Predator Software Top Reseller Again

Logo of Predator from SFA ResellerWe are proud to be the top reseller of Predator Software 16 years running and we are determined to continue this streak for the years to come!

“There is something happening with our business, knowing our customers are our biggest fans, referring new business to us, “ Greg Mercurio, President of Shop Floor Automations, says.  “We have close relationships with our customers, CAD/CAM partners, machine tool distributors, and other ERP/MRP that believe in our sales, service, and support staff.  They know SFA will take care of them and recommend Predator as the best solution.”

Thank you to all of our customers in making us an industry leader in manufacturing automation solutions.

Sincerely,

The SFA Team

Predator Touch HMI Released

La Mesa, CALIF – November 16, 2015 – Shop Floor Automations (SFA), one of the largest independent CNC Automation Suppliers for Predator Software has now released Predator Touch HMI, a new addition to our software line.

This new Windows application is a touch first HMI, Human Machine Interface, designed to replace shop floor bar code readers, QR code readers and hand held terminals. The simplicityTouch HMI of this new software allows machinists and operators to control with ease and little training.

The touch first interface simplifies real-time manual data collection and direct numerical control. Touch HMI also supports data collection for machine downtimes, scrap reasons, and more. Running on almost all Windows editions, Predator Touch HMI is easy to install and begin improving manufacturing processes and operations.

Predator Touch HMI has many features including the ability to create an unlimited number of shop floor applications. This software also includes three different button types with the touch optimized interface. Additionally, there is no install required and it can be integrated with other Predator applications as well as other third party apps.

Touch HMI has the ability for wired or wireless support as well as configuration to communicate with CNCs, CMMs, test stands and other devices. With an affordable site license, Predator Touch HMI is a valuable tool in the automation of machine shops.

For more information: www.shopfloorautomations.com, email: info@shopfloorautomations.com,
Tel: 619-461-4000, fax: 619-461-5918, toll free: 877-611-5825.

 

SFA New Product Released in CNC West Magazine

Predator DNC V10 Released – original article from CNC West Magazine: 

Predator DNC SoftwareShop Floor Automations (SFA), one of the largest independent CNC automation suppliers for Predator Software has begun implementing the latest version of Predator DNC Software v10. The new version continues to improve support for the latest CNCs, robots, PLCs and other manufacturing equipment under the latest version of Microsoft Windows. Numerous new features and improvements have been added.

The support for MicrosoftWindows 8, and Server 2012 has been completed under 32 and 64 bit operation systems while including Predator DNC Objects for Microsoft SQL for 2012 and 2014. The new version extends the support for virtual operating systems such as VMware and HyperV.

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#1 In Predator Software Sales 15 Years Running

SHOP FLOOR AUTOMATIONS – #1 In Predator Software Sales 15 Years Running

La Mesa, CALIF – June 9, 2015  – Shop Floor Automations (SFA), a leader in software solutions for the manufacturing shop floor,  has continued to rank #1 in Predator software sales for 15 years running. This accomplishment is credited to the SFA team due to dedication and quality customer service.

This honor recognizes Shop Floor Automation’s achievement as Predator Software’s top revenue producing reseller for the past 15 years.

The company is frequently required to go through certification and training at Predator Software Corporate Office in Portland, OR.  This hands on training consist of install, trouble shooting, implementing, and best practices for the complete line of the Predator Software Suite.

SFA has also been involved with new product development and features for enhancements to existing products in beta testing and new hardware solutions.

As a service center and training center for Predator Software, SFA continues to show dedicationb, technical skills, new methods of implementation and connectivity to the manufacturing industry using CNC machines and other type of equipment.  Onsite training is provide at customer locations as well as SFA’s corporate office in La Mesa, about 10 miles near San Diego, California.

For more information: www.shopfloorautomations.com, email: info@shopfloorautomations.com,
Tel: 619-461-4000, fax: 619-461-5918, toll free: 877-611-5825.

Predator Software Version Upgrades Released

Logo of PredatorAt the end of 1st quarter of 2015, Predator Software has released v10 product suite.

Over 115,000 companies in over 40 countries rely on Predator solutions to network, monitor, revise, control, organize, verify, manage and automate their shop floor and improve productivity. Users are now able to upgrade to the latest versions to support Windows 8 and Server 20012, with enhanced support for virtual operating systems.

Predator Machine Monitoring and Data Collection included several new features: two new OEE dashboards, bar charts for good/scrap parts, 4 new components (cost centers, work center, machine type and report type), chart filters, and 125 machine time reports.

