GE Fanuc Introduces i Adapt™ for Milling to Reduce Cycle Times Up to 40% | Automation.com

GE Fanuc Introduces i Adapt™ for Milling to Reduce Cycle Times Up to 40%

April 142003
GE Fanuc Introduces i Adapt™ for Milling to Reduce Cycle Times Up to 40%
New Adaptive Control System Maximizes Material Removal Rate during Rough Cutting

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. ¾ April 10, 2003 – GE Fanuc Automation North America, Inc., an affiliate of GE Industrial Systems, has introduced the new i Adapt™ for Milling adaptive control system – which automatically maximizes a machine’s material removal rate during rough cutting. This new adaptive control system can reduce cycle times by as much as 40 percent, increase tool life, and allow users to leverage their existing installed base of CNC technology. i Adapt enhances GE Fanuc’s suite of machine optimization products that are geared toward improving machining at shops of all sizes.

“Traditionally, only larger organizations have been able to adopt adaptive control due to a greater capacity to experiment with new technologies,” said Douglas Peterson, vice president, CNCs and lasers, GE Fanuc Automation. “However, i Adapt can give small and medium shop owners with existing CNC technology the power to optimize productivity, improve the ROI of their CNCs and effectively boost their bottom lines. This is very important, as the vast majority of machining, approximately 92 percent, takes place in small and medium shops.”

In general practice, machine tools maximize the material removal rate during roughing cycles by applying all of the available spindle power to the cutting process. When machines use carbide tools for roughing, the available spindle power is usually the limiting factor on material removal rate. i Adapt for Milling maximizes material removal rate and minimizes cycle time by optimizing the cutting feed rate based on a programmed spindle load. By optimizing the feed rate in real time, i Adapt compensates for conservative assumptions and process variations to help reduce cycle times. Every part, including the first, is optimized automatically, eliminating the need for manual part program optimization.

Real-time optimization is an important i Adapt feature because there are so many variables to the cutting process, many of which change from machine to machine and blank to blank. Manual part program optimization is possible for some of the variables, but they have to be reapplied every time a change is made to the part design or to the process. Because of the number of uncontrollable process variables, it is often very difficult – as well as increasingly uneconomical and impractical – for a part programmer to manually optimize a part program, particularly with manufacturing lot sizes continuing to fall. In addition, even when manual optimization is attempted, the part programmer must use a conservative feed rate to protect the machine from overload. i Adapt addresses this concern with limits monitoring to protect machines from damage.

i Adapt works with all material types and requires no special programming for interrupted cuts. All adaptive monitoring is programmable through the CNC and is transparent to the operator. In addition to the shorter cycle times resulting from an optimized feed rate, i Adapt can also increase tool life by applying a constant and predictable cutting load.

i Adapt complements GE Fanuc’s suite of machine optimization products. High-speed machining technologies such as AICC increase the speed at which detailed finishing cuts can be processed, increasing precision and surface finish. Bell shaped Acc/Dec for Rapid Traverse increases the speed on non-cutting motions such as tool changes and moving to and from the workpiece. i Adapt enhances the suite by optimizing the roughing cycles where maximum material removal rate, rather than precision and surface finish, is most important.

About GE Fanuc Automation
GE Fanuc Automation North America, Inc., is a leading global supplier of automation solutions and is a joint venture between GE and FANUC LTD of Japan. GE Fanuc products and services include collaborative production management, HMI/SCADA and plant intelligence software; nano to high-end controllers; embedded systems; a wide range of CNCs; motion control; operator interfaces; industrial computers; lasers; and integration and customer support services. Headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., GE Fanuc is part of GE Industrial Systems. For more information, visit www.gefanuc.com.

About GE Industrial Systems
Since the founding of the General Electric Company (NYSE: GE) by Thomas Edison in 1882, GE Industrial Systems has been known for technical innovation. GE Industrial Systems has over 7,600 U.S. and foreign patents on products that help provide peace of mind for people, the properties they own and their workplaces. In 2001 alone, GE Industrial Systems filed more than 200 U.S. and 340 foreign patent applications.

GE Industrial Systems spans the globe as an industry leader in integrated industrial, electrical and security equipment, systems and services. The business brings to customers the latest technologies that are used to distribute, protect and control energy and equipment, and to provide premise management. GE provides innovative product and service solutions for commercial, industrial, residential and utility customers. For more information visit the website at: www.geindustrial.com.

For more information, visit www.gefanuc.com or contact: GE Fanuc Information Center, P.O. Box 8106, Charlottesville, VA 22906, Phone: (800) 648-2001, Fax: 434-978-5205, e-mail: [email protected].

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