Fanuc started the development of NC (numerical control) in 1955 and has unwaveringly devoted its business to factory automation. Since the start of production of the first NC in 1958, the accumulated production has increased steadily resulting in 10 000 units in 1974, 1 million units in 1998, 2 million units in 2007, 3 million units in 2013, 4 million units in 2018, culminating in a total of 5 million units in February, 2022.
With the production of its five millionth CNC, the company underlines its position as a world market leader for factory automation. Kenji Yamaguchi, President and CEO of Japan-based Fanuc Corporation considers this a milestone: “We owe this success to years of advice and support from our customers and partners, who are both machine tool builders and users.”
CNC is short for Computerised Numerical Control, an electronic process for controlling machine tools. Its predecessor, NC control, was first developed in the 1940s and 1950s. As a pioneer in the industry, Fanuc was the first Japanese private company to produce an industrial NC control in 1956, earlier than most international competitors. This was followed a few years later by the development of an electrohydraulic pulse motor, which formed the basis for Fanuc’s superior servo technology.
Today, Fanuc has a production capacity of 36 500 CNCs per month, and the models of the latest FS 30i/31i/32iB Plus and the FS0i-F Plus series offer state-of-the-art CNC and servo technologies as well as numerous AI-based functions
As early as 1964, the company made the successful transition from NC to CNC technology with the Fanuc 250. Continuous further developments followed, culminating in the market launch of the compact Fanuc System 5 in 1976 adopting a single-chip microprocessor, which helped CNC technology to achieve a worldwide breakthrough. Today, Fanuc has a production capacity of 36 500 CNCs per month, and the models of the latest FS 30i/31i/32iB Plus and the FS0i-F Plus series offer state-of-the-art CNC and servo technologies as well as numerous AI-based functions.
“Artificial intelligence in CNC control helps to make technological processes more efficient, as well as improve machine running times and production quality. The focus is also on user-friendliness. A special PC software (CNC GUIDE) supports machine tool builders in virtual development, simulation and testing on the digital twin of their machine tool. The PC software is also used as CNC training software,” says Shinichi Tanzawa, President and CEO of Fanuc Europe Corporation.
“Above all, the special requirements of European customers are playing an increasingly important role for us. In 2017, for example, a European development centre was opened at the location of the German subsidiary in Neuhausen near Stuttgart. In order to expand it together with the European technical support organisation, Fanuc is building an approximately 6 000 square metre technical centre in Neuhausen. The building, which will cost more than 20 million euros, is scheduled to go into operation in 2023,” added Tanzawa.
With the production of its five millionth CNC, the company underlines its position as a world market leader for factory automation
Fanuc is also investing heavily at other locations. In the 12 months up to the end of March 2022, the company invested around 130 million euros in buildings across Europe to strengthen its technical support, trainings and service to European customers. Among other things, Fanuc Europe purchased a previously rented warehouse and distribution centre in Contern, Luxembourg to shorten delivery lead-time to European customers. Further investments are planned in the coming years.
“We are rapidly expanding our presence in almost all European countries to satisfy the needs of our current and future customers,” said Tanzawa.
€1 million donation for Ukraine crisis
The crisis in Ukraine has intensified with increased fighting, leading to the loss of lives and injuries of many, including children, and the destruction of social infrastructure which is essential to daily life. Amidst this turmoil, Ukrainian people have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries, or have been left behind in Ukraine where battles continue to rage.
The Fanuc Group focuses and places great importance on the safety, health and happiness of all Fanuc Group employees and their families throughout the world. Therefore we are especially concerned about the wellbeing of our employees and their families in Ukraine, and we are doing everything in our power to support them.
In light of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, Fanuc Corporation will donate €1 million through the Japanese Red Cross Society in order to support relief activities and provide critical humanitarian aid.
Also in Europe, our subsidiary, Fanuc Europe Corporation, will make a donation through the International Red Cross, and employees of Fanuc Europe, including its subsidiaries, will be involved in helping refugees as well.
It is our sincere wish that the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine will come to an end as soon as possible. May peace and safety return to Ukraine.
For further information contact Fanuc South Africa on TEL: 011 392 3610 or visit www.fanucsa.co.za