CIMdata PLM Industry Summary Online Archive

February 2005

Company News

Delcam to Demonstrate New Electrode Design System at Expostampo

Delcam will demonstrate the latest release of its automated electrode design system, PS-Electrode, at the Expostampo exhibition in the Ancona area of Italy from 26th to 28th March. The new version offers an even wider range of customization options together with the ability to simulate the action of the electrode. It also includes a comprehensive Erowa catalogue of blanks and holders, alongside the previous Hirschman and System 3R catalogues. In addition, data from PS-Electrode can now be output directly to the Charmilles control as well as to the Agievision control used by Agie EDM machines.

The new customization capabilities make it easier for users to build up their own catalogues of components. Many suppliers now include databases of CAD models of their blanks and holders on their web sites. These models can now be copied directly into PS-Electrode's database. Similarly, any bespoke items developed by the company can be stored in the database for future use.

The automated generation of set-up sheets for both the machining and application of the electrodes has also been made much more customizable. Previously, these could only be issued as drawings but now they can also be generated as HTML files or as Microsoft Excel spread sheets. Both these options will make it easier to communicate between the various people involved in the design, manufacture and use of the electrodes.

The ability to simulate the action of the electrode will add an extra level of security in ensuring that it will perform as expected. PS-Electrode already includes automatic trimming of the electrode blank to avoid collisions with surfaces close to the area to be eroded.

Prior to the introduction of direct software links, PS-Electrode users would need to print a set-up sheet for manual programming of the EDM machine. The new automated process is much easier and quicker, especially when a number of electrodes are being used on the same component. In addition, the direct link removes the human error that could always be possible with manual programming.

Like Delcam's PS-Moldmaker software for automated mould design, the full benefits of PS-Electrode come from its integration with the PowerSHAPE hybrid modeling software. This gives the user the option to step out of the automatic process at any stage, make any adjustments to the design that might be required, and then return to the automated options.

As well as allowing more complex designs to be completed, stepping out of and back into PS- Electrode allows the user to generate an electrode design and then mirror or duplicate it for other areas of the model. The software can also combine different sections into a single electrode or add extra geometry to the design, such as reinforcing ribs, alignment notches or fillets to ensure a smooth transition away from the tool surface.


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