My company is considering using Creo/Windchill to control some of our manufacturing equipment. For example, currently we use a lot of standard metal extrusions cut to different lengths. Right now we have a saw operator that cuts all of these parts. We want to export our cultists from Windchill or from our Creo assembly models to the saw, eliminating the need for someone to operate the saw all day. Or use our models to control our mills or plasma cutters. For these we currently export a .dxf, and an operator loads the .dxf to the machine and executes the programs. For this we are more interested in eliminating the step of exporting the .dxf file and want to use the sheetmetal model to control these machines.
I’m not sure where to begin my research on how to accomplish these types of tasks. I’m looking for some advice on where to begin with the research and maybe some experiences others have had with doing this.
Is not that easy to answer to your question.
Maybe you want to take a look on this page: http://www.ptc.com/cs/cs_27/howto/gim7903/gim7903.htm
Is the Central resource page for Pro/NC. It mostly reffer to Wildfire 2 but still should be a good starting point.
Also search the knowledge base for Document - CS110857. This will give you the links to a lot of "how to's".
Classes provided by different VAR's may also be an option. I feel I need to warn you: those classes tipicaly just scratch the surface but if you never was exposed to Pro/NC it will help.
Now, a little more about the issues that you are trying to adress.
As far as I know there are no tools to program the saw. On this matter maybe a repeat region on drawing will give you better results. As for the milling machines and plasma cutters, this is where you can really see the difference.
At our company we have products that geometricaly are the same just the dimensions are different. For those type of parts we got to the point where we can output the machine program in 15 - 30 minutes. But it was a lot of work to get to that point. We had to set-up machines and tool libraries, postprocessors and a lot of other things.
I hpoe it helps,
Gabiel, for you saying its not an easy question to answer you did a really good job of it. Right now I'm just looking for information on the tools and process to decide how much benifit doing this can bring.
Thanks for the help.