With the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, you have access to hosts of different powerful tools depending on your role in the product development and production process. One of those powerful tools is Shop Floor Machining which can be found included in the Shop Floor Programmer role. Shop Floor Programmer allows your machine programmers to leverage the familiar 3DEXPERIENCE Platform to create NC toolpaths for 2.5 and 3 Axis Machining operations. There are tons of reasons to go to a tool connected to the rest of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform but below I highlight the top 5 features that set Shop Floor Programmer above the rest.
The first and in my opinion, one of the biggest benefits of the Shop Floor Programmer role is that the app you use to do the actual machine programming is cloud-connected through the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. For someone like me, this comes with two major benefits. First, regardless of where I am physically located compared to my design team, I am still able to access our secure file storage and find the model I need to machine. This also means that no one has to send me a duplicate of a file. If I’m in the same collaborative space as my engineering team, I can use the model to create the programs. The other benefit for me as a cloud-connected user is being able to travel, use different computers, and stay seamlessly connected to any machining programs I was working on without having to send them to myself.
One of the toughest things about using any tool at first is figuring out just what steps need to be done to get from start to finish. Even after using a tool for a long time, I find myself forgetting key steps and getting confused why something isn’t work. The Shop Floor Machining Wizard helps to solve that problem and make sure every program is created correctly every time. The Wizard walks the programmer through every step of the programming process from initial part insertion and machine selection all the way down to simulation and G-Code processing. There is even a green check next to each step so as a user I can graphical have assigned my tools or defined my stock without having to look too hard. The Shop Floor Machining Wizard ensure that we follow the same steps every time we create a program and don’t try to put the cart before the horse!
Shared Tool Libraries
With any tool with multiple users, it’s generally a good practice to have whatever libraries we need to use to be connected to each other. Whether it’s a library of electrical symbols or just standard parts to use in an assembly, making sure everyone is on the same standard helps ensure that no one is using outdated files. With Shop Floor Programmer, all my tooling information is stored securely in one of my collaborative spaces meaning anyone with access to the space can use the same set of tools. If we get a new face mill and I add it to my available tools, all of my fellow programmers will see that new tool as well. Gone are the days of having to stay on top of new tools being purchased or old tools being broken to keep in multiple disconnected libraries.
Automation and Standardization
Any relatively new or completely seasoned machine programmer knows that over time you start to develop best practices or company procedures for different machining operations. A lot of these practices start to become tribal knowledge within the company and only those “in the know” can really benefit from it to make sure every part is machined correctly. With Shop Floor Programmer, those internal pieces of information such as how the tool approaches or retracts from the part can be stored as dedicated templates in our database. All of the hard-earned knowledge of how to machine specific features can be recorded, stored, and shared with any team member to make our time spent programming more efficient and more accurate to company practices. In time this leads to a better level of standardization and a shallower learning curve for brand new machinists.
A scenario that may happen more than some would like to admit is this: A program gets created with all the machining operations created, someone gives it a once over and gives it the go ahead, the code is generated and sent to machine, and then once it’s machined a few things become apparent. Maybe a couple machining operations like an edge break or a thread is forgotten. In this case it is an easy fix to just generate operations for the missing features. Another time, the retract plane is set incorrectly and the part has a massive gouge through the middle of my part, or we slam the tool into the side of our part and the tool snaps. This scenario is a little harder to fix since we have so much wasted production as a result. Using the tools built into Shop Floor Programmer, we can run full machine kinematic simulations or just basic toolpath simulation on the model to check not only for missing features but also any clashing we might experience with the program. As you can hopefully see in my image below, the ”perfect” program I started to create can clearly use some work to make sure I don’t completely destroy my part and machine. Thanks to the machine simulation I can see the possible issues before sending it to my shop floor.
Whether you’re doing 2.5 Axis machining or full-on robot arm programming, the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform has an integrated solution for you. Shop Floor Programmer is just the tip of the iceberg regarding our powerful machining capabilities when using our interconnected platform. If you’re interested in learning some of the other top features of Shop Floor Programmer or are interested in hearing about the more advanced Computer Aided Manufacturing solutions, reach out to your local TriMech Account Manager for more information!
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