OptoTech Optikmaschinen: Revealing details from space

Projects & Success Stories

OptoTech Optikmaschinen GmbH has brought the world’s biggest and most advanced precision optics machine to market. The UPG 2000 CNC is used to produce high-precision telescope mirrors with diameters of up to two meters for space exploration. The machine works with a precision of 30 nanometers: 0.00003 millimeters.

This giant is packed full of industry software, control and automation technology from Siemens. The OptoTech engineers used NX, the integrated CAD/CAE/CAM portfolio from Siemens PLM Software for digital design and verification, to first develop the machine on a computer screen. This “virtual machine” was then analyzed, simulated, and optimized by the employees at Siemens Mechatronic Support.

Control is handled by a SINUMERIK 840Dsl, the latest generation of the CNC control system. Its user interface was adapted specifically for the needs of OptoTech. A SINAMICS S120 drive is responsible for the exact movements of the eight-axis ultra-precision grinding and polishing machine. The control system and drive are interconnected with a Drive-CliQ bus.

The commissioning of the machine was aided by several Siemens service engineers, and a number of technical consultants supported the project as well. The result of such excellent collaboration was a surface precision of 3µm over a diameter of about 1.5 meters. This precision is the prerequisite for using the machine in the astronomy industry.

In Siemens, OptoTech found a partner capable of combining innovative software with powerful hardware for its unparalleled optical machine. Thanks to the virtual planning and optimization of the high-precision machine, OptoTech can work closely with scientists and policy makers to quickly meet the needs of the world market – right in Germany.