NCSIMUL digital twin helps Nuclear AMRC

Being able to import completed NX assemblies into G-code simulation software is proving to be a valuable time-saver for the Nuclear Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (Nuclear AMRC). NCSIMUL, part of Hexagon’s Production Software portfolio, guarantees that finished G-code sent to CNC machine tools, is 100% accurate, and collision free.
“It gives us an exact representation of what’s happening on the machine,” states Tom Parkin, production engineer at the Nuclear AMRC. “Having this digital twin is absolutely vital in ensuring cutting paths are correct.”

And the software’s ability to import full NX assembly files is an added bonus. “CAM and simulation systems generally aren’t particularly user-friendly when it comes to positioning individual models,” says Parkin, “but being able to take an NX assembly, including a fixture, stock model and the final part, is particularly beneficial. Without it, we’d have to import single models one at a time, import the fixture by itself and position it, and import the stock model and position that in relation to the fixturing. NCSIMUL, however, allows us to import a full assembly file from the NX package straight into the simulating environment. From there I can select where my datum positions are, select the tooling, put the NC program in, and run the G-code simulation.”
This point is reiterated by principal production engineer Andrew Wright. “Some of our set-ups are quite complex, in that they have multiple pieces of stock and workpieces, plus fixture items. So being able to take in a file containing full assemblies which have been designed in CAD and not have to manipulate them, saves us considerable time.”
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Brake manufacturer accelerates with Esprit

As the manufacture of carbon brake disks for aircraft requires specific skills, each of the 200-plus employees at Safran Landing Systems in Villeurbanne, France, play one of three complementary roles. Some weave carbon fibres, while others perform the heat treatment necessary for the conglomeration of the fibres into strong, compact stock with final forms that will be machined by the company’s third group of employees.

Increasing orders in the global aerospace industry motivated Safran to consider ways to become more efficient and responsive, with emphasis on the need for the company to improve its manufacturing methods to make a more reliable product.
MHAC Technologies, Safran’s partner in machine programming and a local distributor of Esprit CAM software, suggested the company implement Esprit, a full-spectrum CAM system for CNC programming, optimisation and simulation. With MHAC’s help, Safran installed Esprit’s SolidMillTurn Production Plus software, which can handle C-axis index and rotary milling, Y-axis index milling, B-axis index milling and 3rd rotary axis index milling. The system includes SolidMillTurn Traditional and Advanced, and SolidTturn Multispindle, a two-axis turning add-on to support multiple spindles.
When programming Safran’s CNC lathes and three- to five-axis milling centres, Esprit software enables a quick set up due to automatic macros that define the machining origins, offsets and machining assemblies. Patrick Gaydoux, an experienced programming technician at Safran, praises “the cloud-enabled KnowledgeBase integrated in Esprit, which automates and optimises the choice of optimal machining strategies based on a company’s accumulated best machining practices”.
Macros developed by the machine manufacturer and managed by Esprit software can automate and optimise operations according to the type of machining to be done and the stock measured directly on the machine. MHAC Technologies develops made-to-measure post processors for the specific machines in Safran’s workshop.
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Schunk robot gripper in spotlight

Just before Christmas, the University of Sheffield officially opened AMRC Cymru, a £20m research and development facility in North Wales.

Airbus AMRC building is officially opened with AM Mark Drakeford along with Lord Barry Jones, Airbus Paul McKinlay, AM Ken Skates, Professor Koen Lamberts, University of Sheffield and Coleg Camria’s David Jones Pictured: One of Airbus Robots delivers the celebration ribbon

As a member of the AMRC, Schunk UK played an integral role in the opening ceremony, holding the ribbon with a Schunk gripper for Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford to cut the ceremonial ribbon. Mounted on a Kuka AGV, the new Schunk EGH Co-act gripper is the latest addition to the Schunk Co-act gripper family, and is a flexible system for gripping and moving small to medium-sized workpieces in the areas of handling, assembly and electronics.
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CGTech releases 9.0 ready for exhibition showcase

The launch of Vericut 9.0 has brought with it several enhancements designed to increase power and improve efficiency. These new features and benefits will be showcased at the Southern Manufacturing exhibition on 11-13 February, where CGTech will be presenting from stand C215.

Gavin Powell, CGTech technical director, says: “Vericut 9.0 is smarter than previous versions, offering more robust connections to tooling databases and the latest CAM systems. Most users will experience gains in performance, as well as sharper, clearer and more realistic views of machines and the machining process. Enhancements to Vericut’s free Reviewer app also lets programmers share with others [like machinists or quality assurance personnel] how parts are manufactured.”
The new features include an enhanced graphics display. Vericut 9.0’s greatly enhanced image quality makes it easier to spot problems and imperfections in machined parts. Users can switch seamlessly between workpiece, machine or profile views, or combine them in a variety of view layouts.
Another added feature is streamlined verification. Any of Vericut’s major functions, such as auto-diff, section, and x-caliper, can be used in any view, which streamlines the verification effort and increases productivity.
In terms of ‘Force’ optimisation, Force Analyse can now be used without any prior configuration, to spot potentially dangerous machining conditions or identify under-utilised tools. Force charts has a new fill comparison option to help visualise the changes made by Force optimisation to feed rates and chip loads.
Further additions and enhancements include those involving appearance settings, x-caliper, set-up plan, multi-tool station, tool change list panel and section window.
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Gühring and Chiron set record

Chiron and Gühring have set a record of machining 1000 cubic centimetres of steel alloy (16MnCr5) in 60 seconds, which equates to a metal removal rate of 8 kg of steel per minute.

The record was set on a Chiron FZ 16 five-axis machining centre using a Gühring RF 100 Speed P tool – a roughing cutter specially adapted for machining steel, high-tensile steel and cast iron. RF 100 Speed P has a 48° helix angle with unequal cutting-edge partitioning that ensures a soft, quiet cut and smoothness in machining. This capability reduces the load on the machine and increases the volume performance.
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