Available from Shop Floor Automations, the LAN Connect device enables users to add Ethernet functionality to any CNC machine. It acts as an interface between commercially available SD flash memory and any CNC with an available RS-232 port. Machine tool files can be sent from CNC memory to the device, from SD memory to CNC memory, or drip-fed (DNC) from the SD memory. Flexible CNC communication firmware is built into the unit to facilitate connection with virtually any CNC.
The product contains all hardware necessary to integrate a universal display onto a CNC machine tool pendant. The controller is a DIN rail that can be mounted inside the pendant or reverse-mounted on the display. Also included is a 2-GB SD card that can be upgraded to support additional storage capacity.
Using Microsoft Windows or FTP software, the NC program can directly load files onto the SD card for use at the CNC machine, and the operator can select files to transfer to machines via the LCD display. Connecting the device to a CNC enables the machine to run at its maximum baud rate and eliminates the need for an operator to run back and forth from the machine to the PC. Moreover, the device eliminates the need for DNC software and RS-232 cables, the company says. Additional benefits include reducing the cost of adding DNC software needed to communicate to machines and standardizing use of Ethernet cabling on the shop floor.
Developing a Platform for Data-Driven Manufacturing
With the eventual goal of adding machine condition monitoring, this company began by installing an ERP system as a foundation to build upon, flattening the learning curve with each step toward achieving increased process oversight.