SFA’s Top 10 Moments of 2016

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

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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

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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

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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. 


Shop Floor Automations is proud to be returning to HOUSTEX for their 2017 show from February 28th to March 2nd 2017 in Houston, Texas! Click here to register and here to see what we will be up to. Come see us at Booth 1616.

SFA T-Shirt Black Front

Use coupon code HOUSTEX2017 in our cart up until 3/31/17 for 10% off all SFA Software (discount is not valid on demos, free downloads, or past purchases) 

At HOUSTEX 2017, SFA will present Predator Software updates, Scytec DataXchange updates, plus we will be showing our new product – the WiFi USB Connect from the Connect Series! We will also have a lot of info on machine monitoring, DNC software & other ways to increase productivity and your OEE!

 Follow Shop Floor Automations on our various social media channels. Like us on Facebook, Tweet us, watch our YouTube videos, check out our Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn.

 If you are a Texas-area manufacturing shop floor looking to increase productivity, get rid of downtime, and help your machinists focus more on what they do best, come to our booth. We have a great Support team that can help you over Remote Sessions, or we can send them out to your shop floor. 


Click on the HOUSTEX banner above to get free admission to the show, on us!

Our full line of software options will also be demonstrated at the show. We look forward to presenting new products versions, as well. Specific displays will be changes to Scytec’s DataXchange and live demonstrations of Predator’s Touch HMI

Fabtech 2016 Contest

Shop Floor Automations will once again be attending Fabtech. With another tradeshow in our sights, you know what that means?Fabtech Contest 2016 SFA Another contest!

When you get your badge scanned at our Booth, you will be entered into our drawing for free giveaways. Options of prizes for winners are:

Two Wireless CNC Connects – product info here

One Wired CNC Connect (1 Port) – product info here

Many opportunities for T-Shirts each day of the show – more here

Winners will be notified after the show and the confirmed choice of prize will be sent to them via UPS. The Hardware prizes will be on a first come, first serve basis. Cash equivalent to the value of the prizes is not an option. The cost of shipping is complimentary from SFA, however prizes cannot be shipped to PO Boxes or International addresses. One prize per winner.

More about tradeshows we attend: Because Shop Floor Automations works with clients all over America (even some International folks), tradeshows are an essential part of our lives as a company. We will be attending Fabtech 2016, as well as Houstex 2017 and Westec 2017. Click this link to see our Booth information and other details. Our main Fabtech 2016 post is here.

IMTS 2016 Contest

IMTS 2016 SFA ContestOur G-code T-Shirt is a hit at trade shows. That’s why we want to give away some of them in a contest at IMTS 2016 in Chicago!

We will be giving away 3 shirts per day in a raffle – enter just by coming to our booth and getting your badge scanned. We will make sure if you win that we contact you for the proper size and where to ship it to, once IMTS is over.

It would be a great 2016 souvenir from visiting IMTS, AKA the International Manufacturing Technology Show. It sure beats a cheesy “I Love Chicago” T-Shirt, but if you don’t win our shirt, you can always buy it in our store, as well!

We will also be giving away:

We will be at Booth E3240 at IMTS, so be sure to swing by! We will also be premiering our brand new Multi Connect product. When posting about your visit to our booth during IMTS on social media, use the hashtags #shopfloorautomations or #theMultiConnect so we can thank you for sharing what you saw from us. Add us to your show planner by visiting this page, too! Check out other tradeshows will be attending in the future, as well.

SFA at Fabtech 2016

Shop Floor Automations is excited to be returning to Fabtech for their 2016 show from November 16th to the 18th in fabulous Las Vegas! Click here to register and here to see what we will be up to. See us in the Center Hall (the Metalform section) at Booth C13109.

SFA T-Shirt Black Front

Want a free SFA G-code shirt? Click here for more details! For free admission, email us for info! Here is our Fabtech 2016 Contest announcement!

At Fabtech 2016, SFA will present Predator Software updates, Scytec DataXchange updates, plus we will be showing our new product – the Multi Connect from the Connect Series!

Check out the product page for tech specs, contact us for more info, or visit Booth C13109 at the show! Follow Shop Floor Automations on our various social media channels. Like us on Facebook, Tweet us, watch our YouTube videos, check out our Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn.

 At this Las Vegas based trade show, you will definitely be feeling lucky when you get a preview of our Multi Connect. To be able to connect five ways with one device is no gamble, and the price is a sure bet!

