Integrated Control of Industrial Laser Machinery

Siemens and Scanlab have announced 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 micromachining.

Simatic IPC427E Industrial PC with intelliSCAN scan head and integrated RTC6 control board, and Simatic S7-1500 software controller, Simatic HMI. (Source: Scanlab)

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. For the first time, a joint demonstrator will be exhibited next week at the Formnext 2019 tradeshow (Siemens Booth, Hall 12.1 – Booth D81), Frankfurt.

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.

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 addresses all industrial users interested in a comprehensive automation approach for their systems. Afterward, the demonstrator will find 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. (Source: Scanlab)

Links: Industrialize Additive Manufacturing, Siemens Aktiengesellschaft, Munich, GermanySCANLAB GmbH, Puchheim, Germany

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