Analysis and Optimization of CAx Process Chains for Tool and Die Manufacturing

Operations to produce and repair components in tool and die manufacturing require integrated process sequences with elements such as measurements (to establish the dimensions of the component), laser processing, machining or electro-erosive ablation. The coordination of such process sequences requires detailed planning and, increasingly, the assistance of computers: without such aid, technologies such as the 5-axis processing of complex geometries would never have gotten off the drawing board. CAx systems such as, CAD and CAM systems provide the workforce of manufacturing companies with computer-based support in the planning and operation of complex production processes.

In most tool and die manufacturing companies, however, individual CAx components and their process chains have been incrementally added over time. Interfaces between the individual components are often either lacking or prone to occasional failures. This affects the entire production chain, increasing the costs of the CAx process chain or causing workmanship issues and delays that prevent the company from meeting agreed quality or delivery targets.

The Fraunhofer IPT: A reliable partner for the design of CAx process chains

The Fraunhofer IPT can optimize the CAx process chains of its client companies. We begin by analyzing the existing CAx process chain, revealing vulnerabilities such as failure-prone interfaces, system discontinuities or inconsistencies and unused features of already acquired licensed software products. Based on the results of this analysis, we then proceed to lay out a CAx process chain that is customized to the needs, conditions and value chains of your company and assist you throughout the implementation process. By introducing measures for virtual work stations and the introduction of smart devices into the manufacturing runs, we support the quality assurance efforts of your workforce – they will be able to simulate and analyze NC codes directly at the machine tool.

Friction-free exchange of information between processes and operator

The analysis of your existing CAx process chain will provide you with a context-specific representation of your CAx environment. A consistent CAx process chain is capable of completing its tasks more quickly and can reduce the number of iteration loops that are necessary until the CAM data are ready for production. Since such optimizations frequently dispense with the need for entire programmes or parts of programmes, this may also allow you to save on expensive licensing fees. The introduction of smart devices to the shop floor can significantly increase the productivity of your operation through rapid and intuitive information processing, for example detecting NC programming flaws more quickly.

Our range of services

Analysis of CAx process chains

Joint diagnosis of strengths and weaknesses in the corporate CAx process chain. Such an analysis is the foundation for the downstream identification of optimization potentials.

Development of CAx process chains

Identification of optimization potentials for interfaces, customized development of an optimized CAx process chain and an implementation road map.

Integration of smart

Development of hardware and software solutions for the integration of smart devices into shop floor operations, for example for graphic representations and immediate on-the-job analysis of NC codes.