Automatically to the CAM program

It is not just manufacturing processes that can be automated effectively; CAM programming processes can also be efficiently automated. OPEN MIND’s hyperMILL® CAM software reflects the company’s many years of experience gained in successfully implemented automation projects.

Faster and more reliable thanks to repeatable processes in NC programming

Similar geometries such as part families and variants, recurring shape elements, features such as holes or pockets and processes that are applied again and again provide good starting points for automated CAM programming. Automation solutions help to save time as programming is much faster. The number of errors is also reduced.

With CAM automation standards are easier to maintain and are also easier to adapt to current developments. Once tried-and-tested strategies – ‘Best Practices’ – are guaranteed. Automation techniques can be used to simplify repetitive programming steps, or apply best-practice. This can help an customer when an experienced programmer leaves a company or to help newer employees adapt to company procedures while learning new software.

Features and information relevant to manufacturing

The hyperMILL® CAM software automatically recognizes the majority of prismatic features such as pockets, holes or T-slots. Usable features for blade and impeller machining can also be easily created for a macro application. hyperMILL® offers numerous ways to process the geometry information available in the CAD system effectively within CAM programming. Along with the assigned geometries, features also contain information that is relevant to manufacturing, such as top, bottom, orientation and start point.

Once features have been defined, they can be assigned machining strategies. If the geometry or technology parameters are modified, changes only have to be made for the feature. These changes are then automatically incorporated in the recalculated NC code. This is another way in which feature technology in hyperMILL® significantly reduces the amount of programming required.

But that’s not all: So-called Customized Process Features (CPFs) are also available for individual solutions. They allow company standards to be defined for similar geometries and therefore help to automate the programming process even more. Workflows are established, saved as technology macros and can then be applied again to similar machining tasks. The basis for this: Characteristic geometries are linked with freely definable sequences of various machining strategies, from 2.5D and 3D through to 5-axis milling and mill turning.

Macros for CAM programming

Macros simplify the day-to-day tasks of CAM programmers. The intelligent macros provided in the hyperMILL® CAM software constitute a further step towards automated workflows and the resulting shorter programming times.

For a CAM programmer, a macro is a defined sequence of machining steps that contains all the tool and technology data for a characteristic geometry – so-called features. In practice, macros enable NC programming with a click of the mouse and make it possible to greatly reduce the amount of programming required.

The hyperMILL® CAM software searches automatically for the right macro in its technology database for the respective geometry feature. Requirement: The user has saved the machining steps for frequently recurring geometries once in this macro database. Macros can then be accessed at any time in order to program complete work sequences automatically and very quickly.

Intelligent macros

The intelligent macros provided in the hyperMILL® CAM software can still do a lot more. Rules and conditions can be defined in these macros for each machining step. Machining steps can then be automatically assigned and adjusted based on the geometry information such as diameter, depth and open or closed pockets and in accordance with the defined rules. A simple ‘if-then’ rule activates the relevant part of the macro. Once the required machining sequences have been generated once, program parts are generated automatically. Intelligent macros are very easy to use for CAM programmers as they can define the rules in plain language.

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