Offline software and tools

2017.06.20

Why you need any additional software, pay money for it if you have the same in your CNC control? The answer is simple enough – besides operator there could be other people who need to work with bending technology. All manufacturers of CNC machines normally have the software as offline package to install at different place for preparation of programs for the machine. It could be necessary first of all for engineers to develop and project the part and to leave to the operator the standard work to control the machine. For small companies engineer and the operator could be the same person but if there is the engineers department usually there are different people with different work tasks. Moreover on the market there are independent software manufacturers to offer independent software packages for the most common machinery. For example, for press brake market there are around 5 manufacturers to sell the software with nearly the same possibilities.

At first as we said the software is great to offer the programs preparation outside of the machine. At second software can increase the possibilities of the machine as well, for example to make 3D simulation of press brake bending if it is CNC control only with 2D visualization possibilities. Or to perform auto-nesting (optimization of parts position on the sheet metal to reduce the percentage of waste part) for CNC cutting machine – laser, plasma or waterjet. At third somebody could require some separate functions, for example to go to the tool library to verify the availability of necessary tooling for the new order.

It is also clear that outside of operator and engineer there are other staff to check the production flow, machine status control and availability of production for the order. Even sales manager should know how to calculate, for example tonnage for the press brake in production to understand if it will be enough to perform the order. Sure thing in future with the grow of Industry 4.0 of these questions will be fully integrated – customer will get the information about the machine, if the tooling is necessary the order will automatically go to the purchase department and software will allow to run immediate production of possible and the drawing doesn’t need the intervention of the engineer. But today all the actions are separated and to realize them all in the most convenient way – is the task for software to present all necessary functions for necessary departments. Today mostly offline software is the engineering software to make the program but it is sure that tomorrow the winner of the competition will be the manufacturer who will implement inside more and more necessary management and production flow functionality.

Future of the workshop – Industry 4.0

factory-563803_640

Last exhibitions show the grandest promotion of Industry 4.0 and digital manufacturing. What it means for the workshop?

Till today industry made a big grow with digital solutions – numerical systems and CNC controls offer flexible possibilities not only for standard control of the machine during the working cycle but exchange of the information to control the machine in global chain of the workshop. Yes, all additional things have nothing for small workshop but imagine what means to develop the digital chain for the big factory!

Parts with the passing of the stages with the barcodes and control of each location of the part, flow management, machine status management, global network for engineers and technical specialists for import and export of parts, personnel control, cloud technologies – all the things for develop most modern factory which you could imagine.

Industry 4.0 is closely connected with the Internet, wireless data transfer technologies, clouds and digital solutions. Sure thing any industrial computer can offer network data transfer but the question is not to operate the machine but to create the virtual factory with the possibility to manage everything only with your display from any place of the world.

Most of manufacturers today offer the advantages of the Internet service and diagnostic but in general today this is the one future only for the global network connection. Modern drawings are made in 3D CAD but are situated only inside the network of the factory or the single computer of the engineer.

The future offers more global solution with including of the manufacturer, customers and producers together with the machine, flow and production activities in global chains where the customer can control the flow of his order, manufacturer can control the machines, automatically orders customer can send directly to the machine for production, global control from the management side and as the result  – the clean and very effective relations between all the parties with much less involved people but the global transfer of the information. People there are not the workers but the operators of manufacturing world and who knows, probably involved also in new generation social networks dedicated to the new material flows.