CNC outlook: making tracks in midrange products

Easier CNC programming is creating growth in midrange computer numerical control products, said Siemens Industry. Advanced features, once available for high-end CNC tools used for aerospace, automotive, and medical applications, provide competitive advantage to a wider range of machine tools.

06/28/2011


New Siemens CNC programming tools can be applied to new machine designs or retrofits, says Rajas Sukthankar, Siemens Industry business segment manager, machine tools. Courtesy of CFE Media, Mark T. HoskeEasier CNC programming is creating growth in midrange computer numerical control products, according to Siemens Industry. Advanced features—once available for high-end CNC tools used for aerospace, automotive, and medical applications—eliminate the need to be a CNC guru to gain competitive advantage when using new Siemens midrange product lines. These were among key points that Siemens Industry’s Rajas Sukthankar discussed with Control Engineering recently. Sukthankar, business segment manager, machine tools, said business is on an upswing with Siemens, with more than 20% growth in sales for the last three quarters. Greater capacity utilization, rebound of automotive industrial, and recent expansions in midrange CNC product lines have helped.

During the downturn, Siemens kept its focus on R&D, allowing great traction as manufacturing has emerged from recession, Sukthankar said. At the IMTEX machine tool show in India in February, and at others since, Siemens demonstrated the Sinumerik 828D Basic-series CNC and 1FK7 second–generation servomotor. (See links below.) These are among products particularly useful in the midrange domain of many job shops, between high-end tools and the standard machine tool marketplace with a lower degree of sophistication.

This whimsical aluminum foot, a demonstration piece from IMTS 2010, represents a more than 50% time savings in programming and tooling. One machine tool owner noted that he’s now accepting jobs that he likely would have shipped overseas prior to knowing about the streamlined features and programming capabilities that Siemens offers. Courtesy of CFE Media, Mark T. Hoske In the middle of the market, Siemens has broadened its offering, targeting areas traditionally served by competitor Fanuc, Sukthankar said. Catering to the needs of machine tool builders and their customers, Sukthankar noted that Siemens offers flexibility to move beyond G-code programming with intuitive CAD/CAM software right on the machine. It’s not either/or, Sukthankar said, and machine tool customers appreciate having that choice of control programming options.

“In some production environments, being able to program all parts directly on the floor make it very easy for an operator to set up and program a job on the fly, very quickly,” Sukthankar said. “It provides instant productivity through faster tool setup and workpiece setup. The interface is easy. You don’t have to be a CNC expert,” he said. See photos for additional examples.

While predicting the future remains a challenge, Sukthankar foresees additional Siemens development and manufacturing in China for that marketplace, a departure for the traditional made-in-Germany mindset. Local product development with Siemens Chinese colleagues is expected to result in faster tool development in line with local requirements, Sukthankar said.

www.usa.siemens.com/cnc

Sinumerik 828D Basic

ttp://www.controleng.com/industry-news/more-news/single-article/basic-cnc-for-milling-machines-faster-machining-times/e538aa855d.htmlttp://www.controleng.com/industry-news/more-news/single-article/basic-cnc-for-milling-machines-faster-machining-times/e538aa855d.html

1FK7 Servomotor

Also see the Control Engineering Machine Control Channel at

http://www.controleng.com/channels/machine-control.html

and the

Motors and Drives Channel at

http://www.controleng.com/new-products/motors-and-drives.html

-Mark T. Hoske, CFE Media, Control Engineering, www.controleng.com



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
The System Integrator Giants program lists the top 100 system integrators among companies listed in CFE Media's Global System Integrator Database.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
This eGuide illustrates solutions, applications and benefits of machine vision systems.
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Intelligent, efficient PLC programming: Cost-saving programming languages are available now; Automation system upgrades; Help from the cloud; Improving flow control; System integration tips
Smarter machines require smarter systems; Fixing PID, part 3; Process safety; Hardware and software integration; Legalities: Integrated lean project delivery
Choosing controllers: PLCs, PACs, IPCs, DCS? What's best for your application?; Wireless trends; Design, integration; Manufacturing Day; Product Exclusive
PLCs, robots, and the quest for a single controller; how OEE is key to automation solutions.
This article collection contains several articles on improving the use of PID.
Learn how Industry 4.0 adds supply chain efficiency, optimizes pricing, improves quality, and more.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again