Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 6

Shop Floor Automations blog - Legacy SFA Blogs - Press Coverage - Media CoverageSince we understand the significance of backing up important documents, Shop Floor Automations also takes it’s own archival process very seriously. Here is the 6th installment of our SFA Legacy Blogs series, where we thank the press for past and current coverage of our company.

CNC West Shop Floor Automations

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MFG Talk Radio published our article about graphical job scheduling, which was wonderful to see.  Production Machining had us in their extensive Buyer’s Guide for their January 2017 issue – we were on pages 92, 94, and 97, in the areas of Software (under CAD/CAM & related software), ERP & Other Shop Management Software, as well as Support Equipment & Data Collection Devices for Gaging.

We were also in Modern Machine Shop’s January 2017 issue for our piece on Touch HMI. For press on the same product, MoldMaking Technology put us in their January 2017 issue on page 46, talking about how Touch HMI “can be leveraged for machine monitoring in the future without the added cost of hardware.”

CNC West was kind enough to publish us in back to back issues. In the December 2016/January 2017 issue, on page 66, they shared an update from us about DataXchange, quoting “new features include the MTConnect Data Viewer, making the software more compatible with MTConnect.” Then in the February/March 2017 issue, on page 54, they dedicated an entire page to our article about graphical job scheduling versus spreadsheets.

To wrap it up, Industrial Machinery Digest wrote about our unofficial mascot, Shop Floor Man, in this piece. If you are curious to see what our comic strip character has been up to, check out our humor Instagram account.

If you would like information on how to improve productivity on your manufacturing shop floor, please get in touch with us today! You can reach us at (877) 611-5825 or fill out this contact form

New Shop Floor Man Comics

SHOP FLOOR MAN comic Christmas Holidays 2016 Machine Monitoring MFG

Click comic for a larger view on Instagram

Shop Floor Man, our manufacturing comic book hero, has been on some new adventures since we last posted the Halloween strip here on our blog. Let’s see what other machinist hijinks he has gotten up to, since we last left off.

Since the holidays just passed us, it was natural that this time of year entered into Shop Floor Man’s realm. In this strip, we learned the real reason why machine monitoring was implemented into our cartoon protagonist’s shop. Santa always knows when someone is doing something naughty, even on a manufacturing shop floor!

Then today, we saw that Shop Floor Man looks to have made a New Years Resolution by replacing complicated, antiquated job scheduling techniques with graphical job scheduling. This is sure to save him lots of time and aggravation.

Shop Floor Man comic job scheduling

Click comic for a larger view on Instagram

If there are any manufacturing or machinist themed adventures you would like to see Shop Floor Man explore in future comics, we would love to hear from you!

Contact us here, or via one of our social media channels. We are also available at Toll Free at (877) 611-5825. Remember – our solutions are better than our comics.

SFA’s Top 10 Moments of 2016

Top 10 Moments of 2016 - A Happy New Year SFA Blog

      Click photo above for a larger view.

2016 was a pretty crazy year! With 2017 racing toward us, we here at Shop Floor Automations wanted to share our Top 10 Moments of 2016, whether they were inspiring, or just sentimental to us!

MOMENT # 10: The NTMA Business Expo night at the Belching Beaver Brewery. We had a lot of fun, and great food, at this NTMA event. We also gave away a USB Connect and the winner was Eddie from Aerotek! You can read more about the event by clicking here.

MOMENT # 9: Visiting OSML (Open Source Maker Labs) via NTMA. We loved getting to visit this maker workshop. At OSML, people of all ages get to learn about 3D printing, welding, making robots, woodworking, and much more. You can read about how to participate in what they do at OSML by clicking here.

MOMENT # 8: Getting inspired by a visit to Workshops for Warriors. Hernán Luis y Prado founded this program where they wish to combat the manufacturing skills gap and give veterans much-needed work that is not only stable but well paying. If you want to help this amazing organization, you can read about our visit here. We also got to interview Hernán at FABTECH 2016, which you can watch here.

Shop Floor Man Comics in the MediaMOMENT # 7: Another big moment for us was when we premiered our comic character Shop Floor Man. Not only was it a cute idea, but it was also a statement from us that we really want to delve into the new media movement that is growing within the manufacturing industry.

“This is great for social media,” Christina M. Fuges of MoldMaking Technology stated about Shop Floor Man’s creation. She wrote about how our Marketing Coordinator “heard how social media isn’t valuable for this line of business, but believes this could not be further from the truth.”

Shop Floor Automations Top 2016 moments

       Click photo above for a larger view.

