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AMendate Acquisition Helps Hexagon Minimise Time-to-Print For Additive Manufacturing

AMendate Acquisition Helps Hexagon Minimise Time-to-Print for Additive Manufacturing

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire AMendate GmbH, a German-based start-up providing simulation software solutions that support the generation and optimisation of designs for additive manufacturing. AMendate will join Hexagon’s MSC Software business, a provider of computer-aided engineering (CAE) simulation software and services.

With this acquisition, MSC is positioned to offer its customers a paradigm shift away from general purpose optimisation technologies to an innovative, purpose built software solution for additive manufacturing. Enabling the efficient production of highly complex components and providing customers with numerous benefits, from material-saving, weight reduction and efficient, cost-effective production. AMendate’s technology eliminates the inefficient manual effort that significantly slows today’s workflows, allowing work steps to be completed in days that would otherwise take several weeks.

“The AMendate acquisition directly addresses a major obstacle during design for companies shifting to additive manufacturing processes,” said Paolo Guglielmini, CEO, MSC Software. “It enhances our Smart Factory solutions by minimising time-to-print. We are proud to welcome AMendate to the MSC team, and we look forward to what we will accomplish together.”

“With MSC being one of the most renowned developers for software solutions in CAE, we are incredibly excited to introduce our generative design technology to its customers,” said Dr. Thomas Reiher, CEO and co-founder, AMendate. “The integration of AMendate’s software in MSC’s established simulation technologies such as Simufact and MSC Apex will enable us to further enhance our technology even faster and make its benefits available to a global audience.”

AMendate was founded in 2018 by a team of experienced researchers from Paderborn University and the Direct Manufacturing Research Centre (DMRC) in Paderborn, an industrial/academic consortium started in 2008 by Boeing, EOS, and other commercial partners.

The AMendate transaction is expected to close early third quarter and subject to customary closing conditions.

 

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Hexagon To Showcase Digital Transformation Of Aerospace Manufacturing At Paris Air Show 2019

Hexagon To Showcase Digital Transformation Of Aerospace Manufacturing At Paris Air Show 2019

Hexagon will demonstrate how it is innovating to meet the fast-evolving needs of the aerospace and defence industries with a range of connected software and hardware systems at the Paris Air Show 2019, which is being held on June 17–23.

Visitors to the aerospace exhibition will see first-hand how discrete software and hardware solutions from Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division connect to form tool chains that lay the foundations for data-driven aerospace manufacturing ecosystems. On Hexagon’s stand, a continuous digital process, using digital twin and equipment monitoring technology, will show the development of an aeroengine blade from the design and engineering stages, through production, to the final quality inspection of the finished blade by the GLOBAL S HTA CMM solution.

Hexagon’s software and hardware systems underpin aerospace manufacturing at every level of design, production and final assembly on all sizes of parts and types of aircraft. They also support aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul. A Leica Absolute Tracker ATS600 on the stand will display the benefit of using large-volume 3D measurement for large structural assembly.

At the Paris Air Show, there will also be an opportunity to see Hexagon’s Geospatial division’s demonstration of a 3D flight training simulator based on Luciad technology. It combines static flight plans and dynamic aeronautical data, and provides real-time and post-training feedback and evaluation of any deviations from the designated flight plan and the disruptions that might cause.

Hexagon will be on hall 2B, stand D157.

 

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Hexagon Enhances Post-Processed Simulation, Automation Features In ALPHACAM

Hexagon Enhances Post-Processed Simulation, Automation Features In ALPHACAM

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence’s Production Software business has enhanced the post-processed simulation, automation, and five-axis functionality of its ALPHACAM CAD/CAM software.

The Post-processor engine now directly configures and deploys a simulation session, resulting in more realistic motion, as well as the ability to support cycles such as M6. The Automation suite has been upgraded, improving the user’s experience and productivity when creating and deploying job configurations. Whether setting up a first automation job, or whether the user is involved in complex and dynamic environments, the new setup wizards will make short work of daily production tasks.