Fabtech 2016 SFA

Our full line of software options will also be demonstrated at the show. We look forward to presenting new products versions, as well. Specific displays will be changes to Scytec’s DataXchange and live demonstrations of Predator’s Touch HMI

Don’t Miss This at IMTS

SFA IMTS 2016 NewsletterThe True Focus of IMTS 2016

In mere weeks, IMTS 2016 in Chicago will pull in the best & brightest that our industry has to offer. With opportunities for networking & business deals, a company must question if the most worthwhile products & solutions are being brought to the table.
For the International Manufacturing Technology Show, we focus on travel reservations, booth dimensions, ad campaigns, scheduling – but the heartbeat of it all is what we have to offer. Stop by Booth E-3240 to discover how the latest technology from SFA will offer continuous improvements for your shop. Learn more about how the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) & MTConnect can benefit you.
At IMTS, SFA will present:
  • Multi Connect – an All-in-One Device for IIoT
  • Predator machine monitoring & DNC program updates
  • Real-time OEE Dashboards with your Shop Floor layout from Scytec
  • Touch HMI simplifies communication & data collection using tablets & PCs!

Contact us for more info at (877) 611-5825


More about IMTS: The International Manufacturing Technology Show is one of the largest industrial trade shows in the world, featuring 2,407 exhibiting companies and 115,612 registrants. The event is held every two years in September at McCormick Place, Chicago.

IMTS 2018 is shaping up to be one of the largest IMTS shows ever. Over 1,100 companies have already submitted applications. Don’t delay, space is filling up fast.

Multi Connect IMTS 2016 Press Release

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The Multi Connect is latest in the Connect Series that combines a PLC, Wireless, Ethernet, Serial RS232 & MTConnect

La Mesa, CA (June 1, 2016) – Shop Floor Automations (SFA) is excited to announce the release of our latest tool in the Shop Floor Automations Connect Series at IMTS 2016 in Chicago, IL. The Multi Connect is a turnkey device, able to continuously monitor the machine’s operating state and other necessary data, while making this information readily available over a network connection using the industry standard MTConnect protocol. The Multi Connect is compatible with a wide range of machine monitoring software packages, including Scytec’s DataXchange, Predator’s Machine Data Collection, and more!

What originally required two different devices combined for the desired result, the Multi Connect replaces in one product! This “configure & go” hardware connects to a variety of equipment via built-in digital I/O, which can be overlaid on existing signals for monitoring cycle start, cycle stop, alarm, and status indictors, such as stack lights. These inputs support 10 to 30 VDC signals and may be configured to detect on/off/pulse type signals. The user can then map the data signals to the MTConnect standard data items.

Read more

Smartware Group Joins Scytec for Smart Machine Monitoring Talk at FABTECH 2015

CHICAGO, IL – October 5, 2015 – FABTECH 2015, to be held in Chicago from November 9-12, will feature a special presentation by Smartware Group President Paul Lachance and Scytec President and CEO Josh Davids. Their joint discussion, entitled, “Machine Monitoring and Data Collection for Maintenance Optimization,” will walk manufacturers through the process of feeding rich streams of data from smart machine monitors into a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) for monitoring and reporting, all using today’s cloud technologies. FABTECH is North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event.

FabTech_Logo_RevScytec is the producer of DataXchange, a cloud-based manufacturing process control, data collection, and machine monitoring system. Colorado-based Scytec reports that clients experience productivity increases of 10% on average.

The data collected by DataXchange can be synced in real-time with modern CMMS, like Smartware Group’s Bigfoot, to assist manufacturers with aggregating and analyzing data for better asset management – and improved performance for machinery, equipment and building systems.

“A well-designed CMMS already gives maintenance professionals a significant advantage in terms of improving their operations to save on corrective maintenance, labor costs, and to increase machine longevity,” Lachance said. “And when ‘meter reading’ or smart assets are directly tied to CMMS, preventive maintenance can rise to a whole new level with predictive maintenance. With this linkage in place, CMMS can provide instant access to live data from equipment, building systems and production lines.”

For example, CMMS can create a PM calendar alert to generate a work order for routine maintenance on an Air Handling Unit (AHU) every four weeks, as recommended by the manufacturer. But suppose that same maintenance protocol could be followed once every 500 operating hours, rather than every four weeks.

Unless the AHU is running 24/7, those 500 hours of usage could stretch well beyond four weeks. When the CMMS receives meter readings directly from the AHU, it tracks the hours run and does not produce a work order until the unit actually nears 500 hours in operation. This marriage between smart machine data and the CMMS results in savings on parts and labor costs because it helps eliminate excess maintenance labor and parts spent on the AHU.

