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How to Upgrade a Fanuc LR Mate Robot to a USA Version Operating System

Article ID: 66
Last updated: 13 Oct, 2010

Warning, this article contains over 60 screen shots 640 x 480 60k in size each. It could take awhile to load for you modem users, but in order to explain everything required I felt it necessary to show you screen by screen.


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For some reason when I started integrating Fanuc LR Mate robots back about eight months ago, I was never told that I needed to change or install the version operating system for the LR Mate to take advantage of additional software options that I ordered with our robots. For example we ordered the Collision Guard option with our LR Mate robots but I never could get Collision Guard to work. I called numerous times to support with different questions, but I don't think it ever clicked with anyone at support that I had not upgraded my robot yet.

Fanuc ships your robot with the version operating system, and then in a separate box you get the software you purchased as an option on a compact flash card pre-loaded with the version operating system. If no one told you, your suppose to take that compact flash card and installed it into the controller when your robot arrives and replace the operating system that shipped with your robot " hmmm "odd? Enough said. Well let me see if I can help. I did two robots last week and everything went smooth as silk with the upgrade.

After talking with Fanuc support for awhile on the phone I finally understand what I should have been doing eight months ago with our first robot. I wish I would have been told back then but at least I know what I am doing now, I hope.

Basically here are the steps in summary.

Backup your programs.
Write down your mastering data.
Take an image of your controller.
Replace the version with version software.
Restore mastering data.
Restore your programs and comments.
Re-calibrate your robot.
Take a new image of your controller.


Seems simple right? Well you should block out about thirty minutes of your time. This step-by-step guide assumes that you have programs and points taught in your robot already. If you have a brand new robot out of the box, you don't have to worry about backing up your current programs. 

What's cool about this procedure is if you follow it, you can replace your current operating system with a new one, and not have to re-teach any points in your robot. Just verify the points before you press the green "go" cycle button just in case. 

So how do you know you got the operating system or the operating system already? Simple, press MENUS, then Utilities.


If you see LR Handling Tool 7D90/xx, then you have the software.

If you see LR Handling Tool M6.3x-x, then you have software. Stop right here, because you already got the operating system.



So what do you need to replace the operating system? You'll need the software that shipped in a separate box with your software options you purchased. It will be on a compact flash card with an original Fanuc sticker, marked with a variant number. Make sure you don't get them mixed up with which robot they go with. We had two robots, one was a LR Mate 200iB and the other one was a LR Mate 200iB/3L. The cards are made for each robot model. You'll also need the compact flash card reader and a spare empty compact flash card to make backups with.



First insert the blank compact flash card into the reader. We are going to use this to backup our programs and take an image of the controller before we start. Taking an image of the controller is extremely important. An image file is what is needed to restore a broken controller or a broken robot. It's also your fail safe if something goes wrong during this step-by-step guide. So make sure you don't forget this step.



Insert your spare compact flash card into the controller and power down the controller if you haven't already done so. We need to start up the controller in a special menu. We are going to start the controller in a "controlled start". Fanuc recommends doing a controlled start to back up your programs. This way all the variables in the CPU are frozen and not executing. To do a controlled start, press < Prev and Next > keys at the same time. Hold them down while turning the power on to the controller. You can let go when you see the controlled start menus.



Choose 3. Controlled Start. Next press MENUS, then File.



When you first get to the File screen, by default the F4 file menu is set to restore.



We need to toggle this to do a backup. Press the FCN "Function Key" on the teach pendant. Then choose 2. Restore/Backup. This will toggle the F4 selection from [RESTOR] to [BACKUP].



Now you can press F4 for backup, choose All of the Above. Your current programs and program comments will be backed up to the compact flash card. When you run this backup command, you want to be aware that the controller will erase EVERYTHING on the compact flash card, so make sure you don't need anything on the compact flash card you choose to use. For example, one time I got desperate and grabbed the compact flash card out of my personal digital camera, without thinking, I did not download the pictures yet on my compact flash card, and well no more pictures. But I did get all the Fanuc program files as a consolation.



Ok so step one is complete, backing up all of our current programs. Next we need to write down and record the mastering data in the robot. Press MENUS, then Variables.



