the next part. Once you understand the basic concept of one machine, you walk to the next press brake and learn this process from the beginning again, with your experienced tutor and the manual right next to you.

You receive a printed blueprint, and you write the program at the machine control. You determine the material type and thickness, define your bend angle, then position your backgauges manually for each bend. If not provided on the print, backgauge positions are defined as an actual absolute value that needs to be calculated manually

.

Overall you spend 10 minutes (or longer) getting the press brake ready to make the first bend—and that old machine control gives you no indication of how to do this. By looking at the control alone, you don’t know which tools to pick or how to set them up. That’s why you need an experienced operator by your side. He knows the setups and best ways of doing it by memory. Still, even with all his knowledge and experience, he pays very close attention to his choices so he doesn’t make any mistakes. Setup is time-consuming, and the old machine control doesn’t give much if any assistance.

At some point, you’re on your own. You position the peripherals of the machine first so you know where to place the tools. What tools do you select for this job? You’d better have a quick guide or “little black book” close to the press brake to know which tools to pick.

The Smartphone Era

The control shows other relevant information, including raw material location, customer information, and due date.

Fast-forward to today. Imagine you just graduated from school and you’re now looking for your first real job in the sheet metal industry. Thing is, you aren’t on the shop floor with an experienced employee who has operated just one machine his entire career.

Instead, you’re in a classroom environment. You sit by a desktop PC with the press brake operating software installed. You don’t have a printed machine manual, and on some days you might not work with someone with decades of press brake experience, especially if they’re needed on the floor. But that’s not a problem—and here’s why.

To continue reading this article, head on over to our Ebook!

For other exclusive articles, visit www.equipment-news.com.

 

Check these articles out:

Machine Tool Industry Propels Taiwan To Become World’s Second Largest Masks Manufacturer In Just 40 Days

Increasing Automation, Connectivity And Energy Efficiency In Metal Cutting

LVD Expands Electric-Drive Press Brake Portfolio

Six Factors That Have Changed Bending Automation

The Carefree Package For The Entry Into Bending

TRUMPF AI Assistant Optimises Sorting Process

 

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

Doosan Machine Tools Partners With TITANS Of CNC

Doosan Machine Tools Partners With TITANS Of CNC

Doosan Machine Tools is pleased to announce a new strategic partnership with TITANS of CNC, Inc. As part of this partnership, Doosan Machine Tools will become the exclusive premier machine tool builder partner for TITANS of CNC.

TITANS of CNC is focused on being the top global manufacturing education provider, and over the past few years, has reshaped the way manufacturing education is approached and delivered.

“My team and I are extremely excited to partner with Doosan Machine Tools,” stated Titan Gilroy, CEO of TITANS of CNC.  “They are a global leader in machine tool technology and are trusted by companies all around the world. Together we will close the skills gap and train machinists to produce real parts, allowing them to compete at the highest level.”

For over 40 years, Doosan Machine Tools has been supporting the manufacturing industry with high performance CNC machine tools. Doosan Machine Tools shares TITANS of CNC’s passion for educating manufacturing professionals,” stated Jim Shiner, Doosan Machine Tools America’s Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “The need for trained machinists is greater now than ever, and in our new partnership with TITANS of CNC, we are proud to recommit our efforts to building the next generation of young machinists.”

For other exclusive articles, visit www.equipment-news.com.

 

Check these articles out:

Flexible Sawing Solution for Additively Manufactured Parts

NUM Launches Form Compensation Option For NUMROTO Tool Grinding Software

ANCA Discusses Trends Driving the Cutting Tool Industry

Blaser Swisslube Discusses How Liquid Tool Achieves the Milestone

APAC Demand For Machine Tools On The Upswing As Manufacturers Invest In New Production Facilities

3 Ways Advanced Machining Builds a Competitive Edge in Aerospace

CNC Market Outlook: 7.3% CAGR During 2019-2023

COVID-19 Impact On Global Machine Tool Market

TMTS 2020 Switched To A Virtual Event, With Next Exhibition Scheduled In 2022

 

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

TMR: CNC Market To Reach $115B By 2027

TMR: CNC Market to Reach $115B by 2027

The increasing focus on production efficiency is aiding the uptake of computer numerical controls (CNC) technologies as these machines streamline various operational processes by reducing production time and minimizing human error.

