This year marks the 50th anniversary of Sinumerik, the world’s first industrial numerical control (NC). Brought to market by Siemens in 1960, the first path control was developed on the basis of separate electronic components. Further advancements led to the debut of the Sinumerik 500C, the first computerized numeric control (CNC), in 1973, initially only for turning and milling applications.
In the mid ‘70s, the advent of inexpensive microprocessors prompted the development of a DNC network for program management and transfer. Shortly thereafter, the company introduced the Sinumerik 8, a CNC with multi-channel capability and an integrated programmable logic controller (PLC) that was suitable for not only turning and milling, but also drilling and nibbling machines.
Later years saw the development of application-specific operator interface and graphic programming functions, the ability for machine manufacturers to design their own operator interfaces, and the first CNC-integrated safety solution.