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Delcam will demonstrate the latest release of its PowerMILL CAM software for five-axis and high-speed machining equipment, including the new PowerMILL Robot version for the programming of machining with robots, at the Industrie exhibition in Lyon on 7–10 April. Other Delcam programs — including PowerSHAPE for design and reverse engineering, the FeatureCAM feature-based programming system and the PowerINSPECT inspection software — will also be on show.

Delcam to show PowerMILL CAM for machine tools and robots at Industrie

The new PowerMILL release includes improvements to the Vortex high-efficiency area-clearance strategy that will give even greater reductions in machining time compared with conventional roughing.

The first change allows toolpaths to approach the part from outside the stock at the cutting height, both for open pockets and in areas where earlier cuts have made this possible. Previously, all entry moves had to be made by plunging onto the surface or by ramping into the material.

The second change allows an increased feed rate to be set for non-cutting moves. The default value is set at double the rate for the cutting moves but this can be altered as required for each machine tool. The extra time that can be saved depends on the shape of the part but an additional saving of around 20 per cent should be expected above the earlier releases of Vortex.

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Further features and enhancements

  • One major improvement in PowerMILL is that verification for machine-tool issues such as collisions can be undertaken of a complete project, rather than having to undertake verification of each individual toolpath in turn.  
  • Comprehensive verification is performed, including ensuring that the machine tool is capable of running the proposed strategy, as well as checking for both machine-tool collisions and tooling collisions.
  • Simulation has also been improved with the addition of the ability to simulate machine-tool movements as tool changes are executed.
  • Automatic collision checking of area-clearance toolpaths now takes into account any remaining stock on a model, both when checking the cutter and the toolholder. In addition, all tool-holder collision checking for area clearance takes place during toolpath calculation, allowing the user to ensure that these toolpaths can be completely free of toolholder collisions. 
  • PowerMILL Robot makes it as easy to program a robot for machining as it is to program a five-axis machine tool. With the interface being a fully associated application inside PowerMILL, users have access to all the multi-axis machining strategies within PowerMILL and can use all the system’s project management options to manage, store and retrieve data.
  • With PowerMILL Robot, robots can be programmed for tool-to-part applications, making them suitable for machining large parts, such as composite panels that need to be trimmed, or for part-to-tool applications, such as grinding or linishing. The working area can be extended with linear tracks and rotary tables for even greater flexibility over the size and types of parts that can be manufactured.

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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