GE Fanuc announces Series 18i-MB5 5-Axis CNC

Charlottesville, Va. - GE Fanuc Automation will introduce the new Series 18i-MB5 CNC, a compact control ideal for commodity 5-axis milling machines, at the WESTEC Advanced Productivity Exposition 2002 in Los Angeles, March 18-21 (Booth #2649).


Charlottesville, Va. - GE Fanuc Automation will introduce the new Series 18i-MB5 CNC, a compact control ideal for commodity 5-axis milling machines, at the WESTEC Advanced Productivity Exposition 2002 in Los Angeles, March 18-21 (Booth #2649).

The new CNC's 5-axis feature eliminates the need for qualified tooling by providing dynamic cutter compensation and tool length offset within the control itself. Part programming is easier and less costly because the Series 18i-MB5 calculates compensations as the tool rotates to each new vector, rather than relying on an expensive CAM system to process length offsets and cutter compensation at each one. Operators can change the tool length offset and/or cutter compensation values at the CNC without re-posting the part program, saving valuable time. Once posted, the Series 18i-MB5's part programs can be executed on any 5-axis machine, regardless of machine configuration.

'Until now, 5-axis machining required an expensive CAM processor or a top-of-the-line CNC,' said Douglas Peterson, vice president of GE Fanuc's CNC and Laser Business. 'By offering 5-axis capabilities in the Series 18i-MB5, GE Fanuc provides a cost-effective solution to OEMs by allowing them to standardize on one CNC rather requiring them to use a combination of products.'

The Series18i-MB5 is the newest addition to GE Fanuc's i series of CNCs that feature embedded Ethernet for improved end user communication and productivity. The series can also provide Nanometer Interpolation and an improved high-precision contour control for high-speed precision.

Additional 5-axis machining functionality of the Series 18i-MB5 includes:

  • Variable machine configuration that is definable by CNC parameters;

  • Tool center point control, which enables programming from the center point, rather than the pivot point, of the tool. This functionality permits tool rotation with one or both of the rotary axes without moving the tool tip, saving wear and tear on the tool; and

  • A three-dimensional handle feed allows the operator to rotate the tool to any vector or to manually move the tool along the tool vector, a requirement for 3+2 programming.

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