With hopes of a healthy rebound for the world economy, today’s manufacturers will need to rise to another level of productivity and implement strategies that enable diversification, which we’ve learned is key to survival. At the same time, they need to cut costs, enhance efficiency and strengthen their workforce.
Based upon my experience, I see digitalization of manufacturing practices as the key to achieving all of these requirements. Implementation of a digital strategy provides companies with the ability to define, simulate and analyze the production processes in the world of 3-D early in the product development cycle, troubleshooting in the virtual world instead of on the plant floor.
With all of the metalcutting that takes place within manufacturing, this area presents opportunity for significant efficiency gain. Although digitalization has existed through the application of CAM programming and machine simulation, there has been a disconnect between the two, requiring code to travel to various post-processors before connecting the operations. This increases lead time, affects the integrity of the data, and requires a programmer that is familiar with several interfaces.
Winning manufacturers need to implement an integrated strategy where all the solutions are based upon a common IP platform with complete traceability from design to process to simulation, eliminating back and forth guess work of where there might be a problem in the code. Toolpaths can be simulated before the NC code is generated, eliminating errors and rework time, thereby reducing the whole cycle by 50% as compared to traditional machining approaches.