Adaptive Fixturing

Adaptive Fixturing

Adaptive fixturing uses a standard CNC program that does not change between parts. Inspection data is collected in process and used to determine the best alignment between the part to be machined and the CNC code. The position of the NC code is then automatically aligned to the actual part ensuring maximum accuracy while simplifying the setup process.

In the case of parts that flex or stress relieve during machining, such as composites, inspection can also be included at critical points of the machining process to improve machining accuracy of localized features.


Adaptive Fixturing - Aerostructures

Machining of larger aerostructure components can present an array of challenges from setup, to reliability in condition of supply. Delcam addresses these problems directly with a host of adaptive fixturing and adaptive alignment capabilities. Whether the challenge is a flexible part, variable incoming material condition, movement due to heat treatment, or other variables that make the machining process difficult to manage, Delcam can resolve these problems and bring efficiency and reliability to the machining process.


Adaptive Fixturing - Composites

Material movement due to setup and clamping pressures, as well as stress relief in the part during machining can cause significant issues in the machining of composite materials. Delcam is able to address these issues directly with an array of adaptive alignment technologies, making them a manageable part of a stable, reliable manufacturing process.

Adaptive Fixturing technology allows us to simplify the setup of large, heavy, and difficult to fixture components by reducing the need for accurate alignment during setup. Instead we inspect the part once it is in place and align the machining process to the part rather than require the operator to tediously align the part to the machining process.  This dramatically reduces fixture costs and setup time.

If your part has a tendency to move during the machining process we can also introduce localised inspection into the machining process and realign critical portions of the machining process to the current state of the composite being machined. Using this technology we can reorient a 2D or 3D machining process very accurately.

Die and Mold

Adaptive Fixturing - Die and Mould

The Die Mold industry is an extreme example of low volume/high mix manufacturing. Combine this with the high accuracy requirements and it is easy to understand why setup takes so much time.  Delcam dramatically reduces setup time by eliminating the tedious process of manual setup for each job.  Adaptive fixturing allows the operator to quickly place the workpiece in a general location on the machine tool, then use in-process inspection to accurately locate the part. This inspection data is used to align the NC code to the part with extreme accuracy and allows machining to begin.

In the event that the job in question is a repair, Delcam can take these time savings even further by accurately identifying the actual stock in the repair areas as well as the surrounding non-repaired surfaces.  We then generate a stock model of the repaired region so rough machining is quick and efficient without the air-cutting time typically associated with the repair process. Finish toolpaths then reference the surrounding non-repaired surfaces to accurately blend the repaired area into these regions eliminating the need for manual blending operations.

Wind Power

Adaptive Fixturing - Wind Power Generation

Because of the very large size of wind power generation equipment, achieving quick setup times and high accuracy can be a challenge.  Using in-process inspection Delcam dramatically reduces setup times for components such as blades, hubs, and gearboxes that need accurate machining and finishing. We eliminate the need to move a part into alignment in the machine environment. Instead we align the toolpaths to the part allowing for less expensive fixturing, a faster setup, and more accurate machining.


Adaptive Fixturing - Medical

Machining in the medical industry requires high precision and fast cycle times often while also dealing with difficult castings, forgings, and alloys.  Adaptive machining streamlines these operations in a variety of ways. 

Adaptive fixturing reduces setup by allowing simpler less expensive fixtures to be used, replacing them with a best fit inspection process to align the toolpath to the part and ensure a quality part is produced from the raw material before machining begins.

Adaptive machining resolves issues with flexible parts that are difficult to machine accurately by adapting toolpaths to match the materials state or predict the amount of deflection that will occur in a component and compensate for that in advance.

In-process inspection is used to capture critical accuracy data about the manufacturing process for regulatory compliance and process stability monitoring.

Regardless of the manufacturing challenges, Delcam’s adaptive manufacturing capabilities can be a critical part of streamlining the process, reducing concessions, and stabilizing the production process.