Do any of you know a process that works so that you can have several programmers programming on a single part and then be able to put it all together at the end. Sometimes we have to do this to be able to make delivery of a hot part. We have mostly been successful but at best it is a struggle. Is there some kind of a process to follow so that when the various programmers are finished with their piece of the process we can import it all into a single part?
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You are correct in assuming it is counterproductive. It always takes more man hours to use more than one programmer. But when you have a 1000hour part and you only have 500hours to get it done in you have to throw more bodies at it to get it done. The Siemens IPW has quality has given us issues on our larger parts. On smaller parts it works well but as complexity increases it will literally leave out sections of the part. It then becomes difficult to machine these missing areas. But I am not certain of exactly what you mean by IPW Linking?
There is a preview project, which is called CAM assemblies, where you can reference operations from the components.
This is mostly used for multiple positions, but might be of help here too.
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In answer to a couple of the comments from this weekend. The process we use is usually to break up the job by stage (part side) or by roughing/finishing. There is only one time that I can think of that we had to use multiple programmers on the same stage at the same time and that process was not fun at all. But in the end our goal is to always put the various cam part files together into a single file. We do this to insure that all the various tapes used a common set of cutters, setup information, etc.... What I have seen in the past is if two people are trying to use the same cutters, fixtures, feed and speeds, etc... then there is a high likelihood that due to mis-communication or simple error the common items will not end up being common. This causes issues for the shop and the next programmer who has to work on the job. By putting them together then there is only one set of common data and it is much easier to keep correct.
The problem is the putting them together. If you use Import then you end up with multiple copies of the Wave-Linked geometry which can make it difficult to edit later. If you use Copy/Paste then you end up with your operations disconnected from your physical geometry. Yes the underlying CL still exist so you can post the file but the only way to edit (outside of toolpath edit) is to reconnect the geometry in the destination file. This is of course time consuming and a duplication of effort.
What I was hoping to find out was that I had missed something and NX could bring the physical geometry in with the Copy/Past Method or something similar.
I have been hearing Siemens talk about the Cam Assemblies for several years and yes I have been thinking that it would be the answer to our issue. But three or four years have gone by since the first mention of this and I still have not seen an example of it in use.