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Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence

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ESPRIT CAM Improves Productivity for Long-Part Machining

Offset-aware programming of spindle transfers and bar pulls helps manufacturers drive multichannel CNC machinery

Published: Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 12:00

(DP Technology Corp., Camarillo, CA) -- New technology for computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) has been introduced by ESPRIT CAM, part of Hexagon’s Manufacturing Intelligence Division that provides manufacturers with the control and flexibility needed to use multispindle and multichannel computer numerical control (CNC) machinery for the machining of long parts. More accurate simulation of spindle transfers and bar pulls enables manufacturers to exploit multitasking machinery with high productivity program creation of error-free tool paths. 

Machining long parts, such as shafts and axles, is challenging because they require that the workpiece is supported throughout to maintain cutting speed and surface quality. The main and sub spindles must be synchronized to ensure that cutting can be performed while both spindles hold the workpiece for maximum support. Bars are also frequently repositioned in incremental steps to keep workpieces rigid, as well as to account for limited bed length. Because the repeat repositioning of the bar presents a collision risk, it benefits machinists if they are supplied with NC code that tracks machine motion for greater flexibility and readability at the machine control.

Without the ability to track machine motion, a significant amount of time is spent hand-editing NC code and troubleshooting programs before production begins using complex multitasking scenarios. ESPRIT TNG CAM software now automatically tracks the location of work offsets regardless of part position by enabling programmers to define the offset and offset translations, or the points at which offset changes occur. In addition to enabling precise simulation, this eliminates the need for custom settings or calculations to the machine post to ensure that parts are machined accurately and makes it possible to program a greater number of complex machining scenarios without error.

“ESPRIT TNG is ‘the next generation’ CAM because it provides an exact digital replica of every facet of the machining environment to help manufacturers use the world’s most sophisticated, cutting-edge machine tools with confidence,” says Olivier Thenoz, ESPRIT principal product manager. “The ability to accurately track parts throughout complex operations means that users can make the most of the combined power of software and machinery for advanced multitasking, and that they have the freedom and flexibility needed to machine exactly the way they want to.”

ESPRIT TNG now also enables manufacturers to perform face-milling operations with a unique “roll in” lead-in strategy recommended by Sandvik Coromant to improve surface quality, reduce cycle time, and extend tool life. This lead-in technique positions the cutter for ideal thick-to-thin chip formation, which indicates that the insert engages the material deeply enough at entry to make a significant cut before exiting smoothly to reduce vibration and ensure consistent, high-quality surface finish. In addition to being less damaging to cutter inserts, this strategy eliminates the need to manually calculate face-milling stepovers during the programming process, which automatically ensures a consistent and even surface across the entire workpiece. 

The new release also offers productivity benefits for three-axis operations. Tool path creation is now 20 times faster, meaning that tool path that once took 30 minutes to generate can now be calculated in about 2 minutes. Furthermore, a new three-axis tool path can now be created in ESPRIT TNG from an existing operation without recalculating the entire tool path. Areas in collision can be trimmed from tool path generated for use with short cutting tools, or re-machining operations can be created with a long tool to cut only areas that cannot be reached with the shorter tool.

ESPRIT TNG 4.7 is available from ESPRIT CAM now.

DP Technology Corp., the parent company of ESPRIT, is founded on the vision of technology’s potential, powered by passion, guided by integrity, and committed to excellence.

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Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence helps industrial manufacturers develop the disruptive technologies of today and the life-changing products of tomorrow. As a leading metrology and manufacturing solution specialist, our expertise in sensing, thinking and acting – the collection, analysis and active use of measurement data – gives our customers the confidence to increase production speed and accelerate productivity while enhancing product quality.

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence is part of Hexagon, a leading global provider of information technologies that drive quality and productivity across geospatial and industrial enterprise applications.