Author Topic: Fanuc charging for user manual?  (Read 1070 times)

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Offline Kalin

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Fanuc charging for user manual?
« on: September 05, 2019, 01:15:45 am »
Maybe I am just getting old and cranky but it blows my mind that when I called Fanuc and gave them the serial number for a less than 4 year old robot and controller (r30i controller with m410ih robot) they said I need to set up a sales account with them and purchase the user manual for $235 usd and it takes 2 weeks for them to send out the paper copy. They will not make it electronically available because in their words "the manual is a product we sell and shouldn't be available to everyone".  Even the industrial PLC manufacturers that I have used in the past who are very protective of their IP and have stringent licensing, make their documentation available and the user manual is easy to download. Is there some special sauce in the user's manual for robot controllers? Am I crazy and this is something that I should just get used to?

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« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 05:43:06 pm by Kalin »
 

Offline ddavidebor

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2019, 01:30:31 am »
Try asking faking being from the EU where keeping technical documentation is required by law, although not sure about user manuals.
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Offline amyk

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2019, 02:05:44 am »
Have you tried searching online?
 

Offline Kalin

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2019, 02:15:49 am »
Yes I have searched online to no avail. And they track where the machines are sold to and require you to set up an account with them for support so no way to fake where I am located.

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Offline coppercone2

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2019, 02:35:41 am »
thats like charging people for entering a store because heat escapes when you open the door
 

Offline Berni

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2019, 05:28:17 am »
That is indeed an asshole move from them.

But its probably not only them, i remember my Uni getting a old robot arm (I think it was ABB) that was thrown out of a factory. Its one of these huge ones that assemble car bodies. In the usual "just get it out of here" disassembly from the factory floor they have removed the cables with a chainsaw and just tossed the thing out. So they really needed the manual and because this thing was originally owned by Renault the manuals that came with it are all in french. They ended up having to translate the relevant parts of it.

But this might be the case for most massive industrial machines. Things like big CNCs or presses and such often come with a huge stack of binder folders that hold all the documentation and i would guess you can't just download a PDF of that from the website.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2019, 05:31:30 am »
then they are idiots storing things on paper instead of making a PDF. it occupies factory space

a work bench can be put in place of a filing cabinet array
 

Offline daqq

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2019, 06:12:09 am »
Wow, that's really dicky of them.

I really hate this kind of corporate approach, where they are supposed to show the (potential) customer who's the boss.
Believe it or not, pointy haired people do exist!
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Offline dzseki

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2019, 06:14:23 am »
then they are idiots storing things on paper instead of making a PDF. it occupies factory space

a work bench can be put in place of a filing cabinet array

I think they have the source format in eectronic form, they are just not letting out in that way, instead they print it out. Imagine if someone would have a pdf, the internet would be all over with it. If you have 250 pages of paper documentation, less likely (though not impossible).
 

Online BravoV

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2019, 06:15:00 am »
Usually this kind of companies make money (big portion of it) from periodic contract maintenance, compared to say than selling the product it self.

Offline Berni

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2019, 06:28:44 am »
then they are idiots storing things on paper instead of making a PDF. it occupies factory space

a work bench can be put in place of a filing cabinet array

The same company has 3 rooms full of technical drawings on paper form from back when these things ware done on paper by hand.

But when it comes to the machines the space the documentation takes up is next to nothing (Even if its often >10 binders) compared to the space the machine takes up on the factory floor, some of the bigger ones are larger than a typical house in dimension and most of the CNCs are so large you can take a walk trough the working area.

That being said i do have some test equipment documentation at home in the form of binder folders that i was not able to find anywhere online. But i don't have a fast efficient scanning setup that could scan all of this in without taking forever(Especially for the fold out drawings that are bigger than A4). So i keep it in dead tree form on a shelf
« Last Edit: September 05, 2019, 06:31:06 am by Berni »
 

Offline Kalin

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2019, 12:04:45 pm »
Usually this kind of companies make money (big portion of it) from periodic contract maintenance, compared to say than selling the product it self.
I work as a maintenance and new installation contractor. If I relied on holding back documentation for what I do to ensure I got maintenance contracts I would get no referrals from existing customers. That is just  lazy. Plus why should you contract people to fly thousands of kilometers to service something because they don't make the documentation available. If anything that makes me not want to give them more money or use them for any future projects

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Offline amyk

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2019, 12:19:48 pm »
That being said i do have some test equipment documentation at home in the form of binder folders that i was not able to find anywhere online. But i don't have a fast efficient scanning setup that could scan all of this in without taking forever(Especially for the fold out drawings that are bigger than A4). So i keep it in dead tree form on a shelf
Cameras are surprisingly good these days, even the ones built in to smartphones.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2019, 12:31:06 pm »
some people like to read manuals before buying equipment, its kind of like an advertisement.
 
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Offline Bassman59

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2019, 04:38:28 pm »
Wow, that's really dicky of them.

I really hate this kind of corporate approach, where they are supposed to show the (potential) customer who's the boss.

I think it puts a damper on re-sales -- if you own their product and want to sell it on the secondary market, your potential buyer will want documentation for installation and operation. If you can't provide that, basically you can't sell the kit. Your buyer is then forced to look at purchasing new. Clever, huh? But many people will look at down-the-road resale prior to making a purchase, even if the equipment will be fully depreciated. Lack of documentation hurts resale value.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2019, 04:41:48 pm »
I hate that crap.  The manual should be considered part of the product and should be free.   You already paid for the product, the manual should be free.  If you lose it, an electronic copy should be made freely available online, not like it costs them anything to do that. 

