October 14, 2013
Unison has launched a 3-D simulator, available from Horn Machine Tools, to help metal fabricators accelerate the development of control programs for all-electric tube bending machines. Using artificial intelligence techniques, the simulator provides program analysis and optimization facilities, together with real-time visualization of the tube bending process.
The simulation software is suitable for almost all tube bending applications, especially fabricators quoting on jobs and planning production, reducing design-to-manufacturing times, and manufacturing tubes from expensive alloys.
The simulator is based on true CAD models of the target machines, resulting in detailed computer-generated imagery. It is designed to help users develop high-quality, production-standard tube bending programs without the need to test and optimize them on the target machine, the company states.
The software incorporates fully automated collision detection capabilities and offers a choice of real-time or batch-operating modes to create error-free bend instructions. In real-time mode, simulation can be paused at any time and can be started from any bend; changes made to bend instructions will cause the simulator to re-evaluate the motion profile of the machine, ensuring that the simulator always mirrors the sequences used on the real machine. In batch mode, the simulator studies a directory tree and processes all bend instruction files in that tree; parts that can be bent are stored in a designated folder, and parts for which the simulator can find no collision-free solution are stored in a quarantine folder for further analysis by production or design teams.