Contour Calculator

Sinumerik 828

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An alternative to slow, handheld calculations in front of the machine tool, Siemens (Elk Grove Village, IL) offers an onboard contour calculator on its latest CNC, the Sinumerik 828.

The advanced integrated processor geometry of this CNC allows programmers and operators to assign specific position patterns such as lines, circles or grids for milling and drilling cycles, with just a few inputs on the keyboard. The kinematic transformations in the CNC enable these position patterns to be called up without any calculation or other programming steps, even on inclined workpiece surfaces of milled parts or the end faces and peripheral surfaces of turned parts.
Cycle geometries for standard operations such as turning shoulders, thread undercuts and trapezoidal grooves can be assigned in a similar way. Since the programmer/operator can use these turning cycles in all workpiece quadrants, even the machining of inside contours becomes simpler and more predictable—and all these cycles can be applied to a counterspindle, as well, without any restrictions.
The cycles are not limited to creating standard geometries. The Contour Calculator produces any type of contour or pocket with islands, even with rotating tools on turning machines. What applies to the milling contours can be done with rotating turn tools, as well, using a recently developed contour stock removal cycle on the Siemens CNC. This type of cycle facilitates not only the typical longitudinal and facecutting operations, but also contour machining with recess or plunge-turning tools.
Even complex contours can be generated directly on the CNC, because of this processor geometry, and partially defined contour elements are calculated automatically. In addition, DFX files can be processed by installing a simplified CAD reader onto a PC to convert DFX files into the proper geometric language for the CNC.
Swiveling a plane can also be done by entering the desired coordinate rotation, whereupon the CNC automatically orients the machining to the proper position. This function can also apply to a counterspindle, whether it’s being used to support the workpiece or machine the backside
This straightforward counterspindle cycle enables the operations to be accomplished without any additional CNC language commands and even sloping surfaces can be programmed very easily. The machining plane can be rotated to the correct orientation, without the need for either a pocket calculator or CAD/CAM system prep.