FANUC Introduces Educational Package Combining Machine Tool and Cobot Technologies

January 26, 2022 by Stephanie Leonida

FANUC provides educational resources and pathways to bridge the skills gap for the future of industrial automation and manufacturing.

FANUC manufactures and supplies factory automation products and systems, including industrial robots, computerized numerical control (CNC) systems, and compact machining centers (ROBODRILLs).


FANUC introduces its new ROBODRILL educational cell. Image used courtesy of FANUC


FANUC announced its new educational package that combines a ROBODRILL machining center with the CRX-10iA cobot. The ROBODRILL Educational Cell hopes to provide trainees with hands-on experience in programming and operating CNC machine tools, as well as using a 10 kg payload cobot.

Like FANUC, other industry leaders and educational institutions are concentrating on upskilling the industrial automation and manufacturing workforce of the future. Among these organizations are Siemens, Mitsubishi, and others.


The ROBODRILL Educational Cell

Learners utilizing the ROBODRILL Educational Cell can engage with modern factory applications and instructors have access to all necessary resources required for teaching. Unlike other educational packages offered by FANUC, this one provides a CNC vertical machining center. Trainees can experience automated component manufacturing involving the arrival of raw billets, unloading a completed workpiece, and more. Such steps are all driven by programming (based on the International Organization for Standardization, ISO) via FANUC’s 31i-B5 CNC system.


FANUC’s 31i-B5 CNC system. Image used courtesy of FANUC


The ROBODRILL Educational Cell is an Industry 4.0 production cell. It comes with Ethernet ports and Ethernet software support as standard. The ROBODRILL vertical machining center links to the CRX cobot through a single cable, enabling machine communication.

The package offers an NC program to create a defined workspace, as well as a vice adapted to the component, five dedicated cutting tools, and five-tool holders. FANUC’s package also comes with raw aluminum material.

Another feature to note is the GoPro Hero 9 waterproof action camera. This device helps users see inside the machine. An intelligent PC simulator software (for individual or group training) is also available through FANUC’s CNC Guide Academic Package.



The ROBODRILL offers five-axis simultaneous milling across travel distances of 500 x 400 x 330 mm in the three linear axes (X, Y, and Z). A Lehmann five-axis table provides the tilt and rotate axes (A and C), and an automatic tool changer comes ready-loaded with 21 tools. This changer serves a BBT30, 10,000 rpm spindle.


FANUC has several ROBODRILL models. Image used courtesy of FANUC


Customers can learn to use advanced machine functions, such as tilted working plane (TWP) for 3+2 machining, tool center point (TCP) for machining a plane with the side of a tool using center-point control, and AICC-2 200 blocks look ahead. This last function allows for enhanced contour control.

The ROBODRILL also comes with a Renishaw OMP40-2 optical transmission probe and Renishaw OTS table-mounted optical tool setter. Renishaw’s AxiSet Check-Up allows users to analyze the performance of rotary axes and identify any issues caused by incorrect machine set-up, collisions, or wear.

Educational programs, like FANUC’s, are becoming increasingly popular for companies to provide. As the skills gap continues to grow, companies providing this hands-on training will likely be the ones to come out the other side.