Over 120 people from almost 60 of the UK’s leading technology manufacturing companies attended CGTech’s latest VUE 2015 (VERICUT Users Exchange), held on 29th September 2015, in the prestigious facilities at Williams F1, Oxfordshire. CGTech used the event to provide customers with a feature review of the latest release of VERICUT, V7.4, the world’s most advanced independent CNC machine tool simulation and optimisation software, and a taste of the physics-based optimisation FORCE module.

John Reed, CGTech Managing Director, welcomed everyone to VUE 2015, with an overview of the changing market faced by the manufacturing industry sectors that are supported by VERICUT across the globe, such as aerospace, automotive and motorsports, medical, power generation, oil and gas, as well as consumer products. He explained: “We partner with the world’s leading machine tool manufacturers and distributors, CAD, CAM and PLM software developers, cutting tool and tool management companies, which is why VERICUT is firmly established as the world’s leading independent CNC simulation and verification software. As such, we all face the same challenges from the manufacturing industry: increase efficiencies and remove waste.”

The company’s tech team provided a feature review for VERICUT 7.4, highlighting the first thing a user will notice is a Welcome Screen that automatically displays when first launching a VERICUT session. The Welcome Screen provides access to commonly used first actions for a VERICUT session. The VERICUT user interface continues to get more customisable. VERICUT’s desktop is enhanced with a new docking method enabling VERICUT’s desktop to be configured in the most efficient manner. The new docking method is very flexible and provides a high level of customisation possibilities. Additionally, the Status window is completely redesigned for better viewing, customisation and size. The Status window information is divided into Information Groups, each containing a specific list of information.

In addition to new features designed to make NC programmers’ jobs easier, nearly 500 customer-driven enhancements and software change requests have been completed in version 7.4. These updates use the latest technologies to enable faster processing speeds, longer tool life and increased part quality. Added features to the user interface simplify the most common user actions and significant developer hours have been invested to increase simulation speed by more thoroughly taking advantage of multiple processors and background processing.

Guest speaker for the day was Dr Robert Pleming, CEO of the ‘Vulcan to the sky’ project that, in 2007, after nearly two years of intense engineering activity achieved a test flight of the restored Avro Vulcan XH558, some 14 years after its last flight. Sadly, the ‘Cold War’ bird is now retired having made a final farewell flight across much of the UK on Wednesday, 28 October 2015.

CGTech’s UK Sales Manager, Rob Lightfoot, presented the benefits of the new VERICUT Force physics- and mathematics-based modelling software designed to optimise machining rates. He said: “Because the software uses actual data for cutting tool forces and spindle power readings to calculate maximum chip thickness and feed rate it offers a number of technical benefits for machined parts within aerospace, automotive, industrial and other markets that use automated machining.

“With the material properties of the component and the cutting conditions also considered, VERICUT Force determines the optimum speeds for a cutting process and makes the CNC machine cut in the most efficient, fast and reliable way. This provide significant benefits when applied to any precision machining operation where challenging materials, such as titanium, high nickel superalloys such as Hastelloy, Inconel and Waspaloy, duplex and stainless steel, and any work hardening materials, that are typically used in mould & die and aerospace component production.”

Another crucial element of the simulation and verification process involves importing and managing cutting tool data. For accurate machining simulation a higher degree of detail is required from the cutting tool model. This allows VERICUT to represent the material removal process exactly as it will occur on the machine tool in the real world. VERICUT Tool Manager has been developed to make this important part of the process much easier for the user. The simulation of a back facing tool was shown as a demonstration of the advanced cutting tooling technology supported by VERICUT.

Tool Manager’s desktop and user interface is redesigned to enable easier user interaction. A new Tool Bar located at the top of the Tool Manager window consists of a combination of icons and pull-down menus providing easy access to all features needed to create and maintain tool libraries, create/modify tool assemblies, import tool assemblies and create or import OptiPath records. Also, in the Tool List, tool components now have a Parent/Child hierarchy allowing for better tool assembly management and modification. All Tool Definition windows have been redesigned to make tool definition easier. VERICUT 7.4 is equipped with a library of common tools, making it very quick and simple to add new tools to a simulation session.

Sources for tooling data were also considered, with rapid development currently taking place on Sandvik’s Adveon and Machining Cloud’s systems from Kennametal (Novo) and others. As well as a presentation looking beyond this latest release, a productivity workshop rounded off the day featuring a host of shortcuts and techniques to improving the productivity of VERICUT users.

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Note to Editors

About CGTech

Headquartered in Irvine, California CGTech specialises in numerical control (NC/CNC) simulation, verification, optimisation and analysis software technology for manufacturing. Since 1988 CGTech’s product, VERICUT® software, has become the industry standard for simulating CNC machining in order to detect errors, potential collisions or areas of inefficiency. CGTech has an extensive network of offices and resellers throughout the world.  For more information, visit the CGTech website at www.cgtech.co.uk, call +44 (0)1273 773538, or email info.uk@cgtech.com.