A powerful new software framework tool enables users of CNC machine tools to generate and test ISO part programs offline.
The tool looks set to win across-the-board approval in busy machine shops, where an uninterrupted workflow can provide a key productivity advantage.
Flexium Office framework software runs under Windows 7/8 or 10 on any standard PC. It allows any of NUM’s technology HMIs (Human-Machine Interfaces) to be used for specific projects – without requiring access to the target CNC machine tool.
The corresponding ISO part program can be created offline and can also then be tested offline using NUM’s Flexium 3D simulation software, before being transferred to the target machine.
Application-specific technology HMIs form part of the company’s Flexium CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) software suite.
The HMIs cover every type of CNC machining operation, including hobbing, shaping, milling, threaded wheel grinding and cylindrical grinding.
After selecting the most appropriate technology HMI for the task, the user simply carries out basic data definition tasks for the project in hand, using the highly intuitive tools and workflow commands provided by Flexium Office.
Multiple projects can be started and saved at any time – allowing collaborative team development if desired – and the framework software provides support for 14 languages.
As soon as the user is satisfied with the process and workflow of a project it can be used to generate the corresponding CNC part program – entirely automatically.
The CNC program can either be transferred directly to a nominated machine in the production plant, usually via a TCP/IP network, or input to NUM’s Flexium 3D simulation software for thorough evaluation before being issued for production purposes.
The key advantage of simulation is that it enables users to optimise any ISO-code part program offline, further helping to maximise productivity by leaving the CNC machine tool free for manufacturing purposes.
The simulation software is extremely powerful. It provides full visualisation of the tool centre point path and workpiece material removal, backed by automatic checking for collisions between machine components, the tool and the workpiece.
The software creates a dynamic colour image, showing the workpiece as a 3D volume than can be rotated and viewed from any perspective.
Flexium Office framework software runs on any standard PC and has no special graphics handling requirements. It needs approximately 30 MB of free space on the PC’s hard disk or SSD, and a minimum of 4 GB of RAM due to the Flexium 3D simulation software.
For maximum performance, an i3 or i5 dual core processor configuration is recommended.