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Choosing the Right FANUC Control for a Retrofit

FANUC 30i Series

FANUC 0i Series

A Hillyer-Kingsbury machining center retrofitted by CNC Engineering, Inc. with a FANUC 0i control.

CNC Engineering, Inc., a FANUC authorized CNC systems integrator, offers an overview of FANUC controls for customers considering a retrofit.

"FANUC is the world leader in CNC and factory automation, with more than 3 million CNCs installed worldwide," said a CNC Engineering spokesperson. "The 3xi, 0i-F and 35i Series CNC systems feature the industry's longest mean time between failure rate and a lifetime commitment to replacement part availability and support.

"New features introduced to the FANUC Series 0i-F CNC platform bring it closer to the Series 3xi family of controls, in terms of standard features and options. By comparison, the FANUC Series 35i platform, introduced in 2012, is primarily a motion control system. Naturally, there are significant differences between these FANUC CNC systems, which should be taken into consideration when choosing the best control for a machine tool retrofit."

FANUC Series 30i-B/31i-B5

"The 30i/31i-B5 controls, FANUC's most powerful controls, are designed for the most complex machine tools supporting 5-axis simultaneous and/or multi-path applications combining milling and turning," said the spokesperson. The primary difference between the two is that the 30i-B control is capable of supporting 72 axes and 15 paths for transfer line and rotary dial machines, while the 31i-B5 control offers support for 20 axes and 4 paths. Both controls offer a variety of additional options, tailoring the control system to the application. Common options include 8 MB of part program storage, 999 tool offsets, Advanced AI Contour Control 2 (AICC2) for high-speed applications, 16 GB Data Server, 1,000 pair Tool Management, a wide range of 5-axis options and more. The 30i and 31i-B5 controls are typically used on machines in the most demanding applications.

FANUC Series 31i-B/32i-B

The 31i-B and 32i-B series controls bring the same high performance of the 3i-B family to single and multi-path applications requiring up to 4-axis simultaneous machining. Up to 4 paths with 16 axes or 2 paths with 10 axes are available for support of milling, turning and peripheral axis operation, such as built-in loaders. Part program resolutions to 1 nm (31i-B) or 10 nm (32i-B) are available. "Combined with many of the other high performance features of the 3xi-B family, the 31i-B and 32i-B paired with FANUC servos and spindles can be excellent investments for the retrofitting of larger, classic, well-built machines and are typically capable of providing more versatile performance than the original systems," said the spokesperson.

FANUC Series 0i-F

"Today's 0i-F control, part of the 0/0i family, is the most popular FANUC control and probably the best value FANUC control for general market machines," said the spokesperson. The 0i-F control comes with many standard features, supports 9 servo axes (four simultaneously), has up to 2 MB of part program storage, a maximum of 400 tool offsets and AICC1. "The latest version of the 0i-F CNC has more standard features than ever before and makes available many additional features that were previously available on only higher level systems. General machining centers with 4 axes or less and the standard lathes are good candidates for a FANUC 0i-F control retrofit," said the spokesperson.

FANUC Series 35i

"The 35i-B control platform provides basic machining functions and axis motion for specialty applications. The 35i-B supports 16 servo axes, includes up to 1 MB part program storage and a maximum of 200 tool offsets, drilling cycles and tool radius compensation. Dual Check Safety, Robot Connection and variety of field bus options are available for use in cell applications. The 35i-B also provides a very cost-effective motion system for machine builders and retrofitters providing custom PC based front-ends," said the spokesperson. For example, when partnered with a grind-specific front-end software package such as Open Vision Grind, the 35i control is a good fit for simple I.D./O.D. grinding operations. For these applications, Open Vision Grind handles most of the grinding functionality and the 35i-B providing the highly reliable motion control system.

"An experienced FANUC Integrator should be able to easily determine which control is best after reviewing the machine and manufacturing process," said the spokesperson.

For more information contact:

CNC Engineering, Inc.

19 Bacon Rd.

Enfield, CT 06082


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