Softing opens connectivity to Siemens SINUMERIK 840D sl CNC machine tool automation solutions


Softing opens connectivity to Siemens SINUMERIK 840D sl CNC machine tool automation solutions so you can monitor performance and increase reliability

The SINUMERIK 840D is quite successful and commonly used in many machine tools for automation of milling, turning, grinding, nibbling, and punching technologies.

SINUMERIK 840D machine tool automation solution includes:

  • Display
  • NCU (numeric processing unit – the core processor
  • SIMATIC S7-300 PLC
  • SINAMICS drive
  • SIMOTICS motors

The SINUMERIK 840D CNC automation solution consists of SIMATIC S7-300 PLC, NCU (the core numerical processing unit for the entire CNC automation solution), SINAMICS drive, and SIMOTICS spindle motor including torque motor, linear motor, and servomotor.

Until now, you only had access to a few parameters like data blocks (Siemens DB data is used to create variables or functions for data organization and data transfer), alarms, and messages made available from the SIMATIC S7-300 PLC; the core NCU was inaccessible.



The NCU, however, is the heart of the entire CNC automation solution. The NCU communicates with the S7-300 PLC, the numeric core kernel, and the drives, to provide operating instructions and get feedback. The Softing Gateway, uaGate 840D, now gives you direct access to the NCU, so for the first time, you have access to extremely valuable operating and performance parameters.

For example, the Softing uaGate 840D gives you access to drive data, axis data, program data, tool data, and specific NCU alarms. As a result, uaGate 840D opens up data like spindle speed, override, actual distance, remaining distance of four axes, temperature, torque, and power consumption of all four motors connected to the drive modules in less than 100 msec.

This new information can now be used to integrate to third party applications such as HMI, SCADA, MES, or ERP via the OPC UA or the MQTT protocols for optimizing the machine tool process, increasing availability, reducing downtime, improving product quality, and reducing rework. 

The Softing uaGate 840D can also be used to acquire data from older SINUMERIK 840D CNC automation systems (version 4.3 or newer). The uaGate includes a preconfigured data symbol file (.awl file) for the standard use case based on one channel including four axes, and four drives, and the user does not require any specific SINUMERIK know-how for reading the data.

The uaGate 840D simply gets mounted next to each SINUMERIK NCU on a DIN rail and requires 24 VDC power supply. uaGate has two independent Ethernet interfaces, one addressing the CNC machine and the other addressing the IT network. Between these, the gateway acts as a firewall. The configuration is performed in just a few clicks using any web browser and the integrated web server.

Softing just opened up information from SINUMERIK 840D CNC automation solution because SINUMERIK machine tool users want access to this information to reduce downtime and improve quality.

Now customers can have conversations like, “The last time we saw variance in these parameters, the tool broke. Now, we are not repeating that scenario!” Or, “By increasing spindle speed, it’s true we can produce more in the short term, but we can now see it leads to more breaks. With uaGate 840D, we are optimizing the speed to maximize both production and spindle life.”

About the Author: Deane Horn is Director of Product Marketing and Product Management at Softing Inc.