Officially launched in the UK last year and shown for the first time in the Netherlands, CGTech’s FORCE module grabbed centre stage at Van Hoorn Carbide Technical Centre in Weert. Here, live cutting demonstrations of optimized machining cycles for hard metals were run on the company’s Hermle C12U machining centre to highlight the benefits of FORCE in use on the shopfloor.
FORCE is a software module within VERICUT that uses a physics-based optimisation method to determine the maximum reliable feed rate for a given cutting condition based on four factors. They are force on the cutter, spindle power, maximum chip thickness, and maximum allowable feed rate. It calculates ideal feed rates by analysing tool geometry and parameters, material properties of the stock and cutting tool, detailed cutting tool edge geometry, and of course VERICUT cut-by-cut contact conditions.
The software excels in difficult to machine materials, and especially complex multi-axis cuts such as 5-axis flank milling. Initial users of this technology are already seeing productivity improvements of up to 50 per cent. FORCE represents the current apex of machining optimisation because the software uses actual data for cutting tool forces to calculate maximum chip thickness and ideal feed rates. So, it offers a number of technical benefits for machined parts within aerospace, automotive, industrial, oil & gas and other markets that use automated machining.
With the material properties of the component and the cutting conditions also considered, FORCE determines the optimum speeds for a cutting process and makes the CNC machine cut in the most efficient, fast and reliable way. This provides significant benefits when applied to any precision machining operation where challenging materials, such as titanium, high nickel superalloys such as Hastelloy, Inconel and Waspaloy, duplex and stainless steel, and any work hardening materials.
New in VERICUT 8.2 is Force Turning which optimises lathe turning and mill-turn operations, when combined with Force Milling. Force Turning makes it easy for anyone to create NC programs for optimal cutting of inside/outside diameters, shoulders, as well as in corners and tight spaces – without the worry of encountering excessive cutting forces or high spindle power demands.
Gerard van Kessel, Sr. Application Engineer, Van Hoorn Carbide, says: “At Van Hoorn Carbide we are always looking for technical ways to improve production processes and save money for our customers. With VERICUT Force it is possible to improve the efficiency, speed or both of your process. We measured forces like bending moment, torsion and pulling forces and were able to significantly reduce peaks, or bending moment forces, even with a shorter cycle time. In the areas with lower forces during the process, the software increased the feed until a fixed average chip thickness was achieved, and in the areas where the forces were considerably higher, such as corners, the software decreased the feed. Giving us a more stable, efficient and faster cycle. VERICUT Force is a really productive innovation in the world of manufacturing and we will be recommending it to customers to optimise production processes.”
The Hinge Bracket demonstration piece created by CGTech’s Netherlands Reseller ATS EdgeIT reflects the typical challenges faced by Dutch manufacturing companies, with a range of machining operations such as profile milling, pocketing, 3+2 axis milling, 5 axis simultaneous flank milling and deburring from a solid blank of Stainless Steel. A selection of Van Hoorn’s solid carbide tools were chosen, and with guidance from Van Hoorn’s application specialists the optimal cutting rates were dialled in to give a good machining process. Then FORCE was used to reduce machining time by a further 16%, whilst stabilising the cutting conditions, improving surface finish and extending tool life. The machining process was audibly calmer, yet faster. The benefits of the FORCE optimization were further underlined by the use of a Pro-micron SPIKE sensory tool holder to measure the forces at the cutter.
Country Sales Manager, Lee Fowkes, concludes: “FORCE provides a ‘purple patch’ for companies using machine tools. It can increase the life expectancy of the cutting tools; improve the post-processed cutting tool path from the CAM system, leading to shorter machining cycle times; look after the machine tool’s structural elements, as each cut is analysed the software minimises any ‘shock loads’ creating a smoother but quicker cutting cycle.”
Note to Editors
CGTech’s VERICUT® software is the standard for CNC simulation, verification, optimisation, analysis, and additive manufacturing. CGTech also offers programming and simulation software for composites automated fiber-placement, tape-laying, and drilling/fastening CNC machines. VERICUT software is used by companies of different sizes in all industries. Established in 1988, and headquartered in Irvine, California; CGTech has an extensive network of offices and resellers throughout the world. For more information, visit the CGTech website at www.cgtech.co.uk, call +44 (0)1273 773538, or email email@example.com.