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Industry 4.0-enabled equipment and software solutions are the foundation of a smart sheet metalworking factory.

Building a smart shop may seem overwhelming, especially for small fabrication shops, but, now more than ever before, an integrated, data-informed process flow delivers a competitive edge.

On the #LVDInnovationTour, we introduce you to a few building blocks of the smart factory, including:

CADMAN-SDI, Smart Drawing Importer, can import up to 40 different file formats. It imports standard formats, native files and assemblies, per part, per batch or in watch mode.

After a file is imported, the software checks to see if the drawing is a true sheet metal part. If that’s not the case, the CAD module can easily rectify common mistakes in a couple of mouse clicks. Once the part is correctly drawn, CADMAN-SDI calculates all the cost drivers. Cost drivers include weight of the part, contour length, bounding box 2D, 3D outside dimension, the mass of the part, number of contours, number of bends, and other parameters. This data is visible at a glance on the screen or it can be sent to the ERP system for automatic quote generation.

If CADMAN-SDI is connected to CAM software (i.e., CADMAN-B) it will also be able to provide an estimate of the bend time on the part level.

CADMAN-B is the industry’s benchmark for bend CAM software. Engineered by LVD in close collaboration with the University of Leuven in Belgium, CADMAN-B uses an intelligent database from which the software is able to accurately calculate the internal radius of a part and the optimal unfolding based on the material type, thickness, and tooling. This ensures that the unfolded development is 100% accurate the first time based on the actual (real-time) bending database from the press brake. A key differentiator of CADMAN-B is that it uses the actual bend interface of the machine and the LVD intelligent learning database instead of more limited methods like the DIN norm or K-factor.

After importing a 3D CAD part, CADMAN-B will automatically calculate bend allowances and determine the optimal bend sequence and gauge positions. It also offers a simulation environment that visualizes the complete bend process with start-to-finish collision detection, gauge positions and tool setups. The programmer will end up with a 3D virtual production run (simulation); the machine operator will see the bend sequence visualized in 3D displayed on the machine controller for step-by-step instruction on how to finish the part.

CADMAN-JOB connects the front office processing of orders with shop floor operations, facilitating a controlled process from the order to the finished part. This MES software connects to the ERP planning software and is used to organize and schedule the work in the fabrication shop: to generate jobs for bending, punching or laser cutting, classify and group parts for increased throughput, minimize set-ups and streamline process flow.