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Gisma Steckverbinder GmbH: Well-Connected

A variety of complex underwater electrical connector casings are made by Gisma, using Siemens Sinumerik CNC-controlled Spinner lathe technology.

A variety of complex underwater electrical connector casings are made by Gisma, using Siemens Sinumerik CNC-controlled Spinner lathe technology.

Gisma specializes in the production of underwater connectors typically used in offshore energy generation. Siemens Sinumerik-controlled Spinner CNC machine tools contribute significantly to the success of the company.

Special connectors are required to safely and reliably connect electrical and fiber-optic cables deep underwater. With maintenance more difficult, all of the parts must meet the most rigorous technical requirements in terms of reliability and service life. Products from Neumünster, Germany-based Gisma Steckverbinder GmbH are designed to be fail-safe and to withstand maximum pressure loads, while still operating on the basic “push and pull” principle. In addition to shipyards, the offshore oil and gas industry, and the military, Gisma is now receiving an increasing number of orders from offshore energy companies. Gisma works closely with its customers on all of its developments – most recently on a single-pole, wet-mateable power connector for use in offshore underwater turbines, which was designed to handle operating voltages of 12 kV at 400 A and is guaranteed to be fail-safe for 25 years.

Manufacturing repeatability to the nearest micron

To meet the high standards required in underwater technology, manufacturing accuracy to the nearest micron is required, especially for fiber-optic connectors. In addition, the materials must all be corrosion-resistant. The highest levels of functional safety 
are also required to enable the machining of seawater-resistant bronze and stainless steels, along with more sophisticated materials such as duplex and super-duplex steels, titanium and high-performance plastics. The demands placed on the cutting machines and controllers used in the production of these parts are correspondingly high. For many years, Gisma has relied on Spinner milling and turning centers equipped with Siemens Sinumerik CNCs. “The machines rarely fail, mostly because of the high-quality drive and control technology,” says production manager Michael Königsmann. He is particularly impressed by the TC77 universal turning machine from the 800 series, which will be used, among other purposes, to turn the casings for a new high-
performance connector measuring up to 3000 mm long. The TC 77 is built on a rigid Meehanite cast iron base with large tempered steel guide rails, allowing a high cutting capacity, along with good damping and rigidity characteristics. It is equipped with a water-cooled motor spindle, which allows precision turning to within a few hundredths of a millimeter, shortly after switching on. The machine also has a counter spindle and features 12 tool stations with driven tools. “This lets us manufacture some workpieces in a single run, whereas previously it would have taken several,” explains the production manager. In accordance with VDI/DGQ 3441, the machine achieves repeat accuracy of 2 µm in the 
x- and z-axes.

Consistent CNC strategy since 2000

The sophisticated Sinumerik 840D sl CNC plays an equally important role in reducing manufacturing time. Since the year 2000, Gisma has used only Siemens controllers in its production facility. “By standardizing the controller, we have created an environment where we can deploy our employees flexibly all over the shop floor and operator error 
has become a thing of the past,” explains Tobias Frerck, Gisma’s managing director. “We have always had great results with Sinumerik controllers and knew we could rely on our competent regional service partners on those rare occasions when something went wrong.” For newly developed products, production manager Königsmann and his staff usually create the CNC programs on external PCs in DIN ISO and then send them over the network to the most suitable machine. If there is a need to manufacture new connectors based upon an existing family of parts, the required CNC programs can usually be adjusted directly on the machine itself. And, just 
as during initial setup, the Sinumerik 840D sl’s fully integrated and user-friendly ShopTurn software comes into its own here. The animated graphical user interface is completely intuitive, meaning that it can be easily picked up even by temporary staff. The Sinumerik Safety Integrated software package provides additional safety when working in setup mode, allowing operators to monitor the production process with the machine door open. Safety mode allows speeds of up to 2 m/min, and the software ensures that the drives stop quickly after a maximum of 1 to 2 mm, should any problems arise. If anything is unclear when an operator is entering data, he or she can push a single button on the operator console to bring up a help menu. Switching to a text-based DIN interface is just as straightforward, for example, when an experienced programmer feels that he or she can more quickly and easily describe a complex contour using a DIN statement. As always, the main focus remains on achieving the highest possible standards in terms of both the manufacturing and the finished product.

