Generate NC programs at the touch of a button
TruTops Boost, the new software solution developed by TRUMPF, merges into a single system all the steps needed to generate sheet metal manufacturing programs. This includes everything from part design and data import to nesting and even writing NC programs for cutting, punching and bending.
So simple and so fast! With TruTops Boost, designing and programming for sheet metal processing becomes almost child’s play. The new TRUMPF software is based on an entirely new operating philosophy. The program steps the operator through the process and provides support in numerous automatic features. Here, a single system, working on the basis of the job order, handles the design, generates an unfolding, and prepares NC programs for 2D laser cutting, punching and bending. No longer is it necessary to place information in intermediate storage and call it up in various applications.
This brings about major advantages. For example, the operator has at his fingertips the newest version of all the job orders and can see the status within the current process step. In addition, TruTops Boost immediately recognizes when a specification has been changed in the design or in the programming. The software then automatically adjusts the upline or downline steps or notifies the operator if he needs to intervene. TruTops Boost considers every possible technology when examining job orders; it recognizes correlations and automatically implements them. When processing data for bending parts, for instance, TruTops Boost calculates, right from the layout stage, any notches and cut-outs and makes preparations for manufacturing the parts from sheet metal.
Automation enhances productivity
TruTops Boost has two operating levels. The HomeZone control level is perfect for seeing all the orders on hand and preparing programs very quickly, in an automated process. Some specialists will want to exert greater influence and, for example, might intend to modify individual parameters in an order. The TecZone technology level was created for their use. The great advantage is that operators can use both levels simultaneously. This lets them program in TecZone while the software itself—under HomeZone control—automatically calculates additional NC programs in the background. This makes for an enormous increase in programming productivity.
The Boost Technology, which comprises many automated functions, distinguishes the HomeZone and heightens productiveness. The orange colored Boost Button is easy to find on the screen. It activates a variety of calculations for the selected objects. Once the data have been imported in the sector 3D design, the software automatically adapts the parts, so they can be manufactured with sheet metal. It detects bends and sketches the unfolding drawing accordingly. A simulation running in the background examines, even at this early stage, whether the particular design can be manufactured or if changes have to be made. If the design is determined to be in order, it is no longer necessary to employ a time-consuming visual simulation to identify potential collisions or conflicts.
Extends productive time
In the respective technology fields, too, automatic generation of the NC program is launched with the Boost Button. When handling a cutting job—i.e. when generating an NC program for a punching, a 2D laser cutting, or a combined punch laser machine—TruTops Boost starts the nesting job automatically. The nesting algorithms have been further refined to achieve, once again, markedly improved utilization of the materials. At the same time, TruTops Boost seeks sensible solutions for tools, processing sequences, and the routes traversed by tools and used for positioning.
When preparing a job for a press brake, the software will work out a solution for the bending sequence, the positioning of the backgauge fingers, and the equipment set-up plan. The special thing here is that the multi-solution technology automatically prepares a program that can be used with various press brakes. In case of multiple selections, TruTops Boost simultaneously calculates NC programs for various bending parts. Additionally, a bending program prepared by TruTops Boost extends the productive time for the press brake, since it is not necessary to set up the program at the machine’s own controls.
The steps to the finished program
Working in the HomeZone, just three steps are necessary to get from the geometry to the NC program. In the first phase, the user imports the geometry into TruTops Boost and enters the job data—such as the production date, number of parts, customer or material—into the automatically generated job order. The program supports all established data formats and can read both 2D and 3D geometries. In the second step, the system automatically calculates how the part can be made up from sheet metal and prepares an unfolding drawing. In the third step, the software automatically calculates the NC program for the machine selected by the operator and stored in the system.
Built into TruTops Boost is all the expertise held by TRUMPF in regard to sheet metal design, interdependencies within the sheet metal processing chain, and the properties of various materials and machines. Thanks to this, and due to the many automated functions, the HomeZone quickly produces a high-quality program for the operator’s use. If a specialist wishes to implement special programming for particularly important jobs by applying his own know-how, he can switch to TecZone. At this level he can engage in interactive programming or modify and regulate individual elements. At this level, as well, many automated processes support the operator.
Everything in view
The TruTops Boost HomeZone control level lets the operator review all the jobs in storage. Intuitive search options help him find and organize jobs that are important for him. To do this he can either call up all the jobs still to be completed or filter according to a number of criteria, including material, target date or change date.
The survey of which jobs enjoy priority is supported by warning messages if, for example, individual jobs have not yet been completed or deadlines might be missed. If he wishes to launch several tasks at once, then this is possible. To do this, he opens the jobs in parallel, in multiple windows; these are arranged for clarity at a number of tabs. Users can create NC programs with the new software not only quickly and at great productivity. They can also sort the customer orders in a very clear way and store them accordingly.
Contact us: MastersofSheetMetal@trumpf.com
This article was first published in autumn 2014.