Metalworking on CNC machines: how to start producing world-class products?

    I present to you an article on the topic of digitalization of production and production of a new generation. The article will discuss the CAD-CAM system as an important component of competitive production. As an example, I’ll talk about one of these systems - Solid Edge + Solid Edge CAM Pro.

    Is a significant increase in efficiency, reduction in design + production time relevant for you? Is the article sufficiently developed or is it better to dwell on something in more detail? I would be grateful for the feedback.

    Metalworking in the XXI century - challenges and opportunities

    According to the analytical report , Russian engineering products are characterized by a low level of competitiveness in the world market. The explanation is in the problems that the industry is experiencing. We list the main ones:

    • decline in domestic consumption, which began in 2014;
    • increase in the proportion of worn machines;
    • lag behind developed countries in the share of CNC machines;
    • low level of optimization and automation of production and business processes of enterprises.

    At the same time, technological initiatives of industrialized countries, as indicated in the same report , are primarily aimed at accelerating the transition to the production of a new generation of products based on the Internet of Things (IoT) technology, the introduction of automation systems and big data analysis .

    Leading enterprises in the industry are investing in technology - advanced equipment and processing technology - and in process control systems (MES systems).

    Over the past three years, the most effective investments in the industrial sector have been investments in:

    • multifunctional machining centers;
    • five-axis / universal machining used in the precision machining market;
    • quick change tool / fixture;
    • high speed machining (HSM);
    • software (software) for creating, simulating and checking control programs for CNC machines (hereinafter - UP).

    Digitalization of engineering and the transition to life cycle contracts will allow enterprises to advance in solving the problem of increasing the share of competitive products. It is estimated that with a new approach, the output of such products will increase from the current 16% to 30% by 2025 and to at least 50% by 2030.

    Highly automated CAD-CAM system for solving mechanical engineering problems

    The global industrial concern Siemens AG is implementing its digitalization strategy using software from Siemens PLM Software. According to experts of the latter, a machine-building enterprise must solve the following problems to increase competitiveness:

    • maximize equipment load and reduce setup time;
    • implement the collection of information on products and processes for monitoring and managing tooling and accessories in conjunction with product parts based on templates;
    • implement simulation of the 3D model processing path for simulating the kinematics of the machine and modeling the tool path;
    • reduce programming time, introduce automation of the stages of creation of UP for processing standard elements (such as, for example, holes);
    • reduce processing time, introduce new processing strategies.

    As the practice of the leading companies in the industry has shown, consistently solving these problems is an inefficient and long process. An integrated approach and implementation of a CAD-CAM system is required, which controls all stages of product manufacturing - from design to the finished part.

    A key feature of the digitalization of the production process is the ability to design not only the technical and functional characteristics of the product to market requirements, but also the processes of production and operation. For this, the following are being developed: a physical product, its mathematical (software) model (the so-called digital twin, digital twin) for managing product production and automatic monitoring.

    As a result of the introduction of the system, the development process becomes more flexible: design engineers improve products, specialists optimize control processes, programmers check strategies and choose the best way to manufacture products.

    Advantages of using CAD-CAM system

    Consider the main drivers that reduce the complexity of programming, reduce the processing time and wear of CNC machines and, as a result, lead to an increase in output.

    Value Drivers throughout the process chain:

    The main results of using an effective CAD-CAM system:

    1. Increased productivity and operational efficiency due to:
      • process and automation templates;
      • reuse of tools and processing technologies;
      • traceability "detail> process> manufacture".
    2. Increased asset utilization due to:
      • reduction in setup time;
      • the use of multifunctional machining centers, simulation in G-codes, interaction with the CNC rack.
    3. Optimization of operating expenses due to:
      • inventory reduction through tool management;
      • tool cost reduction;
      • application of the tool in the CAM system, tracking the lifetime of the tool.
    4. Automation and flexibility of production due to:
      • supporting uninhabited industries;
      • the use of production data analysis systems.

    Solid Edge + Solid Edge CAM Pro: CAD-CAM system from Siemens PLM Software

    You will be able to see how to create control programs for turning and milling in Solid Edge CAM Pro at the next webinars.

    Next, I will outline in general terms the features and advantages of the CAM system.
    Solid Edge CAM Pro, based on NX CAM, is part of the Siemens PLM Software product line with Solid Edge . The software solution provides a wide range of functionalities - from two-axis milling and high-speed processing to programming multi-function machines and five-axis milling.

    CNC machine programmers can use Solid Edge CAM Pro to solve problems with different processing requirements - milling, drilling, turning and EDM.

