The power of digitalization in manufacturing


Edge computing for SINUMERIK

Siemens Machine Tool Days 2020

A combination of hardware and software, Siemens’ Industrial Edge for machine tools provides a machine-oriented platform for apps that facilitate digital  production support and optimization.

CNC-independent, additional computing power

The process-related data constantly arising in the course of digitalization are analyzed by means of algorithms and apps. In the best case, the results obtained can directly support and optimize production. However, this requires considerable computing power — and a CNC is usually unable to provide it without jeopardizing process stability and quality.

Combining data and computing power

With Industrial Edge, Siemens has created an IT concept that brings the data from production and manufacturing together with globally qualityassured digitalization functions on locally installed Edge computers that are precisely tailored to the relevant digitalization task. Edge computers allow high- frequency CNC data to be recorded, pre-processed, and analyzed locally, in real time, and with virtually no impact on the CNC. At the same time, with their Internet connection, the computers are “on the edge” of the cloud.

The hardware: Edge devices

Edge devices from Siemens are powerful, standardized industrial PCs with a Linux-based operating system that is specifically designed for connection to clouds and controllers. CNCs are connected to Edge computers such as these via a local high-performance interface in the plant network. With a second interface, the Edge computer is connected to the network present in all modern production plants.

Cloud based app distribution

Using apps, the management, system maintenance, and provision of necessary digitalization functions are carried out online using the MindSphere industrial cloud platform. This globally accessible, open IoT operating system offers, alongside an online memory and computing power, extensive service, technology, logistics, and management functions, including software distribution and much more — all in accordance with the strictest data protection and security guidelines, of course. The apps that support on-site production on the Edge devices are installed and kept up to date via MindSphere.


Side effect: Machine tool administration becomes easier

Because they are (indirectly) connected to MindSphere, the machine tools supported by Industrial Edge for machine tools  are simple to administrate and manage. Thanks to the Edge computer’s connection to MindSphere, it is possible to use “traditional” cloud-based services where required — for example needs-based maintenance, or fleet management of manufacturing centers.

Seamless integration to SINUMERIK Operate

The architecture of Industrial Edge for machine tools is designed for the complex computing processes of three, five, and multi-axis, as well as multi-channel, path and motion control. The apps’ operator interface fits seamlessly into SINUMERIK Operate. For example,Edge-based trochoidal milling can be called up directly from the cycle and program editors in Operate using the “Optimize MyMachining /Trochoidal” app, being operated and parameterized in exactly the same way (see this article).


However, the complex algorithms behind the function do not place strain on the CNC as they run on the Edge computer.



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