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Friday, August 29, 2014

Siemens Control Improves 5-Axis Machining and Robotic Automation

Last week, I wrote about a new entry-level control created by Siemens, the Sinumerik 808D, for basic machining and milling applications. On the other end of the spectrum, Siemens offers a relatively new control for advanced machining that has been enhanced for 5-axis systems, the Sinumerik 840D.

The Sinumerik 840D is a multifunctional control that is designed to simplify advanced machining. It uses the Sinumerik OP 019 touchscreen with a 19-inch display.

One benefit of the Sinumerik 840D is workcell automation. With the touchscreen, an operator can control machining and import data for different tools and jobs to reprogram a robot. Before this, Siemens says, operators would use one PLC for machining and one for robotics.

Siemens’s Sinumerik 840D sl control can reprogram workcell robots and integrate them into 5-axis machining operations as part of workcells.

Siemens believes that the Sinumerik 840D is the next step in integrating robotic functions with those of machining systems — a relatively new trend in equipment operation. The control’s ability to reprogram — from one touchscreen — a workcell robot to accept and operate different cutting tools means that a robot can now function as part of a machining system rather than as a separate piece of equipment.

The software bundle used in the Sinumerik 840D has other benefits. One of these is advanced surface cutting. When a CNC program exports G1 blocks of cutting directions, many of which may contain sharp cutting corners, algorithms in the Sinumerik 840D software analyze the data during machining and make adjustments to assure smooth cutting. As a result, Siemens notes, cutting velocity remains constant, tools move along cutting paths faster and surface quality improves.

Siemens says the Sinumerik 840D is particularly suited for machining medical parts of titanium and for other specialty applications. The suppliers says the control closely regulates motor and drive operations to provide precise, repeatable cutting paths.

The Sinumerik 840D is relatively simple to operate, Siemens maintains, and can be used offline to train operators with simulation software.

The control can also be used offline to develop quotes for machining jobs. Siemens says the Sinumerik 840D can run a simulation of a part and accurately predict production time.



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