Predator’s Enhanced Ethernet Based Machine Monitoring called CNC Service

Shop Floor Automations announces a new solution for Machine Monitoring utilizing MTConnect, FOCAS and other solutions called CNC Service (originally an article in CNC West).


LA MESA, Calif. – December 16, 2014 – Shop Floor Automations (SFA), the largest distributor and Service Center for Predator Software Inc., today announced the release of Predator’s popular Manufacturing Data Collection (MDC) software for Ethernet-based machine tools.

For many years, Predator has offered its fully automated, real-time MDC system for any size company to monitor and improve shop floor productivity using PLCs, macros, and paper-based solutions. This solution integrated well into equipment with stack lights and older machines to capture running, alarms, feed hold, and idle time, but left some users objecting to adding more equipment due to the costs of hardware requirements.

Today, most CNC machines include Ethernet ports and can be leveraged for data collection. CNC machines that use a Fanuc controller may have a feature called FOCAS, which allows for the capture of real-time data such as overrides, spindle speed, program number, feed/speed rates, alarms, and indicates control mode.

Another new standard for collecting data through an Ethernet port is called MTConnect. Like FOCAS, MTConnect can collect real-time data from your machine. SFA is a member of the MTConnect Technical Advisory Board. We work closely with their partners and the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) to continue to create open communication standards that provide the capability to pass data from machine tools to high-level systems for further processing using the XML-based standard. MTConnect can be added to CNC machines at a reasonable cost now from numerous machine tool builders.

SFA has implemented several machine monitoring systems recently using a new product from Predator Software called CNC Service. This product is designed to run as Windows Service and connect to any number of machines via Ethernet using an IP address and port number. The service is configured to “poll” the equipment starting at every five seconds and provides machine status to the user via tablets, desktops, and digital signage on the shop floor.

All the collected data is recorded into one of three database platforms—Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQL or Oracle—so decision-makers will have various reports and charts regarding production history at their fingertips. Analyzing production details provides a real understanding of the quality and efficiency of production resources, as areas of deficiency can be easily viewed, analyzed, and eventually improved. Production and quality details can be analyzed for a particular machine and can be broken down by day, week, month, quarter or year.

Predator CNC Service can be easily integrated to provide feed rate, spindle speed, MDI, mode (MDI, Auto, Handle), emergency stops, machine alarms, single block, tool number length and diameter offsets, and part counters. Other information such as downtime reasons, job, part, operation and users can be captured in the reading variables as well.

With the motto “You can only improve what you measure,” Predator’s CNC Service helps improve the manufacturing process by empowering decision-makers with the information they need to run production more efficiently.

For more information:, email:,
Tel: (619) 461-4000, fax: (619) 461-5918, toll free: (877) 611-5825.


Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – NOV/DEC 2014

nov dec 2014 shop floor automations newsletter The following is an archived copy of our Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – November/December 2014 Issue


Do you know what your machines are doing, right now?

Consider what your shop rate is along with the cost of lost productivity time. Now, by knowing exactly what your machines are doing at all times, and by receiving proactive notifications, could you increase uptime by 30 minutes a month per machine?  How about the gains of knowing when machines are running at a lower feedrate, or sitting in feedhold? The software typically pays for itself within the first few days of each month.


Improve your view of scheduling, job tracking, and machine capacity with JobPack On Time Graphical Scheduler.

Integrate with any ERP system or eliminate the white board and Microsoft Spreadsheet.  You make the part, we will plan and schedule the job on time, increase your throughput, reduce your overtime and drive your costs down.


Looking to connect with others and join a group that promotes our industry?

An NTMA membership immediately connects you with peers at the local, regional and national levels – opening up conversations that can lead to new opportunities while helping you discover industry trends and better ways to operate.

NTMA is organized into nearly 50 local chapters throughout the country.

We are part of the San Diego Chapter monthly meeting.


For all you CNC programmers and machine tool operators, we have the perfect Holiday gift. If your’re the boss, have your team look cool in a stylish black SFA t-shirt.

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We have sizes M through 3XL. You can order on our website.

Link to original newsletter HERE