FANUC Controls—Setting the Standard for Vocational Technical Schools

Feb 19, 2024
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Anyone attending a vocational-technical school will tell you the flow of information is like drinking from a firehose. But one way to tame the flood is to learn CNC programming and operation on Fanuc controls. According to the FANUC website, the company has installed more than 4 million controls worldwide and has a 65 % market share. In other words, Fanuc controls are everywhere. This is why students familiar with them stand a much greater chance of success when they graduate. 

Why Fanuc Controls?

There’s good reason for their popularity. With up to 52 years MTBF (mean time between failure), Fanuc controls offer long life and predictable performance. And since the company also makes matching servo systems and spindle motors, all of the machine’s electromechanical components work in harmony.  

For vocational schools, though, there’s an even better reason to standardize on Fanuc controls. As noted earlier, machine shops are clamoring for qualified machinists able to hit the ground running. This is why many vocational schools select CNC machine tools like the KVR-4020A vertical machining center as the best option to teach the next generation of machinists. It comes standard with a 0i-M control, perhaps one of the most common of all Fanuc controls. 

Similarly, there’s the CRL-1640 CNC teach lathe. It comes factory-installed with a Fanuc Oi-Mate TF CNC control. Because of this, it can function as a manual lathe, a fully automatic CNC, or whatever combination is needed to get the job done most effectively. Contrary to the well-known moniker for such machine tools, there’s no “half CNC” about it.


Setting the Standard

Mountainland Technical College (MTECH) of Lehi, Utah agrees. Having recognized the need to teach young people on the Fanuc controls found on shop floors everywhere, the school invested in a KVR 2418A vertical machining center from KENT USA. 

In addition, there’s the University of Dayton in Ohio. Wyoming’s Laramie County Community College. Gateway Community & Technical College of Kentucky . The University of North Texas. These are just a few of the learning institutions proud to teach their students on Kent equipment, including sinker and wire EDM, lathes, mills, grinders, and yes, CNC machinery. 

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However, there is no one-size-fits-all all in the machining world. Kent USA recognizes this. So despite the popularity of Fanuc controls, most of our CNC machine tools offer at least one alternative, such as Heidenhein, Siemens, Mitsubishi, and Fagor. All are excellent controls with well-deserved reputations.

One final example is the Acu-Rite conversational control. It comes standard on our TW-32Qi bed mill, and like the teach lathe just mentioned, runs in manual or automatic mode. Whatever option you choose, all employ the standard G-code used by Fanuc controls for decades. The result? Students enter the workforce ready to make parts, thoroughly familiar with the machine tools their future employers use each day.


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