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FANUC Demonstrates New PLC/CNC Motion Controller

by Pieter Werner

FANUC is set to reveal its new Power Motion i-MODEL A Plus (PMi-A Plus) motion controller at MODEX 2024 in Atlanta, Georgia. FANUC, traditionally recognized for their CNC machine tool controls and servo technology, is extending its technology to include general motion control equipment with the introduction of the PMi-A Plus.

The exhibit at MODEX will showcase the PMi-A Plus in action, controlling FANUC’s new Alpha i-D Series Servos and Drives as part of an Automatic Storage Retrieval System (ASRS). The demonstration is set to feature the PMi-A Plus coordinating seven axes at once, in conjunction with a FANUC CRX-10iA collaborative robot. The focus of the demonstration is to illustrate the PMi-A Plus’s capability in accurately managing complex tasks in real-time, including varied product handling by the collaborative robot.

Jon Heddleson, General Manager of FANUC America’s Factory Automation, comments on the demonstration, noting its significance in illustrating the integration of FANUC’s factory automation and collaborative robot product lines. He highlights the demonstration as an example of how FANUC’s products can be used together in automated warehouse operations.

An important aspect of the demonstration is the use of FANUC’s Robot ON-SITE, which simplifies the process of connecting a FANUC collaborative robot or robot to a FANUC CNC. This platform allows for the connection of up to four FANUC collaborative robots or robots to a single CNC, facilitating more advanced production processes.

The PMi-A Plus serves as the central controller for the automated setup, eliminating the necessity for an additional programmable logic controller. The display will also feature FANUC’s new industrial PC (iPC), designed to provide a durable touchscreen interface with improved processing speed and secure connectivity. The interface is made user-friendly with the aid of FANUC Picture, a tool for creating custom graphical screens.

Designed to handle multiple tasks, the PMi-A Plus can control multiple industrial devices and run several programs both simultaneously and independently. It supports up to 32 control axes, divided into up to 10 independent control paths, with each path able to manage a maximum of 24 axes and four axes of simultaneous motion. The PMi-A Plus’s functionalities allow for flexible motion control, utilizing feedback based on position, speed, torque, or pressure. This makes it suitable for a range of applications, including filling, winding, printing, packaging, stamping, and others.

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