I don't dislike the funuc robot.....it is a good machine....my 3nd favorite(just because of my experience).....BUT
How does this change giving manuals to people that would purchase a 2nd hand machine?......and the sting of re license has caused some potential lost (just as stated in this forum)...and I have heard such out in the field..these are things that other companies offer ........ the docs and just ask to let them know you have a 2nd hand machine.....this gets you in the door to court a new customer....or do you not need any new customers?....
Whats your job at fanuc?
I would think that relicensing should be its own thread, separate from documentation issues.
Lets talk licensing first. Once upon a time, there was a company named DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation). They made mini-computers, that technology that came after mainframes and before UNIX work stations and personal computers. All of the issues about licensing got worked out during the DEC era. Licenses used to be vague, so you could buy a really old machine just to get its license, and then transfer that license to a new hot box. So if you read the fine print on any modern license, it typically says that license is not transferable, and that goes for PC with a Windows OS as well. It may not be enforced, but licenses tend not be tranferable. A copy of FANUC's license ships with every new robot, so FANUC does inform users of its policy. Your sources for used robots should know this too, and factor relicensing into the used robot's price.
Each FANUC robot sold afte the mid 90's came with a CD of all associated manuals. I believe that robots sold prior to then came with a paper manual. Again your sources for used robots know this too. Keeping the CD with the controller is a hassle, and a used robot with no documentation should be worth less than a used robot with documentation.
Robots are not simple ROM based systems like toaster ovens. FANUC is pretty good about being able to get you a software upgrade, although they will charge you for it. Similarly, FANUC can usually get you documentation for any robot ever sold, but you will have to buy it.
I cannot comment on what is a fair price for a software upgrade/relicense or what a fair price is for robot docuentation.
Fanuc has always charged for re-licensing (especially re-loading licenses after a controller CPU was wiped/etc). The problem is that the license used to cost $1,500 not mere months ago [at the time of this posting] where it now costs in excess of $10,000. Of course the price has dropped a bit since the inception of this new policy, likely due to the outcry.
As far as I'm concerned it means when purchasing a secondhand robot you must verify that it does indeed have the controller software installed, or be prepared to pay for the reload. The real bad thing is that I've seen a few cases where the CPU board was knocked loose from its rack during transit, loosing the batteyr backup connection in the process...so an otherwise good condition sale then became something totally different.
On other caveat with license issues.
FANUC will no longer support users that call in if they can not validate they have a proper license.
Finally, something good came out from this story! If they don't directly support customers with used robots, this means more business for us freelancers that still have the right contacts!
We bought a used Fanuc robot at an auction because we are a small company just trying to survive in this crazy economy and have been told by Fanuc that we must buy a $10,000 license for their software. Has anyone else had to do this.
There should be some kind of consumer protection against a manufacturer taking advantage of a small company just because their business is slow and they want to stop people from buying used robots. It would be like Henry Ford trying to stop people from buying used cars. Thinking HaHa now they have to buy our new cars.
I think auction houses should have to warn people about this license fee from Fanuc.
Not sure if this helps but I think they are on thin ice..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-sale_doctrine
sounds to me like exactly the case!
According to FANUC, the robot re-license fee is to cover all of the support that you will be getting with the purchase of the robot. If you don't re-license the robot software, then they won't even sell you spare parts (according to the FANUC hotline). FANUC is willing to work with customers in terms of discount for multiple units re-licensed, etc. but it will be on a 'case by case' basis, for whatever that means.
As a FANUC integrator, we get a discount on the re-license fee that we are able to pass through to the end customers, but it is still not cheap.
I heard that this was FANUC's way of combatting the flood of used GM and other automotive robots that flooded the market, so that end users would be more 'likely' to purchase a new unit. Personally, I think this was a HORRIBLE business model, as smaller businesses that can't afford new robots will purchase a used robot, no matter what make. This just prices FANUC out of the used robot market. The next time the used robot customer wants to buy another unit new, they will have expertise in the make that they purchased, and will 90% of the time purchase the same robot make because they are familiar with it. They have basically, amongst other business decisions such as the restrictive pollicy on documentation, shot themselves in the foot.
knowledge should be free of limitations and full of expectations!
If you do have a copy of E-docs , there is a way you can open it .
that you can see all of the pdf documents and copy them indivually ..
oops sorry but there in pdf on the disk
just take adobe acrobat and put together a master manual that has it all .
adobe will automatically find all pdf's if you have it search the disk .
then you can have it make one big pdf book with everything ..
you just have to have the e-docs
its actually better to view then there webpage approach.
I do it to all of mine .
