Knowledge with a system
Alongside automating CAM processes, providing manufacturing knowledge to all employees is one of the greatest challenges in tool engineering. Volkswagen works together with CAD/CAM provider OPEN MIND in Braunschweig. This relieves NC programmers of work and enables fast, efficient processes.
With over 75 years of experience in tool engineering in Braunschweig, the manufacturing expertise of the specialist workers has proven to be a key success factor again and again. A proprietary method was developed in component tool engineering to systematically collect and further develop this knowledge and provide it in automated processes.
Cycle of creating and using
The cycle of collection, concentration and distribution of knowledge data has already proved to be of value in multiple project cycles. It includes the identification of part families for standardised processes such as rib milling and electrode machining as well as the standardisation of the strategies for finishing of moulded parts for moulds. “Standardisation alone made it possible to reduce the primary processing time in this area by an average of 35 per cent,” says a delighted Wenserski. “The specialist knowledge management group saved more than 40 per cent of the primary processing time in manufacturing standard pockets by using alternative tools and machining cycles.”
Automatically to the NC program
Another project of the development partnership involves the milling of combustion chamber cores for cylinder heads. “When we notice that we frequently need similar programmes, we work together with OPEN MIND to find a suitable solution in order to reduce the level of effort required,” explains Wenserski. “In the case of milling combustion chamber cores, we used one of these automations to reduce programming times from two hours per component to just a few minutes.”
This automation is based on the hyperMILL® API programming interface, or in other words, an open interface to the outside over which it is possible to define processes. When it comes to combustion chamber cores, the add-on program identifies an edge and calculates and generates a guide surface in the CAD model. All that’s left is for the hyperMILL® user to select the relevant component family and check the calculation results. The milling program is subsequently automatically generated. In this way, it is possible to generate programs for other recurring components at the push of a button.