What drive do I need for my CNC machine?

If you have a question about CNC machine drives, SFA can point you in the right direction. Many customers come to us because they purchase drives off of eBay that were well-priced, but offered no support and had not been tested to work with their CNC machine.

SFA has tested our drives on the following equipment with proven reliability:

  • Haas
  • Okuma
  • Mitsubishi
  • Charmilles
  • Agie
  • Hurco
  • FANUC
  • Sodick
  • Prototrak
  • Giddings and Lewis
  • Mazak/Mazaktrol CMT
  • Wired EDM
  • Mills
  • Lathes
  • Many more machines, makes and models!

Get toll free, USA based support for our drives. Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form to get started 

My Floppy Drive Emulator saves programs, but can it send programs?

I noticed I can’t save programs back to the Haas floppy emulator, but I can send programs to the Haas? How am I able to read from the hardware but not write from it?

Answer: Here are some steps to look into taking for this issue.

  • Does the Haas say FLOPPY DONE when you attempted to save a file to the Floppy Connect?
  • IF YES, then do an F4 command on the Haas and select EDIT to view the DIR (Directory) of the floppy emulator.
  • Is the program that you were trying to save shown in the DIR?
  • If YES, then before you remove the USB flash drive from the emulator, push the round RES button on the front of the emulator
  • Wait for a moment until all the LEDs stop flashing
  • After the flashing LEDs stop, then remove the USB flash drive
  • Take the USB stick to your PC to confirm the files have saved on the drive

If you are still encountering an issue, please contact Support or call (877) 611-5825 

What kind of USB flash drives can be used with a floppy drive emulator on my CNC?

What kind of USB flash drives can be used with a floppy drive emulator on my CNC?

You must use a stick that is 1GB or smaller in the floppy drive emulator. The flash drives must be formatted as “FAT” or “FAT-16.” 32-bit FAT (“FAT-32”) will NOT work with the floppy emulator.

More about the Shop Floor Automations floppy drive emulator:

Our Floppy Drive Emulator, available in two models, acts as a Floppy USB Emulator, is easy install, requires no system configuration or debugging, & replaces the need for floppy disks, which are very difficult to obtain. The drive emulates your existing floppy drive & acts as if the floppy drive was never removed. Works with almost any existing 720k/1.44MB capacity DOS format floppy drive. 28 or 32 pin ribbon cables systems are supported & will connect to your existing power cable.

Works in PCs & in CNC machinery such as Haas, Mazak, Fadal, Mitsubishi, Omniturn, Centroid, Robots, Flame Cutters, & Greco boxes, with new models being added to our compatibility list monthly!

There’s the Standard Floppy Drive Emulator –

  • Interface to the existing ribbon cable
  • Plugs into floppy power connector
  • Supports 720k/1.44MB capacity IBM
  • Support Wired EDM, Mills, Lathes, Robots, & other types of equipment
  • No need for Floppy Disks anymore

And the Haas Floppy Drive Emulator –

  • Only for Haas machines
  • Plug and Play Installation
  • Off-the-shelf pricing
  • Eliminate floppy disks
  • Supports many manufacturing equipment types

Want to know why customers choose our hardware, software, and solutions? Check out our testimonials page.

Can I use the floppy disk emulator to connect to my network?

Can I use the floppy disk emulator to connect to my network?

No, because the RJ45 port on the front of the unit is designed for future functionality and is currently inactive. Currently, the only method to load the device is via the USB stick. We do, however, provide solutions for interfacing between a CNC control and network storage.

Replace your floppy disk on your CNC machine tool. We have a device called the Floppy Emulator. A lot of times, we still see the floppy discs out on the shop floor. As you well know, these are too hard to find, hard to maintain, and unreliable! So, we’ve come up with a solution to allow you to eliminate that floppy disc by using our Floppy Emulator.

This device basically allows you to use a USB stick that you can plug into your PC, format it to 1.44 MB, plug it into this device, and deliver your NC program to your machine control. The advantage is that you no longer have to deal with that media and essentially is more reliable, but everybody has a USB stick available at their PC. We supply all the documentation and it’s very simple to connect.