For more information on this article, please contact:

SIEMENS INDUSTRY, INC.
DRIVE TECHNOLOGIES
MOTION CONTROL
MACHINE TOOL BUSINESS
390 Kent Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Phone: 847-640-1595
Fax: 847-437-0784
Web:  www.usa.siemens.com/cnc
Email:  SiemensMTBUMarCom.sea@siemens.com
Attention:  John Meyer, Manager, Marketing Communication

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SiemensCNC or Twitter:  www.twitter.com/siemens_cnc_us.

Siemens Industry Sector is the world’s leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly products, solutions and services for industrial customers. With end-to-end automation technology and industrial software, solid vertical-market expertise, and technology-based services, the sector enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency and flexibility. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services Divisions as well as the Metals Technologies Business Unit. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/industry.

The Siemens Drive Technologies Division is the world’s leading supplier of products, systems, applications, solutions and services for the entire drive train, with electrical and mechanical components. Drive Technologies serves all vertical markets in the production and process industries as well as the infrastructure/energy segment. With its products and solutions, the division enables its customers to achieve productivity, energy efficiency and reliability. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/drivetechnologies.

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Retrofitting for Success

With the right CNC platform, this large, state-of-the-art job shop has discovered “anything is possible”…

CNC upgrade enhances performance and precision

Major Tool & Machine (MTM) is a large job shop, producing precision milled and turned hardware throughout the company’s 500,000 square foot Indiana facility. Performance is essential, because MTM contracts with aerospace, energy, nuclear and defense companies on many mission-critical, one-off projects. Owner and CEO Steve Weyreter will tell you openly, MTM is more competitive by way of a significant CNC technology change, starting with an aggressive retrofit strategy.

Major Tool & Machine, Inc. retrofitted two of their machining centers in 2010 changing to a CNC technology platform that was completely new to the company. Ten more such large-scale retrofits have followed, bringing increased enthusiasm, momentum and productivity.

Günther Zimmermann, CNC Controls Engineer at MTM, says the company’s retrofit program and the decision to change to the Siemens SINUMERIK CNC platform have brought a new enthusiasm and momentum to the company. Over the last two years the change has also brought significant time and cost reductions, especially in the areas of programming, maintenance engineering, and machine operations.

“The initial goal in early 2010 was to retrofit two Cincinnati U5 Gantry machines,” Zimmermann recounts. “We evaluated two CNC technology platforms and after considerable analysis our CEO Steve Weyreter announced that Siemens would best support the company’s future.”

The decision to reduce costs by moving to a single CNC platform was the least difficult decision for the company to make, Zimmermann explains. The larger challenge for MTM was the integration of a new CNC technology platform that was new to the company.

Bill Henderson, MTM’s manager of large machining and maintenance, agrees that the decision to change to a Siemens CNC platform integrated with advanced part and tool probing was critical, because the shop manages constant changeovers from one complex job to the next, making setup times a critical time/cost constraint for the company. Another big advantage is the increased flexibility by only having to train machinists and maintenance personnel on one type of control.

Henderson went on to say “the decision to change to a new control has signaled higher expectations for the company, along with new challenges for those who program, operate and maintain the company’s big machines.

Naturally, there’s a resistance to change,” Henderson says. “People are comfortable with what they normally run, but after our discussions with the people on the plant floor, they understood the overall objective. Our retrofit program is not finished, yet it’s already showing tremendous benefits.”

Heads-up interchangeability

An advantage MTM gained by its retrofit strategy has been the ability to interchange heads and rotary tables from machine to machine. Easy-to-use head storage and tool management programming provided by the Siemens CNC platform support the new interchange capability.

Retrofitter Doug Huber says having Siemens as a new CNC technology partner has made a difference for Major Tool & Machine, but it’s also been an evolutionary uplift for his own retrofitting company, Indiana Automation.

“Indiana Automation has increasingly retrofit using Siemens controls in recent years, Huber explains. “On a retrofit, we always try to exceed what the original machine could do, and that’s just kind of inherent when you put on a Siemens 840D. Major Tool’s first retrofits were the Cincinnati U5 machines, a bridge model and two gantry models. These are five-axis machines and five-axis is the 840D’s forte. The processing power of the control is so much better, that it just whips through the blocks faster. So right off, cycle time is a major performance enhancement.”

