Faster machining with artificial intelligence
Easy commissioning, comprehensive monitoring and perfect performance are the key topics at the FANUC trade fair stand (hall 9, stand A50) at EMO from 16 to 21 September in Hannover. Moreover, FANUC will be presenting a number of useful software tools and options. The iHMI user interface has been further optimised, whilst the PANEL iH Pro operating unit now incorporates more powerful hardware. The two control series 30i-B Plus and 0i-F Plus represent the next stage of innovation in terms of factory automation.
Under the heading of Smart Machining, FANUC offers new software solutions allowing to step up performance also using artificial intelligence (AI). During operation, the Smart Feed Axis Acceleration/Deceleration function determines the component’s current moment of inertia and adapts the optimal acceleration of the servomotor. The advantage becomes apparent when machining at a high chip removal rate, when the workpiece is significantly lighter at the end of the machining time and higher accelerations are possible. The Servo Learning Oscillation software function is especially helpful for turning operations and enables or facilitates extended automated operation. The function is used to make the tool oscillate to prevent the formation of long chips, requiring labour-intensive cleaning of the work area by staff.
At EMO, FANUC will be showcasing a whole package of new tools and functions. These innovations mostly aim at optimising the operational behaviour and maximising availability by providing enhanced condition monitoring. The Edge Analyzing Unit can also be retrofitted as a sub-assembly into existing machines. It provides synchronous recording of CNC and sensor data. The combination of the data and comparison to nominal data can be used for preventative maintenance purposes for example. Comparable information can be retrieved using the AI Servo Monitoring software option. This tool had been specifically developed for the analysis and evaluation of the machining spindle data. Now, FANUC has expanded the software, allowing to acquire data from all servo drives and drive assemblies of a machine. Artificial intelligence compares the recorded data with a normality score and suggests appropriate maintenance actions in case the adjustable thresholds are exceeded. This software is part of MT-LINK i, the software FANUC offers for the acquisition, evaluation and visualisation of machine data. To guarantee machining quality, surface finish and performance, FANUC offers the known software options Fine Surface Technology and Fast Cycle Time Technology which have been further evolved and refined and can now be supplemented by the 5-Axis Integrated Technology function. The Smart Rigid Tapping function used for thread cutting has also been improved. After cutting a thread hole, the spindle now exits the bore with maximum motor power. Field tests at FANUC have shown that this helps to achieve cycle time reductions of up to 35 percent.
Environmental protection is one of FANUC’s most important corporate principles. As a specialist in industrial automation and manufacturer of CNC controls, robots and machine tools, we work continuously to save energy and preserve nature. In the past fiscal year, FANUC reduced energy consumption in its production by 10.7 percent compared to the same period last year. The energy supply at FANUC’s headquarters in the Japanese city of Oshino was partly switched from kerosene to gas. The energy efficiency of FANUC products was also further increased.
Our corporate policy includes the promise of a ‘lifetime service’ to our customers. This means that we repair products and provide service for as long as our customers require. This also contributes to a positive environmental balance.
The iHMI user interface has been further enhanced and expanded and is now also available for the 0i-F Plus CNC series. With interactive presentations, FANUC will demonstrate simple and straightforward handling on two stations: iHMI Milling and iHMI Turning allow practical testing of operation and of new functionalities. The new features include functions for the preparation of machining (tool setup, programs and simulations), for the machining operation itself (easy operation) and for the optimisation and daily use with the Servo Viewer and Maintenance Manager. An important feature for machine operators in this context is the iHMI Maintenance Manager. Its functions and effects on maintenance will be presented on a special demonstrator at the stand. In addition to a new user interface, the 0i-F Plus CNC also provides new functions that are available as standard. Moreover, storage capacity has been increased to 2 MB. This provides benefits to both MTB and machine operators. FANUC Picture, for example, is an interesting feature allowing to customise the user interface.
Moreover, the Start-up Tool developed for the 0i-F series makes commissioning of a machine much easier. Important parameters for a machining operation and for motion control can be entered in advance on a PC using menu-driven functions (standard defaults for specific parameters) and can then easily be transferred to the CNC. FANUC has also upgraded the operating units: The PANEL iH Pro now has a 21.5’’ widescreen LCD and incorporates the latest generation processors. A practical feature for MTB: PC Unit and Display Unit can now be placed at separate locations on the machine. The display can be positioned at the front of the machine in a space-saving and visually appealing manner whilst the PC unit can be incorporated into the control cabinet. As a result, it becomes easier to integrate a second display unit into the machine housing at a different location, e.g. when needed at the back for tool change.