The highly competitive environment has compelled players to focus on efficient manufacturing techniques. They are also trying to gain competitive advantage by redesigning their manufacturing facilities to include CNC machines. The integration of 3D printing with CNC machines is one such addition to some of the new production units, which is expected to offer better product design with little to no resource wastage.

Fuelled by these factors, the global market for computer numerical controls is projected to grow from a value of $64 billion in 2018 to $115.1 billion by 2027, according to a study by Transparency Market Research (TMR). If these values hold true, the CNC market is expected to register a CAGR of 6.7 percent during the forecast period.

READ: Are Cheaper CNC Machine Tools More Cost Effective?

READ: COVID-19 Updates: Auto Makers Revving Up Production To Drive Market Recovery

Automated Manufacturing Driving Demand for CNC in Industrial and Automotive Sectors

Based on type, the global CNC market is led by lathe machines, and the segment is poised to dominate the market throughout the forecast period. The demand for lathe machines can be attributed to a wide application area.

On the other hand, milling machines are anticipated to register a strong growth rate during the forecast period. Milling machines are compatible with a wide range of materials and surfaces and help improve overall efficiency. Furthermore, technological innovation has led to the development of advanced milling machines that can provide a more consistent finish to the products.

In terms of application, the industrial segment held the dominant share and is likely to retain its lead through 2027. The growing demand for automated manufacturing in the industrial sector resulted in the increasing uptake of CNC machines. The establishment of manufacturing facilities in developing regions such as Asia Pacific has also spurred the usage of CNC technologies in this sector. The automotive sector, on the other hand, is set to be the most rapidly developing segment in the coming years thanks to the soaring rate of automated automobile manufacturing.

North America Continues to Present Immense Scope Despite Market Saturation

From a geographical viewpoint, the global market for computer numerical controls is led by Asia Pacific, with the region accounting for a share of approximately 35 percent in 2018. Developing economies such as China and India have been witnessing robust growth in terms of industrialization, thereby propelling the regional market. The automotive sector has been estimated to register rapid growth in the Asia Pacific CNC market during the forecast period owing to the rising demand for automobiles in the region. In addition, the easy availability of labour and the declining prices of components have resulted in manufacturers shifting their production units in this region. This is further propelling the APAC CNC market.

READ: CNC Control for Rolling Machines

READ: Standardisation of Mould Bases

Meanwhile, considering that the United States is the one of the earliest adapters of new technologies, the North America market for CNC machines is relatively saturated. Be that as it may, rising concerns over global warming and depleting energy reserves have led to the production of alternative sources of power such as solar, water, and wind, and this has significantly upped the demand for CNC machines in the region. CNC machines are actively used in power generation as the process requires wide-scale automation.

Key Driving Factors, Promising Avenues, and Challenges

Some of the key growth dynamics in the CNC market are:

  • The drive for automated manufacturing in various industries is a key trend driving the expansion of the CNC market.
  • Industries, notably automotive, have increasingly adopted automated machine control technologies to improve operational efficiencies and reduce overall costs.
  • In numerous developing and developed countries around the world, growing emphasis on reducing the carbon footprint of manufacturing has spurred growth in the CNC market.
  • Over the past few years, deployment of 3D manufacturing technologies have been at the forefront for industries, bolstering demand for CNC.

Despite the attractive potential of CNC in industrial automation, such technologies require substantial investment. The maintenance and servicing is also cost-intensive, resulting in small-scale enterprises to avoid the adoption. All these are proving to significantly constrain the growth of the CNC market.

On the other hand, the incredible drive for efficiency gains is a key business proposition for the rise in demand in the CNC market.

 

For other exclusive news and information, visit www.equipment-news.com.