MOMENT # 6: Social events at our company, such as our office parties, the bowling night we had, and going to the top of Willis Tower in Chicago, were all a hoot. Because some of our employees work in other offices around the country, it can be difficult for all of us to get together. We are grateful for all of the moments we have been able to have all our employees under one roof to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

MOMENT # 5: Halloween was a lot of fun this year. Everyone brought in snacks and we had a costume contest. The winners were Amanda as Beetlejuice, Amy as Wonder Woman, and Greg as a Minecraft character.

MOMENT # 4: Seeing Blue Man Group in Las Vegas during FABTECH 2016. Sam and Greg were “dragged” to see Blue Man Group by Amanda, who is a big fan of the crazy music trio. The guys ended up loving the show and everyone stayed afterward to meet some of the Blue Men. It was a fun bonding experience and our faces were sore from smiling and laughing during the show.

MOMENT # 3: Farewell to John. This is one of the bittersweet moments of 2016. John had been with our company for five years, but he decided that it was time to move on and pursue some of his dreams. We definitely support that he wanted to spread his wings, so we threw him a farewell party at Fuddruckers, one of his favorite places to grab a burger.

Top 2016 Moments from SFA

          Click photo above for larger view.

MOMENT # 2: Premiering the Multi Connect at IMTS 2016. Although the device is not ready for purchase yet, setting it up for display at IMTS and FABTECH has garnered a lot of interest. We look forward to the possibilities it has, and as you can see, it definitely is a good looking piece of tech!

MOMENT # 1: We love all of the moments this year in which we got to interact with our amazing customers. Whether it was over the phone, at a shop visit, or at a trade show, thank you for making us who we are today.

Honorable mention to Michael at MiniMachine, who posed for this great photo for us at IMTS 2016.  He uses Predator DNC through us and loves our G-code shirts. He actually came to that show already wearing the shirt, and he filmed this customer success story, too!

Happy New Year from Shop Floor Automations! If you want to make 2017 great for your shop floor, call us at (877) 611-5825. 

Funny Sounding Manufacturing Terms

Funny Manufacturing Terms Photo

Machinist meme from Instagram

We could all use a little laugh now and again, right? Quite a few psychologists have even studied and recommend to implement laughter in your daily routine to help with health. It’s time that those in manufacturing, from the shop floor machinist to the guy working in the corner office, learns to laugh at themselves.

Manufacturing is serious business. It is an expensive industry full of skilled workers who want the industry to regain more footing in the American economy. But come on now – there are some funny factors about our business!

We have created a comic called “Shop Floor Man Presents” to help bring this community together through humor, but why stop there? Here is a list of terms familiar to our industry that, if you think about it for a moment, sound quite funny:

DONGLE – Aside from sounding funny, a dongle is a USB with a license on it. Many consumers are likely familiar with the term “dongle” with the latest “no headphone jack in phones” movement, and CNET is having a good laugh about it, as well.

DIP SWITCH – Not something you call someone with no common sense. It’s an arrangement of switches still used on industrial equipment, even though consumer electronics have veered away from them.

FLOPPY DISK – It’s not really floppy at all, is it? The misleading name actually means that it is a flexible magnetic disk that can be removed. The disk is surrounded by hard plastic and stores crucial data on it. For the last few years, it’s been able to be replaced by USB flash drives and alike hardware devices (AHEM, which we have plenty of in different varieties).

WORM – Stands for “Write Once Read Many.” Can also catch fish, as well as a familiar term for early birds.

BRAT – It doesn’t just explain a petulant child. It can have two manufacturing meanings: “Bi-drive Recreational All Terrain” OR “Business Risk Advisory Team.

WHACK-A-MOLE – A euphemism in manufacturing that states while one problem will be solved, another one is bound to pop up. (PS – we can help your shop floor stop feeling like this, but keep reading on!)

POKA-YOKE – While it sounds like something you would do when making over-easy eggs, this is the act of making a manufacturing process fail-safe and a process in which an error cannot be made. Detecting and preventing errors in this process falls into three stages. (AKA Baka-Yoke)

Memes at OSML from SFA

Funny signs on display in a maker’s lab

No one is perfect. Check out our Shop Floor Automations blooper reel and subscribe to our YouTube channel! We also have tutorials and other useful info there.

BISCUIT – A ceramic that was fired, but not glazed. In terms of carbs, isn’t a glazed biscuit that was baked a scone? (AKA bisque)

BMS LOAD – It’s not an insult you hurl at someone on the manufacturing shop floor. It’s the input of resource estimates, charges and committed money in an engineering program.

CATCHBALL – Not something you do with a company sports team. It’s the process of back and forth communication between different organization levels in the workplace.

YOYO – Stands for “You’re on your own”. Hopefully, when someone says this to you, you don’t have a YOLO (“you only live once”) attitude about it.

