ST 001-11 Lohr, 2011-08-29

CNC control as lever for productivity and energy efficiency

Andreas Jenke, Sales Manager Machine Tools at Bosch Rexroth AG

Andreas Jenke, Sales Manager Machine Tools at Bosch Rexroth AG

Machine tools have to be both precise and fast – because the shorter their cycle times, the higher their productivity. Another requirement, especially among end users, is energy efficiency, which is spurred by factors such as rising energy prices and tighter environmental regulations. Intelligent automation solutions are needed to meet these requirements effectively. The CNC control is an important factor in achieving these solutions.

Advanced CNC solutions support operators in optimizing their machines and machining processes, with a focus on both hardware and software. Rexroth has taken this into account in developing the new system version of IndraMotion MTX.

The CNC control sets the stage for higher productivity by executing programs significantly faster, which in turn reduces both machining times and auxiliary process times. Rexroth has achieved this productivity gain by using a multi-core processor in the IndraMotion MTX advanced control unit. The new development also reflects the increasing importance of universal machining centers, which are able to combine work steps involving different technologies without time-consuming shifting of the workpiece. Furthermore, the control offers enough computing power to realize grinding motions and defined corner rounding through spline interpolation for smoother transitions between movements. The possibility of affecting changes in acceleration on individual axes on a targeted basis also allows operators to conserve energy.

CNC control becomes a key element

For operators who keep an eye on their total cost of ownership (TCO), there’s no avoiding the topic of energy efficiency. The CNC control, combined with appropriate software tools and equipped with specific software functions, plays a central role in these considerations. The new system version of IndraMotion MTX features an energy monitoring function that documents energy use, which makes it transparent. Since a typical machine tool uses as much as 55% of its energy simply by staying ready for production, intelligent standby functions such as those integrated into all IndraMotion MTX product lines also make sense. These functions can successively shut down energy-intensive power units when production stops, using special function components and visualization elements.

With the analysis tools MTX cta (Cycle Time Analyzer) and MTX ega (Energy Analyzer), Rexroth is also providing operators with two more tools to optimize energy consumption and cycle times. Both tools are integrated directly into the NC kernel of the CNC control and record the motion duration and energy consumption for every NC block, so users can easily identify where there is potential for improvement.

Tapping into a machine’s full productivity and using energy intelligently also requires an approach to automation that utilizes the potential available in all drive and control technologies. This approach is also in line with the general tendency toward increasing convergence of different drive technologies. For example, in addition to its CNC control technologies, Rexroth’s portfolio also includes highly dynamic servo hydraulic drive technology. Variable-speed pump drives Sytronix help reduce energy consumption among machine tools, especially during clamping and tensioning functions. Users can combine electric and hydraulic axes for an optimum drive solution and integrate them easily into an application.

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