Collaboration Vicomtech and Lantek make progress on interactive 3D Simulation

Editor: Steffen Donath

The two companies are strengthening their collaboration on the simulation of heat affected zones in sheet metal cutting to offer solutions that allow production processes to be optimized and simplified.

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(Source: Lantek)

As part of its R&D&i strategy, Lantek is strengthening its collaboration with its technological partner Vicomtech to advance the interactive 3D simulation of heat affected zones during sheet metal cutting processes.

This collaboration builds on the results received from the BeroSim project, an initiative that gives users a 3D model that lets them see how heat affects sheet metal as it is cut and predicts the effects that it will have on the material (deformation, changes to thickness or quality, etc.) caused by high temperatures used in laser and plasma cutting processes. As a result of this project, this innovation was made available to the industry to increase production efficiency, generating savings on resources, by anticipating and avoiding potential material deformation during the cutting process.

With this renewed commitment, both organizations have taken one step further in their aim of offering the fabrication and sheet metalworking industry innovative solutions and services that respond to its needs and which provide real and continuous added value. Thanks to the research progress made by the Vicomtech Technology Center, algorithms have been developed to support multi-head cutting machines, improving their performance and the quality of parts.

The results of this solution have been verified and compared with those obtained from the existing software, and they were satisfactory. A high speed of execution was achieved thanks to the use of modern graphics hardware (GPU) and the functional integration into an interactive simulation environment. The results of this technological advancement were endorsed by the journal Materials, a high-impact scientific publication, which echoed this research with an article entitled: “Fast Analytic Simulation for Multi-Laser Heating of Sheet Metal in GPU”

Benefits of these latest technology advances include:

• The simulation of heat affected zones makes it possible to optimize sheet metal CNC programs before they get to the machine, making significant savings in material and in both human and machine resources.

• The high speed simulation allows more tests and optimizations to be carried out at the same time as part nesting and cut path creation.

• Visual verification of the temperature of the sheet metal helps designers to understand and identify which nesting pieces are problematic and which are not.

With these simulation tools, companies can adapt to a changing and increasingly competitive global environment that is led by advanced manufacturing and where intelligent production is key to making the factory of the future a reality.