Innovative automation solutions for JobShop
At this year's AMB CNC Trade Fair, Siemens Drive Technologies Division is exhibiting shopfloor solutions specifically targeted toward small to medium-sized suppliers.
The presentation is focusing on the link between auxiliary robots and the CNC. The Sinumerik 840D controls robots through open interfaces. This enables companies to change flexibly from hand-guided to automated machine tool operation. Alongside technical innovations, the furthering of trainees is also being given center stage this year.
Siemens is also appearing on the special stand of the VDW (Association of German Machine Tool Works), where it is demonstrating the capabilities of CNC programming with the aid of Sinutrain training software. Siemens is also supporting the final round of the German CNC Milling and Turning Championships. All the competition tasks in Stuttgart are being performed on Sinumerik controlled machines.
Flexibility, speed and the highest quality. Those are the challenges that shopfloor manufacturers have to set themselves. At the center of its presentation at this year's AMB, Siemens is placing solutions and products particularly suitable for helping small to medium-sized companies to increase their productivity. For the first time, Siemens is exhibiting the link between auxiliary robots and the Sinumerik 840D sl CNC. Sinumerik controls the robot through open, standardized interfaces. This enables machine tool users not only to handle standard tasks but also to switch flexibly to automated or series production. For example, by using robots to automate machine loading, machine tools can also run during non-working shifts, and so work nearer to their capacity. That is a major contribution to raising the degree of utilization and thus productivity.
The ShopMill and ShopTurn software tools form the basis for both operator prompted work and automated series production. With these tools, machines can be configured easily and workpieces programmed on a graphic user interface. During graphic programming, ShopTurn supports even highly complex complete lathes with a swivel axis and the associated milling spindle. This facilitates the use of both turning and milling tools. The turning tools used can be programmed interactively, and even inclined surfaces can be easily programmed with the aid of graphic milling and drilling. ShopTurn also features high-performance tool management, which can also handle multitools. The graphic simulation is also available for oriented tools, and it ensures a high degree of process stability even when using swiveled axes.
The ShopMill program includes functions such as vortex milling and plunge cutting. The vortex milling (trochoidal milling) function is integrated in one cycle. This eliminates separate programming on an external CAD/CAM system. Vortex milling is used for roughing and contour preparation with coated solid hard metal milling cutters, especially when it comes to machining hardened materials up to 65 HRC. The plunging function is also integrated in one cycle in ShopMill. ShopMill functions also facilitate helical milling mode for circular pockets, "swivel rotary axis direct" for basic machine kinematics, and optimized selection of direction for rotary axes.
At the AMB, as well as exhibiting technical innovations, Siemens is also supporting the drive to attract and train young people. The German CNC Milling and Turning Championships are being held at the AMB for the very first time. Within the framework of the Skills Germany Initiative, Siemens is supporting these championships together with machine tool manufacturers, publishing houses and associations. Ten trainees are taking part in the final round at the AMB in Stuttgart, four in CNC milling and six in CNC turning. All competitions are being held on machines equipped with Siemens Sinumerik controls. However, the finalists are not just competing for the German Championship but also for participation in the 40th WorldSkills in Canada. WorldSkills was inaugurated in 1953. It now has 50 member countries, and has become the world's largest benchmarking platform for trainee standards.
Apart from the competition, the AMB is, for the first time, also offering young people the opportunity of learning about jobs in the machine tool industry and supplier companies. Siemens is even setting up its own classroom within the scope of the VDW occupational training initiative. There, young people can take a look at the CNC world, and use the Sinutrain program get to know something about the capabilities of innovative programming. Siemens employees are also available to answer questions about various occupations and training courses.
Volker M. Banholzer | Siemens Industry Automation