To help reduce energy costs in machine shops and mold companies, Siemens performed an energy analysis of individual machine tool components with the goal of achieving significant cuts in energy consumption through its Sinumerik Ctrl-Energy. With Sinumerik Ctrl-Energy, Siemens can provide a range of solutions for the energy-efficient operation of machine tools, encompassing its Sinamics drive systems and motors, CNC and drive functions, PC software solutions and services. Sinumerik Ctrl-Energy offers energy-efficient solutions covering every aspect of the machine’s lifecycle, starting from machine design and engineering through machine operation and partial or complete retrofit.
Using a simple ‘Ctrl’ and ‘E’ key combination on the operator panel, Sinumerik CNCs can provide a fast evaluation of the machine tool’s energy consumption and also manage energy consumption during machine downtime, according to Siemens. The ‘Ctrl-E Analysis’ function also enables the user to analyze the amount of energy that goes into machining every individual workpiece as the basis for machining strategy improvements. The Ctrl-E Profiles’ function provides a configuration platform for the management of the machine’s energy saving modes, helping to selectively shut down specific power loads during downtimes.
Additionally, the Siemens Sinamics S120 drive system allows dynamic energy management in the DC link and makes use of a highly efficient power recovery system, which initially stores generated braking energy in a DC link and optionally feeds it back into the grid rather than allowing the brake resistance to turn it into heat. Siemens noted that its Sinamics drives and Siemens motors have been design with a clear focus on energy efficiency aspects, allowing machine tools with these integrated drive modules to reach a high efficiency rating of 97-99%.
Sizer is the Siemens software tool used to configure energy-efficient drives by calculating energy consumption and losses incurred with the anticipated load cycles (ramp-up, idle running, running under load, braking, cycle times, etc.), as well as the influence of regenerative feedback, allowing the energy efficiency of alternative motor/converter combinations to be evaluated. Using this information, configuration of the feed and main spindle axes can be optimized in line with the process and the anticipated cyclical work flows. Sizer also helps users to avoid over-dimensioning, also in terms of infeed, and to minimize energy consumption.