Have you ever used a major software platform and asked yourself, “Wait, why can’t I do something that seems so basic?” You aren’t alone. In many ways consumer technologies are way ahead of the manufacturing curve. For example, if I take a picture on my phone, and the picture is completely stuck in place, it’s even less useful than an analog polaroid which can be scanned at a high resolution and copied wherever it’s needed. Losing the ability to text or email a picture is almost unimaginable, yet many CAD/CAM programmers accept the fact that their platform’s data is often like a picture on a phone, completely stuck in place. Platforms need to talk to one another so that data can flow along the digital thread. Integrations are the answer, and the reason why we partner with many industry leading platforms. Cutting tool data should be easy to use wherever you need it.
To make cutting tool data easier to use, it needs to be shareable between users and between platforms, such as CAM, simulation and tool management software. MachiningCloud’s partnerships help close the gap between tool search and other cutting tool workflows. We’ve recently announced native integrations with Mastercam, adding to a long list of software partners in three major software categories:
Simulation Software Integrations
CAM software doesn’t verify all of the potential errors that can result from a cutting tool process such as machine crashes, overheating, tool wear, and unoptimized toolpaths, feeds and speeds. Cutting tool simulators prevent these mistakes and have become an indispensable part of many CAD/CAM programmers’ workflow. It does this by taking on the capabilities and operating conditions of the actual machine being used, replicating errors before they become a problem. Cutting tool simulation verifies post process code and optimizes every process with instructions that include axis motion controls, tool changes, cutter compensation, coolant pumps, and more. NC programs are optimized using up-to-date, hard manufacturer tool data from MachiningCloud, resulting in an ideal performance outcome before actual machining occurs.
With a simulator, you can select the most rigid tool assembly for a job, run a machine smoother, improve surface finish, and make tools last longer. But this extra step for verification can be cumbersome if it doesn’t efficiently fit into a tool assembly workflow. MachiningCloud simplifies programming by making it easy to create assemblies and then automating the cutting tool data inputs in simulators, such as:
Tool Manager Integrations
MachiningCloud has tool management functionality built in, but for large facilities with complex cutting tool needs, inventory management is a must. Cutting tool inventory managers solve a two-sided problem: too little inventory and too much inventory. When a job needs a tool that’s nowhere to be found, unnecessary downtime results. Machinists scour around and if a needed tool is missing, they call in a rush order, so most shops err on the safe side and overstock cutting tools. Excess inventory results in higher costs per job, double orders and wasted valuable resources.
When tool lifecycle management is a concern, tool management software turns stock-outs and excess inventory issues into a solvable logistics problem.Precise cutting tool data helps to provide a snapshot of tooling inventory within an organization. Cutting tool data is leveraged for managers to search, determine and select tooling based on their job needs within a central repository. MachiningCloud helps to eliminate the tool data entry process and provides managers with standardized, imported data to work with. When new tools are necessary, CAD/CAM programmers can find what they need in MachiningCloud and then export the cutting tool data to tool managers, such as:
At this point, CAM platforms don’t require much of an explanation since they are quite literally the cornerstone of a machining job (the occupation is referred to as CAD/CAM programmer after all). CAM platforms need 3D cutting tool models and other product data. Even today, CAM programmers are forced to perform the legwork and contact cutting tool providers for up-to-date tooling data and 3D models. In some cases, they have to create their own models from scratch in order to replace inaccurate or missing tool data. MachiningCloud provides the most up-to-date 3D cutting tool models and product information available, resulting in a seamless, fast and accurate tool sourcing process when working with assemblies and components within a CAM platform. MachiningCloud has native integrations with:
Tying it all together
Machining is a high tech manufacturing process, and every manufacturing process should have a smooth digital workflow. MachiningCloud makes cutting tool data versatile, so that it can be used wherever it’s needed, easily. Our partner list is always expanding, and we have exciting announcements soon to come. If you use one of our software platform partners, then MachiningCloud is the crucial link you need to complete a fully digitized cutting tool process. If you use a software platform that isn’t listed, and you’d like them to integrate with MachiningCloud, please let them know that we are glad to make the connection.