Novmeber 17, 2003 - Southfield, MICHIGAN -- Pathtrace Systems, Inc. has released an enhanced Version 8 of its EdgeCAM software for high-production manufacturing with special focus on B axis turning.*
“EdgeCAM now supports B axis positioning for milling and drilling, generating the required orientation through the lathe index commands,” said Dave Boucher, Pathtrace Product Development Director. “As soon as the coordinate point is selected,” he explained, “the component is oriented in the C axis and the machine tool in the B axis. From then on, programming is the same as for any conventional CNC milling.”
In addition, any B axis angle, a constraint of the specific machine tool’s design, is now supported and both main and sub spindles can be programmed that way.
“Programming efficiency remains a major factor in overall productivity, of course,” said Boucher, “but big gains have been realized in recent years as machine tool builders have combined operations into a single CNC machine tool. While these tools cost more, they offer big savings in floor space, eliminating the need for most subsequent operations, and in cutting down work-in-process inventory.
The emphasis on CAM and related programming operations in production shops has shifted dramatically in recent years toward programming complicated turning machines. Rather than doing sequential operations, creating piles of partially machined parts, sub-spindle and B-axis machines churn out completed parts in one operation and one setup. They combine operations that not long ago would have been scattered across half a dozen different machine tools and maybe even different departments.
This means that CAM has been pulled way beyond its roots of simple efficiency in making toolpaths,” Boucher said. “CAM now also needs to be a process-control and production-management tool. With Version 8, Pathtrace is making sure that EdgeCAM is ready.”
* B-axis and sub-spindle are sometimes confused. B-axis machine tools have milling / drilling / tapping functionality on a separately powered spindle drives. They are a combination machining center, screw machine and CNC lathe. Sub-spindle machine tools have two or more turning spindle; depending on machine tool design, they may or may not lie in the same plane.
Pathtrace Engineering Systems is a division of Pathtrace plc. Pathtrace Systems Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary. Offices are also established in China and Japan, complementing a worldwide network of resellers.
Pathtrace Engineering Systems is the developer of EdgeCAM an extremely powerful, but easy to use software solution devoted to automating the process of NC programming for metal cutting machine tools. For information about Pathtrace and EdgeCAM visit our website
www.edgecam.com. EdgeCAM is Windows 2000 Professional and XP compliant and has over 28,000 users worldwide.