POSTED ON 11/19/2020 – In manufacturing, the accuracy of every cut depends on using the correct tool and entering the proper data for it. Human intervention adds uncertainty to machining processes with every manual entry of setup information. That uncertainty disappears, however, when software enables digital twins to enter the picture through direct CAM system integration, enabling shops to program parts offline with access to all the details of real-time machine setups and optimization.
The concept of digital twins already monitors and predicts a wide variety of industrial processes and jet engine functions. Now the technology can recreate machine tool conditions, workpiece setups and more, connecting a CNC directly with a CAM system to see a machine in great detail, with real-time communication back and forth between equipment and software. This breakthrough means the CAM system now knows machine parameters, fixture data, tool and workpiece information: all the details of equipment behavior and everything necessary for successful setup.
Without direct integration, CAM systems only know machine tools by their overall design and specifications, with no ability to see inside a specific machine and understand its current condition. Even when artificial intelligence (AI) can fill in the details of a machine model, the CAM system still lacks the ability to peek inside the machine envelope, much less to assist operators with tooling and fixturing.