Machine Tool Controls

Machine Tools Made Fit for Industry 4.0

| Author/ Editor: Reinhold Schäfer / Alexander Stark

While machine tools had to be controlled manually 70 years ago, modern machines are fully automated. Manufacturers of controls have also found additional ways to improve their solutions.

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The Sinumerik One controller is available for installation in the control cabinet and as a PC panel version.
The Sinumerik One controller is available for installation in the control cabinet and as a PC panel version.
(Source: Reinhold Schäfer)

As early as the 1970s, machine tools were controlled by paper tape and in the 1980s by computers. Of course, the possibilities were still very limited at that time. But what can modern machine tool controls offer?

The two most important control manufacturers for machine tools on the German market have done their homework and launched new products.

High Accuracy Combined with Dynamic Motion

Heidenhain highlights the "Dynamic Efficiency" and "Dynamic Precision" functions, which are intended to make milling and turning operations with the manufacturer's TNC controls faster and more accurate. In Cycle 32 Tolerance, the TNC user can precisely adjust the machine set-up by adapting the path deviation T to the specific task, the company explains. In this way, it determines which sheet width is available to the controller. This allows the user to directly influence the maximum achievable path feed rate and thus the machining time for contour elements with numerous direction changes, which is typical for free-form surfaces.

The Dynamic Precision function package of the TNC controls combines functions that combine high accuracies with dynamic motion. These functions are intended to minimize the forces acting on the mechanics of the machine during operation and the machining-dependent deviations at the Tool Center Point.

The Dynamic Precision function package of the TNC controls is designed to combine high accuracy with dynamic motion when working with machine tools.
The Dynamic Precision function package of the TNC controls is designed to combine high accuracy with dynamic motion when working with machine tools.
(Source: Heidenhain)

Seamless Integration of Hardware and Software

14 years ago Siemens launched the Sinumerik 840 DSL machine tool control system. Siemens is now presenting its successor, the Sinumerik One, which will replace the 840 DSL in the medium term. The Sinumerik One controller is available for installation in the control cabinet and as a PC panel version.

As a so-called "Digital Native", the controller has already integrated the Create Myvirtualmachine software for creating the machine controller and the associated digital twin. This enables a seamless integration of hardware and software. Machine users, in turn, benefit from even faster commissioning times. For Siemens, the Sinumerik One control system is also the core element for the global transformation of the machine tool industry and for future-proof production in the increasingly digitized industry.

This article was first published by MM MaschinenMarkt.

Original by Reinhold Schäfer / Translation by Alexander Stark

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