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Delcam is set to launch new probing capabilities within its FeatureCAM feature-based computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software at this year’s SEMA automotive speciality products exhibition, which is due to be held in Las Vegas from 30 October to 2 November.

According to the company, which will be found in Booth 10154 at the show, the ability to incorporate probing sequences into CAM programs will make it easier to undertake unsupervised production operations by allowing automated checks to be carried out before, during and after machining.

Other highlights in the 2013 version of FeatureCAM include a series of options for three-axis milling and enhancements to the five-axis machining, turning and mill-turn modules.

Probing capabilities in detail

  • Probing paths can be generated for five feature types: pockets, obstructed pockets and webs; inside or outside corners; bosses, bores and obstructed bores; radial bosses, bores and obstructed bores; and single surfaces.
  • All of the resulting probing paths can be simulated and collision checked on the computer in the same way as cutting paths.
  • The new probing options can be used in a variety of ways. Before machining, sequences can be created to check that the expected part and fixture have been loaded and that they have been placed in the correct orientation; the position of the part can be confirmed and fixture offsets introduced if required to compensate for any errors.
  • The amount of excess material can be detected on near-net shapes, such as forgings or castings; offsets can then be introduced to give a more even distribution of the material that has to be removed, thus improving machining efficiency.
  • Additional probing routines can be introduced at any stage during manufacturing.
  • Critical features can be inspected immediately after they have been created to check whether too much material had been removed.
  • Probing routines can be added for checking at the end of the process.

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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