Pot number variable?
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  1. #1
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    Default Pot number variable?

    I was wondering if there is a way to call up a tool in a program based on its pot number and not the tool number. Are the pot numbers asigned a variable number that you can use in a program? We run a program to touch off all the tools in the machine(Makino A51/A61) with the laser. Currently we have to edit our program to use the tool numbers currently in the machine. So now we have it call up T1 and run the laser check and then T5 and run the check again...so on until all 60 tools are set. But the next time we run it if we have taken out T1 and put in T3 we need to edit the program a bit for it to work. If there was a way to call up the pot numbers instead we could just use the numbers 1-60 and never have to edit it for it to work. Thanks for any help in advance.

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    Are you programming at the machine? If not, just number your tools in your cam system so T1 is say a face mill, T2 spot, etc. That way when you program your "standard" tools are always in the same spot. Then if you run an oddball tool just swap that out and touch off.

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    Using your example, you change the magazine pocket registry from T1 in X pocket to now T3?

    Your are setting all 60 tools in the magazine. but the tools may not be numbered 1-60? They might be 42-102 depending on the job. Is that correct? Are they always sequentially numbered?

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    Assuming its a random access tool changer, how would you know what tool is in what pot if you don't call it by tool number? Are your programs written to always put a tool back in the same pot it came out of?

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    Edit your post to check the tools at the beginning of the program

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    They are not numbered sequentially. We have a set tool list that we use but it has 100's of tools on it. We go from 2 to 1999. Depending on the job, we have a bunch of tools that almost always remain in the machine but the vast majority change with every setup.

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    We do this on our brother Speedio -- there's a variable for "tool number in pot X". Unfortunately, from doing some research it seems like fanuc does not support what you want. That information is not stored in a system accessible by macros.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mutiny View Post
    ......Unfortunately, from doing some research it seems like fanuc does not support what you want. That information is not stored in a system accessible by macros.
    Tracking tool to pot relationship and ability to programmatically select by tool number or pot number would be the responsibility of the machine builder, not Fanuc.

    A machine builder could easily have logic in their ladder program to have T codes refer to tools or pots and use a keeprelay for the user to select which method they want to use. Could even assign an M code to make the switch. In the case of the OP’s Makino, they program the control integration logic in a structured text language rather than ladder but the same capability exists.

    Since it does not exist is a result of the builder not seeing a need, not because of some limitation of the Fanuc control.

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    Fair enough!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vancbiker View Post
    Tracking tool to pot relationship and ability to programmatically select by tool number or pot number would be the responsibility of the machine builder, not Fanuc.

    A machine builder could easily have logic in their ladder program to have T codes refer to tools or pots and use a keeprelay for the user to select which method they want to use. Could even assign an M code to make the switch. In the case of the OP’s Makino, they program the control integration logic in a structured text language rather than ladder but the same capability exists.

    Since it does not exist is a result of the builder not seeing a need, not because of some limitation of the Fanuc control.
    Hello Kevin,
    I agree with you 100%, but calling by Pot Number would be difficult to achieve with a Random Pot Number exchange of tools type tool changer. The Pot Number in the part program will not change, but the Pot in the Tool Magazine where the tool now resides is for sure going to change.

    Quote Originally Posted by SWhittaker
    They are not numbered sequentially. We have a set tool list that we use but it has 100's of tools on it. We go from 2 to 1999.
    Hello SWhittaker,
    If I understand what you want to do is as follows:

    1. Say out of your list of tools 2 to 1999, tool number 1999 is going to replace T1 in the magazine, which for this example is in Pot Number 1, then in your program that uses Tool 1999, you want to call Pot Number 1, as Dan from Oakland has pointed out and I concur with, with a random access tool changer, I can't see that easily being achieved, even at PLC level.

    However, if say your tools from 2 to 1999, in increments of the number capacity of the magazine, are always going to replace the same number tool in the magazine, then you can right the tool number that corresponds to your Tool List, say tool number T1993, in your program and the tool number that corresponds to that tool in the magazine will be selected.

    This system falls down when a new tool from the tool list used in your part program needs to replace a tool in the magazine that also is used in the program.

    Regards,

    Bill

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    Yes Bill, on a random pot type system it would not be possible to call the correct tools after the first run of the program. I took the liberty of knowing a bit about the OP's machine in my reply as the Makino A51 has a fixed pot to tool correspondence.

    @OP:

    There may be a work around that could help. Older Makino machines with the MPC2 PMC had an M code (IIRC M57) that wrote the the data following the M code to the pot to tool table. Your machine is newer and probably uses some version of Makino's PRO series PMC software. I do not know if this legacy M code exists in the newer systems as all the newer Makino systems I have done work on were cells and the tool data were all managed by the cell controller. If this M code exists on your machine you could create a short program that assigns the correct pot to the correct tool for the new setup. Execute this program after the magazine is loaded to set the correspondence before running your parts. Have a read through of your Makino programming manual to see if such an M code exists on your machine


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