Find the variable $DMR_GRP. Highlight this and press enter.



Press enter again at the DMR_GRP_T screen. Arrow down and find the $MASTER_COUN variable. Highlight this as well and press enter.



What you're looking at now is the mastering data for each axis. Get a notepad and pen to write down these numbers. Don't forget to write down if the number is positive or negative. Double check and triple check these numbers after you write them down. You don't want to make a type-o here.



Ok now step two is complete, writing down your mastering data. You can now power down the controller.



Now we need to take an image of the controller. In order to do this, we will need to power up the controller another special way. We need to get to the boot menu. Press and hold the F1 and F5 keys at the same time when turning on the power to the controller. You can let go when you see the boot menu.



Now we want to take an image of our controller before we start. This is our fail safe. Choose 4. Controller backup/restore. You can leave the same compact flash card in the controller that you just backed up all your programs on. Creating an image does not erase current files on your card, it merely adds the image files to the card, so long as there is enough space to write files. We had a 256Mb Sandisk card so space shouldn't be a problem for us. Choose 2. Backup controller as an image.



The controller will let you know how much space it needs to do the image backup. The procedure will make 1MB image files of both the FROM and SRAM areas of the controller. Just make sure you got enough space before continuing.




Ok pressing ENTER will take us back to the main boot menu.



Go ahead and remove your compact flash card and keep it in a safe place, or insert into your laptop now and backup all these files up to your network server somewhere safe. Insert the Fanuc supplied compact flash card.



Insert the Fanuc card back into the controller. Your ready for step four, replace the operating system with the Fanuc USA version. Choose 2. All software installation.



Follow the next prompt with a Yes (1).



You'll have one final prompt asking if it's ok to replace the software. Choose Yes (1) if you have the original Fanuc card installed and you're ready.




Sometimes you might get another question soon after the confirmation screen asking about robot personalities. The first robot I did asked me this question. The second robot I upgraded did not ask me this question. So I am not sure why the first one did and the second one did not.

The menu choice was:

1. Existing robot

2. LR Mate 200iB (Or your robot model number)


I asked Fanuc support about this, and if you're doing a complete operating system change from to , you'll want to choose 2. LR Mate 200iB. Choice 1 is for if you want to upgrade your existing. I guess you'll have to call Fanuc support if you want a more detailed explanation of which is better if you already have the version and are upgrading to a higher version of the same operating system. 

Once you're past these screens the files start coping. Go ahead and get a Mountain Dew and relax a bit. This will take a few minutes.


About three quarters the way done, you'll get prompted for a brake question. This is really important to know if your robot has 2 brakes or 6 brakes. If you don't know for sure, call Fanuc support and find out. You don't want to guess this question wrong.



Once all the new software is loaded, it's time to restore our mastering data. After the software is done, it will naturally start the controller in a controlled start mode. Go ahead and press MENUS, then Variables and work your way back to the $DMR_GRP mastering count area.



Grab your notepad and type in all the master numbers you wrote down earlier.




Ok now we are ready for step six, restoring your programs. Remove the original Fanuc compact flash card and re-insert your compact flash card that has your programs you backed up just a few minutes ago. Insert this back into the controller.


Go to MENUS, then File again.



You might have to change the device from which you are going to restore data from. As you can see the controller is set for the Floppy device right now. We need to change that to MC for memory card. Choose UTIL, and Set Device.




Now we can read our files we have stored on the memory card. We only need to restore the teach pendant programs and our comments. So first lets do the teach pendant programs. Choose F2 [DIR], then *.TP.



Choose your teach pendant programs you wrote in the list and press F3 [LOAD] one at a time. I only had three teach pendant programs in this robot. PNS0001, RECOVERY and ORING. So I highlighted each one, then pressed LOAD.



Next we want to restore our I/O comments. Select F2 [DIR], then *.IO.



You'll see the DIOCFGSV.IO file, highlight this and press LOAD.



Next we want to restore our register comments such as register variables and position registers. Select F2 [DIR], then *.VR.



You'll notice three files to restore. Highlight each one and press LOAD.






Ok now all our programs and comments are restored, we can now Cold Start the robot controller. Press the FCN key. Then Start (Cold).



