Pyromation uses PowerMill, FeatureCAM and Vault to Control Their CAM Projects and NC Data

By Ellie Rathbone

Autodesk have introduced a plugin for Fusion 360 with PowerMill and Fusion 360 with FeatureCAM to allow CAM projects and NC code to be configured within Vault.  This plugin is known as Vault for MAKE.

PowerMill provides expert CNC programming strategies for complex 3- and 5-axis manufacturing while FeatureCAM intelligently makes decisions, produces results, and removes repetitive processes.

Vault is product data management (PDM) software that improves productivity. Everyone works from a central source of organized data—collaborating, reducing errors, and saving time.

Too often we see Customers whose manufacturing departments work in data silos with two main issues.

Although CAD data is well controlled, the same is not true for CAM projects and NC files.  Vault for MAKE allows revision control directly within PowerMill and FeatureCAM ensuring that only known versions of toolpaths and NC are released to the shopfloor.

Using a separate standalone shopfloor application, Vault for MAKE allows NC files to be delivered to machine controllers directly from Vault.

Once the designer has released the CAD for manufacture the CAM programmer is able to use the plugin to import the CAD directly from Vault.

The CAM programmer uses the plugin to check the project into Vault which automatically creates the traceability links from the CAD to the CAM project and from the CAM project to the NC files.  Traceability is also created to the option file used during post processing.

The plugin enables customers to drastically reduce wasted time from working on out-of-date CAD revisions by automatically notifying the programmer about updates to the CAD.  The plugin replaces the old CAD with the new revision and toolpaths are easily recalculated and NC posted.

Vault for MAKE completes the digital thread all the way to the machine tool.  A standalone shopfloor application allows the machine operator to deliver the released NC file from within Vault directly to the machine controller.  The operator is notified if they are running out of date NC files by comparing the Vault status with the files on the machine controller.

If the operator makes modifications to NC files on the machine or PC, the shopfloor application allows you to synchronise back to Vault so these important changes are properly configured and controlled.

Pyromation are one Customer who are using Vault for MAKE within FeatureCAM in order to bring all their digital data into one repository.  They already stored their Inventor CAD data within Vault but all CAM project and NC data was uncontrolled on a shared network drive.  There was no traceability or configuration control, and all data was at risk of unintentional changes or data loss.

In partnership with Autodesk and NexGenCAM, Pyromation now have revision control of their CAD, CAM projects, NC files and option files with full traceability to understand the impact of changes at each level.  Direct deployment of NC files from Vault to the machine tools reduces the risk of running the wrong NC files.

Chris Moritz, Director of IT and Quality says “as a company that produces a high volume of custom, engineered to order parts in timescales as low as 24 hours, having the ability to add traceability from the CAM to the CAD and be notified of any CAD updates, we now have the ability to efficiently react to late-in-the-day modifications and meet our customer expectations.”

For more information on the plugin, contact your Autodesk reseller.

Pyromation began operations in 1962 and has become one of the leading temperature sensor manufacturers in North America.  The ISO 9001-registered firm and Lean manufacturing enterprise custom designs and builds thermocouples, RTDs/PT100s, thermowells and sensor assemblies to customer specifications for multiple applications around the world.

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