First SFA Customer in Japan

shop floor automations

First Japan Shop Floor Automations Customer

As a New Year is around the corner, we at Shop Floor Automations are grateful to see our customer count grow each day. We are especially happy for the rare occasions we can help International customers. While we mostly do business with parts of Canada and Mexico, we are pleased to announce that we have our first customers from Japan! 

The customers who ordered from us were shipped out 2 of our USB Connect External devices, as well as 2 Pendant USB Connect devices. While we did not get to chat much with the customers on why they needed this equipment for their shop, it is possible they could share the same predicament as our first Hawaii customers.

From an earlier blog, our Hawaiian customers needed the USB Connect External to communicate with their Milltronics control. They were also using SD cards,  no longer want to deal with the 2GB restriction, and the cards were also hard to find for them, so this device suited them best.

We offer many solutions to help machinists and other workers on manufacturing shop floors communicate better with their machines. From software to the hardware solutions we mentioned earlier, our goals are to help your shop floor eliminate downtime, increase OEE and get the most utilization out of your machines. Even legacy machines still have a lot of potential just waiting to be discovered.

If you have manufacturing shop floor needs, or you have purchased from us in the past and want new solutions, contact us here. Time to renew your Support contract with us? Call to find out at (877) 611-5825. 


Become a Cloud technology MFG Adapter

the Cloud

Become a Cloud technology MFG Adapter

The manufacturing industry is slowly becoming a younger job field. The Manufacturing Institute states that 3.5 Million manufacturing jobs will become available within the next decade due to Millions of baby boomers retiring from the workforce in the near future. There are also new jobs created because of organic business growth to take into consideration. These new jobs will definitely be filled by a younger generation that embraces Cloud technology in their daily lives.

With a new generation coming into the manufacturing landscape, which contributes over $2 Trillion dollars to the American economy each year (according to the National Association of Manufacturers), they are going to understand that any time or production lost on their shop floor will make a huge impact on many people. This is why it is no surprise that 80 percent of large North American companies have implemented or are planning to adopt Cloud services, as the workforce gets younger.

“On the shop floor, manufacturers are aggregating data to gain insight on machine and equipment performance, part tracking, and even how to optimize [the] shop floor layout,” Kathy Webster said, who is the Media Communications Manager for The Association of Manufacturing Technology (AMT). “This is especially true as pressure mounts for manufacturers to bring products to market more quickly.”

“Cloud solutions like these are often quick to roll out and easy to customize,” Kathy continues. “Many also offer 24/7 support, meaning less stress on a company’s IT staff. They are easy to access at any time from anywhere, making them a natural fit for collaboration on supply chain, distributio, and service.”

A piece by Ralph Rio of the ARC Advisory Group, which specializes in researching the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), is particularly interesting. In “Translating the Benefits of IIoT to Executive Interests,” it points out facts and figures that perhaps a machinist can present to the person on the shop floor who has the authority to make decisions, including changes in technology.

Aside from the benefits that Cloud software and applications can have on your shop floor, these solutions also tend to be more economic, too. At trade shows that Shop Floor Automations attends, guests are astounded that there is a machine monitoring option that costs a mere $45 per month, per machine!

Want more information on how to embrace IIoT on your shop floor? Call us at (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form, so we can get back to you. 

IMTS 2016 Software Updates & New Hardware Previews


Shop Floor Automations preps for
premiere of new manufacturing tools at Chicago’s IMTS in Fall 2016.

La Mesa, CA (August 1st, 2016) – Shop Floor Automations (SFA) is bringing an artillery of tools for the manufacturing field to Booth E-3240 at IMTS 2016. From software updates to a new hardware solution, the nearly two-decade-old company seeks to further enhance the manufacturing industry.

Multi Connect IMTSA reseller of Predator Software since 1998, SFA will be informing tradeshow goers about new software versions, plus the incredibly versatile Touch HMI. Version 11 of Predator Software, with solutions from this brand for machine monitoring, DNC communication, CNC program editing, document control, and tool management, will soon be available with an IMTS sneak peek.

