CNC advances: accuracy, precision for entry level, mid-range machines; advanced operator panels

Advances in CNC technologies include a Siemens Sinumerik 808D CNC for entry-level milling and turning machines, the Siemens Sinumerik 828D Basic for milling and turning machines in the mid-range job shop market, and the Siemens Sinumerik 19-in. CNC operator panel for advanced machine-tool applications.


Advances in CNC technologies include expanding product ranges to offer greater accuracy and precision for higher workpiece quality for more machine tool applications and markets. Some controls offer production status updates and monitoring via text messaging and greater human-machine interface capabilities, enhancing ease of use. Products include a Siemens Sinumerik 808D CNC for entry-level milling and turning machines, the Siemens Sinumerik 828D Basic for milling and turning machines in the mid-range job shop market, and the Siemens Sinumerik 19-in. CNC operator panel for advanced machine-tool applications.

Siemens Sinumerik 808D CNC for entry-level milling and turning machines

Siemens Sinumerik 808D CNC is for entry-level milling and turning machines. Courtesy: SiemensFor the job shop floor, the Siemens Sinumerik 808D, is an attractively priced computer numerical control (CNC) for entry-level milling and turning machines. Siemens developed this control for the highly competitive, high-volume 230 V, 3-phase, and economy machine tool market. With up to 3-axis plus spindle control capability in milling or turning applications, the 808D is offered as a package with Siemens Sinamics drives and Simotics motors.

The Sinumerik 808D is available for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) machine tool builders and in-the-field retrofit installation by Siemens business partners worldwide.

For machine-tool builders: This CNC has an IP65 enclosure; easy-to-load USB port; mechanical, hot and soft keys for easy, intuitive operation; clamp-mounted front panel; and a modular design that allows customizing by machine model or with out-of-the-box operation. Plus, the machine control panel is connected using plug-and-play technology via a simple USB interface. On a turning machine, the Sinumerik 808D provides high contour accuracy and maximum machine productivity on high-volume production runs. On a milling machine, the CNC offers machine builders of vertical machining centers all the benefits of the Siemens MDynamics velocity control for mold and die section work.

Standard features include a 7.5-in. LCD color display with 640 x 480 pixel resolution for easy reading, selectable function keyboard, rotary dials for speed and spindle override, LED tool number display, durable buffer battery and rear connection ports for USB, RS232 C, distributed and onboard I/O, setpoint to feed axes and spindle, spindle encoder, and fast I/O, such as for probes and handwheel operation.

Workpiece accuracy and repeatability are improved with 80-bit nano floating point accuracy and intelligent jerk limitation for smoother path cutting and less mechanical stress on machine structures. When turning with a C-axis changeover or milling mold sections where path control is paramount, the Sinumerik 808D has been designed to significantly heighten the performance level of basic machine tools.

With programGuide Basic, a wide range of predetermined technology cycles is available, in addition to the standard G-code and coordinate transformation language. Standard ISO codes also can be intermixed with high-level Sinumerik CNC commands on the 808D. The onboard contour computer further allows complex programs to be created and modified at the CNC without the need for a CAD/CAM system.

For routine or even online help with maintenance or troubleshooting issues, a simple push of a button is the only requirement, as the complete library of system parameters is accessible onscreen.

Commissioning is made easier with a ready-to-run PLC program. Customizing the PLC is simpler as well, with function and data blocks for program testing and debugging built in. The Sinumerik 808D further allows easy connection to the PLC I/O of other machine devices, whether proximate or remote. The open architecture of Siemens CNC has not been sacrificed on the 808D, so customized HMI screens and menu trees are easily defined and created.

Finally, the Manual Machine Plus (MM+) function on this new CNC enables transition from conventional machining to CNC programming. A machine equipped with MM+ can be operated using handwheels but with all the benefits of CNC-assisted technology cycles.

Siemens Sinumerik 808D has a 3-year warranty on parts and labor.

For end-users: In addition to the above features and benefits for the machine builder, shop operators and programmers alike will appreciate the Sinumerik 808D for its many end-user advantages, including simplified keyboard entry of all program values, named part programs in subfolders just like a PC, convenient shortcut keys to access tool offset lists or the Program Manager, intelligent jog features easily identified and graphically supported, precise tool handling and tool wear data readily available onscreen, and a powerful simulation routine. An operator can access all system information and obtain online help whenever needed.

The multimedia training materials include on-screen tutorial video and full step-by-step procedures to go from the blueprint to the finished part. For offline training, a fully operable software machine control panel on a PC is available to end users.

Sinumerik 828D Basic for milling and turning machines in the mid-range job shop market

Siemens expanded offerings with additional versions of its popular, compact CNC for the job shop, the Sinumerik 828D. Siemens Sinumerik 828D Basic T (turning) and Basic M (milling) CNCs enhance job shop performance in all segments of this market, the company said.

Siemens Sinumerik 828D Basic targets milling and turning machines in the mid-range job shop market. Courtesy: Siemens

Siemens Sinumerik 828D BASIC T is designed to address the needs of shop floor turning machines. It combines CNC, PLC, operator panel, and axis control for five axes/spindles, including live tooling. Milling and drilling operations on a turning machine, for face and peripheral surfacing, are possible. In tandem with the new Sinamics S120 Combi drives package, the 828D Basic T represents a new level of efficiency and virtually maintenance-free operation, as the fans, hard disks, and batteries of past CNC generations have been eliminated.

