Predator’s Enhanced Ethernet Based Machine Monitoring called CNC Service

Enhanced Ethernet Based Machine Monitoring

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).


Predator SoftwareLA 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. Read more below.

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Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – NOV/DEC 2014

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThe 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.

G28 X0.0 Y0.0 Z0.0

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

Link to original newsletter HERE 

Cloud-based machine monitoring from Shop Floor Automations

manufacturing technology trendsCloud-based machine monitoring

Cloud-based machine monitoring from Shop Floor Automations enabled aerospace parts manufacturer Tech Manufacturing to reduce lead times and improve productivity.

When companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Bombardier have urgent orders, how can a shop that is already running 24/7 reduce its lead time? This was the problem faced by Tech Manufacturing (Wright City, Missouri), a long-time manufacturer of machined metal parts for the aerospace industry. By introducing cloud-based monitoring from systems integrator Shop Floor Automations (La Mesa, California), Tech Manufacturing was able to pinpoint exactly where productivity issues needed to be addressed to maximize efficiency.

One way the company could have solved this problem would have been to purchase additional machines; however, Jerry Halley, chief engineer at Tech Manufacturing, was interested in finding a smarter, more efficient approach.

“It was clear to me that we needed, first and foremost, a much better understanding of how our machines were actually performing for us in real-time,” Mr. Halley says. “In addition, if we had both live and historical machine performance data available, we should be able to identify any technical or process issues that were detrimental to individual or overall productivity.” Read more below.

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Predator CNC Editor v10.0.16 Released

CNC EditorPredator CNC Editor v10.0.16 Released

Predator 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 bar code
  • 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 

Predator CNC Editor
Version: 10.0.25

SFA in September 2014 Modern Machine Shop

See Shop Floor Automations’ recent advertisement here in Modern Machine Shop September 2014 issue below.

Shop Floor Automations can help improve your bottom line! We provide the best software, hardware and installation services since 1998!

Our solutions include DNC software, machine monitoring, data collection, updating floppy drives to USB, helping companies monitor data wireless, and many more specialties. If you want to update your machine shop without buying new machines, call us!

SFA is located across the social media landscape. You can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and so much more. Check out our social media resources page by clicking here. You may also read our blog by clicking here.

  • Customer Success Survey. 8 quick questions. Reward: Free Shirt – Click Here
  • Purchase Origin Survey. 4 quick questions. Reward: Coupon Code – Click Here
  • Case Study. 10 minute to 15 minute phone interview. Rewards: Free publicity and upon publishing of the case study, you will get a free shirt! Click Here
  • Google Review. Leave a Star Rating & optional comment. Reward: Making our day! Click Here 
  • Facebook Review. Leave a Star Rating & optional comment. Reward: Making our day! Click Here

If you want to leave a less than perfect review, we encourage you to reach out to us first. Please call (877) 611-5825 or contact us via this form. We would love the opportunity to fix the situation.

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – SEPT/OCT 2014

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThe following is an archived copy of the Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – September/October 2014 issue.

Predator Software has released a new version of the Predator CNC Editor.

The new features include support for Windows 8, a new backplot engine, support for sub programs and subroutines, a new check code and several new improvements.

If you need a simple product to upload and download to your CNC machines, backplot, and do a file comparison, the CNC Editor v10 might be the right package.  Save 10% if you order by Oct 31, 2014 – promo code: EDITv10

Customers on maintenance can download v10 from our website at anytime.  Customers running v9 or older should contact us for upgrade details and pricing.

Are you moving or adding new machines in the next 12 months? 

We have found that we can be of great assistance if we are brought into the planning stages early.  We have 16 years of experience in setting up new systems and migrating plants to new locations.

If you are using RS232 cabling, consider upgrading to a wireless solution. We also offer consulting on computer requirements, infrastructure, and the next step toward document control, paperless manufacturing, and machine monitoring.

Reach out to us to migrate your DNC system to Windows 7 or 8 with the ability to control and manage your network based CNCs.  Our Account Executives are here to support you with a click away.

In a recent case study done by Modern Machine Shop in October 2014 issue, Scytec Data Xchange maximizes efficiency on the shop floor.

“Productivity monitoring can be a vague concept to wrap your head around, but once you see it for yourself with our own machines and with live data, you wonder immediately how you ever operated without that knowledge and awareness.” said Jerry Halley.

The cloud-based machine monitoring from Shop Floor Automations enabled aerospace parts manufacturer, Tech Manufacturing, to reduce lead times and improve productivity.

