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Fanuc has introduced its latest controller, the R-30IB, which it says is capable of controlling up to four robot arms and numerous additional axes from a single CPU, with only the addition of control boxes to house the servo amplifiers and power components.

One controller can support up to 4,096 points of I/O, which can come in many different formats.  It can support fieldbus protocols such as Profibus, Profinet, Ethernet/IP and Devicenet.

It is also able to control additional axes to enable specific functions to be achieved. According to the company, the use of more flexible and adaptable servo grippers in place of pneumatic grippers can help users to future-proof their gripping needs.  

The R-30IB includes an Ipendant Touch handheld unit that acts as the interface between the operator and the controller. The pendant does need to be physically attached to the controller by a wire for operational functions. However, there is a disconnect function that allows the robot to operate without it.

Additionally, the company offers dual check safety (DCS) software options that include position and speed check functionality, as well as Safety IO, which enables communication capabilities via the Profisafe safety fieldbus, thus reducing the possibility of data transmission errors and helping to achieve cost-effective and flexible functional safety.

Key product features and benefits

  • Can support up to 4,096 points of I/O
  • Housed in a compact enclosure that is designed to allow three units to be stacked on top of each other to optimise the available floor space
  • The ability to control additional axes would allow the robot to be placed on a linear rail, for example, if it needs to cover a wider work envelope
  • The Ipendant Touch is rugged and offers impressive graphics as well as touchscreen functionality. However, for operators that are required to wear gloves, it can also be operated via pushbuttons
  • It is also possible to interact with the controller via a computer, over Ethernet, to remotely visualise the operation and change system set-ups
  • Disconnect function is a useful feature in washdown environments commonly found in the food industry  
  • Dual check safety (DCS) software options allow for the creation of safety zones that the robot is not allowed to enter
  • The ability to control all the process capabilities around the robot can offer benefits in terms of simplified control, as well as cost-savings by negating the need for additional hardware, particularly in small robot cells
  • Its cooling fans are temperature controlled — automatically being turned off or speed controlled according to the temperature
  • An adjustable timer allows the operator to put the robot into a ‘low-power’ mode for periods down to one or two seconds

FANUC UK provides industrial automation solutions ranging from the supply of CNC controllers, robots, drilling machines, EDM and injection moulding machines through to the complete integration of factory automation systems.

Providing a single customer support portal for its three core businesses, FANUC comprises FA — CNC controllers, motors and drives; robotics — industrial robots and systems; robomachines — EDM, injection moulding and drilling machines.


FANUC’s FA business manufactures CNC controls, drive systems and laser systems. With a 65 per cent market share in the global CNC control sector, FANUC is the market leader. FANUC CNC is the controller of choice for the world’s leading machine tool manufacturers; continuously developing functionality sees FANUC CNC control being used in a wide range of applications — combining powerful control and high precision with unparalleled reliability.

FANUC servo drives and motors are well proven — aimed at the machine builder, they offer the widest range of high-performance compact designs.  The high availability and ease of maintenance together with world-class, energy-efficient designs make them the motors of choice for thousands of OEMs around the world.


FANUC’s robotics business manufactures the widest range of robots in the world for applications from micro-electronics assembly to the forging of precision aerofoils for jet engines — in industries as diverse as pharmaceutical and potato processing — and with maximum payloads from 1kg to 1,350kg. More than 280,000 FANUC robots are operating worldwide, with production currently geared to meet demands of 5,000 per month. FANUC robots are truly ‘out-of-the-box’ automation designed to be totally flexible and, with application-specific options, straightforward to integrate.


FANUC’s robomachine business manufactures Robodrill machining centres, Robocut EDM machines and Roboshot electric injection-moulding machines. Using FANUC components throughout, the robomachine business builds on the advanced technology, reliability, energy efficiency and innovation of its own controllers, drives and motors. With a focus on energy efficiency and high reliability, the robomachine business developed the first all-electric injection-moulding machines — Roboshot — changing the mould shop into a much cleaner and quieter environment.

Customer support

From initial sales contact with FANUC through the life of the product, FANUC provides one single contact point to make sure support is always at hand with up-to-date advice, genuine warranted parts and, whenever possible, obsolescence avoidance solutions that ensure the lifetime delivery of maximum efficiency.

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