I am sitting here excited this morning about some upcoming changes to CW4SE and I assume this will also bleed over into the SW side of things too but I have to confirm this. How many of you remember the transition from SE ST2 to ST3 and what made it so powerful? In truth this was the most beneficial of all the ST series version updates for the simple fact that it unified and made far easier work flow and file management. It took various aspects of SE from the Synchronous side and the ordered side and made them play together. Since then there have been a number of great refinements to how it all works together. Indeed not only that but in general how well the ST side worked. Ordered was not new and so it did not need this degree of work although the ability to blend the two work flow types was important.
But what this whole transition was really about over the years was taking concepts from academic to work place practicality and putting tools of productivity into user hands. I will be able to go into far greater detail soon but rest assured that this year Geometric is taking CAMWorks into an evolutionary process every bit as great as ST2 to ST3 was. The effort is on to have some of this finished before SEU2014. In some ways I think there are two parallels here between SE and CW. Just like the progress in capabilities happened. And just like the capabilities progress happened many thought, and I tend to agree, that the real launch of Solid Edge Synchronous Tech was in ST3. ST1 and ST2 were the warm ups to a full-fledged program ready for prime time manifested in ST3. This is the significance I attach to what is going on with CAMWorks right now.
I am a shop that builds more than I design and so the ability to manufacture here is probably more important than designing here. We all know shops that are job shops with little design capabilities that have just enough design talent to bring in files to be used for CAM plans. The other end of the spectrum is a shop like mine where we design build and reverse engineer and go through all the steps. But the truth is that at the end of the day my manufacturing software is often of greater importance. I can take a mediocre design program and fiddle around with it until I get to a workable part. But when it comes to machine time on expensive equipment and consumables that can run you over $50.00 per hour in addition to the cost of the shop and the material used your CAM program becomes extremely important to your bottom line. I only have to design a part once but may have to cut it thousands of times so the most beneficial efficiency dollar saved/earned improvements will be found for my bottom line in production software. Like CAMWorks. The basic power of CW is a given but getting there has been a problem for some time and unless you have dedicated programmers on hand to correctly implement the program as it has been you never see its potential realized.
This is all being changed in a big way so stay tuned. If this is all done right I believe that CW will become a force to be reckoned with in the CAM world instead of just another good but complicated to use CAM program.