Digital twin technology avoids collisions

Specialist CAD/CAM and MES solution provider Tebis is offering customers a fully integrated solution that detects and resolves potential collisions using digital twin technology in the CAM environment.

Tebis has added more features to this well-proven approach in Version 4.1 of its manufacturing software. The option for machine head collision checking is now also fully integrated in the Tebis virtual machine model, along with new functions for 5-axis simultaneous avoidance milling.

"The earlier in the process chain that collisions are avoided, the better. Because detecting and avoiding potential collisions at later stage almost always results in unwanted downtime and unnecessary costs," explains Fabian Jud, product manager at Tebis: "Our approach is proven and safe. Tebis verifies toolpaths and avoids collisions within the CAM environment. This is achieved by using digital twins of the real manufacturing process."

The real-world machining environment is reproduced virtually by Tebis to ensure that the integrated collision checking functions safely. This includes all geometries – including machines, tool assemblies, clamping devices and limit switches. The basis for the NC calculation is usually the accepted machine model which enables a digital twin of the real NC code to be generated in the CAM environment.

Collisions that can be detected while calculating the NC program can be immediately identified and avoided with the appropriate collision avoidance strategies. The most appropriate strategy depends primarily on the specific component geometry, the machining task and particularly the available machine. This knowledge should be stored in NC template – which means the CAM programmer only needs to select the machine and machining elements. The appropriate collision avoidance strategy is then automatically assigned in each case.

The benefits of Tebis’ approach mean additional user operation and correction loops are avoided and the CAM programmer doesn’t need any special knowledge of machine code or other simulation software. No manual corrections to the NC code that could place process safety at risk are necessary and planning is easier because the CAM programmer has access to all the virtual manufacturing components that are represented in virtual digital twin database libraries.

Additionally, the machine head is fully accounted for in collision checking/automatic area reduction. This means in the event of potential collisions with the machine head, milling areas are now automatically reduced or excluded from the machining operation in the NC calculation.

Automatic area reduction is generally used in 3-axis roughing. Milling areas that can’t be machined with the tool in use – because of a collision with the machine head, for example, are now automatically deactivated by the software. With the new area reduction, users employ the shortest possible tools for each milling job, which ensures optimal cutting conditions. The head or table can also be rotated interactively around the C-axis during the calculation in the machine kinematics.

Given an appropriate machine and control, 3+2-axis programmed toolpaths can also be automatically converted to 5-axis simultaneous toolpaths for collision avoidance. One of the special features in Tebis is that the tool movements can also be controlled interactively with vectors.

Tebis UK



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