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Siemens, DMG Mori, Walter and Trak Machine Tools Collaborate on Part Manufacturing

By Siemens Industry Inc. Press Release
Siemens eRod EV equipped with the lightweighted steering knuckle.

Siemens Industry Inc., together with DMG Mori USA, Walter USA LLC and Trak Machine Tools, has announced a new collaboration in the world of software, machine tool building, tooling hardware and machine tool CNC automation.

According to the company, the new digital thread leverages technologies from all four companies, beginning with Siemens NX software to generate the initial design, taking operating parameters of an electric vehicle and using them to drive the development of an optimal part design for a critical suspension component with integrated generative engineering tools like design space exploration. During the “design for additive manufacturing” phase, the part concept is validated using structural simulation technologies and optimization is performed to not only ensure that its performance requirements are met, but also to optimize the manufacturing processes available to produce it, the company says.

The next phase, process planning, demonstrates how manufacturing plans are developed with Teamcenter software and Opcenter software. According to the company, this helps manufacturers automate programming by applying their own standard CNC programming, inspection path methods, tools and program templates, and ensures that correct revisions of parts are programmed and measured on the shop floor.

Capabilities in NX CAM such as 5-axis simultaneous programming, cloud-based post-processing and integrated simulation help prepare the part for both additive manufacturing using Ti6Al4V powder on a DMG Mori LASERTEC 30 DUAL SLM Selective Laser Melting machine, and finishing using a DMU 85 monoBLOCK 5-axis machining center by DMG Mori equipped with the SINUMERIK 840D sl CNC system for a two-step machining process.

Walter’s tooling hardware will be used for both the finishing and cut-off operations to ensure the required tolerances are met, the company says. Machining of additive manufactured titanium presents challenges beyond the usual ones encountered in machining titanium components. Among the challenges addressed in the machining solution developed for the component are 3D printed Ti6Al4V stock material, removing support structures that tend to be more brittle than the bulk material, difficult to access features, and minimizing vibration during machining, the company says.

When evaluating the entire assembly, Siemens says the design team determined that certain components could still be manufactured more efficiently with traditional subtractive processes. Specifically, the spindle, designed in NX, lends itself to a traditional turning process; however, by utilizing Run MyVirtual Machine, the digital twin of the CNC control, it was possible to add a Trak Machine Tools TC820si turning center in the overall digital manufacturing process, the company says. The spindle was virtually programmed in the SINUMERIK ONE control utilizing ShopTurn conversational programming and validated with the TC820si’s 3D twin.

To close the loop, quality control and production preparation will be carried out using automated CMM processes driven by dimension and tolerance data captured and stored using Product Manufacturing Information and leveraged within NX CMM Inspection Programming software to ensure that the part is within the tolerances expected and ready for assembly, the company says. During final assembly, the more traditional spindle component is married to the newly optimized knuckle and installed on the Siemens eRod.

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