Spring Technologies’ award-nominated system includes a Panasonic Toughpad (built for the shop-floor environment), equipped with NCSimul Player 9.1, the CNC simulation reviewer for NCSimul Machine program software, and a remote connection to a machine tool controller (e.g., Fanuc CNC.)

Mobile and Synchronized NC Simulation

March 20, 2014
Rethinking programming, machining Mobile Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 Attract Gen-Y talent

Spring Technologies, a developer of simulation software for CNC machining processes, is due to introduce a mobile package for its core NCSimul Machine platform and Player 9.1 software. Noting the growing adoption of remote and mobile software accessibility,

Spring developed a system it calls WYSIWYC® (What You See Is What You Cut) that links shop managers and machine operators directly to the cutting operation on the shop floor. 

Thanks to NCSimul Player 9.1 embedded on a mobile Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 and connected to machine tool controllers (such as Fanuc CNCs) the managers and operators are able to interact remotely – in 3D and in real time, using intuitive touch controls – with one or several CNC machines and their machining processes, as they execute the CNC program on the machine.

3D animations of CNC machining processes and related work instruction sheets are directly accessible from the mobile package, too.

To strengthen the system further, real-time synchronization of both 3D CNC simulations and work instruction sheets with real machining processes are available as optional features of NCSimul Player 9.1.

The WYSIWYC package has been nominated for the Trophées de l’Innovation – Innovation Awards - at Industrie Paris 2014, a program that acknowledges products and/or technologies that create value from a new technology.

According to Spring, the new capability will be a valuable decision-making asset in the production environment that enhances shop floor communication. Because of the instant access to vital information, decreasing machining errors, supervising multiple machines, and conducting smoother changeovers, the productivity gains can reach at least 25%, the software developer noted.

“I frequently get the question as to why our system features a Toughpad as opposed to the ubiquitous iPad,” according to Philippe Solignac, corporate marketing director for Spring Technologies. “It’s simple,” he continued.

“The Panasonic Toughpad is designed and built for the shop-floor environment, which can often be harsh. The Toughpad is able to run any enterprise software, even 3D-demanding ones, thanks to the latest Intel core chipsets integrated technology. The less powerful, less open, and more delicate iPad can only offer simulation viewing capabilities, which is rather useless to shop floor staff, especially NC operators.”

WYSIWYC offers both real-time and synchronized simulations, in 3D, of machining process and cutting conditions. It also integrates a shop-floor documents publishing module, plus reviewing capabilities – and all the advantages that follow from that, such as relaying axis, spindle, and tool positions.  It presents a fully detail machining ‘context’ thanks to the virtual machine, with all relevant kinematics and machine parameters, according to Spring.

All of these details, as well as a solidly built, Windows-based tablet PC create mobility and optimization in a manufacturing cell.

“Another key point,” continued Solignac, “is this technology will help draw in talent from the Generation Y and the new wave of NC operators for whom mobility, fun, and touch applications are at the core of how they want to do their jobs.

“The Spring Technologies solution is also an ideal way to integrate training modules either by institutions or in company instructional programs and apprenticeships (5-axis, mill-turn, and special machines), without the need for a huge investment,” he added.

Solignac said Spriing’s Toughbook Engage partnership agreement with Panasonic and collaboration with Fanuc CNC in the development of this solution underscore the practicality and sustainability of the WYSIWYC product. He also said these arrangements would continue to be enhanced and adapted as users embrace the various capabilities.

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