TDM supports automated NC programming from Siemens NX

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The CAM interface from TDM to SIEMENS NX is now able to provide automated access to tool assembly data and 3D models, thereby making a major contribution to automation in NC programming. CIS Productivity Proving Centre is the UK agent for TDM Systems.

Becoming more efficient matters in NC programming, states TDM. One way of achieving this outcome is to use feature-based machining within Siemens NX. Here, frequently occurring operations are predefined and available as standard features. TDM users with a CAM interface to NX are now able to make their workflow even more efficient.

So, what does feature-based machining actually mean? By ‘features’, CAM systems are referring to individual operations which are programmed and performed on the machine at a later point. One example is drilling a hole and cutting an M8 thread. A variety of operations are required to create an NC program, many of which are continuously repeated on the workpieces being machined. To eliminate the need to define and program these operations anew each time, users can set them as a feature in the CAM system. In this way, NC programming becomes automated to a certain extent.

TDM supports feature-based machining with its CAM interface to NX. The search process directly accesses the tool assemblies created in the TDM database. Searches are primarily filtered according to the criteria of machine adapter and material. Other criteria are easy to create in the NX MKE Editor. In addition, NX offers a teaching approach, which makes it possible to automatically link operations with potential tool parameters in the NX knowledge library. The TDM NX interface also supports this process. Identified tools are loaded directly to NX without the need for an additional command.

Users of the TDM Base Module and TDM CAM integration NX were already able to select tools based on various criteria using the tool-search functions, subsequently loading them to NX. However, this process previously had to be performed separately for each machining step. Now, elements of the NC program creation process are automated, including tool scheduling, which leads to improvements, especially reduced time. Additionally, mainly predefined stock tools are scheduled, which lowers tool stock and makes it possible to plan tool use.

All in all, users can achieve greater agility in production planning, says TDM. On the basis of the real tool stock, the system selects tool assemblies for machining operations – in a fast, application-specific and automatic process. The connection between FBM and TDM ensures increased efficiency in NC planning, especially when production is made up of variant-rich workpieces or 1-off batch sizes. Available and simulation-ready tool data and graphics form the starting point for realistically simulating machining processes, thereby shortening lead times.

A further benefits is that typical errors encountered in manual programming are prevented, while new or less experienced staff can easily complete their assigned tasks. This outcome also leads to a reduction in machine downtime, as orders only reach the machines which have all the necessary tools available.

According to TDM, a useful addition for even more seamless interaction is the company’s 3D Converter for the 3D preparation of tool models in line with NX requirements.