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Is probing possible on Fanuc 6m or not? Does anyone have a probe on these oldies?

mcv410

Plastic
Joined
Apr 5, 2023
Question: is it possible to install probing on the good old Fanuc 6M or not?

The ultimate relief for me would be that someone says, yes, we have it, or we also tried and it's a no go. Then I can sleep.

For the past week or so I have been communicating with Fanuc and the MTB for my old, but very nice, mill with Fanuc 6MB.

It is a bit weird..... Fanuc said I just need skip cutting option to be enabled (A02B-0051-J807) with no mention about it not being do-able. However, I need to follow up with the machine builder. When I did so, MTB said the control is too old and cannot support probing. The wiring appears to be intact and working, namely, diagnostic bit 6 on 043 (skip) will toggle with a push button connected to test and macro B is working. I have been told it might be able to simply change a parameter, but I do not want to do that until I know for sure the change is reversible without consequences (ie., not to reinitialize the memory or anything unpleasant).

Searching this forum I found only one mention of probing on the 6, but that's it. Youtube/google similarly turns up nothing.

The intent is to speed up workflow on an older machine.
 

gkoenig

Titanium
Joined
Mar 31, 2013
Location
Portland, OR
Why don’t you use the push-button and write a simple G31 line you can manually trigger to see if it works? If you have that and Macro B, this is a done deal.
 

mcv410

Plastic
Joined
Apr 5, 2023
In MDI G31 returns the alarm 010.... telling me the skip cutting "option" is not enabled. From this point I started pursuing the option with with the vendors mentioned above.
 
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mcv410

Plastic
Joined
Apr 5, 2023
NC parameter 300 is set as 00010110.

It has been suggested to me to change bit 7 to a 1 and report back regarding G31 alarm. Machine is busy for the next day, also I am hoping to double check that I can tinker with this.

I was under the impression NC parameters 000-004 and 300-305 are "special," and precautions need to be followed (which precautions I don't know). Is this true? Certainly hard to find info on these parameters.

BTW, I have read and used a lot of your info from other postings relating to Fanuc controls - thank you
 

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Vancbiker

Diamond
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Location
Vancouver, WA. USA
Set 300 to 00011110.

Parameters in the ranges you mentioned are options and configuration parameters. Some functions may not be supported by all firmware versions. I don't have info on what firmware supports what options for the 6 series controls.
 
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DouglasJRizzo

Titanium
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
Location
Ramsey, NJ.
In addition to the G31 Skip Function, you'll need the Macro B option and, depending on the machine, you may need a memory upgrade.
Be aware that on some early 6M controls, the Macro B is not merely a software option but required a completely different hardwired keyboard. I've seen them where the buttons to access the Macro were not present and Fanuc had stated that a new key board/crt combo might be needed.
 

angelw

Diamond
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Location
Victoria Australia
I've seen them where the buttons to access the Macro were not present and Fanuc had stated that a new key board/crt combo might be needed.
Hello Douglas,
When the keypad doesn't support the Macro symbols, the Macro Programs can be created externally and uploaded to the control. The keypad is not a completely, necessary component.

Regards,

Bill
 

Vancbiker

Diamond
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Location
Vancouver, WA. USA
In addition to the G31 Skip Function, you'll need the Macro B option and, depending on the machine, you may need a memory upgrade.
Be aware that on some early 6M controls, the Macro B is not merely a software option but required a completely different hardwired keyboard. I've seen them where the buttons to access the Macro were not present and Fanuc had stated that a new key board/crt combo might be needed.
In post 1, the OP said Macro B is working.
 

13engines

Stainless
Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Location
Saint Paul, MN
An important part of this subject not mentioned yet is the processing speed of the 6 control. I had a post awhile back about getting a probe going on a mid/late 90's OMC control. It works, but compared to my 18MC machine it's extremely lethargic. Again... extremely. It would not be an exaggeration to wildly guess that the 18 processes the Macro Routines 10 times faster. There are long pauses on the OM and no pauses on the 18. Now my point. I believe I used the word "lethargic" in my post. Someone chimed in about probing on the 6 calling it "glacial." Which to me sounded a few steps worse.

No doubt the control will probe for you, and I find the OM speed to be fine for finding fixture offsets and one-sy two-sy things, but you will pay a fairly hefty time price for in process stuff or repeated measurements. For example, I had a need for multiple pocket location measurements to maintain unflinching control over depth in engraving a couple letters, and decided the time penalty wasn't worth it. Just be prepared for things like that.
 

DouglasJRizzo

Titanium
Joined
Jun 7, 2011
Location
Ramsey, NJ.
Hello Douglas,
When the keypad doesn't support the Macro symbols, the Macro Programs can be created externally and uploaded to the control. The keypad is not a completely, necessary component.

Regards,

Bill
True, but accessing them for "tuning and tweeking" could be problematic.
 

angelw

Diamond
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Location
Victoria Australia
True, but accessing them for "tuning and tweeking" could be problematic.
If creating a Macro with more than just a few lines, using the Control Keypad is pain, creating it externally is the way to go. I debug Macro Programs using BASIC, as the syntax is very similar and the actual CNC Command Code that the Macro generates in the control, can be created and checked before the program is uploaded to the control. Not having a Keypad that supports the Macro Symbols is no big deal even for debugging.

Regards,

Bill
 

13engines

Stainless
Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Location
Saint Paul, MN
I agree that complex Macros and multi-feature Probing Routines are hard to fathom at the control, but for simple often used command line probing it's another story.

I tried this for a good while and can give testament to how much it was a giant PITA. Even with my communication and programing capable computer only 8ft away. Let's start with how little program space is available on these older controls once you load a small library of Probing Macros. This leaves little room for any smattering of pre-programmed probing command line programs that you could only partially modify at the control when needed.

A bunch of us around here lately changed out our Fanuc O Condensed Keypads for Full Keypads. Not sure what the reasons were of others, but mine was for this reason specifically. Having the Full Keyapd was like the heavens opening up and all the CNC Angles rained down on my shop. (No pun intended) It couldn't be better, and I highly recommend it to others facing such a control input shortcoming. Let alone gaining the Program Copy/Delete w/comma capability it also added, which is a supremely useful surprise free gift.

Note my probing experience is based on Renishaw Inspection Plus Macros and the associated GoProbe Command Line Overlay. The basics...
 

13engines

Stainless
Joined
Jun 30, 2015
Location
Saint Paul, MN
The size of these programs can be reduced by several times by removing rarely used functions. This is not very good - but it is a working option for systems with a maximum of 512Kb of memory.
I didn't install many of the routines that I knew I would never or seldom use. I do think there is room in the GoProbe monster overly for thinning, but it's a task I'm not up for. Following that programming as it bounces around all over the place is only for those who can read it in their sleep. I have a copy I've thinned some, but doubtful it would run without a "Something Not Found" error.
 

angelw

Diamond
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Location
Victoria Australia
Let alone gaining the Program Copy/Delete w/comma capability it also added
This Thread concerns a FS6 control, none of that exists. The only advantage would be the Macro Programming keys and with the 6MB control, I'm fairly sure that the keypad had all the Macro Symbols, but whether they were functional depended on whether the Macro Function was available, but even with simple Macro, I prefer to use an external Text Editor.
 
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Vancbiker

Diamond
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Location
Vancouver, WA. USA
......I'm fairly sure that the keypad had all the Macro Symbols, but whether they were functional depended on whether the Macro Function was available.
I know for certain that 6B keypads had the macro symbols. IIRC there was no shift key, you pressed the key a second time to get the second character?
 








 
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