Controls and CAD/CAM: Connections Growing Stronger

Whether designing parts or monitoring entire plant networks, the future of manufacturing is undeniably digital. (Image courtesy of Excellerant)

The term “data democratization” is increasingly heard as the realization grows clearer that design, production, supply-chain management, and logistics are inexorably bound in computer processing power and data accessibility.

“We have experienced a seismic shift in the democratization of digital manufacturing technologies designed for job shop use to increase CNC and 3D-printer productivity,” said Peter Eelman, chief experience officer at the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), which operates IMTS.

“These digital solutions come at a time when industry needs to harness every efficiency it can to combat labor issues and keep up with growing demand, as proven by the 30 percent year-over-year increase in U.S. manufacturing technology orders.”

Digitally driven technologies, from computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided machining (CAM) to enterprise resource planning (ERP) and manufacturing execution systems (MES)—and many more—will demonstrate how such data delivers improved manufactured products and real-world ROI.

The Controls and CAD/CAM pavilion features 157 exhibitors, showcasing products designed to enable job shops to respond to RFQs in hours, rather than days.

Virtual twinning in 3DEXPERIENCE from Daussalt at Nokia. (Images courtesy of Nokia)

Digital Production

The digital twin is another emerging concept for digital product modeling and modeling entire production operations. The ability to create virtual twins of the factory floor and then run production simulations, such as with Dassault Systèmes’ cloud-based 3DExperience, can help manufacturers see the impact of different configurations on the production process and better optimize material flow. Simulations can be run of individual machines to further enhance overall manufacturing efficiencies. Visit Dassault at Booth 133120.

3DExperience provides planning and scheduling software to help manufacturers optimize modular production configurations. Dassault’s Delmia combines digital continuity with artificial intelligence-driven decision support to manage both people and resources.

Resiliency has risen to the top of the agenda of most manufacturers over the past 18 months, according to Dassault. This means having the flexibility to manage change. Modular manufacturing can be an extremely powerful tool in optimizing existing production processes, as well as providing the operational agility to meet changing customer demands. And through a cloud-based platform such as 3DExperience, users “can access all the digital solutions needed for your journey to a more sustainable, more modular future,” the company said.

More than 40 parts programmed with Mastercam will be showcased by CNC Software by CNC Software and partners booths. (Provided by CNC Software)

Product Debuts

CNC Software LLC has chosen IMTS to unveil Mastercam 2023, the company’s most powerful machining software to date. Manufacturers worldwide got to test-drive the system during the public beta program before it was released, providing valuable feedback to help shape the final product, according to the supplier.

“Mastercam 2023 will be front and center in our exhibits (Booth 133222),” said Meghan West, president and CEO of CNC Software, Tolland, Conn. In addition, she noted, more than 40 parts programmed with Mastercam will be showcased in partner booths.

One of the software’s cool new features is consolidating multi-axis toolpaths: Morph, Parallel, Along Curve, and Project Curve are no longer individual toolpaths. Instead, the Unified Toolpath allows access to these cut patterns when users add the appropriate curves.

“Also, detecting undercut stock when machining—the Dynamic Opti-Rough and Area Roughing toolpaths can now be aware of undercut stock conditions, resulting in improvement to the toolpath motion, including less air cutting. And, we’ve introduced a new toolpath to the turning suite for the Mill-Turn product. B-Axis Contour Turning is a finishing toolpath that allows for rotation of the B-axis while the tool is cutting.”

Cutting job shop confusion and increasing efficiencies is highlight of ProShop ERP.

Technology to Scale

A pertinent question to keep in mind on your journey through the Controls and CAD/CAM pavilion is scale: Where is my organization on adopting, applying, and reaping the benefits of increased digitization now and in the future?

“With the right kind of information automation, you can harness the daily confusion that is the norm in many shops,” said Paul Van Metre, co-founder of ProShop ERP, Bellingham, Wash. The right kind will combine estimating, scheduling, shop-floor communications, even quality control, into a single integrated system, he added. “It will allow you to quote jobs quickly, with confidence, and clear visibility into real-time status of the shop floor to maximize efficiency while maintaining a high on-time delivery rate. And it will provide instant access to information all employees need to do their jobs—from estimators, to purchasing, to shop-floor personnel, to shipping—without the need for routers or other manual communication and data collection methods.”

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