Huber says something else happened this time. As his firm finished retrofitting the first three giant machines with Siemens five-axis controls, drives and motors, the reaction within the company was not just that the machines were now predictably more efficient, but that they performed as very different machines. A new advantage is the ability to interchange machining heads from machine-to-machine, and all driven by the Siemens CNC platform.

“On many of the U5 machines, the axes come off with the heads,” Huber explains, “and we rebuilt these machines to accept any one of three different heads. That’s one of Major Tool’s key strategies. They insist on having flexible machine capabilities, so that they can run all kinds of different parts. They have straight heads for serious metal cutting, contour heads for five-axis work and finesse work. They have 90-degree heads for more flexibility than a straight head, but it’s also not as fragile as the contour head. And they wanted to interchange all of these heads to automatically go pick up a head out of the shuttle and, on the fly, reconfigure the axes and the zero positions. To do this, the compensation tables all had to be updated. Everything needed to be done with the macro program so that each head came on ready to run.”

The interchangeable head strategy was a challenge, Huber says, because the machines were not originally capable of sharing heads. But with support from Siemens, the strategy has worked, including the ability to interchange rotary tables as well as heads. “Each head or rotary table has a configuration file that has all the settings and compensations and travels with it from machine to machine. So now when you mount that head the control just runs the configuration file that goes with it and its all set up for you. We also incorporated Siemens Tool Management for each machine’s 60-pocket tool chain. We used the feature on these machines to manage all the different tooling MTM uses, both in the automatic tool changer as well as the ones manually loaded.”

Huber says, “MTM’s ability to smoothly transition to more advanced CNC is largely due to the HMI’s ease of use. The Operate interface is a huge help to us and to Major Tool. The HMI helps make better parts. And it didn’t take very long for the operators to fall in love with it.”

Leveraging the machinist’s skills

Central to MTM’s retrofit program has been the Siemens SINUMERIK 840D sl control, which features the SINUMERIK Operate interface. The highly intuitive interface enables both programmers and operators to easily capitalize on the broad capabilities of the control.

“I had never used a Siemens control before,” admits MTM machinist Mike Burthay. “I have extensive knowledge of G-code and CNC controls and I would say the Siemens 840D sl with the Operate interface is the easiest one I’ve ever run. It’s user friendly, that’s exactly the words for it.”

Burthay reports several ways in which the Siemens SINUMERIK Operate interface has made his life easier. “There’s not as much G-code,” he says. “The control does it all for you as long as you put in the parameters as to size, length, width. Then once you’re in Job Mode, there’s a screen where you can tool change or jog the machine around to certain positions, or turn the spindle on, turn the coolant on, anything that traditionally required G-code. So now you can push a cycle stop button to pause the machine, enter a change such as turning coolant on, then restart the program.

Programming as easy as 1-2-3: Using the SINUMERIK Operate interface, a machinist can turn on coolant flow by 1) pressing Cycle Stop to stop the machine, 2) Coolant On, and 3) Restart.

“Another function I love is Block Search, which allows me to start or restart right in the middle of a program. Say you’re finishing a pocket and you have to run the tool two or three times to get a tight tolerance, I can enter in a line number and hit Block Search, the control picks up every line before that, restarts the spindle and everything for you.”

Burthay says the Siemens control also enables him to program parts right on the machine whenever necessary, using a simple yet robust program called ShopMill. “I can go into ShopMill, type in some parameters and it will kick out that G-code program for me automatically. Say I want to drill a hole two inches deep. I open ShopMill, pick my tool, tell it the depth and these steps are all interactive on the screen. It even shows me 3D motion images of the tool path, confirms the drill going down as expected into the part. So I hit go and it puts a drill cycle into the program for me.”

Programmed for collaborative growth

Lead Programmer, Tim Hayden, has from the beginning conducted all processor setups for the newly retrofitted machines. Hayden says integrating the Siemens CNC platform has been an empowering experience he had not expected, given the fact that he had never before set up a post processor to run a Siemens control, nor had he ever before operated a Siemens control.