 

Check these articles out:

Manufacturing In Asia Post COVID-19

Aftermarket Services Could Help Transform Manufacturing In The Wake Of The COVID-19 Pandemic

PC-Based Control For Covid-19 Rapid Testing Production Lines

[WATCH] Siemens Discusses Initiatives, Outlook Amid COVID-19

Mouldmakers Turn To Process Automation In Race To Recover

Getting Back To The Roots: Revisiting Applications CNC Machines

 

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

Efficiency And Speed Make Kencoa Aerospace Machining Top Notch

Efficiency and Speed Make Kencoa Aerospace Machining Top Notch

Using CAD/CAM software has helped this aerospace parts manufacturer achieve increased efficiencies and shorter lead times. Article by Mastercam.

Efficiency and Speed Make Kencoa Aerospace Machining Top Notch

When Kencoa Aerospace began its operations 20 years ago, they were a small company focused on defense applications. But, according to Troy Boston, engineering manager for the company’s U.S.-based operations, they have also progressed into commercial aerospace over the past five to six years and consider themselves very diverse in terms of the parts they can machine for well-known clients such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Gulf Stream, and more.

While headquartered globally in South Korea, the U.S.-based aerospace operation is a Tier-1 supplier of multiaxis precision machined aerostructures, jet engine components, and major assemblies of commercial, military, and business/regional jets.

“We machine anything from plastics, stainless steel, titanium, all the way up to Inconel,” Boston says. He continued to explain that the part sizes they create can range from the size of a quarter up to 20-feet long. The majority of these parts are internal structural components for aircraft and can range anywhere from wing components to cargo floor skins. 

To create the parts needed for these defense and commercial aerospace clients, Kencoa turned to Mastercam CAD/CAM software (CNC Software Inc., Tolland, CT) for their machining solutions. Their 40,000 square-foot facility, based in Eastman, Georgia, employs 20 machinists, and of these, five are full-time programmers. Boston explained that their programmers have been trained through various methods, making each one valuable in different ways. Some have had formal programming training and classes, while others were formerly machine operators in their shop and worked their way to programmer. This prior experience helps as they can understand the machining side of the job. “We’ve been able to bring them in, and give them on-the-job training plus Mastercam tutorials, either online or print.”

All About the Software

The software allows these programmers to work on challenging orders including those with specifications that require holding close tolerances where their true position is 0.001 or a diameter that is ±0.0003” to 0.0010.” When presented with any manufacturing challenges, the software has helped with so many issues that it is hard for Boston to choose just one benefit it provides.

“What has impressed me over the last several years has been the OptiRough toolpath and how it has progressed and how easy it is to use. You can basically set the size of your stock, and even for a large hog-out, within a few minutes you can have a very good roughing program to be able to remove large amounts of material without a lot of programming time,” says Boston. 

This was a time-consuming process that required quite a bit of geometry creation and many separate toolpaths. OptiRough toolpaths use Dynamic Motion but in a more precise way. The cut uses the entire flute length of the tool, but a small percentage of the tool’s diameter on the first cut, followed by several successive shorter cuts that bring the part into the net shape desired. “Now, with the OptiRough program, you can select a part, select your stock, pick a tool, and it’s almost cheating to be honest, because it makes it so easy,” says Boston. 

Now, their machines can run aluminum upwards of 400-in/min. Even with titanium, they are able to run their machines at over 100-in/min. 

 

To continue reading this article, head on over to our Ebook!

For other exclusive articles, visit www.equipment-news.com.

 

Check these articles out:

Key To Success For Efficient And Cost-effective Product Manufacturing

10 Tips to Prevent Your CNC Machine From Standing Idle

APAC Demand For Machine Tools On The Upswing As Manufacturers Invest In New Production Facilities

New High-Definition Feature Scanner For Automated Inspection

Additive Manufacturing and Journey to Industry 4.0

NUM Launches Form Compensation Option For NUMROTO Tool Grinding Software

Hexagon Helps Manufacturing Professionals Access Smart Manufacturing Solutions At Home

Six Factors That Have Changed Bending Automation

How Digitalisation Is Transforming The Aerospace Sector

 

 

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

 

Integrated CAM/Postprocessor Module Simplifies Creation Of Part Programs In CNC Cutting Machines

Integrated CAM/Postprocessor Module Simplifies Creation Of Part Programs In CNC Cutting Machines

CNC specialist NUM has launched a new HMI (human-machine interface) software package that features a fully integrated CAM/postprocessor module to further simplify and accelerate the creation of part programs for CNC cutting machines. The software also includes two new real-time analytical functions for water jet cutting applications, designed to improve cutting accuracy and quality.

