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Delcam to feature robot machining and portable inspection at Industrie

Delcam will demonstrate machining with robots at Industrie

Delcam France will highlight the latest developments in machining with robots and in portable inspection at the Industrie exhibition to be held in Lyon, France, from 16th to 19th April.  The robot machining demonstration will feature programs developed in Delcam’s PowerMILL CAM software running on a KUKA robot, while the inspection demonstration will show the benefits of using Delcam’s PowerINSPECT inspection arm to program a Romer portable inspection arm.

Other Delcam software being demonstrated at the exhibition will include PowerMILL for high-speed and five-axis machining; FeatureCAM for quick and easy feature-based CAM programming; PartMaker for turn-mill equipment and Swiss-type lathes; the Delcam for SolidWorks integrated CAM system; and ArtCAM for artistic applications.

Recent years have seen rapid growth in the range of applications for robot machining.  They now include the production of sculptures and models for theme parks and film sets, trimming and drilling of composite components for marine and other transport applications, and grinding and finishing of metal parts.

One of the reasons for this increase in popularity is because the robot machining interface in PowerMILL software has made it far easier to generate programs for robots.  The ability to program the robot offline from 3D CAD data is both faster and more efficient than the "teach and learn” approach that was previously used to create instructions for the equipment.

This easier programming method allows manufacturers to take advantage of the many potential benefits of using robots.  Firstly, the cost of installing a robot is far less than the price of a large machine tool with a similar working envelope.  In addition, the flexibility of the robot means that complex operations can be carried out in a single set-up, so cutting production times and reducing the number of fixtures needed. 

Robots do have their disadvantages since they struggle to machine harder materials and cannot match the tolerances possible with modern machine tools.  However, they can be used successfully in any area where softer materials need to be machined to accuracies of tenths of a millimetre.  This can be more than adequate for components that might be several metres in length, as is often the case for tooling and parts for marine, aerospace, autosport and rail applications.

PowerINSPECT is firmly established as the world’s leading hardware-independent inspection software.  It combines the ability to work with all types of inspection device with a comprehensive range of inspection routines for taking simple measurements, for inspection of geometric features and for analysing complex 3D surfaces.  The resulting reports present detailed information in an easy-to-read format, that can be understood by all engineers not just inspection specialists.

The new version offers unique dual-device inspection options that allow measurement with two portable devices at the same time.  PowerINSPECT is believed to be the only inspection software that supports simultaneous operation of different types of device, including laser scanning, from different manufacturers.

18 March 2013

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