Delcam’s Vortex high-efficiency roughing wins MWP Best CADCAM Award
Delcam’s Vortex high-efficiency area-clearance strategy was the winner in the Best CADCAM or Control System category at the MWP Advanced Manufacturing Awards presented at the Awards Dinner at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on Tuesday 8th April.
In selecting Vortex for the Award, the judges commented, "The winner has developed a method of controlling the tool’s angle of engagement, which optimises the tool speed, extends tool life and produces a faster overall cycle time.”
Winning the Award was the highlight of an extremely successful week at MACH for Delcam. As well as taking many orders at the exhibition, Delcam engineers carried out demonstrations to more than 250 companies that were looking to invest in more powerful CADCAM software.
Vortex gives the fastest safe metal removal from solid carbide tooling, in particular designs that give deeper cuts by using the full flute length as the cutting surface. It can be used for two- and three-axis roughing, three-plus-two-axis area clearance and for rest machining. It gives benefits when machining all types of materials, including titanium, tool steel and alloys such as Inconel.
Vortex produces toolpaths with a controlled engagement angle and so maintains the optimum cutting conditions for the toolpath that would normally be possible only for the straight-line moves. As a result, higher feed rates are possible, making the cutting time shorter, and cutting is undertaken at a more consistent volume-removal rate and at a near constant feedrate, so protecting the machine.
The extent to which time can be saved with Vortex will vary depending on a number of factors, including the material and shape being cut, and the machine tool and cutting tools being used. A series of trials run by Delcam on different machine tools within its Advanced Manufacturing Facility has shown that a time saving of at least 40% is quite achievable, with the biggest percentage savings being found when cutting a sample part in tool steel. The cycle time for the part was reduced from 121 minutes to 34 minutes, a reduction of 71%.
Other examples included a reduction of 67% when cutting a number of pockets in a stainless steel part, a 63% time saving on a titanium part and a 58% saving when cutting an aluminium component.
The exact effect on tool life from using the Vortex strategy also varies from project to project. In one example, where 2,000 stainless steel components were being produced monthly, the number of tools being used was reduced from 300 to 100 each month. The replacement tools were more expensive but the overall costs were still reduced by around 50%.
In another case, the user was able to produce a similar number of parts with a smaller cheaper tool costing around half as much, about £80 instead of £180. With almost 900 parts being produced each month and both tools able to cut 9 parts before needing replacement; the saving was almost £10,000 per month.
To see more examples of the savings possible with Vortex, please go to www.vortexmachining.com
16 April 2014