To learn more about the services Shop Floor Automations provides, which includes Predator, we invite you to check out our YouTube channel for tutorials, insights, and more. Our channel is here, and our transcripts, which include technical guides, are here.

SFA is also located on other social media channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, & more! Click here to see our list of resources.

DNC Software for FANUC Controls – Part 1

Icon DNCMany clients call us about DNC Software for FANUC controls and ask “can I DNC or drip-feed my FANUC control?” The typical response is “what model of FANUC control do you have on the machine that you want to use the DNC software with?” Many times, the specifics are not available, but solutions are available depending on the make and model of the FANUC control!

To drip-feed or DNC to FANUC controls, there are several requirements that need to be met. For this post, assume this is a FANUC older controller with a tape reader. The old model of Fanuc controls had a switch or toggle on the controller that allowed for the operator to enable tape mode, along with other modes like MDI and Edit. When in the tape mode, the part program is executed line by line (more happens but keeping this post short). The operator would load up the tape on the machine’s tape reader and press Cycle Start to cue the part program.

Today, tape readers are a thing of the past and these FANUC controls still need DNC Software to drip-feed. For an older FANUC control that needs to be drip-feed or DNC, we can supply a Behind the Tape Reader (BTR). The BTR and DNC Software will replace the old tape reader and “trick” the control to believe it executes the old tape. If you have executives tapes, no problem – the DNC Software for the FANUC control can be configured to accept this as well.

There are many options for DNC Software for FANUC controls, but the key is compatibility and ease of configuration to work with Windows 7 and 8. Our motto is to keep it simple and don’t try to find the cheapest solution. Sometimes, you will spend more time trying to troubleshoot the FANUC drip-feed problem when something elsewhere is already proven and reliable.

Find a vendor who has experience and can provide you with the complete solution for DNC Software for the FANUC control. We would love to hear from you to help you with your shop floor needs!

Southwest Manufacturing News – April 2015

Southwest Manufacturing  April 2015 adShop Floor Automations is a proud reseller of Predator Software, year after year. We took out an ad in the April 2015 Southwest Manufacturing News talking about the many solutions this software can give your shop floor.

Meeting document control, CNC editing, machine monitoring, DNC, and more needs, SFA is always happy to talk to customers about the advantages of this software. Contact us here, or tweet us at @SFA_inc

Our ad speaking of Predator services is located here

As we roll out our new office in Houston Texas, please see what we have to offer. Click here to see more details about our new offices.

 

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).

SHOP FLOOR AUTOMATIONS ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF PREDATOR’S
ENHANCED ETHERNET-BASED MACHINE MONITORING

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: www.shopfloorautomations.com, email: info@shopfloorautomations.com,
Tel: (619) 461-4000, fax: (619) 461-5918, toll free: (877) 611-5825.

 

Predator CNC Editor v10.0.16 Released

Logo of PredatorPredator CNC Editor v10.0.16 has been released. This new version primarily replaces backplotting with a light version of Predator Virtual CNC. It also adds several new features and improvements.

This latest release makes the following improvements:

  • Added Windows 8 support
  • Added new Predator Virtual CNC for backplotting
  • Added option to upgrade to higher levels of Predator Virtual CNC for solids, CAD Compare, 4 Axis, 5 Axis, Mill/Turn and machine simulation
  • Added backplot dialogs to simplify Virtual CNC preferences, job properties, machine configuration, OpenGL graphics and many more
  • Added backplot support for sub programs and subroutines
  • Added backplot support for branching such as IF, THEN, GOTO, DO and WHILE
  • Added backplot inspection support
  • Added backplot option to save the Predator Header
  • Added backplot option to Check Code
  • Added -hiderememberpassword command line argument – Enterprise Only
  • Added -hidedatabase command line argument – Enterprise Only
  • Added importing new components – Enterprise Only
  • Added importing new reference attachments – Enterprise Only
  • Added -trace command line argument
  • Added new external resource files
  • Added new PREDITOR.INI file for backplot integration with Predator Virtual CNC
  • Added new bar code label configuration for Summary Info Report
  • Added new command line variable \Template for the current template
  • Added new command line variable \FileFullName for the current file
  • Added new French language support
  • Added new German language support
  • Added new Portuguese language support
  • Added new Polish language support
  • Added new Spanish language support
  • Added new Installation that eliminates a required pvcnc.ocx dependency
  • Improved New Template wizard
  • Improved Edit Template wizard
  • Improved backplot graphics quality and performance
  • Improved Windows 7 and Vista installation
  • Improved splitter bars and scroll bars
  • Improved Summary Info report with a new barcode
  • Improved active window border
  • Improved help about dialog
  • Improved component editing
  • Improved history report
  • Improved error messages
  • Improved online help