    Using synchronous technology, you can directly edit part models and prepare them for creating programs for CNC machines, including processing blind holes and gaps, offset surfaces, as well as resizing part elements.
    Solid Edge CAM Pro uses the concept of a master model to provide end-to-end design and development of NC programs by linking all CAM functions to a single model that defines part geometry. As a result, a programmer can begin developing a program for a CNC machine without waiting for the designer to finish working. Full associativity provides the subsequent update of the control program operations for the CNC machine when changing the geometry of the model.

    Key Features of Solid Edge CAM Pro

    • Work with PMI - design and technological information of a 3D model.

      Product Manufacturing Information, PMI - Production data associated with a three-dimensional product model in CAD. PMI data includes geometric dimensions and tolerances (GD&T), three-dimensional annotations (text marks), surface treatment quality requirements and material specifications. PMI data is supported in many file formats used to share and visualize product data (such as PDF and JT). This data, if embedded in the model by the design engineer, is translated along with the geometry data from Solid Edge to Solid Edge CAM Pro. Thus, the programmer of the CNC machine receives all the necessary information from the design engineer. This allows you to avoid errors and delays associated with the use of 2D drawings, to optimize production processes using the end-to-end product description,

    • Feature-based machining.

      The element-based processing module provides recognition of holes, pockets, flat faces (including models imported from other CAD systems) and the creation of a strategy for processing them. Recognition is performed both by the parameters of the construction elements, and by their topology. This module significantly speeds up the programming of prismatic parts, provides optimization of processing, requires less operator skill. The module automatically recognizes design and technological product information (PMI) - tolerances, 3D annotations, surface cleanliness parameters when assigning processing technology. For example, for precise holes, in addition to drilling, boring or reaming operations will be automatically added (moreover, you can configure the preferred type of operation).
      Element-based processing is a prime example of programming automation, which can significantly reduce the time it takes to create a control program.

    • Postprocessing and simulation.

      Solid Edge CAM Pro includes its own post-processing system, which works closely with the core of the CAM system. This makes it easy to generate the required control program code for most types of machine and controller configurations.
      The program includes the PostBuilder utility, which allows you to create and edit postprocessors. Using the graphical user interface of the utility, the user can set the parameters of the required program code for the CNC machine.

      The postprocessor library is an Internet resource that contains many processes that support a large number of different machines and tools. Solid Edge CAM Pro also includes an optimized Sinumerik post-processor, which automatically selects the basic settings of the controller in accordance with the process operation data.

    • Modeling processing on the machine.

      One of the main advantages of the Solid Edge CAM Pro system is the integrated simulation and processing verification functions that allow specialists to check the tool path during the programming of CNC machines. At the same time, a multi-level verification process is available. For example, a simulation based on the G-code shows the movement controlled by the output of the program code of the CNC machine on the built-in NX post-processor. The 3D model of the machine along with the part, fixtures and tools moves in accordance with the movements of the tool based on the G-code.

    • Five axis processing.

      Key benefits: advanced machining strategies with flexible options for controlling tool axes, variable axis profiling automatically processes complex walls based on bottom geometry, Z-profile machining with a tilted tool can reduce tool deflection for better surface finish. For complex parts used in the aerospace and energy industries, Solid Edge CAM Pro offers a flexible approach and a number of options for controlling the axis of the tool for five-axis machining. For example, when programming a part with several pockets with designed walls, you need to select the bottom of the pocket once, and the system will create finishing paths for the walls.

    • High speed machining-HSM.

      The high-speed roughing in Solid Edge CAM Pro supports high-speed material removal while managing tool loads. Effective HSM strategies for milling at high speed can reduce processing time and improve the quality of the machined surfaces of molds and dies, prismatic and complex parts. The user has access to a wide selection of high-speed machining strategies for efficient milling of hardened parts with smooth tool movement and constant cutting force.

    • Applied programming. Milling turbo components.

      The Turbomachinery Milling module is designed for programming CNC machines that process multi-vane and multi-axis rotational parts. The possibility of processing blades with undercuts is provided. In addition, the processing of multiple dividers is supported, which allows more efficient work with CAD data, regardless of the system in which they were created. Blades may consist of one or more surfaces. Gaps between surfaces and surface overlays are corrected automatically. The system allows you to create smooth tool paths on adjacent surfaces with incompatible parametric lines. Defines machining operations for one element of a monowheel or impeller, and then automatically applies them to the rest of the part.

    Digital Workshop with Solid Edge CAM Pro

    Solid Edge CAM Pro is a tool for manufacturers who “build” a digital workshop or plan to upgrade equipment. Using this system, the user can create optimal processing programs on CNC machines for models created in Solid Edge and models created in third-party CAD formats, reduce production costs, and improve the quality of products.

    The introduction of Solid Edge + Solid Edge CAM Pro is a significant step towards digitalizing business processes and increasing product competitiveness.

    At the webinar on March 19, you can learn how to quickly get started in Solid Edge CAM Pro (after the recording is available for download).

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