Regarding solids machining, specifically machining solid faces directly, ALPHACAM sets a new standard by allowing direct interaction with them. The Rough/Finish command (profiling) now allows the user to directly select and machine a solid face. And if the machine supports tool compensation on custom orientations (planes), this option provides the ability to create precision parts with minimal effort, via the use of G41/G42.

Advanced five-axis functionality also has been updated to include numerous improvements, such as the ability to integrate the Toolpath Optimiser into a core cycle which can then be stored in a machining style and deployed with Automation; and the inclusion of barrel mill and double profile tools. Improvements in SWARF machining, multi-axis roughing and toolpath smoothing are also included.

The geometry offset command is now intelligent and dynamic, making all operations more productive, whether the user wants to simply retain attributes and information on the geometry, or to completely re-assign machining cycle parameters to a newly created offset.

Regarding ordering and productivity tools enhancements, a new feature of ALPHACAM provides a simple, productive and effective way to set a user-defined order in seconds.

 

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Hexagon Advanced Positioning System For Automated 3D Optical Measurement

Hexagon Advanced Positioning System For Automated 3D Optical Measurement

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division launched LightRunner, an advanced positioning tool that transforms automated 3D optical measurement by eliminating mapping time during the setup and measurement of parts. 3D optical measurement systems enable manufacturers to rapidly capture rich data sets from large surfaces and assembly features for defect detection and process control, making them essential in industries including automotive and aerospace. Until now such systems typically required a lengthy mapping process during setup, with each new part referenced by the placement of markers before automated measurement could begin.

This approach is time-consuming, so Hexagon has developed LightRunner’s patented pattern projection technique and advanced software algorithms to improve productivity and shorten cycle times by removing mapping and robot stabilisation time. LightRunner automatically projects millions of reference points on to a part’s surface to provide constant absolute positioning for high-speed, non-contact, 3D optical measurement systems, providing confidence in the results without the need for CMM correlations. The LightRunner solution also accelerates initial part programming and eliminates the need to store reference panels or the use of reference frames on the fixtures, reducing operator workload and minimising training requirements for shop-floor users.

Fernando Funtowicz, Senior Product Manager, explained: “Manufacturers are increasingly turning to fully-automated 3D optical measurement systems to help them digitally transform production, gain greater insight into their processes and build on their investments to develop faster, more accurate techniques that drive productivity. LightRunner removes some of the major challenges of implementing automated 3D optical measurement, enabling more manufacturers to benefit from the rich data capture it offers. This system has a major effect on the utilisation and productivity of automated optical measurement and enables better process control without the need to buy new tooling, fixtures or robots.”

 

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Designing Small, Complex Medical Part Molds

Designing Small, Complex Medical Part Molds

A mold maker producing tools for thermoplastic materials and die-castings uses Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence VISI Analysis module—a mold tool design solution, to discover critical areas at an early stage of the design process, which simplifies their work.

The company, Mecca T.P. which serves a variety of industry sectors, such as medical and automotive, produces between 40 and 80 molds a year using a variety of molding metals. Co-owner Antonio Tognon said their molds have to be produced swiftly and accurately, first time every time, without the need for changing them unless requested by the customer. And in those cases, the amendments have to be carried out quickly.

VISI Mold is used to carry out the design of molds, while electrodes are modelled and machined with VISI Machining 3D, which is also used for cutting plates and molding parts, along with Machining Strategist and VISI Wire.

“Our in-house team follows the mold design, adopting various solutions for mold movements, conditioning circuits, injection and extraction systems,” Tognon said. “In order to optimise the final product and the molding activity, we pay precise attention to the analysis, proposing possible improvements.”

Used in the preliminary stage, before the design process begins, VISI mold is used to analyse details such as drafts, undercuts and thicknesses, and to draw up possible dimensions of the finished molds. “We import customer STEP, IGES or Parasolid files and analyse the geometry in depth, to define the quality of the mathematical model, while correcting incomplete or inaccurate geometries.”

They move on to create the mold basement and define details, before sending the component parts to the different CAM stations for milling, wire cutting, and electrode modelling and construction.

