50th Anniversary of Sinumerik
When Siemens introduced Sinumerik in 1960 as the industry’s first numerical control (NC), customers immediately realized a dramatic improvement in their productivity and flexibility. These end user benefits helped put Siemens on the map and provided a foundation that helped vault the company to the pinnacle of the mechanical engineering industry. Now celebrating its 50th birthday, the latest evolution of Sinumerik still delivers customer value making it one of the longest serving brands in the world.
“Sinumerik has made Siemens the leader of technology and innovations in the CNC field for fifty years,” said Uwe Frank, CEO of Siemens Motion Control Systems. “It started with the first NC, then progressed through the CNC with a microprocessor to the first CNC-integrated safety solution. We’re continuing to invest specifically in research and development so that we can keep on writing this success story in the future.”
The first path control was developed on the basis of separate electronic components. Shortly thereafter, versions 200 and 300 delivered control for turning, milling, grinding and nibbling, and for electro-hydraulic drives. Sinumerik 500C, the first computerized numerical control (CNC), was introduced in 1973. Advances in microprocessor technology enabled Siemens to offer a DNC network for universal program management and transfer for the first time in the mid 1970s. Sinumerik System 8 appeared three years later, a CNC with multi-channel capability and an integrated programmable logic controller (PLC). This innovation made the device suitable for drilling and nibbling machines in addition to turning and milling.
Meanwhile, Sinumerik was also getting smaller with Sinumerik Primo – a compact CNC, no bigger than a shoebox. Application-specific operator interfaces and graphic programming functions were introduced in the early 1980s and by the middle of the decade the principle of “openness” determined the design of subsequent CNC generations with machine manufacturers designing their own interfaces and adding their own images and menu trees. In the mid 90’s Sinumerik 840D, a CNC for the high-end of the performance range, introduced a digital drive link and an open NC kernel, which enabled the integration of software components and safety became a factor, with the launch of Sinumerik Safety Integrated, the first CNC-integrated safety solution. The years that followed saw the introduction of workshop-oriented graphical programming interfaces and the expansion of the Sinumerik family to include web-based condition monitoring and mechatronic support for machine simulation and virtual prototyping.
In 2005, Siemens presented the Sinumerik 840D sl, an open and innovative CNC for up to 31 axes, and the Sinumerik 802D sl, for turning and milling machines in the lower and mid performance ranges. Following that, Siemens expanded Sinumerik to deliver workpiece machining solutions for the entire CAD/CAM/CNC process chain. At the 2009 EMO trade show for machine tools, Siemens exhibited the compact Sinumerik 828D CNC as a solution for the JobShop market, Sinumerik Operate HMI as a standardized CNC HMI platform, and also the Sinumerik MDynamics technology package for high-speed / high-accuracy milling applications.
Today, customers use Sinumerik to network all areas of their production operation in order to exchange data between the development and design departments right through to actual manufacture on the CNC machines. Modular and scalable, contemporary Sinumerik automation systems incorporate multiple products for machine tools to continue to bring innovation and efficiencies to end user applications, whether deployed for use in standardized turning and milling machines, as a powerful drive-based CNC controller system, or as a PC-based solution.
“The evolution of Sinumerik really reads like the evolution of the industry, beginning with what we see today as somewhat simplistic capabilities and growing into today’s highly customizable, fully integrated open-architectures,” added Frank.
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