With a rugged die-cast magnesium front panel on an IP65 enclosure, the Basic T enables an Ethernet connection, USB, or Compact Flash (CF) card program loading. Standard features include an 8.4-in. color display for easy readability and simple QWERTY keyboard that provides fast ramp-up for the operator. Various communication ports in USB, Ethernet, Drive-CLiQ, PLC I/O interface, RS232 C, and NC inputs/outputs are available.

In operation, reliable 80-bit nano accuracy means contour control precision and a better workpiece, every time, while Siemens intelligent kinematic transformations provide the proper orientation of machining plane to work surface.

Though simple command language is provided for operator ease, the BASIC T functions with the highest level of ISO programming language. Established cutting cycles can be utilized with fully Animated Elements for the faster visualization of part production on various levels with combinations of Sinumerik CNC and ISO programming languages possible as well.

Siemens Sinumerik 828D Basic M class features the same quality performance as the T class, but for use on milling machines. Even in complex moldmaking operations, mirror-smooth surfacing and reduced machining times are enabled. Again, in tandem with the Sinamics S120 Combi drives package and Simotics feed and spindle motors, the 828D Basic T will operate a milling machine at the highest level of performance possible. Superior axis and spindle dynamics within a broad speed bandwidth yield quality workpieces, every time, the company said.

All the other benefits of the Siemens CNC family, including the Sinumerik Operate graphical user interface platform as well as ShopMill and ShopTurn easy programming, are offered in these new 828D CNCs.

Siemens Sinumerik 828D is capable of full graphical, high-level language command and supports ISO programming that is customary in the United States. This control family is ideal for single-part and small-batch production. Programming time can be further reduced for small-batch production with the use of the ShopMill and ShopTurn graphical workstep programming systems, while high-level language programming can be used in conjunction with programGuide to significantly reduce programming times for large-scale serial production.

Also included with this expansion of the Sinumerik 828D family of CNC, modern PC and mobile phone technology is also available for the mid-range machine tool. Extensive online help animations and a new type of input prompting system with moving picture sequences provide the basis for exceptional user convenience. USB, Compact Flash (CF) card, and Ethernet ports enable high-speed data transfers onto storage media or integration of the control system into corporate data networks.

Through the use of its Easy Message functionality, the Sinumerik 828D family offers production status monitoring by text messaging (SMS). Depending on the recipient’s profile settings, the machine tool can transmit information about workpiece machining status, report on the tool condition currently in use, and send machine maintenance bulletins to a mobile phone, anytime and anywhere. These combined functions are designed to help keep machine downtime to a minimum.

Siemens Sinumerik 19-in. CNC operator panel for advanced machine-tool applications

Siemens Sinumerik 19-in. CNC operator panel helps advanced machine-tool applications. Courtesy: SiemensSiemens OP 019 CNC operator panel has advanced technology to enable seamless design integration to the Sinumerik Operate graphical user interface and Sinumerik 840D sl CNC for use on high-end milling, turning, grinding, laser-cutting, and other machine tools.

With the benefit of modern touchscreen operation, this new Sinumerik operator panel OP 019, now extended to include the new Power Control Unit (PCU) 50.5, allows high-speed key actuation at the large 19-in. glass front, which conforms to the IP66 protection rating. Another new feature of the OP 019 design is the wide LEDs, which allow the operator to clearly visualize every key actuation, no matter the angle of vision, plus an integrated key lock that helps safeguard against operating errors. The new operator panel provides a basic machine display with three or four channels showing up to 13 axes. An operator gets the best overview with maximum detail on digitized drawings, owing to the 19-in. display with 1280 x 1024-pixel resolution.

The result of an advanced capacitive sensory system, glass contact buttons located on the perimeter of the display panel allow easy and reliable functionality, even when the operator is wearing gloves. With a compact yet powerful design, the OP 019 operator panel has a height of just 15.75 in. Parallel display of dual-channel or axis machine data is provided as well.

OP 019 panels are designed to quickly and easily replace existing Sinumerik display panels in the field.

About Siemens CNC

Siemens Industry Sector supplies innovative and environmentally friendly products, solutions, and services to industrial customers. With end-to-end automation technology and industrial software, vertical-market expertise, and technology-based services, the sector enhances its customers’ productivity, efficiency, and flexibility, the company said. With a global workforce of more than 100,000 employees, the Industry Sector comprises the Industry Automation, Drive Technologies, and Customer Services Divisions, as well as the Metals Technologies Business Unit.

The Siemens Drive Technologies Division supplies products, systems, applications, solutions, and services for the entire drivetrain, with electrical and mechanical components. Drive Technologies serves all vertical markets in the production and process industries, as well as the infrastructure/energy segment.

Siemens,  touting more than 50 years of CNC experience, introduced the new products at the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) in Chicago, September 2012.

- Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer, mhoske(at)


For more information about Siemens CNC solutions for the machine tool industry, visit the Siemens website:

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