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Industrial Machinery Digest | August 2017 


CNC today allows spindle condition monitoring , adaptive control and part production "learning" entirely  through software developments

Over the recent years, the evolution of such concepts as condition monitoring and adaptive control have been substantial.

Condition monitoring, as the name implies, watched the relationship between theoretical and actual speeds and feeds, making preprogrammed or set adjustments, as needed. Adaptive control was the next iteration, as the CNC would detect subtle differences in tool and workpiece conditions and adjust the cutting "on the fly" as the cycle proceeded.

In the advanced world of highly complex, non-linear shapes found in the aerospace and especially the medical/ortho markets, the transformation orientation concept took the computation of the cutting path to a whole new level, basing it on the tool tip relationship to the workpiece, combined with a look-ahead function. Additional sensing hardware and probes were required and are still, today. 

However, a recent development has come over the horizon that is based purely on software. This software is loaded into the CNC, provides custom screens to the programmer, operator and maintenance personnel. It monitors all spindle digital signals and literally "learns" the cutting condition, adapting the motor, drive, feed and spindle speed accordingly to compensate for a variety of conditions, including workpiece material variances, distance to workpiece, cutting tool wear and more.

While additional sensors are still required to monitor vibration and tension, most other conditions are detected by the software, in process as the first parts are cut. The software adapts to any cutting machine, regardless of axes involved.


As a result, this new software development is geared more for the productions department, but also for the mid-sized job shop or contract manufacturer producing a few hundred pieces. With the cost of software today, plus the fact this add-on can be done on a single machine up to a full work cell or production line with dozens of "identical" machines involved. In that latter case, each machine learns on its own and makes adjustments in process, with all data available to the upstream control operation.

In practical terms, the software can drive cycle time reductions, prevent tool overload and breakage, extend tool life and protect the tool, spindle and machine, all the while furnishing real-time reporting.

The software allows full motion programming, automatically compensates feed and spindle speed, plus it provides all the background data screens in real time for instant monitoring or adjustments. As a result, with the ongoing movement towards digitalization in the shops and factories of today's competitive environment, such software can enable stats to be extracted from machines worldwide for a multi-national manufacturer or a machine tool builder looking to do comparative analysis on its installed base.

In addition, the emergence of the cloud as a viable business platform today enables the CNC builder to interact with the machine builder and end user communities in ways never imagined, just a decade ago. This new software, for example, can be monitored by the CNC provider to track real-time spindle conditions in tandem with the machine builder for design improvement possibilities, as well as the end user for OEE data gathering.

The proper care and "feeding" of your spindles can help keep your machines happy companions to your production process. For more information on this latest in CNC, give me a call.

About Randy Pearson

Randy Pearson, a long-time veteran of the machine tool industry, is a Siemens International Business Development Manager. His special interests include the many levels of training on CNC machine tools, which he conducts through the various seminars, workshops and classes the company conducts with machine tool builders and dealers, at vocational/technical schools and onsite at shops, as well as at the Siemens training facilities around the country. If you have questions or comments on this article or CNC general, Randy can be reached at (800) 879-8079 or (847) 640-1595. His email is

About Siemens USA

Siemens Corporations isU.S subsidiary of Siemens AG, a global powerhouse focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world's largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of systems for power generation and transmission as well as medical diagnosis. With approximately 348,000 employees in more than 190 countries, Siemens reported worldwide revenue of $86.2 billion in fiscal 2015. Siemens in the USA reported revenue of $22.4 billion, including $5.5 billion in exports, and employs approximately 50,000 people throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico.


The Digital Manufacturing  and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) @ UI LABS | June 2017


What if a machine could respond to its environment and adjust production accordingly, without the need for manual intervention?

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A suite of hardware and software solutions from Omative Systems is proving that it’s possible to increase productivity and extend cutting-tool life by making machines “intelligent.” A demonstration showed the company’s technology dramatically reduced cycle time on standard cutting equipment—the type of machines used by small and medium-sized manufacturers across the country.

Omative’s solutions enable a machine to adapt to changing conditions on its own—reacting to misloaded or new material, and responding to pressure to speed up or slow down its cutting to prevent tool breakage. The steel-cutting demo, completed on the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDII) manufacturing floor at UI LABS, showed the impact of Omative’s adaptive control monitoring solutions when applied to a Bulova three-axis standard CNC machine.

