Integrated control of industrial laser machinery
Siemens and SCANLAB agree to team up on machine control concepts
Siemens AG and SCANLAB GmbH are announcing their cooperation in the area of controlling industrial laser machines. The two companies have integrated the RTC6 scan head control board into the Siemens Simatic S7-1500 Controller for use in laser-based manufacturing applications. This integrated control solution is applicable across a wide array of laser processing methods, ranging from laser cutting, welding, marking and drilling all the way to laser sintering (additive manufacturing) and micro-machining. The combined control reduces effort associated with additional hardware and shortens required engineering time, thereby generating noticeable added value for machine builders and system integrators.
In recent years, laser processing has been a growth area of the machine building sector. Those complex processing machines consist of diverse OEM components. When different suppliers work together, users profit from reduced integration effort and elimination of unnecessary interfaces. Siemens and SCANLAB showcased their cooperation by presenting the joint control solution at formnext 2019.
The Simatic IPC427E Industrial PC from Siemens serves as the platform for this new approach to controlling laser processing machines. The RTC6 scan system control board is integrated into the hardware platform via APIs and direct connection to the Simatic S7-1500 Software Controller.
The PLC software’s functional components make ICE61131-3 conformant programming easy for machine builders. The common platform gathers all automation tasks onto one device, thus enabling faster queries thanks to fewer interfaces and a joint diagnostics concept. That makes the overall engineering effort more efficient. Furthermore, all components are system-tested, exceptionally robust and compliant with international norms and guidelines for industrial applications. This integrated control solution measurably increases both machine performance and processing quality.
The joint tradeshow demonstrator addressed all industrial users interested in a comprehensive automation approach for their systems. The demonstrator will now have a permanent home at the Siemens Additive Manufacturing Center (AMEC) in Erlangen, Germany. Future development steps include integration of virtual machine concepts for engineering, programming and virtual commissioning to enable preliminary testing assisted by a digital twin.
Siemens Digital Industries (DI) is an innovation leader in automation and digitalisation. Closely collaborating with partners and customers, DI drives the digital transformation in the process and discrete industries. With its Digital Enterprise portfolio, DI provides companies of all sizes with an end-to-end set of products, solutions and services to integrate and digitalise the entire value chain. Optimised for the specific needs of each industry, DI’s unique portfolio supports customers to achieve greater productivity and flexibility. DI is constantly adding innovations to its portfolio to integrate cutting-edge future technologies. Siemens Digital Industries has its global headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany, and has around 75,000 employees internationally.
With over 35,000 systems produced annually, SCANLAB GmbH is a world leading and independent OEM manufacturer of scan solutions for deflecting and positioning laser beams in three dimensions. Its exceptionally fast and precise high-performance galvanometer scanners, scan heads and scan systems find application in industrial materials processing and the electronics, food and beverage industries, as well as biotech and medical technology.
For over 25 years, SCANLAB has secured its international technology leadership through pioneering developments in electronics, mechanics, optics and software, as well as the highest quality standards.