New CAM Expands Functions for Digitalizing Machine Shops

Nov. 22, 2017
NX CAM 12 platform brings program extensions that manage robot programming, control additive manufacturing and quality inspection — as well as CNC machining.

Siemens recently issued NX 12, a new release for its NX CAM platform, with various new functions that the software developer noted would help machine shops implement “digitalized” manufacturing, with program extensions that control additive manufacturing, CNC machining, robotics and quality inspection.

CAM – computer-aided machining — is a familiar function for machine shops. NX CAM 12 offers advanced automation capabilities for CAM, including robotic programming, adaptive milling, and tooling design, provide innovative, industry-specific technology to help deliver high-quality products to the market in less time.

The new NX Machining Line Planner tool, combined with NX CAM for feature-based machining, offers new capabilities for industries with high-volume production of complicated parts, such as automotive and industrial machinery. The new version of NX also continues to support "end-to-end solutions" for additive manufacturing, helping manufacturers implement industrial-scale 3D printing or hybrid manufacturing.

Many shops are catching up to the possibilities of robotics to improve reliability and raise throughput, and the new version of Siemens’ NX includes tools for robotic programming that provide the ability to automate complete manufacturing cells, including programming robots to perform machining and pick-and-place operations. Adaptive milling and tube milling are new capabilities for automating CNC machine programming and accelerating cutting of complex parts. Adaptive milling is a high-speed cutting method that leverages automation within NX, to reduce machining cycles by up to 60% while extending tool life. Tube milling streamlines the 5-axis programming process by eliminating preparation and minimizing inputs, using advanced capabilities to create ideal tool paths and minimize errors in machining on the shop floor.

Mold and die manufacturers can now automatically and accurately determine tool production costs through integration between NX and the Siemens Teamcenter® portfolio for product lifecycle management. Engineers can use NX to automatically recognize features and parameters on the desired part, and provide pertinent information to Teamcenter, which can precisely calculate the tool cost. The newly integrated capabilities of Siemens’ product lifecycle management (PLM) software solutions can help tool manufacturers to win orders via automated costing and accurate quotations.

New to this version, NX Machining Line Planner, combined with integrated NX CAM, enables the feature recognition, distribution, balancing, programming and simulation of operations over multiple setups and machines. Particularly helpful for industries with high-volume production of complex, multi-featured parts, NX Machining Line Planner uses a digital twin of the complete machining line and NX CAM feature-based machining technology to optimize the entire process. NX Machining Line Planner, combined with the digital twin, offers a truly unique solution that enables automotive and machinery manufacturers to reduce planning time and increase overall production results.