PLANT print issue: Industry 4.0

A revamped Sinumerik CNC portfolio introduces integrated solutions to enhance machine tool building.

Manufacturers are facing deep-rooted changes, most of which involve the ways product development and production processes are integrated by increasingly advanced software.

Siemens intends to lead that journey with its revamped line of Sinumerik CNC controllers, announced during the company’s annual EMO 2013 Press Conference for the Americas in early August.

The Munich-based engineering and electronics conglomerate says the controllers enhance machine tool integration to handle standardized machine concepts and modular solutions for making high-end workpieces. The line focuses on smart function improvements for greater precision and safety across every category of production.

The new controllers include:

Sinumerik 808D. This panel-based CNC design requires only a few interfaces and an operator panel with IP65 protection for use by entry level CNC users in harsh environments. It has a small footprint for use on compact machines that range across standardized milling and machining centres to cycle-controlled turning machines and full-CNC lathes.

Sinumerik 828D. Also for harsh environments, the operator panel front made of protective magnesium die cast requires fewer interfaces. The controller is maintenance free with a hard disk free, fanless configuration and NV-RAM storage that doesn’t require a buffer battery.

A QWERTY CNC keyboard with short-stroke keys is coupled with a high-resolution 8.4 in. /10.4 in. TFT colour display. USB, CF card and RJ45 interfaces on the operator panel front allow CNC data to be transferred quickly.

The 828D and 828D Basic models combine CNC, PLC and operator axis control functions. They’re used in gear cutting thanks to a slave axis that’s connected to up to three master axes.

Using the Manual Machine function, the 828D and 828D Basic permit use of up to three hand wheels on standard milling machines.

Sinumerik 840D sl. Typical applications include high-performance milling and turning. The controller opens up an expansive technology range that includes grinding and laser machining to gearwheel machining and multitasking machining in 3- and 5-axis high-speed milling applications to increase machine efficiency.

The drive-based modular CNC handles up to 93 axes/spindles and up to 30 machining channels through a 19-in. colour display and SIMATIC S7-300 PLC.

The unit is also outfitted with a collision avoidance system to prevent machine components from colliding during machine setup or during an interruption.

The 3D real-time collision monitoring function is active with machining operations such as 5-axis simultaneous milling or turning with B axis to ensure static and mobile machine components, and the tool cutting edge.

For each Sinumerik application, coordinated system components such as high-powered sinamics drives and simotics motors work alongside horizontal drive trains with Sinumerik Integrate for Production software, which allows vertical integration within the control architecture. This speeds up the series start for a new product by up to 50%.

Integration across the entire product life cycle is implemented using product lifecyle management (PLM) software, which is being implemented by metals processing industries such as the automotive, aerospace and medical technology sectors to do more product development and production planning onscreen before a single machine tool has been installed.

“These enhancements are allowing us to integrate product and production in parallel design,” says Rajas Sukthankar, general manager of Siemens Industry, Inc.’s machine tool systems business. “We’re essentially creating a ‘digital twin’ that simulates the machining of a workpiece and evaluates production time, which could increase a manufacturer’s productivity by 10% or more.”

Time savings of up to 40% are achievable if a modular machine is developed on a virtual basis from the outset.

Siemens latest Integrate for Production software incorporates scalability for component production and improved IT integration from the workpiece through to the machine tool. The product suite provides answers to concerns relating to the availability of machinery, maintenance intervals, the timeliness of the processing program or the access to geographically distributed machines.

The suite also makes the machine’s energy consumption and stock of materials and tools transparent.

Flatter integration

Siemens has also updated its Sinumerik Operate program, which simulates workpiece programs and location-independent monitoring via mobile devices to failsafe user programming, and monitor new functions independently via a wireless internet network.

“By flattening integration and connecting all machines horizontally, we’ve created a paperless manufacturing environment,” says Sukthankar. “This kind of integration has resulted in product start-ups that are 50% faster because we’ve developed a metric-based approach to optimization and product development.”

For the program management operator area, Sinumerik Operate allows essentially paperless manufacturing. Htm. files are displayed and stored in directories on USB and network drives.

Many Sinumerik Integrate functions can be used on non-networked single machines. When using several machine tools and aiming at implementing overall optimizations, further functions are supported through networking.

Siemens is offering Sinumerik training software through its website. A smartphone-based application is available at

This article appears in the Sept. 2013 edition of PLANT.

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