Okuma and Boeing to Present on STEP-NC ISO Standard During IMTS

During the upcoming IMTS 2014 show and the Trends in Advanced Machining, Manufacturing and Materials (TRAM) conference, The Boeing Company and Okuma America will share their experiences in technology leadership with a new implementation of the STEP-NC ISO standard.

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During the upcoming IMTS 2014 show and the Trends in Advanced Machining, Manufacturing and Materials (TRAM) conference, The Boeing Company and Okuma America will share their experiences in technology leadership with a new implementation of the STEP-NC ISO standard.

Each day at 11 a.m., in the Okuma booth (S-8500), David Odendahl, associate technical fellow at The Boeing Company, will offer a short presentation, complete with a titanium cutting demonstration, to briefly demonstrate the optimization of programming with STEP-NC. Then at 3 p.m. each day, in South building conference room #S-103e, attendees can meet with representatives of the companies involved in making this presentation possible: STEP Tools Inc., Boeing, Okuma, Sandvik Coromant and Iscar.

In addition, Odendahl and Jim Kosmala, Okuma’s VP of technology, will present during the TRAM conference on Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 2:20 p.m.

According to the companies, commercially available implementations act as a universal CAM translator, similar in some ways to what MTConnect does for data transfer. This allows end users to leverage multiple tooling suppliers using a variety of CAM packages that provide optimized cutting paths resulting in reduced cycle times and increased tool life by taking advantage of the latest in tooling technology. These optimized tool paths can be incorporated into one STEP-NC file that retains process knowledge, not just the axis motion of G-code, for:

portability or transfer of operations from one plant to another
process retention, i.e., storing the process for future manufacturing use
evaluating suppliers and solutions.

Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of STEP-NC, its evolution and role in the programming environment, and its practical applications, the companies say.

Any CNC program can be optimized by modernizing its tooling, but the optimizer must meet all the design and manufacturing requirements. G-code alone does not have this information, so in 2012 the Organization for Machine Automation and Control (OMAC) issued a call to develop standardized CAM files. In response, new ISO standard interfaces have been added to CATIA, NX and Mastercam, and in May of 2013 Sandvik Coromant and Iscar started cloud services to optimize programs using the new files. Research from the OMAC led team has shown that optimizing machining processes using the STEP-NC ISO standard can achieve improvements of 15 to 30 percent realized as time savings, tool wear savings, or some combination of both.

The titanium part being machined during the demonstration is a test part developed by Boeing Commercial Airplane. It will be machined using the original Boeing process and then two optimized processes. A new CAM file simulator on the PC-based, open-architecture OSP control will direct the machining and validate the design and manufacturing requirements.