Customers on software maintenance can download v10.0.16 of Predator CNC Editor from 

Icon
Predator CNC Editor
Version: 10.0.25
Download

Predator DNC Software and Ascendant eXtremeDNC Software Compared

Predator DNCPredator DNC software and Ascendant eXtremeDNC software are two great tools for CNC networking of different CNCs, punch press, water jets and other industrial equipment. They are each used to manage different types of programs. Ascendant eXtrmeDNC was the first DNC open architecture application for the 32-bit Windows operating system. It was first introduced in 1993, upgraded in 2010 to make it compatible with modern operating systems, and adapted to Ethernet, wired, and wireless hardware. It was developed for Window NT 3.5 but with the modifications, it could be applied to some modern operating systems other than a Windows based OS. It works best in a Windows 7 or Server 2008 operating systems.

However, the introduction of Predator DNC software revolutionized the CNC and DNC world. This is because of the enormous multitasking functions that can be performed on it. It has more capacity to upload, download, and drip feed. Just like the Ascendant eXtremeDNC Software, Predator DNC Software has wireless and Ethernet support. Predator DNC also uses a “object-oriented” tool library to built on functionality as the user desires. The solution also allows for a full upgrade path to other modules, such as machine monitoring, product data management and tool rib management. While eXtremeDNC has connection ports that could serve 1023 communication networks at a time, Predator DNC Software has 4096 connection and it can be used with 4096 machines simultaneously. This gives it more networking capacity.

ExtremeDNCStill, eXtremeDNC software is a useful tool, it serves different purposes for its users. It is a smart architecture compliance server which supports transmission and effective maintenance of files. If a server failure occurs or there is a loss of server networking file transmissions are not disrupted.

EXtremeDNC does not require a lot of setup and configuration. Out of the box, the product comes with several CNC templates ready to communicate to the machine tool The software enhances functions such as email notifications, it facilitates the auto tag, and renames standardization. It also enables control and easy integration of third party software. Another great aspect to eXtremeDNC Is the client/server functionality that provides true, real-time feedback as to the status of transfer. The licensing is flexible as well to purchase only the ports needed and floats without any additional modules.

Currently, eXtremeDNC Software supports different operating systems such as those under Windows XP, 7 32 and 64 bits. It does not support Windows 8. Its server operating system provides support for 2008R2, and Windows 2003. EXtremeDNC also supports Digi, Moxa, Comtrol and some other serial hardware manufacturers.

 

Pros of eXtremeDNC Software

  • It is an open system and as such, it is not an object driven.
  • Every communication protocol is embedded in the system.
  • It does not require any modular purchases such as email notification or printing.
  • Easy viewing of files anytime.
  • Its graphical application supports auto view and adobe acrobat devices.
  • Compatible with most serial and wireless hardware manufacturers

Cons of eXtreme DNC Software

  • Licensing is based on computer hardware, no dongle
  • Not compatible with Windows 8.
  • Not compatible with all operating systems.

Many people prefer the Predator DNC Software because of its versatility as it could effectively network all robots, PLCs, EDMs and CNCs. Furthermore, it is compatible with all the major Integration with databases, excel, VB scripting, and command line functionality.

 

Pros of Predator DNC Software

  • It is more compatible with Windows Explorer and Microsoft Office. It is easy to perform functions such as copying, pasting, cutting, dragging and dropping, toolbars, shortcut menus, tools as well as online help.
  • Its flexible interface feature makes it adaptable to different networking devices like USB, Ethernet, wired and wireless devices, and also different operating systems.
  • Supports several remote functions such as auto naming, remote messaging and any type of remote commands you want to perform on it.
  • It currently supports different versions of Windows Operating System such as 32 and 64-bit versions, Vista, Windows 7, 2003, 2007, and 2008, 2012 as well as Windows XP.
  • Currently, there are three editions of the software, which include the DNC Express, Predator DNC as well as the DNC Enterprise, this makes it possible to cover different types of operating systems and customer price points.

Cons of Predator DNC Software

  • Not compatible Windows 8
  • Licensing is done via dongle
  • Clients / Server is limited in functionality
  • Floating seats are controlled via separate module and additional cost

Verdict

In the end, Predator DNC gets the go-ahead over eXtremeDNC as it ensures better control of workflow and has better compatibility with modern operating systems for complete automation. Also, Predator DNC is much more flexible which is essential for both control and performance. If you looking for basic functionality, price and reliability, ExtremeDNC will meet your needs.

For more information, call (877) 611-5825 to see how we can help your shop floor!