“Now, when I look at the Siemens control, I think man, it would have been so much better to have had it all along,” Hayden says, “because the other control I’ve been using is just a lot more cryptic. The Siemens control with the SINUMERIK Operate interface is more powerful for writing macros and the language seems modern, whereas the other control seems like it is still based on an old FORTRAN type language.”

Work offsets for compound angles can be scaled and rotated using the Frames function of the Siemens SINUMERIK Operate interface. Many advanced machining operations can be managed simply, without the use of time-intensive manual G-code programming.

Hayden points to the Frames coordinate and offset programming function of the Siemens interface as an example of improved programming convenience.

“We do a lot of work on compound angles,” Hayden explains, “and with the Siemens Frames function, you can scale and rotate your coordinate system on the control, just plug it in with your work offsets. Whereas, on the other control you will see a G54 request, you’ve got to enter G-code. You can’t just plug it into your work offsets like you can with the Siemens control.”

Hayden says the SINUMERIK Operate interface brings greater programming flexibility. The HMI enables him to enter G-code using a comparatively more advanced manual data entry (MDI) function; however the HMI has all but eliminated the need for G-code entry by way of its intuitive design and evolved capabilities.

Another example of such HMI evolution is in the area of data management.

“When we post a program, we no longer have to use a G-code based MDI,” Hayden explains. “We no longer need to type in T= and enter a nine digit number and then enter M6 to make a tool change. With the Operate HMI, you pick your tool off a screen and hit cycle start. It’s just as easy to program going to a position. Instead of doing things the old way by typing G0X0Y0Z0 into the MDI, you open the Operate interface, click position, then click how you want to wrap it and then you just type the numbers into those fields. So it’s a lot more user friendly.”

Hayden says the Siemens CNC platform has supported greater collaboration at MTM between him and the machinists, and this is helping the company find ways to increase performance and efficiency. He agrees with his coworkers’ assessments that shorter setup times and greater operator freedom are making a significant difference.

“One of our production bottlenecks has been programming,” Hayden says. “The machinists that run our machines are professionals, they’re not button pushers, and with the SINUMERIK Operate interface, we can now rely on them to control and program certain parts right on their machines, while we programmers work on the more complex projects.”

“Siemens was the best fit for all of us,” Hayden concludes. “Siemens CNC is set up as an open control, and with that kind of flexibility, it seems anything is possible.”

See Siemens CNC at Major Tool & Machine in action HERE!

For more information, contact:

SIEMENS INDUSTRY, INC.
MOTION CONTROL
MACHINE TOOL BUSINESS
John Meyer
Manager, Marketing Communications
Siemens Industry, Inc.
(800) 879-8079 ext. Marketing Communications
www.usa.siemens.com/cnc
SiemensMTBUMarCom.industry@siemens.com

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SiemensCNC or Twitter:  www.twitter.com/siemens_cnc_us.

Siemens Industry Sector is the world’s leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly products, solutions and services for industrial customers. With end-to-end automation technology and industrial software, solid vertical-market expertise, and technology-based services, the sector enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency and flexibility. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services Divisions as well as the Metals Technologies Business Unit. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/industry.

The Siemens Drive Technologies Division is the world’s leading supplier of products, systems, applications, solutions and services for the entire drive train, with electrical and mechanical components. Drive Technologies serves all vertical markets in the production and process industries as well as the infrastructure/energy segment. With its products and solutions, the division enables its customers to achieve productivity, energy efficiency and reliability. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/drivetechnologies.

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Siemens to Demonstrate Kuka Robotics Integration for Workpiece Handling

All motion controlled by mxAutomation directly through the Sinumerik CNC — simple to integrate, even easier to operate

CHICAGO — At this year’s International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, Siemens will demonstrate its recent collaboration with KUKA Robotics.  In the Siemens booth E-5010, a KUKA robot will be articulating parts, simulating the operation on a CNC machine tool.  Key to this development is the machine builder’s ability to integrate mxAutomation from KUKA directly through the Siemens Sinumerik CNC platform, thereby allowing the operator of the machine to run both the machine tool and robot from the single control panel.

The motion sequence of the robot is entirely engineered within the Sinumerik 840D sl CNC, then transferred by the 840D sl’s PLC function to the mxAutomation interpreter on the KR C4. All program changes to a six-axis robot can easily be input on a second channel of the CNC and fully operated.  This scenario provides the ability to not only run a machine tool’s automation sequence more efficiently, but also make more changes on-the-fly to minimize machine downtime, with no special knowledge of robot programming language.

