How SINUMERIK conquered new continents


Germany meets Australia: More than three decades ago, Reinhold Schwulera set out to look for new partners for SINUMERIK in the Asia region and Australia. That's where he discovered the automation specialist CNC Design and its founder Bruce Rowley. Together they shared a common path leading from the SINUMERIK 8 to SINUMERIK ONE.

Oftentimes, the importance of a particular step can only be recognized in retrospect. "To be honest, you sometimes make decisions like that in your life without being aware of the implications" beams Bruce Rowley, founder of CNC Design Australia, more than 30 years later with a broad smile on his face. "We were looking for a partner in the Asia Pacific and Australia Region", adds the former Siemens engineer Reinhold Schwulera. "And ended up finding new friends as well!" 

Searching for expertise 

It was in 1988 that Reinhold Schwulera in his then capacity as General Manager for Power Engineering & Automation and CNC Design founder Bruce Rowley first met up. "One of our goals was to grow the business for automation technology in Asia Pacific and Australia", recalls Reinhold Schwulera. "And that's why we needed experts over there." At that time, Siemens Australia had no know-how in the business with controls and drives for machine tools. The choice fell on the CNC Design company, a young enterprise headquartered in Melbourne, which not only offered the required professional expertise and familiarity with the branch, but was also passionate about technology.

My wish for SINUMERIK is that it maintains its position as a leading global brand.
Reinhold Schwulera, former General Manager for Power Engineering & Automation 

Bruce Rowley founded CNC Design in 1984. Among other things, the company specializes in retrofitting and helps end customers to optimize their older machine tools with modern controllers from Siemens. When CNC Design signed an agreement with Siemens in 1989, only a handful of employees belonged to the team. That all changed with Siemens as its new partner. "That's one of the beauties of the machine tool industry," grins Bruce Rowley. "It’s a very international business." Today, CNC Design has a staff of around 184 and offices in Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, New Zealand and the US. 

Close cooperation and openness – a recipe for success

The two companies teamed up closely in the subsequent years. The basis for their successful partnership was close interpersonal contact, right from the start. "We always said to Siemens: Please treat us as if we were another Siemens office", explains Bruce Rowley. "If you don’t like the way we respond, just let us know. If you are not happy with us, tell us." And with a sparkle in his eyes, he adds: "Now that he's retired I can tell Reinhold was very direct and had a clear vision of what he wanted us to do. We appreciated that, because it gave us a sense of purpose. Reinhold was our mentor." 

SINUMERIK as a leading global brand

Since the initiation of the Siemens and CNC Design partnership, the automation branch has developed in leaps and bounds. The first machine tool controlled with a SINUMERIK that Bruce Rowley operated was a nibbling machine with SINUMERIK 8. "I was immensely impressed by the power and capabilities of SINUMERIK at the time," he recalls. "And I still hold the same opinion."

SINUMERIK ONE is basically revolutionizing machine building. 
Bruce Rowley, Founder of CNC Design Australia

SINUMERIK ONE marks the beginning of a new era. It enables the desired machine tool with all its functions to be virtually simulated before it is actually built. In this way, CNC Design is currently constructing a 3D printing machine for the aerospace industry. We simulate the whole 3D-process with SINUMERIK ONE. ", explains Bruce Rowley. "That’s really exciting."


Reinhold Schwulera retired seven years before the SINUMERIK ONE was launched. Leaving a successful business partnership behind him, his friendship with Bruce Rowley still exists today.