CAM integration

Through the comprehensive integration of the system worlds of CAD, ERP and CAM, ams.Solution accelerates project processing in individual and made-to-order production without additional work for designers and programmers.

To increase efficiency in design and manufacturing, ams.Solution offers comprehensive process integration, ranging from CAD and PLM to ERP systems and from there to the world of machine programming (CAM). ams.erp assumes the role of the central data hub in which all order-relevant information is collected and managed. For companies with a batch size of 1+, the coupling results in a considerable increase in speed and at the same time the possibility of optimized utilization of the machine park. This is particularly important if there are considerations to supplement the in-house project production with additional contract production, for example.

Thanks to the link with ams.erp, the designers already provide the parts they have developed with extensive additional information in the CAD system by using special templates and templates. For example, it is transmitted in digital form whether the parts are purchased or self-manufactured and what form of in-house processing (milling, laser cutting, turning) is necessary. Previously, this information had to be entered manually into the ERP system, which was not only more time-consuming and error-prone, but also required a certain amount of previous and specialist knowledge on the part of the employees. In addition, as part of the new process, the designers also create the work plans in the CAD system.

Digital data instead of route cards

The now enriched data enters the CAM system either directly – with appropriate access to the same machine database – or via the ERP system. Instead of handing the programmers their respective worklist by hand in the form of printed lists and routing cards, as was previously the case, this information is now also transmitted in digital form. The integrated solution creates a list of the worklist from all available order information, which it transfers to the respective CAM system. This list contains the order numbers, the order items, the BDE numbers, the drawing numbers, the materials, quantities and dates. The order parts list is used to store the number of parts that have to be produced by which deadline.

In addition, very precise target times for processing a specific material on the required machine are supplied via ams.erp. For example, if the sheet metal is to be lasered, its size and thickness are already known in the CAD system. Based on these parameters, which are automatically generated by the system, it is clear how much time the laser needs to cover the required distance and to create cutouts for a certain sheet metal thickness. The conventional procedure would have been for the programmers to import the CAD files and manually compare them with the printed job cards.

Thanks to the link with ams.erp, the designers already provide the parts they have developed with extensive additional information in the CAD system.

As soon as the work plans are available, all parts can be identified in terms of their processing type using the order parts list in the digital worklist. For example, all parts that have to be lasered or milled can be called up. Of course, this also applies to repeated parts, which are included in the assembly structure several times in identical form. The special feature of the ams coupling is that there is always a direct reference to the order and the order item. Traditionally, the programmers would have received printed production orders and job cards that noted how often which part was required for which order. They would have had to sort the information together again by hand.

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Better overview of the worklist

Another great advantage is that the programmers can now view their worklist over a very long time horizon. If the worklist contains parts that only have to be finished in two or four weeks, you can use the stock at any time and prepare for various orders.

As soon as the order pool or the order stock has been imported from ams.erp, the CAM system converts the imported data into production orders. In the background, the folder directory is compared with the stored transactions. The program checks whether the associated processing, including the drawing number, has been loaded for each order item. If the CAM finds the drawing number in the orders, it compares them, assigns them unambiguously and then creates individual laser programs. This means that the material thickness, the outer contours and cutouts and the machine required for processing are known, but not which metal sheet is to be cut from and the position on the sheet where the part to be produced is located.

In order to use the metal sheet optimally and with as little waste as possible, the CAM program creates a so-called nest at the push of a button based on the digital data provided by CAD/PLM and ERP. It nests the individual orders and indicates the number of sheets required, the correct sheet thickness and the projected area. In this way, it can calculate the nesting of the components on the metal sheets with the thickness required in each case. To do this, the program accesses the individual laser programs, compares them with the work list and recognizes which parts are needed and how often. In this context, an immediate material comparison would also be conceivable to ensure that only material available in the warehouse is used.

CAM data flows back into ams.erp

Another big advantage for ams users is that important, order-relevant parameters flow directly back into the ERP system: In addition to the exact processing time, the material consumption including waste is also reported back exactly.

The described integration of the system worlds with the automated transfer of formerly paper-based data from the CAD to the ERP to the CAM system naturally saves a lot of time, while at the same time the susceptibility to errors decreases. The administrative effort in machine programming decreases drastically. Instead of having to collect the orders manually and calculate the best possible nesting, the programmers can now concentrate on their actual main task.

Since there is no administrative effort and the entire process is significantly faster, the machine utilization can of course also be increased. Many product manufacturers are currently considering setting up a second mainstay in addition to in-house production and entering the area of ​​contract manufacturing. Automation that is as far-reaching as possible, as ams.Solution is now presenting, is the decisive step in this direction.