The Benefits of Using Fanuc PMC

Feb 20, 2019

Fanuc has a solution for easy programming of your robot using a software called PMC, Programmable Machine Control, using the internal CPU and Ladder - III software. Learn more about the benefits of this robotic programming setup here.

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 PCBs that are con­fig­urable up to PLCs that are pro­grammed with their 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.

Fanuc PLC Program

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 robot­’s teach pendant. 

PMC shares the same I/O as the robot and super­sedes the robot­’s 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 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 straight­for­ward 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 PLCs 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. 

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, and afford­able alter­na­tive to oth­er PLC options when work­ing with Fanuc robot con­trollers. Fanuc offers a train­ing course on how to set up 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 straight­for­ward. 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 8777626881 or sub­mit our con­tact form.

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