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Simulation and Verification Software Compresses Machine Tool Buying Cycle

Posted by: 3. April 2015

Any similarity to real-world conditions or resemblance to reality is strictly INTENTIONAL.  Virtualizing reality down to the second, to within the least input increment, without any doubt.  This is the goal of CGTech’s virtual reality programming tools that enable simulation, verification, and optimization of machine tool part processing.

Yes, this type of software is widely known for its ability to prove out a cutting process off the machine. Instead of using the machine to test out and optimize programs, shops can avoid machine downtime and costly collisions that might occur during on-machine prove-out.  

If the next job is being verified and optimized on the desk top, the machine can be running production and making money.    But there are other, less obvious ways to use verification software to save time and money before the machine is even delivered and available for production.

The first example is a real world case experienced at AMG, Huntington Beach, CA, but any shop can realize the same advantages when waiting for a newly purchased machine to be delivered. AMG had placed an order for an EcoSpeed Milling/Machining Center. The machine was schedule to be built and delivered.

Here are the seven steps that typically define the buying process. Sure, there are always exceptions, but the sequence depicted below is not unusual. Some of the steps can be sped up (may I humbly suggest that the “spec machine” step can be streamlined by using Techspex.com first, if I do say so myself). But the big waste of time is the “wait for machine delivery” step. Or is it?  

 

 

 

 

 

It doesn’t have to be. Using CGTech Simulation software, AMG was able to program parts & prove-out the process, 95% complete, while waiting for the machine, speeding up time to production by a month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Verify the process before the machine arrives. So the machine hits the ground running! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And production begins immediately. How long would it take to prove out the job or jobs on the machine before production can begin?  Every shop and situation is different. Only you can do the math to put a value on verification, simulation, and optimization software. But the blank space to the right, below, represents your valuable time, saved. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second example is another real world case at GE Aircraft. R&D engineers were tasked with developing a cost-effective solution to manufacturing the titantium leading edge of a composite fan blade. The engineers sought to make the leading edge using a simple 5-axis milling approach, but needed a way to prove to management that it could work. The solution was to test the process with CGTech Simulation software and once proven, incorporate the requirements into the machine spec. The virtual process was repeated hundreds of times to prove all performance aspects including the machine, program, fixtures, and tooling.  GE used CGTech’s Simulation software to modify virtual models of the existing Starrag machines in order to design the new machine. Starrag built a custom machine based on GE’s spec and delivered as promised. All fixtures and tooling were built and programs ready to go when the machine hit the floor.

In this example, the “program parts & prove out process” step was overlapped with the “spec machine” step, not only saving time, but insuring feasibility of an all new process, while minimizing risk and investment.

And all this is made possible, because similarity to real-world conditions and resemblance to reality was intentional, and executed to perfection. 

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