Automation in industry and the skilled trades has been experiencing rapid growth for years, as the shortage of skilled workers alone is forcing companies to take action. However, hardware, i.e. machines alone, are not enough. In order to guarantee high product quality in the long term, the use of intelligent software is almost essential so that employees can control processes, operate machines and carry out programming without errors after only a short training period. How this works will be presented by direkt cnc-systeme at LIGNA 2023 in Hanover with the current further development of NC-HOPS in the new version 8.0.

The sophisticated CAD/CAM solution for 3-, 4- or 5-axis machines, 5-axis simultaneous machining or 3D mold milling is designed to provide users with a reliable path to efficient machine programming and automation operation. The goal of NC-HOPS 8.0 is to continue to maintain stability and process reliability at the usual high level, both for CNC newcomers and in industrial operations. In view of the personnel situation in many companies, the focus is primarily on intuitive initial dialogs for new users, without losing sight of the high demands of experienced users in terms of automation, performance and interfaces. Intuitive operating interfaces via touchscreen, as known from smartphones or tablets, simple symbols and visual guidance should make it possible for every operator to make necessary adjustments to components themselves.

Interactive dynamic dialogs for milling, drilling, sawing also allow repetitive machining operations to be set up easily without programming loops. Components can be rotated and thus machined from above and below. The user can switch flexibly between individual machining steps. The display is in high-quality 3D preview. A fast 3D ablation simulation is integrated, as is a collision check at the touch of a button. Simplification of programming operations during automation in NC-HOPS 8.0 includes efficient material management, which allows convenient material-specific adjustment of feed and infeed. Individual clamping elements, fixtures or templates are to be effortlessly created or imported from a CAD.

In addition, an automatic update capability with absolute production security has been integrated. This means that an automatic back-up can be generated in the background at any time: Data security is thus guaranteed and the threat of data loss is prevented. The full update capability also guarantees that users can continue to use the productivity of the current version on the one hand, and continue to work without interruption in the event of changes in the software environment, such as Windows updates, on the other.