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Digital Twin Software Update Enhances Functionality

NCSIMUL 2021 from Hexagon Production Software further increases shop-floor productivity and reduces manufacturing costs with improvements to detecting excess material, setup editing and wear on cutting tool simulation.

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NCSIMUL 2021 autocontrol

All photo credit: Hexagon

An array of new and enhanced functionality is said to keep NCSIMUL, the latest digital twin software from Hexagon Production Software, at the forefront of Industry 4.0 Smart Factory technology by increasing CNC program quality with automatic and predictive analysis.

Virtually building the real-life machining environment to avoid errors, decrease setup times and switch CNC programs between machines, NCSIMUL’s 2021 release features a new comparison mode that detects excessive material during a fast and hidden simulation. It shows a solid comparison between the CAD/CAM models or previous cut stock and the NCSIMUL simulated model.  

Technical Director Philippe Legoupi says this new item of functionality is the only way to detect unwanted rest stock on a large part. It identifeies a list of the excess material that’s left, and can also be displayed in a 3D window linked to the list. Among its benefits is the ability to find small, missing drill holes on large aerospace components and missing holes that need to be connected on mold bodies and hydraulic parts.  

Integrated to NCDoc, Dimensioning is a new function which creates control instructions for operators during the CNC process. It defines a dimension check-list with user-defined tolerances, automatically defines the minimum measurement needed for each cut, generates a comprehensive view for the programmer and operator on the 3D simulation, and works with the NCDoc documentation template. This saves time and money says Hexagon, particularly when using the Wizard to create the correct number of measurements, even when using a probe tool on the machine.

A new set of options quickly evaluate tools that can benefit from air-cutting optimization, with the ‘out of material working time’ in the sequence list. This works with the NCDoc documentation template, and customizes stock nearness values for each sequence; the optimization is automatically stored for future strategies.

Enhancements to editing Setup further reduce simulation time by merging fixtures, parts and rough stock elements from one, or multiple, CAD files read in NCSIMUL. It creates simple, geometric rough stock—either cylinder or cubes—an automatic part envelope and all setup elements can move up or down.

NCSIMUL 2021 toolsheet

Improvements to mill-turn tooling include management for ESPRIT CAM and TopSolid CAM interfaces. With a new ‘configuration interface file’ associated to each digital twin, it is now possible to define the mapping of tool-assembly positioning—station number, turret and orientation—between the CAM system and NCSIMUL. This means the interfaces can create NCSIMUL projects ready to run the simulation.

A simplified 2D display for turning parts also improves the analysis of dynamic rough stock, enabling a quick display of the tool and toolpath next to the cut model and reference part profiles.

The document center is now available online, and includes additional descriptions of the released versions, including more details under the ‘case studies’ and ‘focus on’ tabs.

Finally, for cutting-tool wear simulation as defined in the tool magazine, a button now runs the simulation for tools either ‘fresh out of the box,’ or ‘worn down.’ User-defined values apply for each cutting tool, and the system can check if a worn tool will generate alarms or collisions with unwanted rest stock material. This defines the sharpening rules, and decreases tool consumption.

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