Viewer software makes points perfectly clear
A visualization program lets tool builders at OEM/Erie Inc, Erie, Pa., (www.oemerie.com) comment and question tool details directly on the digitized image. The software also lets users there cross section parts and calculate volumes and areas with a single click.
The pictures generated by Spinfire Professional software, from Actify Inc., San Francisco (actify.com) are often from Moldflow, a plastic-flow analysis program. Commented images can be combined with a viewer and sent to other interested parties. The viewer lets them add their own comments and suggest how to solve molding problems. The feedback eventually comes back to OEM/Erie for use in tool modifications.
Before the viewing software became available, Michael McCullough, a processing engineer with the tool maker, did what he knows he should not have: "I measured and scaled from the drawings. It's a tedious and potentially errorprone process, but I needed the data." To complicate matters, the flow-analysis program produces output few programs other than Spinfire can read.
McCullough now exports results of a tool simulation to Spinfire. There he types in questions and comments, adds arrows and pointers, and sends the images to off-site designers for adjustment. "Its more efficient than faxing prints back and forth, or scribbling notes on a screen shot, and sending it off," he says.
The company also uses the viewing software to see if specific molds will fit on a press. Production personnel match an electronic mold drawing to electronic drawings of OEM/Erie's injection molding machines. "It's easy to line up dimensions and holes, and it works," McCullough adds.