Using pressure and vibration monitoring, Omative’s hardware allows machines to operate at peak efficiency, speeding the time to make a part, and enabling more part production in a shorter period of time. The demonstration at UI LABS showed a 20 percent reduction in production time, a figure with positive financial implications for manufacturers.

Importantly, this time savings was accomplished without the need for an engineer to manually manipulate the machine’s G-code—the instructions that tell a machine how to operate. When he or she changes those commands, it adds time to the process and can introduce errors.

A typical machine would continue to operate at a steady rate until its cutting tools break from overuse. In contrast, an intelligent machine can respond to pressure—which goes up as tools wear down—to adjust its speed to prolong tool life, saving manufacturers money in replacement tool parts. It can also adapt to misloaded or changed material that could otherwise lead to tool fracture.

While the UI LABS demonstration involved Bulova equipment, Omative’s technology can be applied to virtually any type of machine. Factories across the country stand to benefit from making existing machinery smarter, without the need to replace equipment they already own.





(Springfield, OH) – Konecranes Machine Tool Service will partner with Omative Systems North America to distribute a range of advanced machining technologies in the United States and Canada.

Konecranes Machine Tool Service, the nation’s leader in machine tool maintenance, rebuilding, retrofitting and repair services for all types and brands of machine tools, will represent several innovative products developed by Omative Systems. These include software-based, real-time systems for adaptive machining, vibration monitoring, machine maintenance and shop floor production management.

“We have just consummated an agreement to sell these productivity enhancement and maintenance troubleshooting tools to our customers, and also to provide service and perform installations for Omative’s customers when needed,” says Harold Schoch, Konecranes Machine Tool Service’s Vice President, Sales.

This agreement constitutes a key alliance between two global companies. Omative Systems products are used worldwide throughout the metal-cutting industry and have been increasing productivity and protecting tools for decades, with a strong following in the automotive, aerospace, power generation and machine production industries. Rising customer demand for their most recent range of products made it advantageous for Omative to involve Konecranes Machine Tool Service as a strategic partner. Konecranes Machine Tool Service is a division of Konecranes, a world-leading group of lifting businesses that includes the world’s largest overhead crane service network.

According to Schoch, Konecranes Machine Tool Service seeks out relationships with companies that are best-in-craft leaders offering state-of-the-art products.

“Omative has products that we are excited about, and this relationship will allow us to promote several high-end technologies to our customers,” says Schoch. “Their ACM product for adaptive control monitoring of CNC machines not only captures data, it also makes real-time adjustments to the machine that increase productivity and prolong tool life.”

The ACM system monitors the feed rate, speed and torque that the spindle experiences while cutting, and makes adjustments to the feed based on the resistance that the spindle is exposed to. The ACM solution enhances productivity, reduces machining costs and ensures consistently high workpiece quality.

On another front, Omative’s VCM vibration monitoring system is a leading technology that enables shops to avoid catastrophic tool breakage. In less than one millisecond, VCM can signal the machine to perform an emergency stop, keeping collision-related damage to the machine, spindle and workpiece to a minimum. Konecranes Machine Tool Service will offer these products as options on every CNC control retrofit they perform, along with Omative’s solutions for Shop Floor Information Management and Opti-Green for reduced energy consumption of various machine components. 

“This relationship is a win-win situation for both companies,” said Mark Zuckerman, President and CEO of Omative Systems. “We seek to work with partners who can bring value to us and who we can bring value to as well. That’s how I see this relationship with Konecranes Machine Tool Service–a natural partnership of two companies providing unique services, who together can deliver today’s best options for machine tool productivity and support.”

Additional information:
Chelsea Wright, Marketing Specialist and Communications Coordinator,
Region Americas or 937.525.5533.

About Konecranes, Inc.
Konecranes is a world-leading group of Lifting Businesses™, serving a broad range of customers, including manufacturing and process industries, shipyards, ports and terminals. Konecranes provides productivity-enhancing lifting solutions as well as services for lifting equipment and machine tools of all makes.

In 2015, Group sales totaled EUR 2,026 million. The Group has 11,900 employees at 600 locations in 48 countries. Konecranes is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki (symbol: KCR1V).