When data flows instantaneously from machine monitoring systems to a CMMS, it also becomes easier for the CMMS to identify when a malfunction is a false alarm. At the same time, the CMMS automatically captures true alarm events and triggers work orders for corrective action.

A CMMS can also set different variables for meter readings or other machine-produced data. In addition to “hours run,” it could check for “pressure,” “temperature,” “widgets produced,” and other indicators that alert the maintenance team to check on machinery operating outside of acceptable tolerance levels. The team can then act on that data, making adjustments as necessary to prevent equipment from breaking down or production lines from stopping.

“Maintenance professionals need to recognize how much power they have at their fingertips when machine monitoring data is directly connected to CMMS,” Davids said. “The synergy between a smart machine and a CMMS creates a win-win situation for everyone who taps into this formidable combination of technologies.”

Lachance and Davids will present their talk as part of the “Modernizing Maintenance and Inspection” track (Session F85) at FABTECH 2015 on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, at 11:10 a.m. at McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. Shop Floor Automations will spotlight its Bigfoot CMMS on the trade show floor in Exhibit Booth Label S5663

For registration and further information about FABTECH 2015, visit www.fabtechexpo.com.

About Scytec Consulting, Inc.
Scytec Consulting, Inc., founded in 2001 and headquartered in Greenwood Village, CO, is a leader in providing shop floor machine monitoring and control systems for the manufacturing industry.

Scytec’s DataXchange is a cloud and on-premise machine monitoring and data collection system that utilizes MTConnect, and Fanuc FOCAS, and hardware methods to collect from both the latest machines and legacy equipment. The system features unlimited real-time dashboards, alerts, and configurable analytics, while offering a zero commitment, month-to-month plan for the cloud version in order to make the many benefits of machine monitoring readily available to the industry.

Visit www.scytec.com to set up a demo today.

About Smartware Group, Inc.
Smartware Group, Inc., headquartered in Center Harbor, N.H., produces Bigfoot CMMS for manufacturing, distribution, data centers, hospitality, mining, and energy & utilities industries.

Since 2002, Bigfoot has helped more than 10,000 users worldwide improve facility and equipment maintenance operations with advanced capabilities that include preventive maintenance (PMs) and predictive maintenance, work order scheduling, maintenance requests, asset life cycle management, parts replacement inventory, and built-in reporting. Bigfoot CMMS’ native functionality paired with its intuitive design allows maintenance professionals to implement the solution and get results quickly, often in a matter of weeks.

The Bigfoot solution earned a Bronze Stevie® Award during the 11th Annual International Business Awards in the Best Interface Design category. Experience the Bigfoot difference by accessing a free trial at www.bigfootcmms.com/free-trial today.


2015 WESTEC & CNC West Ads

WESTEC & CNC West Ads 2015Shop Floor Automations will be exhibiting at WESTEC 2015 in Los Angeles, located at Booth #1935. SFA also appeared in CNC West Magazine’s August/September 2015 issue, speaking about automation solutions in the advertisement.

Trade shows are always a time of the year in which SFA looks forward to meeting with peers and clients, present and future alike, to exhibit how they can help move the manufacturing industry forward.

You will be able to see SFA’s event photos from attending WESTEC 2015 on their Facebook page HERE. It will be sure to be a fun and enlightening trip!

SFA looks forward to attending future WESTEC trade shows in the future! Check out what trade shows you can see SFA at by clicking here You can also tweet Shop Floor Automations on Twitter at @SFA_inc

More about SFA – Shop Floor Automations is appropriately positioned to provide our customers with a complete technology environment. Customers are not looking for products so much as they are seeking solutions to their business problems. Our total solution approach for manufacturing customers provides hardware and software packages, installation and support services, and expert consultation where required. Our principal goal is to help customers save time and make money.

SFA at Houstex 2015

SW MFG NEWS June 2015After opening our Houston office earlier in the month, Shop Floor Automations will be at the Houstex 2015 trade show in Booth #239.

SFA enjoys visiting trade shows all over the United States to meet with present,and future, clients. Getting the change to preview new technology and feature solutions for the ever growing manufacturing industry is SFA’s speciality. They often will also hold contests to give away prizes, such as their G-code T-Shirt!

Please stop by and visit the Houston team to asay hi. Visit us on Facebook, too!

Read about SFA solutions and other pertinent news on the blog and follow their other social media channels.