Topsolid opens two new subsidiaries

France headquartered Topsolid is pursuing its international growth strategy with the acquisition of two of its historical distributors in Belgium and the Czech Republic.

These new acquisitions are part of the Topsolid 4.0 strategic plan, which aims to accelerate its international development and its product offering as part of industry’s digitalisation.

Richard Lamure, CEO of Topsolid Group SAS, says: “We had two very good opportunities to expand our direct presence abroad. I’m very pleased to expand the Topsolid family and further strengthen our presence in Europe.”
A Topsolid partner for over 17 years, Belgium-based 4D Services has a strong team and recognised technical expertise. The company, which now becomes Topsolid Belgium, will be managed by Pieter Cornelis and Kurt Neuckermans, the two existing managers of 4D Services, who state: “Our common objective is to strengthen our operational capacities on technical and commercial levels. This will help us continue providing more service to our customers and reinforce our presence in the Belgian market.”

Centersoft has been present for 10 years in the group’s network of 70 distributors and is the only TopSolid reseller in the Czech Republic. Topsolid Czech will be managed by Karel Preis, CEO of Centersoft, who says: “We’re very confident about the development prospects of Topsolid Czech. The Czech Republic is historically a country with a strong mechanical culture,

and Topsolid CADCAM solutions – in particular TopSolid’Cam – have great potential for success.”

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Vericut V9.1 raises bar for simulation

The latest Vericut version 9.1 CNC machine simulation, verification and optimisation software from CG Tech is said to raise the bar for CNC simulation with several new features that increase efficiency and empower users to do more in less time.

New visibility options, plus enhancements to tool-path optimisation, additive manufacturing, tooling and multi-tool stations, and measuring and inspection/reporting, are just a few of the noteworthy features in this latest release. Hundreds of customer-driven improvements and software requests were also incorporated in the new version.

“Vericut 9.1 continues to enhance the user experience through ongoing advancements in graphics and display controls, streamlined user controls, and more new capabilities and features than ever before,” says product manager, Gene Granata. “Version 9.1 also introduces a ‘Learn’ mode for Force optimisation – a form of artificial intelligence for faster/easier NC program optimisation. Using Learn mode, almost anyone can create highly optimised NC programs from existing programs, without the need to start again.”

New visibility features have been added to the project tree and Vericut’s right-click convenience menus for components and models, enabling users to toggle between visible and invisible states, or to enable/disable 3D objects for the simulation. Users can quickly see unobstructed views of the cutting process and gain better access to the part by removing enclosures, models of sheet metal or shrouding, and other ‘in-the-way’ objects via ‘Invisible’ or ‘disable’ actions.

Features have also been added to ‘Auto-Diff’, giving users a higher degree of control over component visibility, such as when fixture models should appear.

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Robot controller improves precision

Following several years of development, TM Robotics has released the new TS5000 robot controller. The new controller forms a launch pad for the next generation of industrial robots from Shibaura Machine — formerly known as Toshiba Machine. Boasting faster position control, the TS5000 improves robot precision and shortens cycle times.

The TS5000 robot controller has been engineered by Shibaura Machine’s experts in Japan. Compared with previous controllers, the TS5000 provides improved synchronisation and control. Positioning cycles are three times faster than previous models, allowing more control during fast movements. Combined with an automatic adjustment function for acceleration, these features reduce vibration and stress.

Communication functions of the TS5000 have also been enhanced. The controller enables real-time data transmission between the robot and controller, allowing manufacturers to integrate the system into a smart factory environment. Additionally, this improved communication enables vibration analysis for predictive and preventative maintenance.

The new TS5000 has dedicated ports for status feedback and control, allowing additional ports for priority communications such as vision interfacing and control. For non-protocol communication, the TS5000 boasts eight ports — a four-fold increase on the previous TS3000 model.

As well as improved communication, the TS5000’s physical features have been upgraded. Achieving a 33% smaller footprint than previous controllers and weighing just 10 kg, the controller has minimal impact on factory footprint. This compact design also allows for easy installation.

Alongside the new controller, TM Robotics has released the new TP5000 teach pendant as an optional add-on. Sometimes referred to as a ‘teach box’, a robot’s teach pendant is used to control the robot manually. This addition is important for maintenance and troubleshooting purposes, as well as fine tuning the robot after installation is complete.

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Precision at the push of a button

Changes in ambient temperatures within working environments, as well as machining parts over long periods of time, can impact on a milling machine’s geometry.

GF Machining Solutions’ new Automated Machine Calibration (AMC) helps manufacturers recalibrate their milling machines and recover overall precision at the push of a button.

Over time, any assembled mechanical system becomes prone to losing its original calibration and precision due to heat and external factors: milling machines are no exception. Although Mikron machines are all calibrated at the factory after assembly and during commissioning, changes in a customer’s working environment – including ambient temperature variations and heat generated during the machining process – cause deviations from the original calibration. This effect can often result in process consistency and precision being affected, which in turn impacts on part quality.

To simplify machine calibration, GF Machining Solutions has developed an all-in-one, ready-to-use AMC package which allows operators of both three-and five-axis milling machines to easily and quickly perform a recalibration and recover the overall long-term precision required for high-quality parts.

The AMC cycle consists of both the software for the Heidenhain TNC 640 control, as well as the hardware (a dedicated pallet including a calibration ball and aluminium reference block) for pallet calibration. An easy-to-use ergonomic interface requires little training, while the automatic data management reduces human error, minimises downtime between cycles and increases operator availability.

To recover the machine’s geometry, operators simply start the program and are guided by the interface. AMC assesses and adjusts all key components necessary. Within 10 minutes the machine is recalibrated to its original kinematic precision. GF Machining Solutions currently offers AMC as a standard package on its three- and five-axis Mikron MILL S and Mikron MILL X series.

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Esprit 4.5 now available

DP Technology, maker of the Esprit CAM system, has released Esprit 4.5, a multifunctional update that includes features such as an enhanced user interface, a new turning feature offset, and new support for circle segment tools.

The updated user interface features clearer, more consistent icons, while the ribbon commands have been reorganised for a more intuitive experience. In addition to improving ease of use, these updates give the Esprit interface a more streamlined, higher-end look and feel.

The new turning feature offset lets the user offset individual elements of a turning feature in the axial and radial directions to program median tolerances or leave stock for subsequent processes, all without modifying geometry. Also included is an offset calculator that allows the user to easily program a target diameter or apply standard ISO tolerances.

Esprit’s new support for circle segment tools lets users parametrically define and create milling tools with oval, barrel, tapered or lens profiles, without the need to create custom tool geometry. These tools offer several benefits over conventional milling tools in many five-axis applications, including larger axial depth of cut, superior surface finish, higher stability and reduced tool wear. As well as simplifying circle segment tool creation, parametric tool definition allows Esprit to better optimise tool-path strategies that use such tools.
“Before we release any product update, we take the time to ensure it’s packed with features that make a difference to our customers,” says Tania Campanelli, director of R&D at DP Technology. “Version 4.5 is dedicated to improving the user experience and, as always, ensuring our customers stay as efficient as possible.”

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