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New Features for Siemens Interface, CNC Mill/Turn Program

Aug. 11, 2011
Predicts improvements for shops performance, productivity, ease of use, and finished parts quality
Sinumerik Operate combines the HMI-Advanced, ShopMill and ShopTurn interfaces into one graphical interface for operating and programming, and that Siemens characterized as “very intuitive.”
The Sinumerik MDynamics package combines milling expertise with the complete Siemens CNC platform, CNC functions, and CAD/CAM/CNC process chain to form an integrated technology package for three- and five-axis machine tools.

Siemens Industry Inc. Motion Control Business — Machine Tools in August introduced a series of updates for its Sinumerik Operate user interface and the Sinumerik MDynamics CNC milling and turning technology package. The result will be improvements in shops’ machine tool performance, increases in users’ productivity and ease of use, and finished parts with better surface finish.

Sinumerik Operate combines the HMI-Advanced, ShopMill and ShopTurn operator and programming interfaces to create a single, consistent user interface for machining. It contains animated elements and is designed for intuitive operation and programming, and easy set-ups, even with complex workpieces.

Sinumerik process measurement cycles are available now for automatic workpiece and tool measurement processes with the familiar look-and-feel of Sinumerik Operate. For these cycles and other new functional features, the input masks are provided with animated elements using the Sinumerik high-level language programGuide and, with ShopMill and ShopTurn, they also include a simulation capability. Measured values can be automatically updated and used both for tool correction and also zero offset.

Animated elements are designed to support machine operators with predictive graphic animation of operating and programming steps. ShopMill’s programming functions now offer graphical support for features like display of the rotary axis in position patterns, new pocket calculator functions with fit indication, and the ability to hide selected positions in position patterns. Cylinder surface transformation and multiple workpiece clamping are also included in this new package.

Tool management within Sinumerik Operate has been expanded to include new grinding tool types, measurement probe types, and depiction modes for tools using graphics and detailed picture views. As a result, all turning, milling and grinding tools are displayed with the same familiar look-and-feel. New shortcuts have been introduced, too, such as the Ctrl-F function, to simplify search operations in most operating areas.

Program management now allows PDF files or picture documents in .jpg, ..png and .bmp formats to be saved in directories on local drives for paper-free production.

These improvements to the Sinumerik CNC’s user interface, as well as the new cycles and functionalities, are also available with the new version of the Sinumerik Operate-based training software SinuTrain.

Improvements for three-, five-axis milling
Sinumerik MDynamics is Siemens’ control software for three- and five-axis milling, combining the CNC hardware, smart CNC functions, and the integral CAD/CAM/CNC process chain into a single usable package for industries that must comply with the highest standards of surface quality and precision, as well as machining speed. Sinumerik MDynamics is specifically geared to applications in industries like automotive and aerospace, power generation, medical part production, shopfloor manufacturing, and tool- and mold-making.

The new CNC achieves accurate surface machining and precise contouring, with the shortest possible machining times, which is the basis of the claim that MDynamics will “significantly impact workpiece quality and manufacturing productivity.” The Advanced Surface path-control system has been upgraded to improve the quality and evenness of milling path velocity profiles, and to reduce overall machining times.

An optimized look-ahead function offers Sinumerik CNC users particular benefits in part quality and productivity for high-speed cutting (HSC) of freeform surfaces. Special emphasis was placed on the optimization and smoothing of any “jerks” that occur during the acceleration phase along adjacent milling paths. As a result, the new “look ahead” function improves the surface-finish quality despite increased machining speeds.

The “orientation path smoothing” (ORISON) function for five-axis machining helps to eliminate the orientation fluctuations that occur over a number of blocks. This helps to achieve a smooth characteristic for the orientation and the contour, easing axis traversing. Sub-programs used in five-axis machining (generated by CAD/CAM systems) tend to include minor inconsistencies in the tool alignment movements determined by milling paths and direction vectors. These lead to compensation movements by the rotary axes that, even if these amount to just a few tenths of a degree can slow tool movement or halt path-traversing movements.

For various applications, such as face-end milling, the ORISON function smoothes the progression of changes to the orientation vector over several NC blocks, preventing any rapid or jerky changes to the tool alignment. This results in fewer compensation movements that place less stress on the machine dynamics, leaving more dynamic capacity available for path tracking. Not only are circular axes less likely to be “slowed down” by stringent tolerance specifications, there is also improved machining speed, surface quality, and contour precision.

The new “Quick Viewer” function for moldmaking applications offers a quick overview of the workpiece and the relevant subprogram. Even the biggest NC programs can be converted quickly into a 3D workpiece preview. The ability to obtain a graphical view of the moldmaking program quickly provides the assurance of having selected the correct mold and allows a rough appraisal of potential program errors — and of the fundamental machining strategy.

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