The Benefits of Using FANUC PMC


In the world of automation, there are several different methods for handling inputs and outputs. For small applications, using relays may be the most cost effective method. However, on larger or more complex systems, using some form of logic controller is the most ideal method. 

What is FANUC Programmable Machine Control?

There are many different forms of logic controllers. They can range from small PCB’s that are configurable all the way up to PLC’s that are programmed with their own brand of software. 

FANUC’s answer to a PLC is a software option called PMC (Programmable Machine Control). PMC uses a FANUC internal CPU and is programmed via FANUC Ladder – III software. No additional hardware is required to use PMC. It is a virtual PLC that operates from within the already existing FANUC CPU.


Ease Of Use 

Once the software option is activated, the user has complete access to the use of PMC through Fanuc Ladder – III and limited use through the robots teach pendant. 

PMC shares the same I/O as the robot and supersedes the robots I/O commands. In other words, PMC takes priority over the inputs and outputs. Mapping the I/O is fairly simple as it was designed to work directly with the robot. 

PMC uses common ladder logic programming concepts; so anyone who is familiar with ladder industry standards will be able to immediately understand and debug the PMC program. 

Uploading PMC files to the robot controller is also fairly straight forward and can be done either via USB or with a direct Ethernet connection. 

Additionally, programs can be modified, viewed, and uploaded via Wi-Fi through a browser as long as the controller is connected to the network. Communication between PMC and the robot controller is seamless as they share the same CPU and use the same protocols.

Dependability & Flexibility

When viewing the flexibility, PMC has all of the capabilities that any other external PLC would offer. This includes pre-built functions such as the following: counters, timers, adders, bit movers, and more. 

FANUC Ladder – III can be compared to other leading software brands in terms of functionality and programming. Regarding dependability, FANUC Ladder – III was derived from the same code that has been tried and tested for many years by FANUC’s Robodrill CNC systems. 

PMC has a processing time of 8ms per cycle which is comparable to the leading PLC’s in today’s market. Not only does it work directly with the robot I/O but it also works flawlessly with external I/O from other peripherals and devices. 

When using PMC with an R-30iA controller, the user has 1024 inputs and 1024 outputs at their disposal. When using PMC with an R-30iB, the amount of available I/O doubles. 

Affordable Alternative

When comparing FANUC PMC to other leading PLC brands, there is no competition when it comes to price. PMC doesn’t require any hardware to operate. 

In order to use PMC, you must first purchase the PMC software option from FANUC. However, this option is still a fraction of the price when compared to the competition’s PLC with equivalent functionality. In regards to the software needed for programming PMC, FANUC Ladder – III is the required software. It’s a one time, low cost purchase and it can be used unlimited times with no expiration date. 

Access to many other brand’s software, needed for programming their products, can be costly and may require annual payments to keep the license activated.  


FANUC PMC is an easy to use, dependable, flexible, affordable alternative to other PLC options when working with FANUC robot controllers. FANUC offers a training course on how to setup and use PMC. The course is designed for basic fundamentals regarding PMC. 

Although there is a learning curve with startup, once the user establishes this, the rest is fairly straight forward. Overall, PMC is without a doubt, a smart option when using robot controllers in automated systems. 

To learn more about robotic programming or speak to one of our robot technician experts, call 740-251-4312 or submit your question here

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