The Virtual Machine eliminates use of CNC machine tools for non-production tasks

By Danny Santoro

INDEX Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of CNC turning machines, wanted to increase the efficiency of multi-function production center setup, programming, and validation. INDEX implemented Siemens PLM Software’s innovative Virtual Machine technology to increase machine tool utilization for production work, eliminate collision and reduced setup times by up to 90 percent without any additional need for training.

For complex CNC machining operations it can take a day to a day and a half to setup a machining tool for a new work piece which has a negative effect on the overall productivity of the machine.

“The main idea of the virtual machine was to install a one-to-one copy of the machine tool on a personal computer and make it available as a tool to the machine operator,” said Eberhard Beck, Head of Electronic Control Systems, INDEX. “Virtual machining is just the beginning. In cooperation with Siemens, we will continue to optimize the process chain from engineering through to production so we will be able to produce even more economically in the future.”

Interested in learning more about CNC machine tool simulation in NX CAM?

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at