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Delcam has added two new options for its Powerinspect inspection software.

Powerinspect Partaligner can be used with portable inspection equipment to simplify setup operations for machine tools.

It is similar to the automated position compensation provided by NC-Partlocator for machine tools with probing systems but uses a separate measuring device.

Powerinspect Tubing makes it easier to inspect pipework and tubing, according to the company.

Both of the options are intended to increase the range of applications for Powerinspect.

Partaligner uses the alignment functionality from Powerinspect to find exactly where a part is located on a machine tool from a series of measurements.

It will normally be used with a portable inspection device positioned on or beside the machine.

This will typically be an inspection arm for medium-sized components or an optical device for very large tooling.

The measured position is then compared with the datum used in the computer-aided-manufacturing (CAM) system to program the component.

The results can be used to update a project in Delcam’s Powermill CAM system by adjusting the datum position and orientation.

Alternatively, the data can be applied directly to change the offsets in the machine-tool control so that they reflect the measured position of the component rather than the nominal value in the programming software.

Using Partaligner with an independent inspection device overcomes any concerns that might arise from using a machine tool to check its own performance.

It is also flexible as the same inspection equipment can be used on a number of machine tools, in addition to its normal inspection duties.

However, an extra step is needed when setting up the system: each time the device is moved, it must be referenced against an item with known machine-tool coordinates before being used to measure the part position.

The main benefit is in reducing the time and variability associated with the fine manual adjustment of the part setup.

Partaligner allows independent inspection to be carried out and positional problems to be corrected much more quickly and easily, especially with larger and heavier parts.

The new Powerinspect Tubing module makes it easier to inspect tubing and pipes, especially when these are part of a larger assembly, according to Delcam.

Specialist software is available for tubing inspection but this does not generally allow the measurement of other types of geometry, so two different and potentially incompatible systems may be required.

Powerinspect Tubing makes it easier to inspect this specialised pipe geometry together with other components using a single software program.

The Tubing module can be used on the full range of inspection equipment supported by the main Powerinspect program, including manual and CNC CMMs, inspection arms and other portable devices.

To operate the Tubing module, the user enters the number of straight sections and their points of intersection.

The other features and nominal values are automatically calculated.

The module creates the overall design within Powerinspect and sets the nominal values to be measured.

The inspection can then be undertaken as usual.

The main applications for the module are expected to be for portable inspection solutions used in the oil-and-gas industry, where pipework is often combined with other components.

Delcam supplies software and services that help manufacturing companies to maximise their profitability by increasing productivity, improving quality and reducing lead times. The company is the world's largest specialist supplier of computer-aided machining software, with its PowerMILL, FeatureCAM, Partmaker and ArtCAM programs making up the most comprehensive range of CAM systems from any developer.

This broad selection allows Delcam to offer a CAM system capable of machining virtually any product, in any material on any type of equipment. Delcam also develops product design, tooling design and quality control programs. The unique Tribrid Modelling approach to design incorporates solid modelling, surface modelling and triangle modelling in a single program, enabling complete design and reverse engineering projects to be undertaken without transferring data between software.

Delcam's Powerinspect offers fast, reliable comparison of parts, prototypes and tooling against CAD data on all types of inspection equipment and even on machine tools. This versatility has made it the world's leading hardware-independent inspection software. Related programs are available for checking machine tool set-up and part location. Delcam software is used in over 80 countries worldwide by around 40,000 organisations, from large multi-nationals to small sub-contractors, in industries including aerospace, automotive, dental, engineering, footwear, medical and toolmaking.

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