The process started with a few machines at a low cost, of $45 per machine, per month and the ROI was seen within a few weeks. Low cost upfront, no long term contracts and easy to get started with any type of CNC controller.

Link to original newsletter HERE

Predator DNC Software and Ascendant eXtremeDNC Software Compared

DNC SoftwareDNC Software features compared

Predator DNC software and Ascendant eXtremeDNC software are two great tools for CNC networking of different CNCs, punch press, waterjets 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 Windows 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 build 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. Read more below.

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Add USB to Any RS232 CNC Machine

Add USB to Any CNC Machine

Add USB to any RS232 CNC machine with an RS232 comm port on your shop floor. Eliminate floppy disks, PCMCIA cards or manual data entry methods of CNC communication by adding USB to any machine, any brand with our USB connect solutions.

Let Shop Floor Automations provide you with a simple to use, easy to connect and flexible system to transfer your CNC programs to your machines. This eliminates the downtime resulting from failing floppy disks or disk drives that no longer read the CNC programs you spend hours to create.

Add USB to Any RS232 CNC Machine with USB Connect Solutions on machines such as Haas, FANUC, Mazak, Okuma, Fadal, Mori Seiki, & more. The compatibility list is updated frequently!

We offer a model that can be mounted on the CNC control pendant so operators can quickly select the files they want to download, upload or drip-feed to CNC machines. The USB connect comes with all necessary cables and includes a 2GB memory stick.

If you have several machines or need a backup to your DNC system, our portable USB device is the perfect solution. The unit can be configured to work with machines that have different baud rates and leverage colored USB sticks for specific program types.

Visit us at or call 877-611-5825 to learn more about how we can help automate your shop floor.

Improve Machine Uptime and Productivity

Machine Uptime and Productivity

Using Machine Monitoring and Data Collection Software, you can improve Machine Uptime and Productivity! Every minute on the shop floor counts toward profitability and increased production.

Shop Floor Automations has been working with shop floors in the manufacturing industry since 1998 making machines more efficient and reliable.

If you could eliminate downtime and provide operators, shop managers and mid- management with real-time dashboards along with historical reports and charts, everyone becomes accountable. Shop Floor Automations provides Predator or Scytec machine monitoring and data collection systems to deliver measurable cycle times, spindle utilization and why CNC machines are idle.

We offer cloud-based CNC monitoring systems starting at $45 per month as well as on-premise solutions that run on SQL or Oracle and can be deployed in weeks. We can also make magic with solutions like MT Connect and a simple MDC adapter.

If you want to replace a paper system or whiteboards, or are just looking to learn more about how we can help you, visit us at or give us a call at 877-611-5825.

We look forward to connecting with you, and helping your shop floor!

DNC Networking Software for CNC Communication to Machines

DNC software for CNC communication

Shop Floor Automations has been providing DNC software to communicate to CNC machines since 1998. We provide two leading software product lines: Predator Software and Ascendant Technologies.

Most companies have methods to deliver files to machines, but are limited to using floppy disks, USB sticks, PCMCIA cards, and tape readers—or even manual typing. Theses methods use several hours to load programs, but offer no revision control, management of proven or released files, or traceability.

With our solutions, we can implement a product that improves productivity and tracks every upload, download or drip-feed to the CNC, while decreasing the time it takes to load programs. Every minute on the shop floor counts, and if we can save you 5 minutes a day, your new system could be paid for in months.

We offer wired and wireless solutions, personalized to meet your specific needs. Want to learn more? Visit us at or call us at 877-611-5825. More info on our DNC Solutions:

Manage your CNC programs, machine parameters, & offsets. Enjoy a wide range of CNC communication options from your Predator PCs for drip-feeding, downloading, & bi-directional communication. Upload via parallel, RS232, RS422 Ethernet, & wireless Ethernet for thousands of CNC machines. With Microsoft Office  & Windows Explorer-compatible user interface (Windows 10 O/S supported), use familiar features for drag & drop, cut, copy, paste, shortcut menus, object-based menus, toolbars, tool tips, & available online help.

Improve CNC revision control while using existing ERP & MES bar-coded paperwork. Eliminate time wasted walking back & forth between your CNC & PC with a Remote Request function. Consider a 32-Bit, Multi-thread, Multi-tasking, Open-Architecture DNC Software solution that works wired & wirelessly.

Simplify operations with one network for all of your CNC machines, Robots, PLCs, & part makers, grouped by building or cell.

We offer the following DNC Communication solutions: Predator DNC, Ascendant extremeDNC, Predator TouchHMI, and Predator EditLock. We also have many pieces of hardware to help your shop floor achieve wireless DNC.