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New Compact Class CNCs

New Compact Class CNCs

Designed to address the needs of complex turning and milling machines for job shops, the Sinumerik 828D combines CNC, PLC, operator panel and axis control for six CNC measurement circuits in a single robust operator panel. Offering intelligent kinematic transformations, an efficient tool management system and 80-bit floating point nano precision, the new control provides performance features previously reserved for the premium CNC control segment.

"The 828D is a new control platform focused on compact class CNC machines, says Jon Cruthers, manager of business development for Siemens. It is used in milling applications up to six axes, and turning applications up to eight axes while also supporting live tooling."

Cruthers says that to bring advanced features to this compact class machine tool, they have added support for multiple CNC programming methodologies. Along with traditional G Code and ISO code programming, the unit also supports the more intuitive, graphical style programming with Siemens' ShopMill or ShopTurn graphical workstep programming systems. Any of the programming options can be used interchangeably on a common HMI.

"It gives the user flexibility to program in a format they are used to programming or in a new way which can provide more simplicity and ease of use," he says.

One capability is Advanced Surface which allows users to do advanced mold and die applications on a simple three-axis milling machine. Advanced Surface provides better surface quality, higher machining speeds and optimizes the drives and control of the tool to achieve an advanced surface finish easily on a mid-range machine.

In addition, 80-bit floating point nano precision provides highly accurate position and speed control, features typically reserved for the higher end CNCs to achieve that level of accuracy.

CNC simulations are also provided, so the user can run a part program in simulation mode on the CNC to get a full 3-D view. Users can zoom in on the part, and it allows the operator to estimate machining time prior to running the part.

One capability that Cruthers says is of great interest is called Animated Elements which creates short movie-like sequences instead of static bitmaps to show what a particular operation, whether it's a drilling operation or type of motion path, will look like. The movie sequence helps the user see what they have programmed prior to the actual machining of the part.

Another unique feature is Easy Message, which provides the capability to send simple text messages through a GSM modem supplied by Siemens and to any number of users on machine states, tool data, alarms and production states. The feature, for example, enables an operator or job shop manager to set-up a part to run, and when the part is complete, receive a pre-defined text message.

"Many of these features are unique to the 828D," says Cruthers. "We see that many job shops are moving up into more complex five-axis style machining and are starting to take on more complex machining tasks. This allows an operator that has been working on a very simple three-axis machine to easily move into more complex machining tasks without having to learn a whole new way of machining parts."

The Sinumerik 828D from Siemens reflects a move to more advanced software features on compact class CNCs.

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