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R&D Focus

SpeedPro Enhances Productivity

Video of SpeedPro.

ITRI’s SpeedPro is a software suite, with an aim to improve the safety and productivity of machining operations. It will be deployed on machine tools to allow machining process simulation and optimization of tool paths. SpeedPro is able to process programs on machine tools prior to actual machining to geometrically simulate material removal and update part geometry. It can evaluate machining performance and display cutter and machine tool spindle loadings. Moreover, it can optimize feed rates of the process to take corrective actions to eliminate machining failures, reduce scrap parts, and speed up conservative programs to lower cycle times.

Snapshot of the SpeedPro software.

Snapshot of the SpeedPro software.

SpeedPro will work directly on machine tool controllers and will be served as an option on the machine tool. It is the first product that incorporates theories of cutting force and will reduce trial-and-error to find process parameters and increase overall performance and productivity, a breakthrough compared to existing software packages. SpeedPro can be applied to the machine tool industry, controllers, aerospace manufacturing, automotive manufacturing and consumer product manufacturing.

One drawback of the current computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) process is the fact that it only considers geometrical precision without cutting force calculation. This means that users can only rely on experience or trial-and-error method to find feasible feed rate values. Another drawback is the constant feed rate value for any specific tool path. Feed rate modulation according to various tool path geometry, tool and workpiece engagements along the tool path is not possible. Machine tool operators have no access to the original tool path, which means that changing feed rate values on the shop floor is time consuming. SpeedPro resolves all these problems by combining cutting force calculations and feed rate value modulations along the tool path. Users can optimize their NC program on site and increase productivity without access to the original CAM program.

Commercial virtual simulators only guarantee geometric correctness of the tool path and check against collisions and local overcuts. In the aerospace market, there is no room for error such as part scrapping or machine tool overloading. There is a clear need for machine tools that can both predict machining safety and improve performance whenever possible to eliminate costly mistakes without lowering productivity. With ITRI’s SpeedPro, users can achieve high efficiency and security without sacrificing accuracy. Due to the significant reduction of the cost for tool breakage and damage on workpiece machines, SpeedPro contributes to the sustainability of traditional manufacturing industries.