The company has developed a stainless steel mold to replace an existing mold used by a medical sector client. “The mold was to produce a small circular component with a diameter of approximately 40 mm. The part had to be molded in a white chamber on eight impressions, in a complete discharge cycle of less than 20 seconds.” The product is described as being complex, with irregular surfaces and a different front and back finish, and a shiny, mirrored surface on one side.

“Our proposal optimised the intrinsic characteristics of the impressions, and the operational flexibility, ensuring the highest level of productivity. Each imprint has a completely interchangeable matrix and punch, which are fixed to the mold by screws. This means we can replace them when they are worn out, without changing the entire mold, even if the mold is inside the machine. It also means we can produce different products using the same mold.”

The main challenge was to find a way to free undercuts; also, to create the movements necessary to obtain a high-quality piece—molded from soft adhesive PVC – in the correct way, avoiding possible wastage.

The VISI Mold handled the design process and provided them with specific automation that guided the operator throughout the project’s development. Thus, this optimised the process from design to delivery, which allows compliance with increasingly tight delivery times.

 

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3D Goes Long-Range With The First Scanning Laser Tracker

3D Goes Long-Range With The First Scanning Laser Tracker

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has launched a laser tracker line, the Leica Absolute Tracker ATS600. This new product introduces a new concept in metrology-grade laser trackers, with targetless 3D scanning possible for the first time, directly from the laser tracker. The ATS600 can scan a surface with metrological accuracy from a distance of up to 60 metres with no need for targets, sprays, reflectors or probes.

Following in the footsteps of the Leica Absolute Scanner LAS-XL that was released in 2017, the ATS600 delivers as much accuracy as is needed by targeted metrology applications, with its focus more on measurement usability and processing speed. Previously difficult to reach areas are simply measured without even the need for tracker repositioning, while surfaces that would previously have taken hours to manually scan can now be digitised in minutes.

“We’re always very focused on usability and productivity throughout our research and development process, and so large-scale scanning is a very interesting concept for us,” said Matthias Saure, Laser Tracker Product Manager at Hexagon. “Like the LAS-XL before it, the ATS600 introduces a fundamental change to the scale in which we think about non-contact scanning. We know that users are increasingly interested in digitising parts as a way to absolutely ensure production quality, and we think the ATS600 is a product that can really take digitisation into new places of industrial production and play a key role in expanding the role of quality assurance.”

The system works by identifying a scan area within its field of view and then creating a sequentially measured grid of data points that define that surface, with accuracy to within as little as 300 microns. Measurement point density is fully customisable, so that users can choose the ideal balance between detail and process speed for their specific application. The Leica Absolute Tracker ATS600 is unique in delivering this functionality at metrology-grade accuracy and alongside easy integration within established metrology workflows – the ATS600 is compatible with all major metrology software platforms as has been designed to sit comfortably within a wider metrology toolkit.

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Hexagon Launches Fixed-Line Blue Laser Scanning Sensor

Hexagon Launches Fixed-Line Blue Laser Scanning Sensor

Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence division has launched its first blue laser scanning sensor for creating point clouds. The HP-L-5.8 joins Hexagon’s comprehensive range of tactile and non-contact sensors for CMMs and is designed for companies who need a versatile, affordable, fixed-line laser sensor.

The HP-L-5.8 performs equally well when taking point cloud measurements from dark or shiny surfaces. Designed to be rugged and compact, it protects the sensor from collisions and vibrations and is ideal for use in areas where accessibility is restricted as well as on smaller CMMs.

“Increasingly our customers want to add the speed and wide measurement coverage of laser scanning to their CMM’s capabilities,” says Christian Schorr, Hexagon’s Product Manager for Laser Scanners on CMMs. “The HP-L-5.8 meets our customers’ demand for an accurate, affordable laser scanner that turns a CMM into a multisensor machine that can switch easily between tactile probing or laser scanning in a single part program.”

The HP-L-5.8 is seamlessly compatible with Hexagon CMMs that use PC-DMIS 2018 R2 and subsequent versions of the software and works with an automatic indexing probe head or continuous wrist, making it easy to operate for users of tactile probing tools.

The HP-L-5.8 is available worldwide.

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