On the back of your machine, you typically will have a power cord and an IDE Cable you plug that in the exact same spot, then it’s up and running! Your machine control believes that it is still using a floppy disc, so procedure on the machine is exactly the same. This is why we prefer and recommend the solution to eliminate the floppy disc, it allows you to breathe life into your equipment, and continue to use your machine tools, but deliver a better method of managing your NC programs, rather than a floppy disc.

What type of USB memory stick works with the floppy disk emulator?

What type of USB memory stick will work with the floppy disk emulator?

Any off-the-shelf USB memory flash drive will work, as long as it is 1GB or smaller, and formatted as “FAT” or “FAT16.” We recommend you pick a name brand and if needed, Shop Floor Automations can supply one at a low cost to guarantee reliability and compatibility.

More info on our floppy disk emulator: Shop Floor Automations has introduced its new FD Connect solution (the FD Connect is now known as the Floppy Emulator from the Floppy Connect line), which will eliminate floppy disk media and drives on the manufacturing floor.

Floppy disks are easily damaged in the shop environment due to dirt, oil and grime and are becoming impossible to replace. The FD Connect solution eliminates the need for floppy disks making it an ideal program and data storage solution for industrial equipment and machine tools.

The device is a simple plug-in thumb drive that allows easy transfer of files to the Floppy Connect. Users simply remove the existing drive and the FD Connect plugs directly into the ribbon and power cables of the old drive. It is compatibility with 720K or 1.44MB systems.

For more information, contact our sales department at (877) 611-5825

Can I replace my existing floppy disk drive with a USB stick?

Can I replace my existing floppy disk drive with a USB stick?

Yes, the floppy drive emulator is designed to replace existing floppy disk drive with a USB stick.

The emulator was made to replace almost all floppy drives on the market and eliminate the need to purchase floppy disks ever again.

More about the floppy drive emulator:

More about Shop Floor Automations’ Floppy Connect solutions: a CNC control that still uses a floppy drive can easily switch to using a USB drive. The Floppy Connect line is off-the-shelf compatible with Haas, but it is also compatible with other machines, with the help of our technicians. If you want to learn more, we have a press release about this product and you can get in contact with Shop Floor Automations on social media. We are very active on Facebook and Twitter especially.

Our Floppy Drive Emulator, available in two models, acts as a Floppy USB Emulator, is easy to install, requires no system configuration or debugging, & replaces the need for floppy disks, which are very difficult to obtain. The drive emulates your existing floppy drive & acts as if the floppy drive was never removed. Works with almost any existing 720k/1.44MB capacity DOS format floppy drive. 28 or 32 pin ribbon cables systems are supported & will connect to your existing power cable.

Works in PCs & in CNC machinery such as Haas, Mazak, Fadal, Mitsubishi, Omniturn, Centroid, Robots, Flame Cutters, & Greco boxes, with new models being added to our compatibility list monthly!

How do you install the Floppy Drive Emulator?

The install process of the Shop Floor Automations Floppy Drive Emulator:

The floppy drive emulator from SFA is easily installed by simply plugging it into the existing floppy power cable (4-pin Mini Molex) and the ribbon cable (34-pin IDE) on the back of the existing drive. No other special cables or connectors are required, and the equipment runs as normal.

More about Shop Floor Automations’ Floppy Connect solutions: a CNC control that still uses a floppy drive can easily switch to using a USB drive. The Floppy Connect line is off-the-shelf compatible with Haas, but it is also compatible with other machines, with the help of our technicians. If you want to learn more, we have a press release about this product here and you can get in contact with Shop Floor Automations on social media. We are very active on Facebook and Twitter especially.

Our Floppy Drive Emulator, available in two models, acts as a Floppy USB Emulator, is easy install, requires no system configuration or debugging, & replaces the need for floppy disks, which are very difficult to obtain. The drive emulates your existing floppy drive & acts as if the floppy drive was never removed. Works with almost any existing 720k/1.44MB capacity DOS format floppy drive. 28 or 32 pin ribbon cables systems are supported & will connect to your existing power cable.

Works in PCs & in CNC machinery such as Haas, Mazak, Fadal, Mitsubishi, Omniturn, Centroid, Robots, Flame Cutters, & Greco boxes, with new models being added to our compatibility list monthly!

What do the Green LED & Red LED lights on the Floppy Drive Emulator mean?

What do the Green LED & Red LED lights on the Floppy Drive Emulator mean?

