Virtual Machine — Machine Simulation & Verification
Predator Virtual CNC and Virtual Machine integrates CNC verification and machine simulation within a single Windows-based product. Predator Virtual Machine is designed to accurately simulate the CNC, the machine and the machining process.
How it Works
Predator Virtual Machine works just like a machine tool. It requires CNC programs, offsets, stock material, tooling, and fixturing details. A 3D virtual machining environment is displayed to the user with VCR buttons to control the simulation. Unlike a machine tool, Predator Virtual Machine will safely detect machine crashes, broken tooling, CNC programming errors, and numerous other problems.
Initial setup requires the user to design a machine with any major CAD/CAM system. By leveraging the strengths of today’s solid modelers, machine design is faster and easier then ever before. The machine’s base and moving parts are imported into Predator Virtual Machine and the kinematics are defined. A library of machine types such as VMCs and HMCs simplify the kinematic definitions. CNC specifics are configured down to the G-code & M-code level. A library of 150 CNC controls that can be edited by the user, dramatically simplify initial configuration.
Using Predator Virtual Machine to perform CAS (or computer aided setup), the prove-out process is done offline. Where most CNC users recognize the benefits of offline CAM, offline CAS provides identical productivity improvements. Machine tools stay up and running, and setup time is kept to an absolute minimum. In addition, html-based documentation is automatically created for shop floor personnel. This process significantly reduces trial and error setups and costly prove-outs.
Within educational settings, machine simulation has become even more critical. Educators can provide access to virtual machine experience without having to maintain physical machines or incur liability when trying to teach complex manufacturing processes. With educational budgets being so tight, machine simulation can reduce maintenance, material and tooling costs. Even remote learning of manufacturing processes is possible.
Predator Virtual Machine’s ability to machine a part with accurate cycle times and then inspect it before a single chip is made provides manufacturers unlimited opportunities to improve their processes. Since Predator Virtual Machine behaves just like a real machine; every improvement in CNC programming, materials, tooling, fixturing, and more, is shown graphically.
Within industry, driving factors differ from shop to shop. With some, the material costs are so expensive that simulation of the cutting process is required because there is no second chance. With others the risk of machine crashes is too great to risk potential liability or production downtime. As more and more complex machines are built the need to simulate their use in a stress free PC environment makes more and more sense to manufacturers worldwide.
Real World Applications
Many industries rely on machine simulation and CNC verification. Aerospace, automotive, mold and die, consumer products — virtually any manufacturer — stands to benefit. Unfortunately, many manufacturers have seen machine simulation as a high-end luxury for Unix-based workstations. Today’s PC-based solutions are priced to be affordable to even the smallest shops. Forward thinkers embrace this technology early on to prevent problems. Unfortunately many manufacturers wait until it’s too late.
A full 30-day trial is available from Shop Floor Automations, Inc. web site: www.shopfloorautomations.com
About Shop Floor Automations Inc.
Shop Floor Automations Inc. is the largest independent supplier of Predator Software products in the world. Serving as the Western United States Service Center for Predator Software, SFA provides sales, service, and support for all Predator products. Based in La Mesa, California, with offices and personnel in Los Angeles and Lancaster, California; Eugene, Oregon and Phoenix, Arizona, SFA has remained Predator’s top reseller for three years running.
About Predator Software Inc.
Predator Software Inc. develops turnkey DNC Communications and Shop Floor Control Applications, and CNC Verification Software. The company also provides a line of products that together make up the Predator MES (manufacturing execution system) suite, which includes manufacturing data collection, electronic work instructions, and tool and gage management. Predator Software is based in Portland, Oregon, USA, with offices in; Cambridgeshire, UK; Copenhagen, Denmark, and Barcelona, Spain.
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