Original Date: 11/03/1996
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Manufacturing Verification through NC Program Simulation
Oak Ridge recognized the need to eliminate interference (collisions) among the tool holders, machine spindles, fixturing, and the part being machined. Working with Deneb Robotics, Inc., a software tool kit (IGRIP VIRTUAL NC) was developed for use on an engineering workstation to simulate the NC program.
The CNC machine is kinematically modeled and placed in memory storage for use with the software. (The engineering modeling cost is approximately $12,000 for each unique CNC machine). Also modeled in software systems are the tool holders, tooling, and fixturing. The software system provides a simulated color automation showing NC path driven machine movements and material removal. When collision occurs, the colors on the screen highlight the collision, and machine positions and lines of NC code can be viewed and printed out on a collision detection report. The lines of code indicate where in the NC program the collision occurred. The machinist during actual prove-out would normally be focused on the cutter path leaving the rest of the machine environment in a vital, collision-prone state. This manufacturing verification simulation system allows the programmers to view the complete picture. Windows in the software allow other pieces of information such as lines of code to be displayed. The software allows personnel to verify probing routines and post processors accuracies, potentially even prior to installation of a machine.
Oak Ridge has been able to realize $120,000 savings through 500 NC programs. These savings have been identified in the areas of weld repair, NC program checking, post processor debugging, reprogramming, probing setups, process evaluation, and process planning. Hidden cost savings are estimated at $200,000 to $400,000 because there have been no machine catastrophic crashes. Another hidden cost is an estimated $150,000 savings in dry run and machine down time.
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