The green LED indicates a Floppy read or write operation has been done. No green light at all, or a solid green light, indicates a problem, so please contact SFA Support if you are seeing this on your floppy drive emulator.

The red LED indicates that the USB stick is inserted into the FD Connect. The red LED should flicker when the USB stick is inserted. If you don’t have a red light or if the red LED stays solid there is a problem, this is another time in which you should contact SFA Support.

More about our floppy drive emulators:

The drive emulates your existing floppy drive to act as if the floppy drive was never removed.

The Floppy Drive Emulator comes with a 1GB USB Flash Drive with the manual on it, for your convenience. Connects to Standard 4 pin Power Connector & 34 pin Ribbon connectors on standard floppy drives.

The product has plug-and-play abilities with Haas machines, but otherwise, here is a sample list of machines we have tested our Floppy Emulator on:

  • Mitsubishi FX w/CITIZEN OSD
  • Mitsubishi FA w/TEAC FD 235 HG
  • Charmilles (TEAC FD 235-HF)
  • Charmilles Robofil
  • Agie (SONY 520-MPF)
  • Mazak (Fusion 640, 640T, Nexus)
  • Mitsubishi Meldas 500 series
  • Hurco w/Teac FD 235HF drive
  • FANUC Cassette (Yellow) on a 18i-W (w/YE Data 702B-6036BC)
  • Sodick w/Alps floppy drive
  • Nisshinbo Map 1000
  • Prototrak
  • Giddings & Lewis (G & L) 8000 ( 486 processor)
  • Plus more!

Is there a program size restriction with the Floppy Drive Emulator?

Regarding program size restriction with the Floppy Drive Emulator –

The Floppy Connect (previously known as the FD Connect) can emulate a 720 kb or a 1.44 MB floppy drive. Due to limitations of the firmware on the CNC controller, the floppy emulator must use the same size limitation on the USB stick.

SFA supplies a USB stick that can be formatted to allow for simple transfers from the computer to the floppy drive emulator. More info on going from floppy disks to USB sticks on the shop floor.

More about our Floppy Connect products:

Our Floppy Drive Emulator, available in two models, acts as a Floppy USB Emulator, is easy to install, requires no system configuration or debugging, & replaces the need for floppy disks, which are very difficult to obtain. The drive emulates your existing floppy drive & acts as if the floppy drive was never removed. Works with almost any existing 720k/1.44MB capacity DOS format floppy drive. 28 or 32 pin ribbon cables systems are supported & will connect to your existing power cable.

Works in PCs & in CNC machinery such as Haas, Mazak, Fadal, Mitsubishi, Omniturn, Centroid, Robots, Flame Cutters, & Greco boxes, with new models being added to our compatibility list monthly!

Your time is valuable in the shop floor environment. Stop using it to search for old media!

Will your floppy drive emulator work on my CNC Machine?

Will your floppy drive emulator work on my CNC Machine?

Your floppy drive emulator will work with your CNC machine so long as you are using standard DOS-readable disks. There is a 99% chance that the Floppy Drive Emulator, previously known as the FD Connect, will work. Please provide the make and model of your current floppy drive and confirm you can read the floppy disks in a Windows or DOS PC, and Shop Floor Automations can tell you which FD Connect model will work for your CNC Machine.

Our Haas-specific floppy drive emulator has plug-and-play ability. You can see our tutorial about on YouTube or read about it in our technical video transcription page.

When ordering the non-Haas specific emulator, please provide your Salesperson with the make and model of your current floppy drive and confirm you can read the floppy disks in a Windows or DOS PC, and Shop Floor Automations can tell you which model will work for your CNC Machine.

More info on the floppy drive emulator via the Floppy Connect page:

Our Floppy Drive Emulator, available in two models, acts as a Floppy USB Emulator, is easy install, requires no system configuration or debugging, & replaces the need for floppy disks, which are very difficult to obtain. The drive emulates your existing floppy drive & acts as if the floppy drive was never removed. Works with almost any existing 720k/1.44MB capacity DOS format floppy drive. 28 or 32 pin ribbon cables systems are supported & will connect to your existing power cable.

Works in PCs & in CNC machinery such as Haas, Mazak, Fadal, Mitsubishi, Omniturn, Centroid, Robots, Flame Cutters, & Greco boxes, with new models being added to our compatibility list monthly!