In fact I sometimes like to look at the user manual of a product before I even buy it as it will give me an idea of features that may not be listed on the website.
 

Offline Stray Electron

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2019, 06:48:50 pm »
some people like to read manuals before buying equipment, its kind of like an advertisement.

  It's more than just an advertisement. It let's you, the buyer, know what the real capabilities of the item are. It's not unusual to be told that model so and so will go to XXX frequency but then when you read the manual you find out that yes, it will go to XXX but only at a greatly reduced sensitivity.

  If you're smart, you require in the purchase contract that the seller provides you with service manuals (AND at the time of the sale, not later).  OTOH, I've worked for several companies that did get the service information but it was delivered to the Contracts Department and they didn't know what to do with it so they filed it away where no one else had access to it!
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2019, 10:10:12 pm »
some people like to read manuals before buying equipment, its kind of like an advertisement.

  It's more than just an advertisement. It let's you, the buyer, know what the real capabilities of the item are. It's not unusual to be told that model so and so will go to XXX frequency but then when you read the manual you find out that yes, it will go to XXX but only at a greatly reduced sensitivity.

  If you're smart, you require in the purchase contract that the seller provides you with service manuals (AND at the time of the sale, not later).  OTOH, I've worked for several companies that did get the service information but it was delivered to the Contracts Department and they didn't know what to do with it so they filed it away where no one else had access to it!

yes, for instance if you read a 34401a manual you see they provide nice formulas for determining error and getting more accuracy (way more useful then just the spec sheet). that could make or break a decision for a company to purchase a meter because they know how much expertise they need from employees and how much of a pain the equipment will be..
 

Offline Berni

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2019, 05:19:48 am »
Cameras are surprisingly good these days, even the ones built in to smartphones.

Yeah taking photos is what i resorted to when i needed to "scan" a large number of pages and didn't care about quality as long as it was readable.

But before i get rid of the paper version of a manual id want a proper scan of it like you see in the PDF versions of such old paper manuals online. Getting that done with a regular consumer scanner is slow as heck, and anything above A4 needs stitching together multiple scans (even more time consuming).

But yeah in terms of manuals the test equipment market is not so protective of there manuals. You can often find manuals for long obsolete equipment on the manufacturers website, if not then a old test gear reseller will often have the manual on there site for free. Its the service manuals that are sometimes hard to track down as not everyone keeps a nice collection of those like HP/Agilent/Keysight does
 

Offline GlennSprigg

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2019, 10:59:39 am »
Cameras are surprisingly good these days, even the ones built in to smartphones.

Yeah taking photos is what i resorted to when i needed to "scan" a large number of pages and didn't care about quality as long as it was readable.

But before i get rid of the paper version of a manual id want a proper scan of it like you see in the PDF versions of such old paper manuals online. Getting that done with a regular consumer scanner is slow as heck, . . . . . .

I  KNOW this isn't practical for home use, but it reminded me of Google initially trying to scan all books
in a library. (or multiple libraries).  Here's a pic of one of their prototype robots, for automatically
scanning every page of a book.  Am not sure how far they got! ?   :scared:
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2019, 12:48:35 pm »
Setup a phone number that charges by the minute
Make it so that a 5min phone call costs $235
Call up the company after hours and leave a voicemail message for them to call you back on that number.
Order the manual and ask questions for 5min

 >:D

(no, i'm not serious.  But if they are going to charge for the manual you should be able to charge for your time ordering it  :-DD)
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Online Ian.M

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2019, 01:03:23 pm »
Unbind the manuals, and provided the pages are in reasonably good condition you can scan the stack of pages to PDF on most pro-grade multi-function copier/printers.  A copy center can definitely do it for you.  Unbinding the manuals with minimum damage can be a little tricky, but worst case you simply clamp them between two boards in a bookbinder's vice and plane off the binding.  You can even have the paper manual rebound with a 'perfect' binding afterwards.

@O.P:  Do edit the title of this thread to give the make and model of the robot!  With the popularity of EEVblog and the power of Google, that would be a 'gift that keeps on giving' to the Fanuc exec or marketing wallah that originated the policy of rip-off pricing for replacement manuals.  >:D
 

Offline Berni

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2019, 05:21:11 pm »
That is quite the monstrous contraption for scanning a book.

Well the manuals i have are in a ring binder so unbinding them is not so hard. And yeah i could run that trough a professional photocopier with a document feeder and double sided scanning. I don't have a copier this fancy at work tho. Even more of a problem are the large foldout schematics as those require a large format scanner (being unfolded, creases smoothed over and fed in one by one). I used to work way back at a place that had an A0 scanner and printer (Mostly got used for mechanical drawings) by now that place has gone under.

And to he honest i don't mind flipping trough a real dead tree manual and besides the test equipment that the manual belongs to takes up 10x more space by volume than the manual itself anyway. At least that's the case for my equipment.
 

Offline coppercone2

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2019, 09:36:44 pm »
crowdsource this in a company, 30 min at the photo copier per week
 

Online wraper

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Re: Fanuc charging for user manual?
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2019, 09:52:16 pm »
Controller manuals: http://rab.ict.pwr.wroc.pl/~malewicz/Fanuc/Fanuc.zip
Obviously complete lies about absence in electronic format.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2019, 10:01:48 pm by wraper »
 


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