Efficiency: it is one of the most important characteristics of any industrial production process. Product quality is a characteristic taken for granted and reliability a simple starting point to launch a new commercial product both in terms of supply and procurement. Time loss, material waste, scrap and any other "symptom" of inefficiency within the production process are no longer costs that can burden market prices. Therefore, the "challenge" also regards the organisation of production logics and strategies related to the single processing phases to eliminate or at least reduce whatever is not an added value to the finished product.
The BLM Group works with the same logic, but above all proposes and extends it to its customers. All the efforts made to manufacture innovative, quality, flexible and reliable machines would be vain without tools (i.e. software instruments) able to exploit them to the maximum and above all to include each processing phase in a global and efficient logic context. Over the years, the BLM Group has developed in-house software environments useful not only to simplify machine programming, but also for production planning, preliminary checking of single programmes, process simulation and estimation of time and production costs. All the above to guarantee, once again for quality control and most of all process efficiency.
To complete its laser cutting systems, ADIGE has developed an in-house CAD/CAM environment called Artube that covers all the advantages already offered by the laser tube during the workpiece design phase and exploits them at the best. The result is, once again, not "only" workpiece quality but also the guarantee of carrying out the entire production within times and with modes that are the most advantageous for the customer. Among the various specific functions offered by ADIGE laser machines we can mention: minimum bar swarfs, optimisation of discharging position in relation to the workpiece length and type, management of automatic cutting technology, possibility of adapting the process to the quality of the raw material if deformed or covered with rust (for example).
Once the machine programme has been created, it is necessary to estimate the workpiece time and cost. To this end, the BLM Group has designed an additional software system called Part Viewer, allowing a sophisticated graphic simulation to be displayed- again in 3D - of the workpiece being programmed. Thanks to Part Viewer it is possible to preliminarily check the cutting conditions, the settings of each workpiece and, above all, to make an accurate estimation of the cycle time and of the actual hourly production that can be obtained with the machine under those conditions.
A new instrument has recently been implemented allowing to meet the demands of the manufacturers who produce multi-piece lots on their own laser tube and of those who wish to coordinate production with various other systems they have. The new instrument for production planning and automatic programming of multi-piece lots is called Protube Express Thanks to Protube Express it is possible to manage the production of several workpieces in one environment only, to optimise manufacturing by setting priorities and destination (in the case of several machines). The most advanced compacting integrated algorithms (nesting 3D) allow to automatically preset the mode to minimise time and material as much as possible, to obtain a preliminary indication of the number of bars required for each section, to evaluate the choice of various bar lengths and to choose the most convenient one during the material procurement phase.
Once the sequence of workpieces to be manufactured has been set on each machine, it is possible to obtain again the estimation of the total time required for the production of the lot, considering loading times, bar changing and discharging times, as well as all the supplementary times related to secondary functions that have been preset.