The machine builders for additive manufacturing (AM) must provide systems that are robust, easy to operate, and economical to purchase and maintain. For a persistent application of laser powder bed fusion L-PBF AM machines must be flexible to adopt to advanced materials and new sets of innovative part designs
Siemens DI has a wide range of automation and digitalization systems for machine builders for AM. Systems for L-PBF are being enhanced by AIXPATH’s new MCSW – Machine Control Software. MCSW is developed in close cooperation between Siemens and AIXPATH. The software provides machine builders of AM a flexible way to develop control software of 3D printers for metal, polymers and other specialized materials. MCSW bridges gaps for end users in their CAD-to-Part chain and significantly reduces efforts for machine builders in software engineering.
Details of the Systems
MCSW works at the top level in the hierarchy of the machine control and provides the integration among job preparation in CAD, AM process and machine controller. MCSW provides an OPC UA based module to integrate the automation and digitization systems provided by SIEMENS.
- Seamless integration of process controllers and laser scanners
- Integration with build preparation software Siemens NX.
- OPC UA server for integration of machine equipment
- Integration with TIA Engineering Portal is given. Support of SIMATIC SPS and HMI is provided
- Links your build job data to any L-PBF machine. Support for CLI and 3MF is given.
- Flexible choice of laser scanners and laser sources
MCSW provides individual modules for integration of controllers, laser scanners and lasers. The process flow logic for additive manufacturing is built into MCSW as a state machine model which makes an autonomous execution of build jobs possible. As before the machine builder uses the PLC to control diverse sub-systems on the machine. The SIMATIC S7 PLC is integrated into MCSW via the OPC UA server which is a part of MCSW. This OPC UA server also interfaces with the WinCC Unified HMI and is capable of processing and handling user inputs and interactions with the build job execution workflow. The OPC UA interface allows the MCSW to be connected into TIA Engineering Portal and configured for PLC and HMI. The laser scanner from SCANLAB is integrated. Additional support for diverse scanners is given.
A generalized interface to build jobs is provided by supporting 3MF build jobs and toolpath data formats. For an entirely new development MCSW maintains an internal format of build jobs data.
By utilizing AIXPATH’s extended integration and development services the time to market for a new AM machine is significantly reduced. In one such project Siemens and AIXPATH collaborated with company group Hamuel Reichenbacher to establish a first integration of machine hardware using the MCSW for a new design of L-PBF system.
The project is being conducted together with the following partners:
About Siemens DI
Siemens Digital Industries, with its headquarters in Nuremberg, Germany, has a workforce of around 78,000 employees worldwide. They are an innovation and technology leader in industrial automation and digitalization. In close cooperation with their partners and customers, Siemens DI is the driving force for the digital transformation in the discrete and process industries. As an innovation leader, Siemens DI integrates cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, edge computing, cloud computing, industrial 5G, blockchain and additive manufacturing into their Digital Enterprise portfolio. This is how they drive the convergence of information technology and operation technology and enable the smart usage of data.
About Hamuel Reichenbacher GmbH
Reichenbacher Hamuel GmbH is a subsidiary of the internationally renowned SCHERDEL Group. Since its foundation in 1954, Reichenbacher Hamuel has received prestigious national prizes and awards in recognition of its leading technological position. For instance, for its pioneering development of NC machines for the woodworking industry or due to its innovative and ground-breaking entry into 5-axis machining. Excellent skills and knowledge of what is technically possible: The workforce is highly motivated when it comes to manufacturing intricate CNC machining centers for timber, plastics, aluminum or composites. Around the world, more than 3,000 Reichenbacher Hamuel machines assure the highest level of reliability and productivity day in, day out.