During the operation of the machine tool, all changes made can be visualized directly on the CNC screen, further minimizing operator actions. Siemens is the first CNC supplier to show this capability for single-screen operation of the machine tool and robotic materials handling on the CNC. During the show, a Siemens Sinumerik 840D sl CNC will be programmed to allow the operator to jog the robot, command the gripper and otherwise simulate integrated actions with a machine tool.

In operation, the KRC4 integrator and mxAutomation convert the robot language into the same commands used for multi-axis machine tool functions.  A single Profinet cable runs between the robot and the CNC.  According to KUKA’s Andreas Schuhbauer, key technology manager for machine tool automation (Augsburg, Germany), “mxAutomation allows the machine tool builder a single I/O language for integrating robotics on the CNC, while the end user operator can run both the machine tool and the robot from a single screen on the control.” mxAutomation for Sinumerik CNC was a joint development between KUKA and Siemens.  KUKA created plug-in function modules for the Siemens Step 7 PLC engineering software and provided its robot knowledge to Siemens for creation of the second channel logic on the CNC, Andreas Schuhbauer further noted. All safety functions and test functions for load / unload, brake test, gripper, robot communication and safe operation of the robot are provided through the Siemens Profinet and Profisafe platforms.

Future developments for mxAutomation are planned, including a wider application range for robots in the CNC machine tool environment. For more information about Siemens CNC solutions for the machine tool industry, visit our website: www.usa.siemens.com/cnc.

Join the user community by following us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SiemensCNC  and talking to us on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/siemens_cnc_us. Siemens Industry Sector is the world’s leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly products, solutions and services for industrial customers. With end-to-end automation technology and industrial software, solid vertical-market expertise, and technology-based services, the sector enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency and flexibility. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services Divisions as well as the Metals Technologies Business Unit. The Siemens Drive Technologies Division is the world’s leading supplier of products, systems, applications, solutions and services for the entire drive train, with electrical and mechanical components. Drive Technologies serves all vertical markets in the production and process industries as well as the infrastructure/energy segment. With its products and solutions, the division enables its customers to achieve productivity, energy efficiency and reliability.

For more information on this story, please contact
SIEMENS INDUSTRY, INC. DRIVE TECHNOLOGIES MOTION CONTROL MACHINE TOOL BUSINESS
390 Kent Avenue Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Phone: 847-640-1595 Fax: 847-437-0784
Web:  www.usa.siemens.com/cnc
Email:  SiemensMTBUMarCom.sea@siemens.com
Attention:  John Meyer, Manager, Marketing Communication
Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SiemensCNC or Twitter:  www.twitter.com/siemens_cnc_us.

Siemens Industry Sector is the world’s leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly products, solutions and services for industrial customers. With end-to-end automation technology and industrial software, solid vertical-market expertise, and technology-based services, the sector enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency and flexibility. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services Divisions as well as the Metals Technologies Business Unit. The Siemens Drive Technologies Division is the world’s leading supplier of products, systems, applications, solutions and services for the entire drive train, with electrical and mechanical components. Drive Technologies serves all vertical markets in the production and process industries as well as the infrastructure/energy segment. With its products and solutions, the division enables its customers to achieve productivity, energy efficiency and reliability.

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Core3D provides dental labs with new materials and new products through advanced manufacturing techniques

International firm uses robotic ultrasonics and conventional machine tools to supply product, usually with 24-hour turnaround; achieving near 24-7 unattended operation with over 15 percent reduction in scrap material on very expensive substrates.

OpenHealth, one of the world’s leading providers of business and technical solutions to the dental healthcare industries, was formed by the owners of five major international dental lab groups — Aurum, Cordent, DTS, Race and ZMC — who combined to harness the strategic synergies of their respective lab and milling center services.  The milling and technology business, under the brand name of Core3D Centres and operating six facilities, brings the OpenHealth group’s expertise and comprehensive service package to labs, dentists and educational institutions in 15 countries on three continents.

