I’m a little rusty on my Fanuc Robot comms setups, but to my knowledge, they still offer no direct access to the controller internals, other than FTP to/from the robot’s filesystem. FTP is available only as an option with an extra fee.
Fanuc PLCs and CNCs are supported via various 3rd party OPC servers (Kepware in particular).
Fanuc Robots are capable of acting as Ethernet/IP adapters for interfacing with a cell controller, including for safety circuits (on new models). Again, it’s an extra-fee option. My Ethernet/IP module can be the I/O master for the robot if there is no PLC already in that role.
Ahh I see, I was wondering if that was the case. Thank you very much for your response, pturmel! That is helpful. After talking with Tech Support, it sounds like probably the best way to get the data I am after is by using a 3rd party OPC server.
I’m a little confused about all of this though, so pardon my ignorance, but why is it that variables like motor speed, current, etc. (i.e. analog outputs) are not available as inputs to the PLC? Or is it possible this data is available to collect through the PLC, but I just lack the knowhow?
Note, I don’t know of any OPC solution for Fanuc robots. I’m aware of 3rd party OPC Server support for Fanuc PLCs and CNCs only.
Most robot brands make some of that data available to a cell controller PLC, but where possible, it would all need to be configured to show up in the I/O table for the robot/plc interface. Robots have very proprietary algorithms to get the most speed/torque/precision out of their servos, and to offer advanced motion control features. I suspect high resolution, high-sample-rate motor data is closely held to prevent reverse engineering.
Fanuc robots have an option for SNPX. They call it HMI device. RTL-R553-HT is the part number. (Or at least was at some point in the past. Fanuc part numbers can be very weird.) There are various OPC servers for SNPX, including Kepware. I don’t know much about it beyond that. You’ll have to track down documentation from Fanuc, which isn’t always easy.
I’m looking into a similar project. From what I found, we will need to use MT Connect as the protocol and connect to MT Connect with Kepware as the OPC server. This is the only way that I have found so far to make it work. Once you done, could you put some basic information together to share?
I’ll link to this conversation and hopefully someone can help…
I have to connect a Linux based PC with a FANUC robot. I have experience with Kepware that has the driver for GE FANUC.
Do you have some reccomandation of OPC UA in Linux that can comunicate with FANUC controller?
I can’t find a Linux SNPX OPC UA server. The only thing I can think of is to add the EtherNet/IP adapter option to the Fanuc, and add EtherNet/IP scanner functionality to Ignition with the EthernetIP Class 1 Communications module from Automation Professionals, LLC