I would have to say, I am not surprised one bit. Fanuc is one (if not) the hardest robot company to deal with. Getting any little bit of information is both time consuming, Expensive and aggravating to say the very least. Even when you do buy their so called support, it still takes days if not weeks or months to get any type of response or help. Requested and paid for manuals over a year ago and still have not received them. Called repeatedly and they say Yes They are on their way and yet they never seem to get delivered. Call a month later and low and behold they are on their way, yet they still are not delivered.
We are currently Going strictly with Motoman Robots, Which have provided great support (Without the Fee), Provided Manuals every time we call and in a timely manner. I would trade the our last 6 fanuc's in the plant for one motoman. Because the support and help through fanuc does not exist, except on paper.
Boo on Fanuc, They only seem to care about the bottom dollar in their pockets and nothing about actual support to their customers. They are in it strictly for the money they can hijack through whatever means necessary while providing little if any support at all.
Sharing information here will also soon be targeted for a fee also, once they figure out a way to do it and get away with it.
It is unfortunate Fanuc has kept this stance. I've decided to post some background as I have worked closely with and have many friends at Fanuc. I know they think much the same as in wanting good service. I have worked with Fanuc since 1995. I have worked with GM MFD CRW CCRW HQ as a HQ/Tech Center lead during that time. Even in GM, arguably the world's largest company during that period and the main driver of industry "standards" for Fanuc, it was still like wrestling a bear to get support at times. I've been to and dealt with the Japanese side of things. North America is supposed to be separate, but is still controlled by Japanese structures, one of which is the sales/support models.
Be assured the American Fanuc sales & support force are equally frustrated at having their hands tied. The recent years have had serious repercussions for those who do not toe the corporate line. Be as it may, regardless of how great their products are, it seems they cannot profitably support smaller businesses. Even larger businesses are shying from them due to service concerns. Recently I was involved in the transport of some fairly modern systems from subsidiary facilities of a large company to some of their main locations. There was a big fall out when bringing the machines back online after transport for the few that needed tech support. The point of contention being many of the systems were licensed under the name of the subsidiary even though there was documentation supporting the capital was supplied by the parent corporation Fanuc would not support the systems without a license transfer fee that ran a little under $10k US. Each. Then another fee for recreating the software installation media. And another fee for the manuals. This was for a large supplier that will not be purchasing any more Fanucs without a change in policy.
My experience is that Fanuc understands various localities can challenge their licensing practices (even where, in many cases due to the "First-Sale Doctrine" where the license is moot) but they control access to their support so... In general I've found Fanuc support will bend over backwards to support you, if you have a matching F# to your contact info in their database.
I can see where someone volunteers to give their legally purchased .pdf to someone here but this forum doesn't appear to have the means to control how that is sold so it is understandable the administrators simply banning the posts. Not much otherwise they can do. I imagine one can still send PM's and handle such things privately. Don't PM me, I won't send out any Fanuc docs as this stuff cost too much for me to risk losing permanently and once you write your own software and try to sell it only to see someone you know didn't buy it using it you will understand why people want to protect it. Now I do put my original software manuals into the public domain but that's my personal policy. Wish Fanuc's was.
I'm very new with robots, using ABB and I'm loving to. they gave me all manuals for all models, and we bought only 1 SECOND HAND robot, we have many different machines and some have fanuc controls and is the same pain to get manuals and help... don't know if I would buy a new machine or robot from fanuc.... good make, but when things get old, they forget about you....
I've played with all robots, but I do enjoy working with Fanuc's robot. But I dread dealing with the humans there. there are exceptions, but very few.
I don't dread it, but I do know that it's hit or miss when calling the iQ hotline. There are a couple guys there who really know their stuff, and I usually try asking for them by name if I can. The rest sound like robots, and obviously hate their jobs.
I especially like the "closed ticket" email
very bad news, but it is good for organization(fanuc) but for others its loss
The Fanuc eDocs are pitiful, the worst I have seen in 22 years, their software Roboguide is a crash-o-matic ($15,000 and no-Karel editing???? ) when used for much other than a virtual teach pendant (something Kawasaki and abb offered for free with any single robot purchase).
Now this... No thanks Fanuc...
You can use roboguide to edit and compile KAREL .KL files. There is no software that can decompile a .PC binary. That's pretty standard for all forms of compiled programming though. Also, it sounds like you're getting ripped off on the license. If you're a signed integrator, you can get a universal license for $2k a year, which entitles you to all of the PRO applications (WeldPRO, DispensePRO, HandlingPRO, PickPRO, etc...), virtual controllers from v5.3 up to v7.7 (current) and constant updates. And if you buy robots often, you can usually avoid paying that license fee altogether. It has to be negotiated with the purchase of the robot though. They like to let you think that you got away with something they don't normally do, but it happens all the time.
Totally agree with you about the eDocs though. I can't stand those things. The one for iRVision is the worst. It reads like it was translated from Japanese by Google Language Tools or something.