We interviewed Tim McKimson, Core3D’s Worldwide Director of Engineering, at OpenHealth’s Las Vegas-based Core3D facility, located near the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies (LVI), where restorative and cosmetic dental techniques are taught to practicing dentists and lab technicians, Here, Core3D provides a full range of CAD/CAM/CNC machining and finishing services to LVI and dental labs across the United States.  Led by technical operators Mark Ferguson, Danny Palomares and Drew Hrubes, the Core3D team prepares CAD files developed from data typically gathered with an iTero oral scanning wand or from CAD files from scans of conventional dental impressions from the patient’s mouth, which are then digitally captured in a dental scanner from companies such as 3shape.  CADENT and other software are typically used to image the impression and begin the process of creating the crown, bridge, abutment, coping, implant or even full denture restoration, as required by the individual lab.  3D CADENT files are G-coded at a remote location of the parent company for transfer to the CNC machine tools at the various Core3D facilities worldwide. 

The next step is translation of the digital impression to a RenShape® mold, using conventional machine tools.  In most cases, the required structures are designed simultaneously, then the mold with coping is introduced to the DMG Sauer ultrasonic dental machine for preparation of the final structures.  This is where the most advanced substrates are processed, ranging from conventional, yet difficult to machine metals such as titanium and cobalt chrome, to the newest advanced materials, including glass ceramics, lithium disilicate and zirconia.  These substrates are quite expensive, therefore extreme care is taken in their handling and processing to reduce scrap and conserve operating costs.

As McKimson explained, the decision to cut with ultrasonic technology was relatively easy, given the inherent wear conditions and high cost of conventional tooling.  In the ultrasonic process, a combination of electrolysis and fluid lubrication act in concert to create an ionic attraction of particles, removing material in a highly predictable and accurate manner, without the mechanical stress implicit in conventional machining techniques.  As a result, the surface of even the hardest materials can be machined with the necessary tactile smoothness required for dental implants.

The DMG Sauer ultrasonic machines located at this Las Vegas facility, fully operated by Siemens Sinumerik 840D sl CNC technology, are loaded with blanks of material into a 66-position feeder station, then delivered into the cutting theater by a Motoman robotic arm with Schunk pressure grippers.  The Sinumerik 840D sl recognizes the code on each workpiece pallet and each job is identified by the patient’s name to minimize the risk of error in work product delivery.  As McKimson further notes, in detailing the accuracy of the ultrasonic machining technique, each tool used is obtained from the 25-position tool changer and its position is monitored by an integral Renishaw probe.  The technicians often load three sets of the tools needed for the 66-piece runs, ensuring virtually 24/7 unattended operation of the machines.  Through the capability of the Siemens CNC, a remote alarm can be sent when tool breakage or other off-normal condition occurs during production.

The extremely hard materials being machined are produced with accuracies in the 2-4 micron range, owing to the combination of ultrasonic technology and the high precision of the Sinumerik CNC, according to McKimson, who notes the reliability of this accuracy has been a significant advantage in reducing scrap at Core3D.

In another area of the facility, conventional mills are used to make polyurethane models and Wieland Zeno 4820 and 4030 mini-milling machines are also utilized for the production of various crowns, wax/resin forms and models, veneers, inlays and implant abutments. 

As evidence of the decidedly international nature of this emerging dental giant, all the zirconia and lithium disilicate materials are provided in the IPS e.max System from Ivoclar Vivadent, a company based in Liechtenstein.  The company has branches in the United States and Canada, which supply the Core3D Centres in those countries.  The templates and cutting tools are closely controlled and validated by the manufacturer to ensure that the preparation of these materials in dental applications is properly executed.

In commenting on the use of the DMG Sauer ultrasonic machines, McKimson notes that it was the machine builder who recommended the Siemens control.  “They knew we were dental technicians and engineers, not machinists, by nature.  The Siemens control has been extremely easy-to-use and our training time from the builder was minimal.  Troubleshooting is mostly done by our operators, with only occasional assistance from Siemens.”  Danny Palomares, one of the technical operators, agrees.  “My training is in the dental lab world, not on machine tools.  It was a great relief to have such a sophisticated control operate with relatively simple language commands and cycle adjustments.”