Many of the world’s leading manufacturers of water jet, laser and plasma beam cutting machines nowadays choose to base their products on NUM’s CNC systems, in no small part due to the inherent functionality and control flexibility of the company’s Flexium+ platform. Launched in 2012, Flexium+ has acquired an enviable reputation amongst machine manufacturers and end users for its control flexibility and ease of use – and NUM continuously enhances the platform to address users’ changing needs and new cutting machine technology.

The latest version of NUM’s software for CNC cutting machines is the result of significant development work. It embodies Industry 4.0 connectivity principles and features an entirely new HMI, known as NUMcut, which incorporates functionality that previously required separate CAD/CAM postprocessor computing resources.

READ: NUM Flexium+ CNC Enables Sheet Metal Laser Cutting System To Achieve Exceptional Accuracy

READ: NUM Launches Active Vibration Control System For CNC Machine Tools

Users generally prepare part programs for CNC cutting applications upstream of the machine in the production area, on some form of CAD/CAM system. A key element of this work involves post-processing the resultant ISO file to incorporate machine-specific cutting data. This is a highly iterative procedure, which can lead to interpretation errors and time-consuming resolution of machining issues.

To shorten the path, NUMcut includes a powerful, machine-resident CAM/postprocessor module. The only data that needs to be transferred to the machine prior to commencing cutting operations concerns the geometry of the part and the desired quality of each cut. This data can be derived from virtually any type of CAD/CAM software, running, for example, on a standard PC.

All other necessary data, such as cutting speeds, abrasive quantity as a function of the material to be cut, etc., are calculated by the control system itself. The CAM/postprocessor module utilises a technology database containing all the relevant information needed by the control system in order to automatically generate an executable part program. The values in the database are preloaded by the machine manufacturer, and can be modified or added to by users if necessary – for example, to accommodate new materials.

The database itself – which effectively contains the expertise of the production company – can either be located on individual cutting machines, or stored on a network drive so that it can be accessed by several machines.

The NUMcut HMI displays all files that are available to the machine operator in a clear, unambiguous style. Using the CNC system’s touch-sensitive screen, the operator can determine each successive machine action simply by clicking and dragging icons from the pool of files into a ‘job list’. Both the job that is currently being processed by the machine, and the current position of the cutting tool within the job, are marked graphically. If required, the operator can change the job list while it is being processed to accommodate different production needs, such as express deliveries.

NUMcut also offers two real-time analytical functions for water jet cutting applications. During water jet cutting, the processing speed needs to be decreased before corners in order to reduce the wake of the cutting jet and thus maintain the cutting quality. Using data from the technology database, NUMcut’s adaptive feed control (AFC) function analyses the path geometry and automatically optimises the cutting speed to best suit the curve radius or corner angle.

Another inherent characteristic of water jet cutting is that the shape of the kerf changes with the cutting conditions, which means that a significant change of gap width can develop, depending on the speed. If this inaccuracy needs to be compensated for, NUMcut offers a variable offset control (VOC) function. This allows the cutting path to be changed automatically, so that the final contour of the part remains true to size despite the changing radius of the cutting jet, thereby maintaining the dimensional accuracy of each cut part.

 

For more news and information, visit www.equipment-news.com.

 

Check these articles out:

Hexagon Enhances Smart Factory Solutions With Acquisition Of Romax Technology

Top 10 Metal Cutting Articles for 2019

Vingroup To Produce Ventilators And Body Thermometers In The Fight Against COVID-19

Helping Customers Move Towards Industry 4.0

Robotics Then & Now: Operational Efficiencies With Cobots

Walter Strengthens Tool Offering With Acquisition Of Melin Tool Company

Impact of COVID-19 And How The Crisis Is Shaping Universal Robots

 

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

Aircraft Milled Parts Market To Reach US$4.3B In 2025

Aircraft Milled Parts Market To Reach US$4.3B In 2025

The aircraft milled parts market is projected to grow at a healthy rate over the next five years to reach an estimated value of US$ 4.3 billion in 2025, according to a report by Stratview Research.

