FANUC America Corp. this week said it is offering a free trial version of CNC Guide, its PC-based virtualization platform for control design, training, and part planning. The Rochester Hills, Mich.-based subsidiary of FANUC Corp. said it is offering the simulation tool at no cost to help machine-tool operators and builders through the economic difficulties around the COVID-19 pandemic.
CNC Guide offers a safe and immersive way to learn how to operate computer numerical control machines, even for novice operators, said FANUC. Because the software creates digital twins of machine controls, programmers can test G-code programs with no risk of damaging actual machines, it said.
CNC Guide designed to aid machine tool operators, builders
CNC Guide can also help optimize machining operations because users can experiment in the virtual environment with performance-enhancing features in the controls, said FANUC. In addition, when used with the vendor’s conversational programming tool, Manual Guide i, the software can act as a simplified CAD/CAM package.
The platform is intended to enable programming on a PC instead of the machine tool, so equipment stays in production to minimize downtime and maximize throughput, FANUC said. The company’s global headquarters are in Japan.
Not only can CNC Guide help machine tool operators, but builders can also benefit, said FANUC. Machine tool builders can get a competitive edge by using CNC Guide to prove out their design concepts faster and get their equipment quicker to market, the company claimed.
CNC Guide is available for free only through September 2020, and it is available to FANUC America customers residing in the U.S. Interested parties should contact FANUC through the CNC Guide Trial Offering page to get started.
FANUC adds five-axis simulation to training
FANUC America also announced this month that it has added five-axis simulation to its CNC training offerings. It said that interest in five-axis machining has grown as more manufacturers look to produce complex parts for high-tech industries such as aerospace and medical devices.
As this sector of the machine tool business increases, the demand for five-axis operators will grow exponentially, said the company. Finding qualified operators is a challenge for many employers, which are already facing shortages of skilled labor. Training new or existing workers in an effective and innovative way will be key to bridging this gap, said the company.
FANUC’s Machining Simulation for Workforce Development provides training for controls operation and part programming in a virtual environment. The Complex Milling Extension option combines FANUC’s CNC Guide and simulation software, so they can now operate as one of the three main five-axis mill kinematics.
The offering also includes training on a three-axis mill and a two-axis lathe for maximum configuration flexibility, said FANUC. Via a digital twin, the five-axis machining simulation allows users to learn how to setup and operate three common advanced five-axis milling machines: mixed type, tool type, and table type.
FANUC said the addition of five-axis simulation to its CNC Guide and simulation software offers an immersive environment to practice and understand advanced machining techniques. Since five-axis machining involves more complex machine setups, the simulation software effectively teaches users how to take advantage of the unique options and features.
In addition, the five-axis machining simulation software allows operators to experiment with and prove out the machine setup and/or part program before modifying the actual machine, the company said. For more information on FANUC’s five-axis machining simulation software, as well as other CNC workforce-development offerings, visit its machining simulator page.