One of the fields of greatest technological development of the sector is the manufacture of tubes, both the development of machine operations and the software solutions that solve the different cases that arise to customers. The key, of course, is the capacity to attend and solve the heterogeneity of possible cases, considering that there are a series of fundamental variables in this field.
The first, of course, is the type of pipe to be manufactured. There is little to do with the large tube for large, large-sized canalization structures, which is usually cut with plasma and oxyfuel machines, with small, small-sized tubes, and with laser as the most widespread cutting technology. And yet, the software fundamentals are the same, so the real difficulty lies in the control of the machine and its processes.
Conceived to optimise the production and manufacturing of steel products and prefabricated structures, the Lantek Flex3d Steelwork software focuses on the design and optimisation of 3D profile cutting in an easy and intuitive way. This software improves the productivity of the machines used in different sectors, with a focus on the sector devoted to the construction of metallic structures. The user can see a real overview always of the result that will be obtained when the profile is cut in the machine.
From the technical point of view, this Lantek Flex3d CAD/CAM family software is ready to program the cutting of any standard profile format (I, U, L, T, H, circular or square profile) in the most flexible way possible. With its powerful simulator, it is possible to observe the movement of the machine, the profile displacement, and the machining operations performed by each tool in 3D and in detail, enabling a better optimization of machining and minimizing the probability of error and manufacturing with part quality.
The objective is to increase the productivity of the profile cutting machines of any technology, and that is why they support saw, oxy-fuel and plasma machines, including those that incorporate complementary technologies such as drilling, milling or marking. It has been common to program these machines directly from the numerical control, thanks to a software that is executed in the office it is possible to be more effective, since it assures the machinability of the engineering and it increases the efficiency, being able to reach higher levels of productivity. Integrations can also be made through technology, which not only specifies the design of the part, but also that of the structure itself (as is the case of the IFC © format of Tekla ©.
The system generates the CNC numerical control program and sends it to the cutting machine and is integrated with the MES manufacturing management (Lantek MES) and business management ERP (Lantek Integra) systems. This native integration facilitates the calculation of supply needs, the generation of sales budgets (for both jobs and projects), requests for of material orders, reservations, or purchases, and results in better cost control and a greater return on investment.
In this way, it is feasible to combine design, manufacture and production management into one single solution, which is critical in the quest to maximize productivity and efficiency.
We cannot ignore the ability to insert parts that have been generated by CAD and BIM programs. Users can import the formats generated by the main structure design systems using DXF, DSTV, SAT and CAM files, importing geometrical data and the associated cutting operations at the same time. It is also possible to modify, add, or eliminate any operation of the profile posteriori, simplifying the preparation of the cutting work or automatically controlling any potential collision.
With regard to the profile cutting simulator, the software facilitates the representation of the profile, drill heads, the cutting head or the work area, all of its operations and tools, and of the cutting path with the possibility of detecting the potential collisions and thus be able to correct this trajectory. In addition to displaying all the cutting parameters during the simulation, the user can also perform zoom movements, rotations or axis positioning adjustments in each profile.
All these advances are the result of a work philosophy: extended innovation. Throughout the more than three decades that Lantek has existed, we have been in a process of constant innovation, because continuous improvement of the manufacturing processes is in our DNA, and Lantek Flex3d is no exception. In all these years, using work methodology based on cooperation, we have been working side by side with customers –who already exceed 22,000 worldwide – to meet their needs and hear their suggestions for improvement, so that we can incorporate them into our solutions.