MicroFMS: Control and communication principles

MicroFMS: Control and communication principles

The control concept

Every CNC machine in MicroFMS has its own PC control system. On the PC, various industrial control systems such as the Sinumerik 810D/840D, Sinumerik Operate, Fanuc or the CAMConceptCAD/CAM system can be installed. Via an optional control panel, the user interface for the corresponding control system can be displayed.

For automated use, the CNC machines are equipped with an automatic door, pneumatic chuck and/or an electromagnetic vice and an I/O communication interface.

Spectrum of workpieces

The illustrated turned and milled parts can be manufactured for example from unmachined parts with a diameter of 30 or 40 mm.


Level 1: Automated buffer operation via I/O communication between robot and CNC machine

Central control of the automated buffer operation is provided by the robot controller. Buffer operation is started and stopped via the MPS® control desk at the station robot.  

Level 1 enables the automated processing of a buffer of unmachined parts. If different work-pieces are to be made, then the corresponding program must be manually preselected at the CNC machine. Communication between a robot and a CNC machine, such as starting and stopping the CNC machining, reporting completion, opening and closing the door, is controlled by the robot controller by setting and reading the I/O lines of the CNC machine robotics interface.

Level 2:
Flexible buffer operation with a SCADA system

Robots, CNC and cell computers as well as an optional CAD/CAM laboratory are all networked together, via Ethernet. The DNC commands are transmitted from the cell computer to the CNC machine via whatever DNC interface is available (RS232 or TCP/IP).  

Level 2 corresponds to the full functionality of flexible industrial manufacturing systems (FMS). Every unmachined part put in the buffer is assigned to a specific process plan. This means that differing work-pieces can be manufactured in the system. Using DNC, the appropriate CNC programs for the workpiece are loaded into the machine via the cell computer. Optionally, a CAD/CAM laboratory can be networked with the system.