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 MCADCafe Editorial
Jesse Trinque
Jesse Trinque
Jesse Trinque is an applications engineer in the Mastercam Manufacturing Lab with expertise in carpentry and metalworking. He contributes extensively to the development of Mastercam solutions for manufacturing and helps users around the world with tech support and training. Jesse earned his … More »

MCADCafe Industry Predictions for 2020 – MasterCAM

 
December 23rd, 2019 by Jesse Trinque

Editor’s Note: As we have for the past several years, we provide a look back at the past year and the year ahead. This time around we have a new twist. Over the course of the next few weeks, we will be publishing MCAD industry predictions from prominent contributors representing different segments of the industry. These contributed articles should provide some interesting insights!

Manufacturing Industry Predictions for 2020
As the developers of Mastercam, we are in a rapidly evolving area of manufacturing. Despite this, the main trend remains the same as it has been for quite some time. That is a constant drive to increase productivity through faster and more flexible manufacturing output. This remains a common trend among all shops regardless of industry. As we move into 2020, we will see manufacturing software companies continuing to expand the potential of how productive a shop can be.

In CAM software, we see three main pillars that will continue to evolve in 2020. As you’ll see, they are all connected.

1. Advanced Toolpath Strategies
We see a continued, aggressive expansion of toolpaths in a couple notable directions: material-aware, cutter-specific, or both. This trajectory has already revolutionized NC programming in many ways.

An example of a material-aware toolpath is one in which in-process stock is monitored and the angle of the tool engagement constantly changes to keep a consistent, optimal chip load on the tool regardless of part geometry. This produces safer cuts and dramatically faster machining despite an unorthodox appearance. Another example is tracking the stock throughout a part process—not only within the toolpath but also visually with in-process stock models. This in-process stock can help optimize the toolpaths but also the programmer’s overarching strategy for successful completion of an entire end to end process.

Cutter-specific toolpaths are designed to make the best use of rapid advances in new tool types and shapes. As an example, there are cutters on the market that replicate formerly unachievably large radii using the side of the tool. These tools need specialized precision control to use them safely and to their full benefit. As new tool designs are emerging constantly, toolpaths must evolve to optimize performance.

2. Partnerships among Industry Leaders
Manufacturing is a complex—and growing—network of specialized expertise. Partnerships, between leading machine manufacturers, tooling developers, and software utility developers in the industry, ensure that each know what the other is doing, can capitalize on each other’s advancements, and deliver greater productivity solutions to the shop floor.

As it relates to CAM, the cutter-specific toolpaths mentioned above is one example of the benefit of partnership. Another is the rigorous physical shop-floor testing of a wide spectrum of emerging machine tools with the latest CAM software. And a third is compatibility with complimentary software, such as robotics solutions, to achieve a combined manufacturing solution that is far more robust than would otherwise be available.
No single provider can do everything. In an effort to further improve shop-floor productivity, we expect more partnerships between highly focused industry leaders with deep expertise in an effort to further improve shop-floor productivity.

3. Connectivity and Industry 4.0
We anticipate a continued focus on places where expert products (such as those mentioned above) work in tandem to ensure that data can be collected, used, and shared to streamline automation and productivity. CAD/CAM software directs the machine tool, of course, and it is also a platform for the shop to harness a variety of operations. Whether its metrology, reverse engineering, or digital tool management, integration of these capabilities within a CAD/CAM platform yields efficiency. Clean, effective data exchange between all of these connected pieces are necessary for the productivity gains that are intended by Industry 4.0.

It is certainly an exciting time in manufacturing! From our CAD/CAM viewpoint, the concept and reality of “connectivity”—whether it is pertaining to people, places, or productive technology—will continue to crystalize, evolve, and grow in 2020 and beyond.

Category: Industry Predictions

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