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Questions about changeable heads with Fanuc control

Hi Experts,


I need some practical advises how changable heads are handled on Fanuc controller.


1.) Does the Fanuc controller support changable heads?

2.) Does the Fanuc controll support changeable Heads in conjunction with G68.x and G43.4?

3.) How does the NC Code look like? --> any samples are welcome

4.) is the head handled as a tool? --> Which # systemvariables are used for the head offsets? 

5.) Which command activates the head offset? Is it seperated from the tool length activation?


Thanks in advance 



Re: Questions about changeable heads with Fanuc control

I cannot to say for pure FANUC, but for MAZAK Versatech we use "smart" rightangle head, very good head. CNC change this head as ordinary tool, and after it you can change tool for head, from a same tool changer. And G68.2 supported, see short video.


Accepted by topic author thomasfeind
‎03-07-2016 07:03 AM

Re: Questions about changeable heads with Fanuc control

We have two machines with Fanuc controls that have changable 90deg. heads with positional 5deg. increments, so I cannot speak for 5-axis head capabilities.


They are made by different MTB's (Toyoda and SNK) so there are slight differences in the codes. Such as different M codes to call macros


Head change codes are: Mcode followed by head number    ex. - M56 A31


For height offsets, they both use the standard G43, coupled with a macro that rotates the z axis to always be parallel to the spindle axis and also activates the head offset. Similar to the Tilted Work Plane function.


I will work on getting you some sample code for both machines.



Re: Questions about changeable heads with Fanuc control


I'm finalising post for 5-axis Makino with Fanuc control, which can use Right Angle Head. It is not actually changable head, but device mounted on AC-head

With Right Angle Head we are using both: G68.2 and G43.4 (even for 3+2 milling G43.4 is active).

If you need code samples or other info for this kind of head, contact me directly.

Marek Pawlus, NCmatic

Production: NX 11.0.1
Development: C#, Tcl/Tk, CSE

Re: Questions about changeable heads with Fanuc control

My thought is that the tool center point settings are handled by "parameters" and not system variables. I have set up many multi head machines with Siemens but never Fanuc. Siemens had MD for more than one TCP wih multiple traori's or tcarr's. I see parameters starting at 11260 for one setting on a fanuc. If they are writable by program or logic without power off - I would think that could be done in the head change operation. That is what we did with the Siemens MD by macro.

Windows 7 Pro

Re: Questions about changeable heads with Fanuc control

hey guys,


thanks a lot for your input! Smiley Happy


@Study I´ve samples and a good understanding how it works for Sinumerik and iTNC, only the FANUC controller was a "black box" for me.


any NC snippets (regarding mount head, mount tool on head, unmount tool on head and unmount head) are welcome and helpful! 

Re: Questions about changeable heads with Fanuc control

Attached is a sample program from our Toyoda machine. I have written in simple explanations of the special codes that relate to the 90deg. head.

Our SNK machine operates basically the same way, the main differences are:
1. On the SNK machine the G43 functionality is implemented inside the head offset macro, so does not need to be present in the program.

2. The SNK machine can only use the G54.1 P1 work offset when using the 90deg. head.

3. 90deg head macro calls are different M and G codes, and head names are different.

4. The SNK has a movable gantry (W Axis - parallel to the Z Axis), so it has safety codes that control the limits of the Z and W axes as input variables in the head offset macro.


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