Siemens CNC Modernization Services

If electronic failure is causing production downtime for your machine, Siemens modernization services such as replacing the CNC control, wiring, servos and drives may be in order. KRC’s Sales and Engineering staff will assist you in choosing the right Siemens CNC Control for your needs,  from the sophisticated Siemens 840D-SL to the user-friendly Siemens 828D control.

KRC has been integrating Siemens controls since 2006. We have unmatched skills and knowledge to create the best Siemens solution for you. All of KRC’s systems are engineered, assembled and tested before shipment. Our Siemens CNC retrofits can be integrated on-site at your facility with minimal machine downtime.

Our Siemens retrofit kits include:

  • Custom Siemens ladder design
  • New Siemens spindle and servo motors
  • New Siemens drives and I/O
  • Complete machine rewire
  • Operator and maintenance training
  • Complete digital documentation
  • Siemens CNC control integration

Siemens Retrofit Frequently Asked Questions

A CNC retrofit involves replacing the CNC control, servo and spindle motors, drives, electrical components along with the existing wiring on a machine. The machine tool will stay at the customer facility. The control kit and new electrical cabinet are built at KRC and shipped to the customer where KRC will perform the integration, startup, troubleshooting, and training onsite allowing us to keep downtime and transportation costs to a minimum.

The entire retrofit process typically takes 12-14 weeks from PO to runoff depending on the size and complexity of your machine tool. The amount of downtime you should expect during this process time is around 4 - 6 weeks depending on the machine configuration.  A 2 or 4-axis machine will take less time compared to a machine with additional complexities such as a large 5-axis gantry mill style machine. This down time occurs while KRC is onsite performing install, debug, calibration and training. 

A machine that is mechanically sound, but has outdated controls and or is no longer supported by the manufacturer. Another determining factor that customers need to consider is the replacement value of the machine.  We typically suggest retrofitting a machine only if it will cost 30% - 40% of the cost of a new machine. 

There are numerous benefits to retrofitting machine tools. Not only does a retrofit itself cost less money than a new machine, but retaining your existing machine design and build along with the familiarity of the machine will be beneficial to your manufacturing processes.  Other areas you will see benefits to your business include:

  • Eliminating transportation and rigging costs
  • Reduced time the machine is out of commission compared to the lead time on a new machine
  • Today’s controls are more forgiving of symptoms of mechanical error and with the right CNC control, you can electronically compensate for these errors in a worn machine
  • Faster part program cycle times due to more powerful CNC control processors
  • Better part finishes through new control options like tool tip programming

Here are the key areas where you can save money with a retrofit and help push profits to the bottom line:

  1. Reliability of the control system: With new wires, components, motors, the ability to run and have the machine available saves lost production time and costs.
  2. Part Finish: Some customers can see additional value in part finish and cycle time. The control allows the machine to become more accurate and because of the processor in the new control, you are able to machine the parts faster than before.  We had a customer that would hand polish and do debur work after they finished cutting a part.  This manual process took several hours to complete.  After a new control system, we greatly reduced that manual labor and took hours off of the production time.
  3. Performance: From a performance standpoint, some customers that take advantage of the new control features are saving somewhere between 20-30% in reduced cycle time.

This is a common question and is dependent of the type of control and machine type. Having the ability to laser comp the machine for linear axis positioning, we are able to help the customer tighten up the machine. We can also utilize the newer control features like tool center point control and nano smoothing, for example. When you compound these together with the processing time of the new control, you can expect greater accuracy and better finishing of the part.  KRC performs a linear axis comp with every machine as long as it is mechanically sound.  We cannot take a machine in bad mechanical shape and make it more accurate just with this process.

All of the retrofits performed by KRC come with a 1-year labor and parts warranty. The OEM (Siemens) adds an additional 1-year warranty for parts only.

In most cases, KRC does not offer the purchase of just a kit. There may be times where it makes sense under certain circumstances such as if certain personnel are not allowed to be inside a customer facility due to regulations. Why we would not recommend the purchase of a kit only, is that most people do not have the discipline to take the machine down for the amount of time necessary to complete the job.  This would result in the project taking longer and the customer would end up paying more in the long run.  Allowing KRC to handle the entirety of the project, customers get to utilize our 30 years of experience, our training, and our laser calibration equipment.  Retrofitting is successful when you are able to take advantage of the total solution.  We are open to discuss this as an option as long as we feel in the end it will be the right solution for the customer.

Siemens Solutions Partner

KRC is a Siemens Solution Partner,  which means we demonstrate the highest level of product knowledge, engineering, installation and support to Siemens customers for CNC modernization.

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Many clients rely upon KRC Machine Tool Solutions because we overcome difficult challenges with sound, simple results. We’ll meet your timeline and surpass your objectives. Contact us for more information about our specialty machine solutions.