Stay Up To Date

CNC CNC Tech Talk CNC Comparisons

Why Choose A LAGUNA SmartShop CNC

By Laguna Tools on August, 27 2019

The SmartShop line of CNCs from Laguna Tools sets a new standard for quality, longevity, and ease of operation with features normally associated with much higher priced machines. The SmartShop series is assembled in the U.S. from the finest components available from suppliers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Read along as we breakdown why the SmartShop offers the best quality, performance, and consistency for your money.


LAGUNA CNC Control Systems

A CNC is only as good as its control system. The SmartShop line includes the latest machine control technology from Fanuc (arguably the world leader in industrial automation) and Austrian technology giant B&R Automation.

Let's review both world-renown control systems and how they are implemented in our machines. 



Fanuc Controls

FANUC controls have a world-class reputation for performance, precision, reliability and familiar operation. This reputation makes them popular with the most demanding production managers, operators and maintenance engineers.

FANUC is the world’s leading CNC manufacturer, with more than 4 million controls installed worldwide.

The Fanuc Series 0i - Model F is the newest generation in the Series 0i control systems. The Series 0i brings faster, more accurate performance to a wide range of milling, turning, punching and grinding applications with more standard features, more advanced capabilities and faster communications than ever before.

The Series 0i control is the industry’s most reliable system with a "Mean Time Between Failure" rate of 52 years




B&R, a member of the ABB Group, is a leader in innovative automation technology with expertise in a broad spectrum of industries.

The result is a system that goes beyond just CNC while delivering reliable, proven performance.




The Power Panel 65 is an HMI combined with a powerful machine controller, making it ideal for multi-axis applications that require real-time computing performance. The 5.7” color, touch screen displays an intuitive graphical interface providing a user-friendly operator experience.

The ACOPOS micro drives deliver powerful and precise motion in a compact form factor, ensuring synchronized movement that is critical for high-quality CNC performance.





The Panel PC 2100 combines the high-speed processing power of PC hardware with B&R’s real-time machine control software.

It is paired with a 7” widescreen touch display featuring a modern, intuitive interface. The ACOPOS P3 servo drives are the highest density drives in the world.

The digital encoder feedback ensures that movements are executed quickly and precisely.


Laguna Tools sources complete matched component control packages from both B&R and Fanuc.

  • Control interface
  • I/O’s
  • Servo Drives
  • Motors


Why is A Matched Control System from Fanuc and B&R So Important?

  • Superior performance from components designed to work together
  • Better long–term serviceability and parts compatibility
  • True industrial controls that are designed to work in dirty, dusty and extreme environments. (Unlike off the shelf PC’s that are at risk from dust and contaminants that could cause hard drives and motherboards to fail).
  • Fanuc and B&R controls DO NOT rely on Windows operating systems. This eliminates ALL of the Windows environment issues (crashes, updates, etc.) that can interfere with machinery operations.
  • Speed of an industrial processor and REAL-TIME operating increases production speed, smoothness and accuracy.
  • Long-term availability


A PC Control is NOT Ideal for A CNC




Typical consumer PCs are designed with a short time frame for availability. Because technology advances so rapidly, similar parts might not be available to replace or compatible with newer technology. For industrial applications this is a problem.

Having consistent and reliable control hardware is key to ensuring machine reliability and maintenance.

Like in the picture, Windows-based CNC machines are extremely vulnerable to getting dirty and clogged, severely hindering the performance of the PC if not completely ruining it.


Drive System


Over a long axis, a ball screw driven system is susceptible to “screw whip,” which is vibration that worsens the faster a screw rotates.

Further enhancing this “whipping” action is the fact that a ball screw is only supported at the ends where it is anchored to the machine.

To alleviate this, a ball screw driven system requires more gearing or larger motors to compensate for the weight and need to maintain the rapid positioning speeds. This makes the use of a ball screw on an axis over 4’ in length not ideal.

With that being said, for shorter lengths, this is rarely realized, which makes the use of a ball screw a good choice for a short axis on a machine.

Rack and pinion drives are mounted to a machined surface and bolted in place every 4” giving you a completely rigid platform free from any “whipping“ action and potential wear.

A rack and pinion drive can be more aggressively geared to utilize the torque of the motors giving the machine an appreciable difference in speed between the two systems.



At Laguna Tools we use a helical gear rack, creating a smooth, low-friction movement with more teeth from the pinion gear in constant mesh with the rack.

This design produces zero backlash and positional accuracy of +/- .001“. If you look at the vast majority of high-end machines in the marketplace, you’ll notice they use helical rack and pinion for any axis over 4 feet.


Frame Design



The foundation for the SmartShop CNC starts with the frame. Laguna uses a one-piece welded tubular steel frame and gantry.

Our frames are heat treated to relieve stress. All critical surfaces are machined on a CNC mill for accuracy and repeatability. 6-zone phenolic vacuum tables with built in t-slots for mechanical clamping are standard on all SmartShop CNC machines.


In Summary

Hopefully, this has explained how LAGUNA has created the go-to CNC router for businesses around the world.

In addition to the technical reason to choose a LAGUNA CNC router – a rack-and-pinion system, all-steel reinforced framel, matched control systems, phenolic vacuum tables, and 8 position automatic tool changing system – we provide you with lifetime support and in-person machine and software training and installation. 

Recommended Articles

Recommended Articles

Recommended Articles

Subscribe and stay up to date