Shop Floor Automations offers a hardware product to replace 3.5" floppy disk drives and media used to store NC programs and other CNC-related files used on the shop floor. The floppy drive replacement features a USB interface to transfer files from a PC with a USB port to virtually any CNC control with a floppy disk drive.
The USB-to-floppy device works with 720-K or 1.44-MB media found on older CNC machines, laser machines, flame cutters and other shopfloor equipment. The user can transfer the files onto virtually any brand USB thumb drive and plug the device into the floppy drive emulator, which instantly copies all the files from the USB to the drive’s internal memory. Files can be accessed as if a floppy drive were still connected, and no additional cables, wiring or power are required.
The device enables machines that otherwise may have been replaced or retrofitted with new controllers to continue production. Most floppy drives manufacturers no longer exist or provide support, the company says. The USB to floppy device is said to work with virtually any CNC control and has been tested with machines from Haas, Fadal, Mazak, Hurco, Okuma and others.
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.