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Groundbreaking "Smart Operation" Concept Integrates IT Networking and Mobile Devices with Machine Tool

Siemens has introduced a ground-breaking new concept for efficient work processes surrounding the Sinumerik 840D sl CNC in the form of Smart Operation.

The new concept encompasses aspects such as job preparation, IT networking, improved usability with touch operation and the use of mobile devices to perform monitoring and control functions. In short, Smart Operation significantly simplifies the integration of machines into the production process. Smart Operation does not require support by IT specialists and can be simply implemented independently by machine operators -- meaning that companies can implement the individual functions using minimal financial and organizational resources.

Smart Operation encompasses four areas: Smart Prepare, Smart Operate, Smart IT and Smart Mobile. Smart Prepare is concerned with job preparation and the generation of CNC programs at the PC. Siemens offers high-performance software for this purpose in the form of Sinutrain. Known as control-identical training software, Sinutrain is used as an offline programming workstation. Users will benefit from programming and simulating the next job ahead of time offline at the PC and shopfloors can make significant gains in terms of productivity at the machine.

The Sinumerik Operate graphical user interface now offers comprehensive touch control. In combination with the new Blackline Panels OP 015 black and OP 019 black, Sinumerik Operate now offers an array of carefully considered and innovative multi-touch operating features. Siemens has optimized the representation of familiar functions to improve user experience, for instance with an improved overview, simpler operation and faster interaction. All of the soft keys and the keyboard can now be displayed and arranged for optimum convenience on-screen. The folder and file structure screen has also been improved -- for example, with a function for adjusting font sizes, and for hiding or showing detailed information.

The Smart IT aspect of Smart Operation enables data to be accessed and managed. Smart IT makes all job-related documentation available such as component programs, DXF drawings and pictures at the operator panel over the network connection. A new DXF viewer and reader now depict files in the popularly used CAD data exchange format to be viewed directly at the machine tool. The user can select the geometry elements displayed in a DXF file using the contour capture function and transfer them directly to program a workpiece machining operation.

The option "Execution from External Storage" (EES) enables elective data accessing by the machine tool from connected USB memory sticks, hard drives and network resources. This allows workpiece data to be viewed directly at the machine and even large component programs to be run from external memories. If required, several NCUs -- for instance, in rotary transfer machines -- can jointly access a central network memory.

Smart Mobile is a solution designed to enable the use of mobile devices in the machine tool environment. Using a secured webserver, users can deploy monitoring and control functions using a notebook, smartphone or tablet. This allows up-to-the-minute information such as the current job status or component supply situation to be accessed remotely or service information to be displayed. These functions can benefit machine tool builders from the early development stage of new machine concepts, allowing mobile access to be included as a standard feature from the start.

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