Palomares is also responsible for the translation of the lab’s incoming data files, so he is involved from start-to-finish with most of the projects done at this Core3D facility.  In a single day, for example, he might use Delcam DentCAD, then hyperDENT CAM software, all translating the cutting paths from the dentist’s impression to the Siemens CNC on the DMG ultrasonic machines in this facility.  As McKimson adds, “The sub-routines on the Sinumerik CNC make our job much easier to accomplish and faster to complete.  Plus, when you add the upside of at least 15 percent reduction in the scrap that we’ve realized with the ultrasonics, it’s a real win-win situation for us.”

While there are substantial differences between the European and American dental labs in terms of the materials and assembly techniques used, and despite the fact that literally all projects are highly customized based on the individual needs of the patients and the preferences of the labs and those of the dentists performing the procedures, in the end, the typical project is being turned in 24 hours or less.

For Core 3d Centres, utilizing the best-in-class equipment is critical. In complement the quality machines here, a key part of the overall efficiency protocol in the Core3D network of companies, McKimson points out, is the “know-how” provided through their CAM-DO committee.  This global technical committee conducts regular online meetings to discuss what’s working and what’s not in their various worldwide operations and then optimizes and standardizes the processes.  He recalls one unanimous vote of approval was voiced on the performance of the DMG Sauer ultrasonic machines with Siemens controls.  Core3D currently has nine such machines in their network, all used to process the most advanced materials.

® RenShape is a registered trademark of Huntsman Corporation.

For more information on this story, please contact:

Core3D Centres
Tim McKimson
Engineering Technology Director
5955-2 Wigwam Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89139
Toll-Free:  1-888-750-9204
Phone:  702-750-9204
http://www.core3dcenters.com/
tmckimson@core3dcenters.com

OR

Siemens Industry, Inc.
John Meyer
Manager, Marketing Communications
390 Kent Avenue
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
(800) 879-8079 ext. Marketing Communications
www.usa.siemens.com/cnc
SiemensMTBUMarCom.industry@siemens.com

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/SiemensCNC or Twitter:  www.twitter.com/siemens_cnc_us.

Siemens Industry Sector is the world’s leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly products, solutions and services for industrial customers. With end-to-end automation technology and industrial software, solid vertical-market expertise, and technology-based services, the sector enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency and flexibility. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services Divisions as well as the Metals Technologies Business Unit. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/industry.

The Siemens Drive Technologies Division is the world’s leading supplier of products, systems, applications, solutions and services for the entire drive train, with electrical and mechanical components. Drive Technologies serves all vertical markets in the production and process industries as well as the infrastructure/energy segment. With its products and solutions, the division enables its customers to achieve productivity, energy efficiency and reliability. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/drivetechnologies.

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Prototype Shop Gets 20% Faster Set-up and Running Times With New CNC Turning Machine

Fryer Easy Turn Combination Lathe with Siemens SINUMERIK 840D sl CNC lets operators at Continental Machine program, set-up and run faster; critical for one-off operations

By definition, says Josh Johnson, vice-president, Continental Machine, Rockford, Illinois, his prototype and short-run production shop must constantly run lean.  There can be no tolerating excessive programming, set-up or machining time of any kind, otherwise the shop loses and, in this economy, Johnson notes, that is simply unacceptable.

Continental Machine is a seven-person, 13,000 square-foot facility that houses a variety of CNC milling, turning, wire EDM, hole popping and grinding machines, as well as various sheetmetal and plastic injection molding machinery.  Therefore, the shop is well positioned to produce a wide variety of metal and plastic prototypes used by its diverse customer base, which spans markets such as window hardware, bicycle components, automotive parts, chemical processing, medical devices and foodservice equipment.  Materials processed here are just as wide-ranging, including aluminum, CRS, tool steels such as A2 and D2, zinc, brass, copper, bronze, titanium and a variety of engineered plastics such as glass-filled Delrin.

Recently, this job shop purchased a Fryer Easy Turn-21 CNC Combination Lathe, controlled by a Siemens SINUMERIK 840D sl numerical control.  The two operators responsible for this machine upgrade at Continental had limited experience with CNC and none whatsoever with the Siemens protocol, as this was the first of its kind at the shop.

