Modern production is unthinkable without using automation tools. Computer-aided technologies are the integral part of technological process at developing plant. Use of systems like ESPRIT considerably increases production output rates of ready-made and qualitative products.

      ESPRIT developer is an American company “DP Technology”, which possesses more than thirty years’ experience in the sphere of program development for machine-building sector.

         High productive system suggests powerful automation tools of technological processes programming for any CNC machine. ESPRIT functionality includes software engineering of milling machining from 2up to 5-axes,   turning machining from 2-up to 22-axes, wire EDM from 2 up to 5-axes, multitasking  mill-turn machining, B-axis machine tools, high-speed 3- and 5-axismachining.

 

Pic.1 Process simulation of part machining according to requirement specification

          Since 2010 more than 50 companies in Ukraine have bought ESPRIT licenses and more than 150 000 of Customers all around the world. Choice in ESPRIT favor made the leader of Ukrainian metallurgy “Interpipe Nizhnedneprovsk Tube Rolling Plant», and with rather unusual requirement specification.

Up to this time specialists of “Interpipe NTRP” used only CAD system, that’s why the task referred to Computer-Aided Manufacturing ( САМ ).

Pic.2 Demonstration of possibility to use custom tools

Having studied requirement specification, company “TWIST ENGINEERING”, the official ESPRIT representative in Ukraine, prepared simulation of part machining – railroad wheel.  The special feature of machining was first in equipment possibilities – vertical turn machines with two turrets and synchronization possibility.  

          The main peculiarity of task was also the necessity to use special tools, which system should record during machining design.  

Demonstration of program functional, correspondence to the requirements of specification, and, maybe, time of task workup by the Ukrainian representative office made a key role in Customer’s choice of ESPRIT system among similar products. 

          Having won a tender, team of company “TWIST ENGINEERING” deeply delved in realization of project. Contract conditions covered design of 3D models of machine elements and ten special tool blocks, assembling of developed models with maintenance of drive connections and design of postprocessors.  

Pic.3 Drawings for making 3D models

  ESPRIT program allows user to configure settings of virtual machine in order that they correspond to the original as much as possible. Thus, in the running process models of necessary units, which take part in collision detection, can be connected; to set required quantity of machine axes; to define their directions and limits. At program developer web-site there is a large machine data base, which is available on free of charge basis for licensed ESPRIT users. 

In this unique case the needed machine was not presented in this data base. That’s why, Customer asked to fulfill the tasks according to modeling of machine .On the basis of provided drawings, the required models were developed, after it they were collected together by ESPRIT and saved in one file for this machine.  

   

Pic.4 Models designed according to the drawings

      From time to time in the process of system adoption Customer had the necessity to use special commands/functions, which are not standard in this system. Specially for such cases, when there occurs the need to realize own algorithm, ESPRIT is equipped by Application Programming Interface (API), based on Microsoft Component Object Model (COM), and computer language Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). For software developers API provides access for more quantity of CAD/CAM technologies, set in ESPRIT. ESPRIT flexible modular architecture permits the user/developer to create any other new functional module.

Pic.5 Macros development framework for ESPRIT

     Any components from standard ESPRIT structure can be used for addition of new CAD/CAM solution, which can be realized within existing Graphical User Interface (GUI).

In our case the following three functional modules (macros) were developed, which allow to fulfill such functions as:

– data transfer directly from drawing into separate operating program, 

– possibility to control additional finish and rough stock allowance in auto cycle, 

– limiting points setting of necessary machining elements for further use in operating program. Macros are realized in the way of interactive interface, which contain prompts, conditions check and control of input data with feedback. 

Use of developed for Customer’s needs macros allowed his specialists to automate the process by means of routine operations minimization and avoidance of manual intervention as well as to apply additional process control.   

Pic.6 Fragments of macros performance

  

Within realization of this project all the purposes, which Customer set for ESPRIT system and support team in Ukraine, were achieved: 
 
– machine setup file was designed and assembled,
– made postprocessors,
– tool blocks were modeled,
– the required functional was finished.

          Working in close collaboration with supplier of ESPRIT software, specialists from Interpipe NTRP” effectively adapted system for their tasks, providing result achievement by increase of finished products output in peak hours and reduction of defective index.

          Slogan of ESPRIT software developer is – “The Right Choice”. Thus, “Interpipe NTRP” made “the right choice” in their favor. On behalf of the developer and program supplier we wish to the Customer further production success and hope for cooperation in future. 

Pic. 7. 8 Machining simulation in ESPRIT and cutting process at the machine