Fanucs New Option for Machine Monitoring, Load Limiting

Oct. 13, 2011
iLimitS CNC software works via parameter settings, so there is flexibility for operators and programmers
The iLimitS CNC software option has user interface screens that are integrated into the CNC and provide access to all set-up and monitoring information, with no need for an external computer or extra hardware.

Fanuc Factory Automation has made available a new CNC software option that monitors several machine processes simultaneously, to protect the machine, its fixtures, and the parts. The iLimitS software monitors spindle load, spindle speed, and coolant flow for up to four devices: if the program detects an abnormal process it displays a warning or an alarm will stop the process before damaging the machine.

Fanuc FA America supplies Fanuc CNC systems and software for customers in North and South America, including control systems, drives and motors and CO2 laser devices. iLimitS is integrated into the CNC; it does not require an external PC. The monitoring function is established through parameter settings and activated by macro calls within the part program, so there is flexibility for operators and programmers.

According to Fanuc FA America engineering manager Paul Webster, the iLimitS option is supplied with monitoring parameters, and warning and alarm thresholds have a time delay before the limits and tolerances can be set. iLimitS samples the process at a rate of

In action, iLimitS compares sampled data to the user-defined threshold settings: when a violation is detected, the Fanuc machine interface (PMC) is signaled to stop the machining process. If an alarm is triggered, the operator must clear the condition before machining may resume. Also provided is a macro-interrupt mode that allows a customer-designated macro program to execute in the event of a monitoring alarm condition. In this way operators can take corrective actions programmatically, including sending a condition report for traceability.

“iLimitS is seamlessly integrated into the Fanuc CNC and provides a high degree of operational flexibility from basic spindle abnormal load monitoring to load, speed, and coolant monitoring with macro interrupt,” Webster stated.

Becuase iLimitS is embedded into the CNC, no external sensors are required when using a Fanuc serial spindle interface. For analog spindles and coolant monitoring, external sensors can be added as needed for the application.

iLimitS meets the GE Aviation P11TF12 specification requirements, and it supports applications ranging from simple spindle load-monitoring to process control and traceability. User interface screens are integrated into the CNC and provide access to all setup and monitoring information, with no need for an external computer or extra hardware.

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