VIDEO: Machine Side Controls Are Still Relevant in the Age of IIoT

Siemens updates SINUMERIK CNC Controls for easier simulation and part proving on the shop floor.

With the introduction of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), manufacturers can monitor shop floor processes from the front office or anywhere else with an Internet connection.

Does that mean machine side control systems are on the way out? Siemens industry is banking on “No” as the answer to that question.

“There’s always going to be the situation where the operator or the setup man is going to want to make some tests and changes to a part,” said Steven Holmes, business development at Siemens. “There will always be an advantage to do that at the machine and see the graphics ahead of time before you cut the part.”

For example, the Siemens SINUMERIK series of CNC controls allows an operator to simulate a part and visualize undercuts and other hidden features. This can all be done on the shop floor, both before and while the machine is running.

“You can actually see what the tool is going to do before it actually happens, so it really reduces the chance of error,” said Holmes. “It’s another way to prove the part before you actually cut the material.”

Siemens has recently updated the SINUMERIK series to include multi-touch technology features for easier navigation through these simulations and the HMI as a whole.

“Multi-touch technology allows you to zoom in and out and rotate the part to make proving it a lot easier,” Holmes explained. “It also has built-in machining cycles, where you can pick the axis tolerance you want and change surface quality, accuracy or velocity.”

These new features have been added to the SINUMERIK 840 and 828D controls.

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Written by

James Anderton

Jim Anderton is the Director of Content for Mr. Anderton was formerly editor of Canadian Metalworking Magazine and has contributed to a wide range of print and on-line publications, including Design Engineering, Canadian Plastics, Service Station and Garage Management, Autovision, and the National Post. He also brings prior industry experience in quality and part design for a Tier One automotive supplier.