Step seven involves re-calibrating the robot. But before we do that, you'll want to re-setup all your Config settings. Re-loading the operating system erases all your settings. You can not restore them because the system variable set from and are different so it's best to go back in manually and setup your Config settings. I suspect most of you know what to do next but we will go over this step anyway. Press MENUS, then 0 for Next.



Now choose SYSTEM.



Press F1 [TYPE], then 6. Config.



On this robot, I don't have any hand signals, so I disable the hand broken signals group. This keeps me from getting the HAND BROKEN alarm.



I also change my I/O to Simple CRM 81. This is my preference, yours might be different depending on how you wired to your robot controller. I wire all my UOP singles to the CRM 81 connector that I purchase from



Ok so now just for kicks and giggles you're going to have to reboot your controller because you changed the Config. Go ahead and do a power down.



When we power backup we will want to boot normally. No holding any special keys this time. All of our data is restored and our config is setup just as before, so now the last thing to do is calibrate the robot. If you was to try and move the robot in let's say a Jog Frame move, you probably will get an alarm MOTN-49 Attempt to Move w/o Calibrate.



Ok so now we are ready for step seven. Calibrate the robot. Press MENUS, then 0 NEXT, then SYSTEM. Press F1 [Type] again, then 2 Variables. What we need to do here is enable the Master Calibrate screen. It's hidden by default.



Find the variable $MASTER_ENB, change it to 1. This will display the Master Calibration menu item.



After changing the variable, press F1 [Type], you'll notice a new menu called Master / Cal.



Select 3 Master / Cal. If you try and press 6 Calibrate now, you'll get an alarm SRVO-27 Robot not mastered.




What the robot doesn't know yet is that you did master the robot. You mastered the robot when you typed in all the numbers back into the variable $MASTER_COUNT. So we are going to trick the robot into thinking that it's already mastered. Press F1 [Type] then variables again. Find the $DMR_GRP variable and set the $MASTER_DONE from false to true.



Now go back to the F1 [Type], Master / Cal screen and press 6 Calibrate.



Your robot should respond to calibrate by saying "Calibrated"



Now we can move our robot finally. What Fanuc recommends next is jog your robot to the witness marks. Align all five axis to the witness marks as close as you can.



Once you're all lined up, press the POSN key to look at the current position of the robot axis. You should find all your major axis very close to the 0.000 mm.



After you have verified this step, it's safe to check all your currently taught positions. They should be dead on. You shouldn't have to re-teach any of them.

Congratulations, you just upgraded your first Fanuc LR Mate robot operating system. Now you'll want to make another image of your controller. Remember to power down, press and hold the F1 and F5 keys to boot into the boot menu. Take some time and take another image of the controller with the new software installed.

Remember in the beginning of this article I was trying to get Collision Guard working? Well now I have Collision Guard installed. If you have purchased this option, you can follow along with me. Press MENUS, then SETUP.



Now press F1 [Type] and choose Coll Guard.



You can choose to disable or enable Collision Guard here, and assign a register so you can alter the collision guard settings in your program. By default collision guard is enabled and setup for 100%. The range is 0 to 200%. 200% is the most sensitive setting. 100% worked really well for me for the most part running the robot at 65% speed.



In my program I changed Collision guard on the fly when I was insert a part into another part to make sure I would stop for misalignment or any other problems.

If you want to do this, assign a R value to 3 Sensitivity Macro register, in my case I choose R[10].

In my program I change collision guard on the fly like this:


J PR[1] 100% FINE



J PR[2] 100% FINE



J PR[1] 100% FINE

In the program example above, Position Register move to 1 was executed at 100% sensitivity. I then change R[10] with a new value. Then you have to run the COLL GUARD MACRO program to update the argument. Next Position Register move to 2 was executed at 175% sensitivity. Then I change the sensitive back, and updated the value. The final Position Register move to 1 was executed at 100% sensitivity again.

Collision Guard is very simple once you get it installed and working. Knowing is half the battle. G.I. Joe was always right.

Article ID: 66
Last updated: 13 Oct, 2010
Revision: 1
Views: 16014
Comments: 0
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