If you can use more laughter in your life, follow our manufacturing humor related accounts on Twitter and Instagram. If you have serious business regarding your shop floor, we invite you to call us at (877) 611-5825 and we will get you taken care of.

Thanks to ManufacturingTerms.com for help with explaining some of these terms!

Halloween with Shop Floor Man

Shop Floor Man Halloween ComicIt’s a little late, but we wanted to make sure we got our Halloween issue of “Shop Floor Man Presents” up here on our blog. In this comic strip, we see it takes A LOT to scare Shop Floor Man (you can click the image to see the comic larger).

More about our manufacturing and machinist themed cartoon creation:

“With an eye toward a younger manufacturing audience, the company has launched a Web comic series,” says Jedd Cole of TechSpex. “With the intention of carving out a space for manufacturing-related humor on social media, especially Twitter.”

“The comic appears in two-panel stories in which the main character, Shop Floor Man, shows life with SFA’s solutions compared with exaggerated horrors he faces elsewhere,” Cole continued. “Other comics will riff on familiar trials faced by machinists everywhere, as well as other industry-related humor.”

Shop Floor Automations (SFA) is doing its job to attract a younger manufacturing audience by working its social media channels and developing a comic strip series called Shop Floor Man Presents,” Christina M. Fuges of MoldMaking Technologywrites.

“Finally, there’s a cartoon character metalworkers can embrace,” Chris Koepfer from Production Machining writes. “He is the brainchild from a collaboration among the owner and two employees of California-based Shop Floor Automations (SFA)…the entire company contributes ideas and feedback for the comic, which makes it fun for the employees to get involved and share their shop floor experiences.”

“With a younger MFG audience on the horizon, SFA is looking to make an impact within the social media landscape, just as the company has made its mark in the shop floor automation field,” Manufacturing Tomorrow published on October 13th.

To read more about Shop Floor Man, click here! To get solutions to make your manufacturing shop floor more productive, call (877) 611-5825!

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 1

We at Shop Floor Automations know that your legacy machines are important to you. We also take the same care in preserving our past press appearances, so we welcome you to our Legacy SFA Blog Series from the Shop Floor Automations blog!

CNC West November 2016 - shop floor automations blogIn the first edition, we invite you to look back on articles and ads in:

CNC West, November 2016 – pages 88, 89 and 70 – where we had our new products appearing at our FABTECH 2016 booth, as well as an ad for our Multi Connect, which will also be on display at FABTECH.

Manufacturing News, October 2016 – page 35 (for the West issue) – In this issue, we talk about Predator Touch HMI and why it will benefit your shop floor manufacturing needs. The machine monitoring, big button interface is a program we have been excited to share with the public the past few months, and we are glad the manufacturing publications are helping us spread the word. Click here to read the piece in MFG News.

Modern Machine Shop, October 2016 – on page 149 (and on their website) – We got to talk further here about Predator’s Touch HMI. “The HMI is designed to provide an easier way for operators on the shop floor to interact with management and Predator Software. Shop Floor Automations can customize color coding, layouts, prompts and third-party applications.” We invite you to read more at this link.

American Machinist, November 2016 – on their website – our new WiFi USB Connect product is featured. The post states “The device serves as an easy and economic shop floor upgrade. Data can be stored on a remote PC, or locally in the device’s memory, with the device itself providing up to 128 MB of storage.” Read more here.

Speaking of Modern Machine Shop, they also published a piece on our new creation, Shop Floor Man, in early November 2016! “With an eye toward a younger manufacturing audience, the company has launched a Web comic series called ‘Shop Floor Man Presents’ with the intention of carving out a space for manufacturing-related humor on social media, especially Twitter.” Read more of the piece by clicking here.

Want more information on our hardware, software and support solutions? Call (877) 611-5825 to tell us what is going on with your shop floor! 

Shop Floor Man has Arrived

Shop Floor Man Comics in the MediaWow! The response to our new creation Shop Floor Man has been wild. We at Shop Floor Automations had an idea to try and represent what our customers, who work in the manufacturing industry, go through via a comic strip character. The reception is more than we hoped for.

“With an eye toward a younger manufacturing audience, the company has launched a Web comic series,” says Jedd Cole of TechSpex. “With the intention of carving out a space for manufacturing-related humor on social media, especially Twitter.”

“The comic appears in two-panel stories in which the main character, Shop Floor Man, shows life with SFA’s solutions compared with exaggerated horrors he faces elsewhere,” Cole continued. “Other comics will riff on familiar trials faced by machinists everywhere, as well as other industry-related humor.”

