Precision engineering is facing a raft of challenges that are not going away anytime soon such as the skills shortage, increasing lead times, supply chain issues and the need to generally increase efficiency and productivity, and technology is the route to overcome them.
CAM programming is a fundamental part of the production process, but also a time-consuming task due to it still being done manually, and with the number of engineers who can operate and programme machines on the decline, it has never been more critical to develop technology that can speed up the process.
That solution has arrived and in the UK, after software was launched by CloudNC that is set to be a game-changer for machine shops of all sizes with the software already showing it can accelerate manual CAM programming time by 80%.
Through the CAM Assist auto complete software for CAM programming, manufacturers can precision machine components more quickly and efficiently, as the software automates strategy creation in CAM packages and greatly accelerates CAM programming time.
CAM Assist – currently available as a plug-in within Autodesk’s Fusion 360 software platform – uses advanced computer science techniques to generate professional machining strategies for 3-axis parts in seconds, which could take CNC machine programmers hours or even days to manually create.
CloudNC founder Theo Saville explains: “CAM Assist is the biggest paradigm shift for the precision manufacturing sector in decades. By making CAM programmers faster, CAM Assist enables manufacturers to increase machine uptime, slash lead times, improve process stability, and upskill staff to become expert machinists more quickly.
“These advances will re-energise precision manufacturing companies struggling with rising costs, ageing workforces and competition from globalisation - shortening supply chains and keeping the costs of everything down for us all."
The software tested and developed at CloudNC’s state-of-the-art machining facility and manufacturing plant in Essex, where it manufactures complex precision parts for high-end advanced industries, such as the oil & gas, nuclear fusion and aerospace sectors.