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SolidCAM Multi-Parts on Multi-Machine handling (CAM Project)

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  • SolidCAM Multi-Parts on Multi-Machine handling (CAM Project)


    The CAM Project target is to:
    1. Support of multi CNC-machines CAM Part process: the CAM Part, made on several CNC machines in Parallel (same operations on different CNC machines) or in Series (different operations on different CNC machines).
    1. Support of multi CAM-Parts process: several CAM parts (same or different) made on a single setup or/and on several CNC machines and Setups.
    Both above modes can be combined.

    Those features will enable:
    1. Full Tombstone support, reducing machining time by common tools grouping in multi CAM-parts work process
    2. Increasing the productivity time of a single setup, by combining different CAM Parts in one
    3. Optimizing CNC machine workload in the multi CNC-machines constellation, by better managing multiple CAM Parts work processes and multi CNC-machines project management.

    Manufacturing of a CAM part may involve several CNC machines and in each Machine several setups.
    Our goal is to enable the user to get maximum utilization from each machine setup.
    We plan to achieve this by putting several CAM parts on each setup:
    • Same CAM part several times in a setup
    • Instances of a CAM part in different manufacturing stages.
    • Or combining several different CAM parts in a setup
    Our CAM Project is intended to make fully utilized setups easy:
    • Each CAM Project may contain several CNC machines, under each machine several setups.
    • Combining several CAM parts under a Machine setup
    • Using Fixture with several joints to position several CAM parts on it
    • In Machine Preview the user can see the full setup combining all the CAM parts in the setup.
    • Merging tools of several CAM parts in a setup to one Machine Setup tool Table.
    • CoordSys manager: Separate MAC definition (setup) from position (geometry definition) – make it easy to move operations from MAC to MAC.
    • Channel synchronization will allow to synchronize and sort operations of all CAM parts in the setup
      (according to tools or as needed).
    Updating Post Processors to the latest writing style:
    • To use CAM Project, we must review the post, update it if needed, to use the latest post techniques.
    • This will make posts more flexible for easily utilizing setups.
    Eran Polna, Michael Vinetsky

  • #2
    Many customers are waiting for this big feature!

    Frank Barho
    Barho ECS


    • #3
      Another very interesting project, which will be important for the future market positioning of SolidCAM, because this is exactly what many users are asking for.

      Stefan Speiser
      SolidCAM GmbH


      • #4

        Very useful enhancement for the users with Milling Machine Centers and of course with Channel Sync. It will be very powerful solution for them.

        We should think about fixture definition as well.

        It should be possible to create the Database of Fixtures and with "non-cutting points" as well, in order to place the workpieces easily on the fixture.

        Many thanks in ahead,
        Goran Dudukovic
        SolidCAM GmbH


        • #5

          I think this approach for a shopfloor-management is very good to enable chaining of different CAM parts.

          In this context, it could also be very useful to use several postprocessors in one CAM project.

          For Example, 5x HDH postprocessor and 3x Siemens postprocessor, for single jobs in one CAM project.

          This would be an additional benefit for many customers who want to output in single jobs with different posts.

          Many thanks in ahead,
          SolidCAM GmbH


          • #6
            Excellent project, indeed such features are needed to win some deals, especially in tombstone application.

            Please could we consider a more appropriate name than "SolidCAM Part Assembly" ?

            Historically, SolidCAM talk about "CAM part" file, but this concept is confusing and let suppose assembly can't be supported.

            It creates some confused sentence like:
            "CAM Part is a part prepared for a CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) project." (extract from our SC helpfile)
            "CAM Part can be saved as internal into a SW part or a SW assembly format "
            "CAM Part can be saved as external into PRT or PRZ format that contain a SW assembly in which a SW part named "CAM" is placed with a copy of CAD file named "DesignModel" (wich can be a part or an assembly itself)

            Anyone who do SC training to customer, know the struggle to explain this to users because "Part" word of CAM is mixed with assembly context of CAD.

