Modern Machine Shop

SEP 2018

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MMS SEPTEMBER 2018 62 CAD/CAM SOFTWARE If a machining process is fast, but its speed is not predictable, then is that speed efficient? The predictability of a process is arguably even more valuable than its productivity, in no small part because predictability allows for accurate costing and precise allocation of capacity. And the point at which this predictability is realized is— ideally—during programming. However, many shops distrust what their CAM software tells them regarding the predicted run time of a job. Many have learned that the soft- ware's predicted cycle time and the actual time on the machine might differ greatly. SmartCAM is no different in terms of its out-of- the-box cycle time estimate, says Terry Antrobus, international business director for this CAM soft- ware. There are physical realities of machining, notably variations from machine to machine, that stand in the way of any CAM software offer- ing a cycle time estimate that is precise to an Are Cycle Time Estimates Holding Back Efficiency? A CAM provider with open postprocessor logic sees users employing that openness to realize more reliable predictions of machining time. There are various reasons why tighter estimates are becoming more crucial. PETER ZELINSKI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Here is a part for which predicted cycle time might differ significantly from the actual machining time. The short rapid moves won't allow the machine to reach its full rapid rate, so the true acceleration of the machine axes will heavily influence the run time of this part.

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