The future is with us now!

Sinumerik One – the "digital native" CNC merges the real and virtual worlds. Here you can find innovative tools for CNC projects that are to be implemented with as little digital overhead as possible – at your own pace and in-line with your particular focus. Soraluce the machine tool builder and ABUS Kransysteme its customer have both already reaped some of the benefits.

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Open for something new – but always based on what has been proven

Andres Mazkiaran is Product Manager for Soraluce, a Spanish machine tool builder. He has experienced that digitalization projects in the machine building domain don't necessarily have to involve radical rethinking or massive system in-house transitions. The first "Sinumerik One" project that this traditional Spanish OEM undertook clearly demonstrated this: a flat-bed milling machine for ABUS Kransysteme GmbH, Gummersbach, Germany – a long-term customer of Soraluce.

 

ABUS is a German company that builds overhead cranes and already has machines equipped with Sinumerik 840D sl. When it came to ordering machines for a completely new factory for crane gantries, the fundamental system decision was a done deal. However, with the clear proviso that only state-of-the-art control technology should be used for the new, modern fully synchronized production facility. "Customers are not always open to taking on a new generation of controls. However, in this case, there was no discussion," recounted Andres Mazkiaran

 

This was a resounding success story both for Soraluce and ABUS Kransysteme. A success story that is directly linked to digital features – or put more succinctly, with the virtuality – that CNC Sinumerik One offers. And the original order for two machines was soon extended to include others: Since October 2021, the new ABUS factory has had four bed-type milling machines from the FLP series. They machine parts for crane gantries that are between one and seven meters long.

Digital native CNC

CNC Sinumerik One was completely developed on a digital basis: It achieved maturity through tests and optimization in a virtual environment, even before the first physical prototype was built. As a result of this development approach, Sinumerik One has a close relative, in fact, a digital twin. In software-in-the-loop applications, this digital twin serves as identical counterpart to the real CNC – even including its PLC. For the fundamentally different tasks of machine tool builders and end users, there are two software products that utilize this digital twin of Sinumerik One.

  • Create MyVirtual Machine supports the engineering and commissioning of machines in a virtual landscape. The result: newly developed machines are ready for market far earlier and customized machine variants are created significantly faster.
  • Run MyVirtual Machine addresses end users when preparing, simulating and optimizing production processes with their Sinumerik One-controlled machine – and when linking machines involved in the production environment and with adjacent as well as higher-level processes. Presently, Run MyVirtual Machine is available in the "/Operate" and "/3D" versions. If the full functionality of the CNC is already embedded in Run MyVirtual Machine /Operate, then the "/3D" version can be used to visualize the controlled machine – including its machining area, tools, clamping equipment and the machining process itself.

The integration in NX CAD/CAM is another application for the CNC Sinumerik One digital twin, for example.

Engineering at the digital twin

Using Create MyVirtual Machine, the option to implement new machines as digital twins, exhaustively test them and also simulate them at the PLC level meant that Soraluce engineered the customized flat-bed milling center in an office environment, and to a large extent this was completed virtually. The result: The first physical machine had essentially been developed to almost full maturity. When compared to conventional approaches, the commissioning phase in the workshop was massively reduced. Simply because very many if not most commissioning steps were already able to be performed and verified at the CNC and PLC digital twin.

 

This is quite an achievement when considering that the ABUS machines are equipped with many clamping devices, in some cases very special ones. These are required to be able to handle the wide variety of parts that are involved for overhead cranes that are individualized for ABUS's customers. Another special feature of the machines for ABUS: They are split up into two safety zones, which are controlled by one and the same CNC. While a part is machined at one end of the 19 m long machine, the clamping equipment and workpiece are positioned at the other end supported by the CNC and set up for the next machining operation.

 

With Create MyVirtual Machine and the digital twin of Sinumerik One, all these Soraluce functions were able to be virtually commissioned and exhaustively tested.

Reliable high-performance – and a high degree of operator acceptance

The new machines for ABUS Kransysteme are equipped with state-of-the-art CNC technology and mechatronics. They have higher spindle speeds, faster drives and are packed with other improvements. Michael Wirths, Factory Head for Components with ABUS only gets positive feedback from the machine operators: "The large touchscreen panel is simply in-tune with the times and is very easy to operate."

A switchover that paid off

Machine builder and end user are satisfied: "We are completely convinced that our decision to go the Sinumerik One route was the right one," summarized Soraluce manager Mazkiaran. This is because: with Sinumerik One you don't "just" have a powerful, future-proof CNC at your fingertips. When using Sinumerik One with Create MyVirtual Machine and Run MyVirtual Machine, machine builders and end users clearly benefit from the digital twin of Sinumerik One, including its PLC. This can be used for all typical tasks involving engineering, commissioning, production planning and job planning.

 

The result is that the Sinumerik One system addresses all important possibilities for digitally optimizing value-added chains. And importantly, without companies having to invest in a completely new system structure or having to completely rethink their approach.

We are completely convinced that our decision to go the Sinumerik One route was the right one!
Andres Mazkiaran, Product Manager Soraluce 

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