Looking to replace bar code readers, hand-held terminals, or proprietary hardware on the shop floor? Want simplified data collection to see why your machines are down, and be able to access this information via a tablet, PC, or even via the CNC Controller? Need buttons to transfer NC programs, or launch the part drawing on the shop floor for the operator? Predator Touch HMI is changing the need to invest in hardware and provides shop floor operators an easy way to interact with management and the Predator Software line. From custom color-coding options to setting up specific layouts, prompts, and launching of third party applications, SFA will integrate the solution for the end user as desired without a large investment.

Also in the realm of software updates, DataXchange Machine Monitoring from Scytec will be experiencing changes that SFA will be speaking to tradeshow attendees about. New OEE charts, views from their real time dashboard, multiple part time analysis reports, a shop floor layout view in the dashboard, and various equipment status comparison charts that analyze equipment utilization across a span of different days are all new features. Scytec pricing now includes a greater quantity discount for machine monitoring when adding machines with MTConnect, Fanuc Focas, and legacy machine tools.

The newly branded SFA Connect Series of products includes the USB Connect, Floppy Connect, LAN Connect, Ethernet Connect, and more. All Connect products help machine shops enhance and empower themselves with automation tools that make operations more efficient and effective. The new piece of the Connect Series, the Multi Connect, was developed in partnership with Moxa and will be available from SFA in Q4. Exclusive early info and an in-person preview of the Multi Connect will be available at IMTS, plus you can get more information by contacting their sales department at 877-611-5825.

There are also many other software and hardware solutions that SFA will be able to discuss with tradeshow attendees at IMTS 2016. The show takes place from September 12th to the 17th at IMTS 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  SFA will be exhibiting in the East Building of McCormick Place at Booth number E-3240.

More info on SFA, a leading provider of automation solutions for the manufacturing industry since 1998, and their exhibit at IMTS 2016 is here:

SFA Product Featured in MoldMaking Technology

MoldMaking Technology

MoldMaking Technology

We are excited to see our company’s press release featured in MoldMaking Technology, the most comprehensive magazine for mold, tool and die shop managers. Click here to view the article on the MMT website or read our full press release below.

La Mesa, CA – January 28, 2015 – Shop Floor Automations (SFA), a leader in automation solutions and technology is excited to announce the release of a new product version of Scytec DataXchange Software.

DataXchange is simple and easy-to-use machine monitoring software that can increase efficiency and save time on the shop floor. Detailed data collection is no problem with a monthly billing system and no long-term contracts. DataXchange also offers real-time reporting presented on the user dashboard in order for shop owners and operators to instantly track productivity and plan for increased efficiency in their shops.

DataXchange version 2016.01.27 offers new features and functionality. With the addition of an Application Program Interface (API), DataXchange can easily integrate with other software and hardware. Additionally, new charting and reporting functions have been introduced as well as enhanced MTConnect communication. Featured in the photo, the new Target Utilization chart displays the desired utilization number next to the actual utilization for each piece of equipment. Colors are used to identify how close the actual values are within the defined targets. With an improved interface and Data Entry Screen, Scytec DataXchange is truly a state-of-the-art tool that no machine shop should operate without.

For more information:, email:,

Tel: 619-461-4000, fax: 619-461-5918, toll free: 877-611-5825.

Are You Improving Operations With Data Collection?

Data Driven Manufacturing Data CollectionImprove Operations With Data Collection

“Cloud” applications can be found virtually everywhere today, and for good reason. Join us on April 14th at 12:00 p.m. PST to learn how cloud-based machine monitoring and data collection can make predictive maintenance a reality in your operations.

The webinar will be hosted by Smartware Group, Inc., makers of Bigfoot CMMS, and Scytec, makers of DataXchange. These experts will introduce the latest technologies to monitor and collect asset data and integrate this data for actionable and results-oriented operations and maintenance management.

Register for this machine monitoring webinar to glean real-world examples of the benefits of cloud-based machine monitoring and asset management, and see how high your utilization and asset management strategy can soar.

Get more information and to register, click here.

Predator Touch HMI Released

touch hmi tabletPredator Touch HMI Released

La Mesa, CA – 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 simplicity 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:, email:,
Tel: 619-461-4000, fax: 619-461-5918, toll free: 877-611-5825.

For more info on machine monitoring software, click here 


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.

