Benefits measure up with FORCE Calibration

CGTech has unveiled a bespoke software package which can replicate the cutting conditions that would be achieved in real-world applications.

The software has been developed to support the extended us of CGTech’s physics-based VERICUT FORCE optimisation module and was revealed at the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC).

FORCE Calibration is a software program that is used to enable material calibration for use with Force CNC Program Optimization (Milling or Turning) via a material characterisation file. The encrypted Force material characterisation files used by VERICUT’s physics-based FORCE Optimization depends on cutter material and material being cut; and are applied to any simulation run to achieve the most efficient NC machining program.

Data for Force material files comes from a series of test cuts on a CNC mill and/or lathe with a dynamometer set up, using a specific cutting tool and the specific workpiece material to be characterised. With the material to be cut, plus material and geometry details of the cutter input into the software, milling and turning cutting trials were conducted in the machine shop at the AMRC. Advanced eight-channel Kistler Dynamometers fitted to the machine tools measured actual cutting forces being generated throughout the trials.

There are five steps required to capture the data required according to CGTech VERICUT Product Specialist, Pete Haas. He commented:  “We consider step one as administration and planning, where the raw material and cutting tool are procured along with the determination of the location and actual machine tool to be used. Step two includes the Design of Experiment, NC program creation along with setup instructions.

“FORCE Calibration comes in for step three, with the setup of the machine tool and dynamometer, preparation of the stock material, running of the cutting test with captured data converted for use in the software. With the data loaded into FORCE Calibration we can subsequently calibrate the material and validate the results for steps four and five.

“Of course, there is a presumption that the knowledge and experience required to make these final steps work are available. An understanding of cutting tools, holders and materials with the skills to get any information needed. Programming and machining knowledge for NC macros and CNC machine operation, along with the engineering knowledge required to use the dynamometer and for data acquisition.”

Managing Director, Tony Shrewsbury, added: “Calibration is not for every business – many things can go wrong – experience, training and problem resolution skills are needed. We also appreciate that many engineering companies do not have access to all the hardware required to run a calibration test, so we offer this as a very cost-effective technical service.

“Materials only need to be calibrated once and an ISO standard range of over 100 materials are already held in the CGTech Materials Catalogue which are available to customers upon request, and we are adding to these each time we run a new material calibration test.”

The FORCE module within VERICUT uses a physics-based optimisation method to determine the maximum reliable feed rate for a given cutting condition based on four factors: force on the cutter, spindle power, maximum chip thickness, and maximum allowable feed rate. It calculates ideal feed rates by analysing tool geometry and performance parameters, material properties of the stock and cutting tool, detailed cutting tool edge geometry, and VERICUT cut-by-cut contact conditions.

Pete Haas adds: “By far the most powerful and important feature of Force is its understanding of the 3D material removal interaction between arbitrary shaped cutters and workpieces for arbitrary motion in space.  The improved cutting and time savings are substantial with FORCE Optimization and would be a great benefit to any company removing material.”

Tony Shrewsbury, comments: “FORCE is founded on machining fundamentals, it is easy to set up and easy to use once the materials have been characterised. Users can expect to see improvements of up to 50 percent.”

He concludes: “Any advanced manufacturing business, within the aerospace or medical sectors for example, should consider FORCE Calibration for any unique or proprietary materials used within their businesses. It would ensure the material is machined as efficiently as possible and that the details of its characteristics remain in-house.”

CGTech is the leading developer and provider of CNC simulation, verification and optimisation software which includes the largest collection of CNC machining experts in the world.

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