20 Most Promising PLM Solution Providers, ICAM Technologies Corp.
Improving Traditional CNC Programming Productivity through Adaptive Post-Processing™
The CNC manufacturing landscape is constantly changing with the introduction of new controllers, machines and CAD/CAM products. It is a challenge for CIOs to stay on top of current trends in machine automation and spearhead the development of new products that ensure integration between the aforementioned distinctive technologies. ICAM Technologies, a Canadian-based company, empowers manufacturers by providing leading-edge CNC automation software to streamline their part programming and manufacturing processes.
ICAM claims a unique position in the CNC manufacturing market with its Adaptive Post-Processing™ solutions. This new CNC programming methodology allows for interactive post-processing, machining simulation and G-code verification inside one integrated software product. “ICAM Adaptive Post-Processing™ provides a unique environment for post-processing, tool-path optimization and G-code simulation – all in one step, one process and one integrated environment,” remarks John Nassr, ICAM’s President.
“ICAM has been in the machine automation market for over 44 years which has given us unparalleled knowledge and experience in our field. This includes all machine types, control makes and all CAD/CAM systems,” says Nassr. The company leverages this knowledge to deliver its new innovative CNC programming software coined Adaptive Post-Processing™. This new technology is an innovative solution that combines intelligent multi-axis post-processing with advanced machine tool and part machining simulation that works for the most challenging tool-paths, machines and controllers. Its core relies on a seamless integration between ICAM’s post-processor and its machining simulation technology allowing for the automatic optimization and correction of NC programs during post-processing. This innovation virtually eliminates the traditional repetitive and error prone process used by manufacturers for tool-path creation, post-processing and verification.
The iterative steps of the traditional method most often generate errors between the CAM system, the postprocessor and the simulation software, leaving the investigative work as to where the error occurred in the hands of the CNC programmer. ICAM’s Adaptive Post-Processing™ solutions not only eliminates these errors while reducing programming time, but also allows the programmer to “create tool-paths for the part” without much consideration to machine kinematics and without reprogramming the part at the CAD/CAM level for a second or new target machine.
Adaptive Post-Processing™ relies on SmartPACK™, developed by ICAM’s R&D Team, consisting of three new products including SmartPATH™ (patent pending), SmartCUT™ and SmartFEED™.
“We have many successful installations worldwide,” says Nassr. ICAM’s engagement with Valley Machines from Kent, Washington is one such instance. Valley spent significant time and resources to program multi-axis tool-paths for their machines. As a part of their traditional programming methods, they were trying to calculate transition moves with rotary motions to find a safe place for the spindle while repositioning for the next cut. Valley found their rescue with ICAM’s SmartPATH™, a unique software designed to automatically optimize rapid positioning tool-path motions generated by CAD/CAM systems. “With SmartPATH™, Valley saved about 50 percent of their effort related to programming and machine set-up, while automatically eliminating their over-travel concerns,” he adds.
ICAM’s sales team and dealers are gearing up to aggressively market its Adaptive Post-Processing™ and SmartPACK™ products worldwide. “These unique technologies benefit CNC programmers by simplifying CNC programming, optimizing rapid positioning tool-path motions generated by CAD/CAM systems and automatically migrating part programs between differing CNC machines. They also improve overall productivity by extending tool-life, improving surface finish quality, optimizing cutting forces and power consumption,” says Nassr. “These are exciting times for ICAM and our customers,” adds Nassr, “as we are innovating and creating new intelligent productivity tools in areas that have been neglected by the rest of the CAD/CAM industry for years.”