Dassault Systemes, CENIT and Siemens Define and Implement a New Data Exchange Format For High-Speed 5-Axis Machining

The tool paths generated by CATIA Manufacturing for high-speed  5-axis machining can be transferred to SIEMENS controllers, via CENIT Post-Processors using a new data format based on NURBS technology


Paris (France), March 28, 2002 – Dassault Systemes, SIEMENS AG and CENIT AG Systemhaus have just announced the support, by CATIA Manufacturing solutions and SIMUMERIK 840D controllers, of a new format for data exchange between their applications. This format is intended for high-speed continuous 5-axis machining. <br/>



Reducing machining time and improving surface finish of machined parts are the main requirements of high-speed manufacturing processes. For continuous 5-axis machining, the small amount of information transferred from the CAM system to the controller and machine tool combined with the great complexity of the processes for transferring and processing this information, has traditionally been a drawback to the global efficiency of the solution.<br/>



Increasing the semantic level of the information transferred from CAM to machine tool by generalizing the use of NURBS technology for continuous 5-axis machining, CATIA Manufacturing solutions optimized for SIEMENS controllers reduce machining times, improve the quality of machined parts while allowing a more generic programming as well as a simplification of the global solution.<br/>



The NURBS technology used to describe the tool trajectory enables continuous control by the programming system of the dynamic characteristics of the machine motion (speed and acceleration of all control axes). This guarantees, from the start, an optimized use of this technology. The fact that dynamic constraints are taken into account earlier in the programming cycle allows significant gains in machining time.<br/>



Since the machine is not processing large quantities of discontinuous commands (as results from the classic polyline type, for example), a smoother trajectory is produced, which results in a notable improvement in the surface finish and the visual quality of the machined parts.<br/>



These aspects were highlighted during the evaluation tests performed at the laboratories of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS-LURPA) at Cachan (France) on parts from a family of external aeronautical skins. E. DUC, responsible for those tests at LURPA, commented: “The transfer format based on NURBS has allowed achieving shorter machining times than the formats based on linear displacements, while improving the surface finish and visual aspect of the finished part.” <br/>




This new format also considerably simplifies the transfer of information between the CAM system and the machine tool in the context of continuous 5-axis machining. The post-processors supplied by CENIT AG and integrated into CATIA Manufacturing are specifically adapted to this new format. They allow the resulting files (APT and ISO code) to retain the correct NURBS format for the SINUMERIK 840D while remaining independent of the machine tool’s kinematics configuration. This was, until now, incompatible with the efficiency requirements of high-speed machining.<br/>



Thanks to their generic character and ease of implementation, those new classes of Post-Processors coupled with SIMUMERIK 840D controllers, allow CATIA Manufacturing solutions to put high-speed continuous 5-axis machining within reach of manufacturing companies that were up until now dissuaded by its complexity.<br/>



Jean-Luc BERRY, Manager, Manufacturing Applications stated: “Thanks to this successful partnership, Dassault Systemes now provides CATIA NC Manufacturing users with an affordable, leading-edge technology that offers a competitive advantage in terms of reduced machining time and improved quality of machined parts.”





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