CNC position queries from RS-232?


Thread Starter

Bill Sturm

I am generally familiar with inputting a CNC program from a terminal to a Fanuc CNC. What I would like to know is if there is a way to send a command and have the CNC return actual position, target position, velocity, current block...

I am not asking in regards to the newer "open" CNC platforms, but the old school Fanuc, A-B, Yaskawa, Indramat... From my view, the open CNC's are not very popular and most people want to standardize on Fanuc. (great for Fanuc, not so for everyone else)


Bill Sturm

Curt Wuollet

I do not believe so as delivered. It is possible to add this capability with Macro Excutor and Macro B, $$$$ and burning PROMS.
Caveat: There are many, many secret and published options. You may only need a (high limit) credit card to do this.



Thomas B. Bullock

Some of the older CNC's were set up to transmit information to a host computer as well as allowing the host to download part programs. I think you would have to contact the vendor of the specific model of control.

Open CNC controls are becoming more popular all the time. If you go to the machine tool show, you will notice that the newer controls are PC-based and, as a result, quite open.

It is true that users like the Fanuc control.
The main reason is because Fanuc owned the market in the 80's with about 65% market share. Shops got used to them and operators knew how to run them. Through the 90's, the controls were no longer inexpensive as the yen went from over 200 per dollar to about 100. Users were willing to accept alternative controls, but wanted it to look like a Fanuc because all their programmers and operators were trained for Fanuc. As a result, several control vendors offered Fanuc-compatible operation and programming.

The newer open controls can be made to operate like the Fanuc, but are available from many US sources.
Thomas B. Bullock, President
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I know there is a way for e.g. Fanuc 0, 10 to 15 series but do not ask me details anymore. I used it years ago for some digitation applications. If I remember well, it used macroprogramming (using the #n variables which is not a specially costly
option!)and DNC mode. You should find it in the normal programming manuals.

If still in trouble, send me a note, I'll try to find it again.