Milled parts or components are those machined components which are mainly produced through the milling process. Rapid advancements in the milling process i.e. from conventional milling machines to advanced CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling machines and high-speed machining centers have paved the way for milled components/parts in the aerospace industry. These advancements have also helped the industry to achieve its main objective of optimising metal removal rates and minimising chatter.

The outbreak of COVID-19 is ending the longest 16 years of the industry boon, which had begun when the industry had emerged out from another infectious disease SARS (2002-2003). The aerospace industry is projected to be one of the most severely impacted industries due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

As per the recent estimates of IATA, the airline industry is expecting to record a possible loss of US$ 252 billion of passenger revenues, an equivalent of a 38 percent loss in RPKs in 2020 from 2019. Complete lockdown of many countries, due to the pandemic, has forced several airlines to cut their flying capacity due to grounded fleets and operate at a reduced capacity of five percent to 40 percent of their total strength.

The overall impact of the outbreak is still unpredictable; however, currently, it is anticipated to be graver than the SARS (2002-2003) and the MERS (2015). And yet the industry is optimist about its recovery as it did during SARS (2002-2003).

The demand for milled parts in the industry is largely dependent on the overall health of the aviation industry. Huge order backlogs of Boeing and Airbus (13,237 aircraft at the end of Feb 2020),  accelerating demand for replacing iconic aircraft such as A380 and B747, which are forced to retire early by several airlines due to the outbreak, with A321, A350XWB and B787, and the market entry of new aircraft programs such A321XLR, B777X, C919, and MC-21; are anticipated to assure a speedy recovery of the aircraft industry including milled parts.

Asia-Pacific is expected to witness the highest growth during the forecast period, driven by upcoming indigenous aircraft program i.e. COMAC C919 and Mitsubishi SpaceJet, and opening of assembly plant of Boeing and Airbus in China for B737, A330, A320, and A350. Further, key economies, such as India and China, in the region are incessantly increasing their defense budget with the purpose to acquire the latest military aircraft to solidify their defense capabilities along with their offset policy and development of indigenous military aircraft such as Tejas and J20.

 

For other exclusive articles, visit www.equipment-news.com.

 

Check these articles out:

Airbus Commits To Continued Automation Of Its Manufacturing Line

Walter: Machining Titanium Quickly And Safely In Aerospace

Creaform Launches 3D Scanning Solution Suite for the Aerospace Industry

COVID-19 Forces Companies To Evaluate How They Operate And Embrace Technological Investment

Coronavirus Hits Automotive And Aerospace Supply Chains

Sandvik Coromant Joins Forces With Microsoft To Shape The Future Of Manufacturing

Paris Air Show: TRUMPF Showcases How 3D Printing Improves Satellites And Aircraft

Kennametal Releases HARVI I TE Four-Flute Solid Carbide End Mill

Toyota Strengthens Automotive Production Amidst Challenging Year

heimatec to Showcase New Tool Features and Innovations at METALEX 2019

 

 

10 Tips To Prevent Your CNC Machine From Standing Idle

10 Tips to Prevent Your CNC Machine From Standing Idle

While every situation is different, and different challenges play a role in every factory, here are some tips to prevent your CNC machine from standing idle. Article by BMO Automation.

10 Tips to Prevent Your CNC Machine From Standing Idle

With a servo controlled gripper, the operator no longer has to adjusts gripper fingers to the correct size.

A machine that is producing generates money. A machine that stands still costs money. In the machining sector, the full production capacity of CNC machines is often not used. Here are 10 tips to prevent your CNC machine from standing idle.

Tip 1: Standardise the raw material.

By standardizing the raw material, multiple product series can be made from the same format material. Simply put: mill more off. Changing products happens faster because the operator can use the same fixture. Resulting in less downtime.

Tip 2: Provide the CNC machine with a zero point clamping system.

With a zero point clamping system on the machining table, the operator can quickly change fixtures. Moreover, the advantage is that new fixtures can be prepared while the CNC machine is machining. With a zero point clamping system on the machining table you are also prepared for automated fixture changes.