Shop Floor Automations (SFA) is doing its job to attract a younger manufacturing audience by working its social media channels and developing a comic strip series called Shop Floor Man Presents,” Christina M. Fuges of MoldMaking Technology writes.

“Finally, there’s a cartoon character metalworkers can embrace,” Chris Koepfer from Production Machining writes. “He is the brainchild from a collaboration among the owner and two employees of California-based Shop Floor Automations (SFA)…the entire company contributes ideas and feedback for the comic, which makes it fun for the employees to get involved and share their shop floor experiences.”

“With a younger MFG audience on the horizon, SFA is looking to make an impact within the social media landscape, just as the company has made its mark in the shop floor automation field,” Manufacturing Tomorrow published on October 13th.

To see an archive of Shop Floor Man comics, click here

“This is great for social media,” Fuges of MoldMaking Technology stated. She wrote about how our Marketing Coordinator “heard how social media isn’t valuable for this line of business, but believes this could not be further from the truth.”

Shop Floor Man Comic 10-19-16

Click the comic above for a Larger View

“Obviously, the comic serves as a marketing and promotional tool for the company. But it’s also an intriguing entrance into a sphere not many other manufacturers have explored to date, one with the potential to tap into the lived experience of younger, millennial audience,” Cole of TechSpex continues, from his piece. “In the sometimes convoluted Venn diagram of manufacturers, millennials and social media, Web comics could be a particularly effective way to bridge culture gaps and to foster community through shared experience.”

Fuges agrees with the point of view of our Marketing Coordinator in getting a younger audience into the manufacturing industry, no matter the job focus. “You have middle school kids, high school teens and college-aged young adults who we are trying to get into this industry, or people like the military veterans being trained at organizations like Workshops for Warriors. These people of these various age groups are attached to their devices and social media, and we can reach them and show them this industry is a community.”

“Laughter and humor are part of the fabric of life and enjoyed by almost everyone,” says Koepfer at Production Machining. “Shop Floor Man can demonstrate that manufacturing can be a fun industry in which to work.”

Want to see more of Shop Floor Man, or have feedback on some future adventures he can go on? Tweet SFA on Twitter at both @SFA_inc and @ShopFloorHumor. You can always call us, too, at (877) 611-5825!

 

MFG Day Comic was a Success

MFG Day Comic SFA 2016One of the final posts we put up about MFG Day 2016 was a specially themed Shop Floor Man comic to celebrate the day. It received a good amount of buzz on social media, and we wanted to share it here. 

Shop Floor Automations is an official endorser of MFG Day and we realize the importance the holiday has. It is so important that future generations be involved and get interested in the manufacturing industry. Be it a machinist, a programmer, an engineer, etc. – the industry must continue to thrive. We reviewed the reasons why manufacturing makes a difference for the USA in this previous post.

Shop Floor Man is our newest creation to help exemplify the benefits of upgrading your shop floor. He is a reflection of the frustrations and crazy things that happen in this industry, and we hope you enjoy his presence on the interwebs!

More about Shop Floor Automations and how we help shop floors:

  • Check out our archived newsletters with industry topics & event wrap-ups here
  • Read testimonials & see videos of what our customers have to say about us here
  • Check out the FAQ section about our software & hardware solutions here
  • See our case studies here and we have webinars coming up here
  • We are on social media here, and you can call us at (877) 611-5825 for more info!

 

MFG Day 2016 is Coming

Shop Floor Man Comic 9-23-16Shop Floor Automations (SFA) will present to our audience a week-long celebration of MFG DAY, which takes place October 7th. The National Holiday is a celebration of how the industry has evolved in recent years, with a heavy focus on pulling in a future generation to keep the job field thriving.

SFA will roll out the red carpet for MFG DAY by providing followers a day-to-day parade of content relative to the Holiday the week it occurs. Informative blogs, a video, maybe even an infographic, will be just some of the fun content to experience. We may even give out one of their hilarious G-code T-Shirts, but definitely count on a discount to celebrate the Holiday in our online store!

Could an MFG DAY related strip from our new comic series called “Shop Floor Man” (which is pictured to the top left and may be clicked on to magnify) be coming? We are also reaching out to some of their amazing customers in the Manufacturing field to get their stories and insight from the work they do, which will hopefully be included in these celebrations.

Follow what we will be up to on Twitter at both @SFA_inc and @ShopFloorHumor. We are also on Instagram and Facebook under the username ShopFloorAutomations. Look for all of our MFG Day related content on our website blog.

We are also be exhibiting at FABTECH from November 16th to 18th in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Check us out in the Center Hall of the Metalform section at Booth number C13109.

Remember – when tweeting about MFG Day, please use the tag #MFGday16 or use it to keep up with the fun events on this momentous day!