The Easy Turn-21 was particularly appealing to Josh Johnson, who comments, “The set-up is extremely easy.  Teaching the tools, altering the lengths and diameters is kept very simple.  After the initial learning curve, which took only a few days, the operators picked up on the conversational programming, right away.  Also, one of the best features on the machine was that you could still turn the parts by using the electronic handwheel and just one function, such as hogging off material automatically or putting on a tapered thread.”  He noted this feature was not only more comfortable for the operators, but it also allowed them to quickly and efficiently prove out part programs.  Johnson commented that this would not have been possible on previous machines, owing to the flexibility of the control onboard the Fryer.  The result has been a minimum 20% improvement in the overall cycle time on most part programs run at Continental.  For this primarily prototype job shop, that fact translates into a substantial increase in the work product possible here.

Echoing this sentiment, Sue Ostrander, sales manager, Fryer Machine Systems, explained the process that led her company to select the SINUMERIK 840D sl numerical control for all its milling and turning machines, a move that was recently formalized by the company and announced to the trade.

“Since its inception 26 years ago, family-owned Fryer Machine Systems has based its operation on three core principles: build a quality product, price it fairly and provide quality service. This philosophy has allowed Fryer’s business to grow even in challenging times,” she said.

Fryer manufactures a diverse line of over 50 models of high-quality CNC machine tools in its 50,000 square-foot facility in Patterson, New York. Over the years, Fryer has become well-respected for its quality and innovation, throughout the job shop and production machining market segments.

“Moving to the Siemens 840D sl platform was the next step in Fryer’s ongoing commitment to provide our customers with the most innovative machine tools available in the market today,” Ostrander continued.  “The Siemens solution allows machine tool end-users to achieve higher productivity through easy and intuitive features and step-by-step, on-screen programming.  This enables them to dramatically reduce set-up, programming, and tooling times, while significantly increasing output.”

“The SINUMERIK 840D sl modular design allows us to take full advantage of the superior mechanical features in our machines,” continued Larry Fryer, president and CEO, Fryer Machine Systems. “Fryer has always been known for our easy conversational controls and the move to Siemens has allowed us to greatly enhance this feature,” Fryer noted. “The 840D sl menu-driven system combines an advanced geometry calculator that displays the part while the operator is programming it.  Sophisticated solid model graphics allow the operator to verify the part program with more clarity than ever before,” he said.

Larry Fryer has also been impressed with the automatic tool set-up and easy part set-up, made possible by the Siemens CNC.  Fryer explained that auto-run mode is where many operators experience difficulty.  Siemens and Fryer Machine Systems worked together to create an electronic handwheel run mode that gives the operator a safer way to prove out program execution, both forward and backward, using a standard electronic handwheel.

Fryer further stated, “Siemens provides us with a highly flexible solution that is critical to our ability to meet the specific needs of each customer.  Our enhanced capability to offer the same control for both turning and milling gives Fryer machines a unified platform that is very important to customers both in the short-term and for long range expansion.  Coupled with Siemens quality and reliability, they are invaluable to us in competing in today’s aggressive marketplace.”

Johnson added this comment on the service and training received by his operators at Continental.  “Siemens has been helpful and very thorough in their training and after-sale service.  The ShopTurn program, being integral to the control, now enables us to accurately determine tool path, potential collisions, tool changes and real world run time.  This makes our operators’ jobs much easier, with the added benefit of allowing us to estimate much more accurately than ever.”  Johnson further noted the CNC has substantial hard drive space, thus allowing most programs to be stored directly on the machine, though the company does maintain a back-up system.

For more information on this story, please contact:

CONTINENTAL MACHINE CO. 
Email:  conmach@onecommail.com

FRYER MACHINE SYSTEMS, INC. 
Web:  www.fryermachine.com

SIEMENS MACHINE TOOL BUSINESS
John Meyer
Manager, Marketing Communications
Siemens Industry, Inc.
(847) 640-1595
www.usa.siemens.com/cnc
SiemensMTBUMarCom.industry@siemens.com
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Siemens Industry Sector is the world’s leading supplier of innovative and environmentally friendly products, solutions and services for industrial customers. With end-to-end automation technology and industrial software, solid vertical-market expertise, and technology-based services, the sector enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency and flexibility. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Industry Automation, Drive Technologies and Customer Services Divisions as well as the Metals Technologies Business Unit. For more information, visit http://www.usa.siemens.com/industry.

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