Predator DNC v10 supports the latest Fanuc Focas v3.9 device drivers. The change improved support for Fanuc controls with new options to eliminate spaces in filenames, automatically rename to an O number and force uppercase files. The new drivers enable support forWindows functional account providing specific permissions to access target folders to help secure CNCs from network.

Additional diagnostic tools have been created to allow users to support a machine specific error log without enabling multiple commands and individual logs. A single log created to trace all activity and shared to multiple users for confirmation of transfers and historical archiving. Shop Floor Automations reports the benefits of upgrading the Predator Software to the latest version allow for future compatibility between enhanced wireless and wired serial devices used for CNC communication and machine monitoring applications. The Predator Editor Lock provides software control over a CNC machines “Write Protect” key to lock and unlock the CNC’s memory.

Smarter Shop Floor With Cloud-Based Monitoring

Cloud-Based Monitoring Project Introduction:

Tech Manufacturing, a long-time manufacturer of machined metal parts for aerospace clients such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Bombardier, needed to raise production capacity and reduce lead times for their clients’ largest and most urgent orders. With their 5-axis CNC machines already running 24 hours a day up to 7 days a week, Jerry Halley, Chief Engineer at Tech Manufacturing, looked towards smarter operation and real-time performance data to increase the productivity and useful life of their existing machines.

“We needed a better understanding of how our machines were actually performing for us in real-time,” said Halley. “Live and historical machine performance data would also help us identify technical or process issues that were detrimental to productivity.” With a combination of hardware and software, a CNC monitoring system would collect, analyze, and visualize the necessary performance metrics. However, Halley needed to weigh the productivity gains of such a system against the cost and effort of deployment, especially if it involved a new and unfamiliar server-based IT infrastructure. The ideal system would be easily deployed without specialized IT equipment, knowledge, or effort, and would not require repeated software installation, updates, or configuration.

manufacturing technology trendsApplication Requirements:
-Live dashboard with alerts based on historical and target performance metrics
-Easy to use with existing CNC machines that may not have built-in Ethernet interface
-Does not require investment or expertise in specialized IT infrastructure, servers, or software
-Knowledgeable and experienced integration and vendor support team

Tech Manufacturing selected Shop Floor Automations, one of the most prominent systems integrators in North America specializing in CNC monitoring systems, to assist with cloud-based monitoring. Each CNC machine was connected to the existing local area network, so no additional IT infrastructure was required. For legacy machines that did not have a readily available Ethernet port, Shop Floor Automations provided an easy-to-deploy solution that was developed with Moxa. “The industrial networking units from Moxa make it easy for us to get our clients’ legacy machines connected to the cloud,” said Greg Mercurio, President of Shop Floor Automations.

“For industrial users like Tech Manufacturing, these solutions are invaluable in extending the capabilities and useful life of their still-functional but older CNC machines.” With the local network connected to the Internet, machine performance data was easily viewed and analyzed by cloud-based software such as Scytec DataXchange or Predator Machine Data Collection. Key performance metrics were organized on a visual dashboard so owners and machine operators were able to see exactly how productive each cell was, down to the machine level. Read more below.

Read more

Southwest Manufacturing News – May 2015

Southwest Manufacturing News – May 2015

In the May 2015 issue of Southwest Manufacturing News, we proudly ran two ads to let the manufacturing industry further know of our services. Our big highlight focused on cloud data collection services for $45 per month, per machine.

Scytec Hosted DataXchange through Shop Floor Automations means the client will not need servers, have access to a real-time dashboard, and many more benefits. Better yet – they will see up to 10 percent productivity on an immediate time frame!

You can see our Southwest Manufacturing News ad by clicking here.

We also announced the opening of a regional office in Texas. You can see this ad by clicking this link.

Contact us to find out what data you can gather and store in the cloud. Click here for machine monitoring info, or call (877) 611-5825

Machine Monitoring gives you the ability to see what your machines are doing in real-time. Collect & process data from your machines using software like MTConnect, FANUC FOCAS, custom macros, or hardware devices. Optional data collection terminals can be used for additional operator input. Run time, downtime, & OEE data is then presented via dashboards, historical reports, & charts.  Emails or text messages can be sent to notify you of production issues on the shop floor.

Predator Software Version Upgrades Released

Predator SoftwarePredator Software Version Upgrades

At 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.