Tip 3: Automate!

By providing a CNC machine with an automation solution, it will make more spindle hours. You can start automating at different levels. The easiest form is bar feed on a lathe. The next step is pallet and/or product loading.

Tip 4: Are you opting for single-batch or multi-batch automation?

What is single-batch automation? Automating of one product series. No continuous production but simply one unique product in one program loaded on the CNC machine through product loading. A higher level is multi-batch automation. Automating multiple product series in one continuous process. You combine the loading of products with the changing of a pallet with an automatic machine clamp or a clamped product on top. This makes 24/7 production of multiple product formats and product series possible. The biggest step towards less downtime is made with multi-batch automation. It is important that the machining table is equipped with the correct connections to control the machine clamps.

Tip 5: Choose one gripper that can handle it all.

The span on multiple product formats is great, but if the gripper cannot pick up all the sizes, the added value remains low. One solution is to use multiple grippers, but the changing will take time and the format range is often still limited and it comes at the expense of storage capacity. Another solution and a better one is the servo-controlled gripper that adjusts itself fully automatically to all possible product sizes. The setting time is 0 and the flexibility very high.

Tip 6: Continuous production of multiple product jobs.

All the previous tips are of little utility if only one CNC program can be produced with the automation software. Continuous production is necessary, otherwise the CNC machine will stop when the program comes to an end. Choose a software with which multiple different product series can be edited in a continuous process.

Tip 7: Focus on automating single pieces and small series.

On which products do you make the highest margins? Often these are single pieces and small series. By implementing all the previous tips, you have an automation that is fully set to this. With automation you can produce 24/7 and deliver faster due to a shorter product turnaround time. Selling ‘No’ because of a low capacity is something of the past. At least until your CNC machine makes 160 hours a week and you have to link a second CNC machine to the automation to meet the growing customer demand.

Tip 8: Make sure you have enough tools in your CNC machine.

A simple calculation. On average, a CNC machine has 60 tools of which 40 are standard. If you produce more than 5 different product series with 5 unique tools per series unmanned, you will already run into problems. A large tool stockroom is unnecessary luxury. Of course this can be taken into account by using the same tools as much as possible in the CNC programs during the preparation. But what happens when a miller breaks? Will you lose production and will the CNC machine stand still? Tip 9 offers a solution.

Tip 9: Manage the stand life of your tools.

The solution? Tool life management. The robot controls the total machining process but also calculates exactly which production per mill is feasible. Can the tools in the machine handle the numbers? What does the machine do if it breaks? The Tool Life Management module cleverly handles this and prevents the shutdown of your CNC machine.

Tip 10: Manage the automated process.

Continuous production and a maximum number of spindle hours are not simply achieved. Your operator has to become a process engineer. Does the coolant retain the correct values? Can the chip conveyor handle the quantity? Is the collection bin large enough? The total automated process must be optimized to avoid downtime.

These are just 10 tips to prevent your CNC machine from standing idle. Every situation is different, and different challenges play a role in every factory. Full use of production capacity involves attention, knowledge and experience. Be sufficiently informed and, above all, look carefully at your own process and the products that you produce.

 

For other exclusive articles, visit www.equipment-news.com.

 

Check these articles out:

Five Ways To Enhance CNC Machine Manufacturing With The Cloud

3 Ways Advanced Machining Builds a Competitive Edge in Aerospace

ANCA Discusses Trends Driving the Cutting Tool Industry

WALTER: HELITRONIC RAPTOR For The Production And Regrinding Of Tools

Five Ways To Enhance CNC Machine Manufacturing With The Cloud

APAC: Demand For Machine Tools On The Upswing As Manufacturers Invest In New Production Facilities

Multiaxis CNC Machine Simulation: A Confidence Booster

Faccin Metal Forming Taking the Middle East By Storm

Igus Expands 3D Printing Service By Injection Moulding With Printed Tools

Outlook For Plasma Cutting Machines Market

Strausak Appoints New President

 

WANT MORE INSIDER NEWS? SUBSCRIBE TO OUR DIGITAL MAGAZINE NOW!

FOLLOW US ON: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter

 

 

Back To Top