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Delcam is due to hold a free workshop on the use of CAD-based inspection at its Birmingham headquarters on 11 February.

Inspection based on CAD models is steadily replacing measurements based on drawings.

The Delcam workshop will include a combination of technical presentations and practical demonstrations to show how the newer technique can improve quality, reduce waste and increase productivity.

The presentations will cover three alternative methods for CAD-based inspection: CNC inspection using a standard coordinate measuring machine (CMM), manual measurement using a portable inspection arm and on-machine verification using a probe fitted to a machine tool.

This will enable delegates to choose the most appropriate approach for their inspection needs.

CNC inspection enables the automation of the inspection of a series of parts.

The inspection program can be created offline, thus minimising any interruption of the CMM’s work.

The program can be simulated on the computer to ensure that all the necessary measurements will be taken and that there will be no unplanned collisions between the probe and the part during the inspection routine.

The use of portable measuring arms can give more flexibility as they can be moved to the part, rather than having to move the part to a dedicated measurement area.

Measuring arms can often give access to both sides of the component and to areas that would be difficult to reach with a conventional CMM, allowing a more comprehensive inspection in a single setup.

The main advantage of on-machine verification is that mistakes can be identified where they can be corrected.

Movement of the part back and forth between the machine tool and the CMM can be avoided, which can be both difficult and time consuming for large, heavy parts.

There can be concerns over using a machine tool to check its own work but these worries can be minimised by verifying the accuracy of the machine with standard artefacts in the same way that a CMM can be checked.

All of the demonstrations will use the latest version of Delcam’s Powerinspect software.

This offers the fast and simple inspection of parts, tooling and prototypes against CAD data with the easy creation and editing of inspection sequences, an extended range of predefined sequences for common measurement patterns, improved simulation and more flexibility to reuse measurement results, according to the company.

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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