            In France we stopped to use "CAM Part" name and use "CAM project" instead. It is easier for beginner user comprehension.

            We replaced it everywhere in French version of the software and documentation, also after we got too many bad feedback/question about file management.

            That's why I believe adding the concept of "SolidCAM Part Assembly" would not be appropriate either.

            Would be preferable to use instead of CAM part and CAM Part Assembly:
            CAM project
            CAM projects Management System (something like that, it's up to you. Some of our competitors talk about TombStone Management System)

            Also for Tombstone application we will need:

            -Good Machine Simulation of movement between jobs (to simulate and optimize 4th and 5th axis rotation. Currently simulation jump from last position of job1 to first position of job2, so user can't simulate correctly 4th & 5th axis rotation)

            -Ability to define initial stock for a CAM project B from rest material of CAM project A (with link, synchronization and update option) in case a single part goes trough several fixtures and/or machine.

            Also since tombstone implies the use of many origins, concept of "MAC" should disappear in favor of WCS (Working Coordinate System) like our competitors do and like on real machine. When potential customer see MAC1 in SC and exact name of origin like on machine in another CAM system, it's unfavorable for us. This is also needed in case of swapping CAM program between several Machines.

            We should have a parameter in VMID for CS index management:
            MAC1 -> G54 on machine A -> G54.1 P1 on machine B (fanuc) -> $OG1 G54 on machine C (heller) -> G154 on machine D (Siemens840D) etc
            MAC2 -> G55 on machine A -> G54.1 P2 on machine B (fanuc) -> $OG2 G54 on machine C (heller) -> G155 on machine D (Siemens840D) etc

            Today it's GPP that does this conversion and therefore user never see correct name of the WCS he is using in user interface. Only position can be renamed. Also Origin to Origin transform only display "MAC number". When many MAC are used, it's not easy for the user to navigate between them. By seeing correct WCS name, things would be easier.

            Herve Philibien
            SolidCAM France


            • #7
              I do support all of Hervé's ideas strongly.

              Markus Roth


              • #8
                Many years ago I had put together some ideas on this subject - last year I put them together into a better document format.

                Here is the link to the document...

                A lot of this may need to be rethought since a significant amount of SolidCAM development has happened over the years since this was written.

                Ken Meritt
                SolidCAM Inc
                Last edited by KenMerritt; 02-16-2021, 08:06 PM.


                • GDUDUKOVIC
                  GDUDUKOVIC commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Hello Ken,

                  It is exactly about Starting the new CAM-Project and Setup Definition of what the customers need.

                  CAM-Setup based Structure

                  We have customers that do several Setups for the different machines, with over 400 Operations.

                  But currently, they are not able to define the Setup for each machine separately.

                  If they change the VMID-File inside the CAM-Part, it is not so easy to define all the settings between machines.

                  New CAM-Project, independent of Machining Type
                  We have customers who do the machining on different machine types.
                  The current version of the software does not allow switching between mill-turn and milling type of CAM-Part.

                  Best Regards
                  Goran Dudukovic
                  SolidCAM GmbH
                  Last edited by GDUDUKOVIC; 06-17-2021, 12:54 PM.

                • Helder_Cravo
                  Helder_Cravo commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Ken, the possible tree alignment seems very good.
                  Hope some (if not all) of these ideas could be integrated into SolidCAM.

              • #9

                This synchronization will certainly be fantastic!

                Programming a model in different environments and equipment will put SolidCAM as the first option in companies.

                The special type of process of some clients requires this type of resource!

                Felipe Semensato
                SolidCAM Brazil


                • #10
                  Very important for Oil&Gas and Energy customers.

                  We move parts from one big machine to another and then back.


                  • #11
                    I appreciate your valuable posts
                    and especially Hervé's for being so detailed
                    we will discuss them in our next meetings on the subject

                    thanks, Eran