Part manufacturers continue to face added pressures from changing market expectations, with customers who require improved accuracy and faster response times. In order to remain competitive, many part manufacturers look to digitalization, which connects all of the steps of part manufacturing planning and production with a single source of information, or a digital thread. Implementing a digital strategy can enable part manufacturers of all sizes to take greater advantage of automation, adopt 3D printing for production, and ultimately expand into new market opportunities and reduce time to delivery.
"In order to grow their businesses and expand into highly competitive markets like the aerospace and semiconductor industries, machine shops need to offer additive manufacturing combined with a highly automated process chain that digitally connects design, print preparation, NC and quality inspection programming to production," said Christoph Hauck, managing director of New Technologies and New Markets, MBFZ toolcraft GmbH, an early adopter of Siemens' additive manufacturing technology. "Siemens offers all of these capabilities in one complete and integrated system for part manufacturing. This allows us to link each step in our digital process chain, providing critical process control, associative data flow and traceability – which are important for our customers."
New automation enhancements within the latest version of NX provide powerful ways to expand production efficiency and reduce cost. Robotic programming technology provides 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 that provide innovative ways to automate CNC machine programming and accelerate 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 percent while extending tool life. Tube milling streamlines the 5-axis programming process by eliminating preparation and minimizing inputs, utilizing 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 seamless integration between NX and the Teamcenter® portfolio. Engineers can now 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 enable tool manufacturers to win more orders and increase profit margins through 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 complicated parts with many features, 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 power of the digital twin, offers a truly unique solution that enables automotive and machinery manufacturers to reduce planning time and increase overall production results.
The latest version also expands the new additive manufacturing solution in NX by including the new module, NX AM for HP Multi Jet Fusion, which is certified by HP and powered by Materialise, to prepare print jobs for HP Jet Fusion 4200 3D printers. The NX software module will allow customers to develop and manage parts in a single software environment for Multi Jet Fusion printing solutions, avoid costly and time-consuming data conversions and third-party tools, and improve their overall design-to-finished-part workflow efficiency. Additionally, Siemens develops applications for additive manufacturing process simulation in Simcenter 3D, a crucial tool to help manufacturers industrialize additive manufacturing by printing components the first-time-right. These simulation applications are an integral part within the Siemens' end-to-end additive manufacturing solution.
"Transformative technologies like additive manufacturing and advanced robotics offer tremendous potential for manufacturers of all sizes to gain an advantage in today's competitive market," said Zvi Feuer, senior vice president of Manufacturing Engineering Software for Siemens PLM Software. "NX provides a fully integrated solution for part manufacturers to utilize these powerful technologies, creating the ability to improve overall business performance and helping to create a truly digital machine shop."