Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – NOV/DEC 2015

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThe following is an archived copy of the Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – NOV/DEC 2015 issue

SFA is hosting an online scavenger hunt to celebrate the holiday season. Participants will have the opportunity to find a Free T-shirt Coupon Code on our website!

There are only ten free “G-Code” T-shirts available once you find the coupon code so hurry up and start “hunting!”

Bigfoot CMMS Software can help you on a day-to-day basis: less downtime, more time for actual work, plus the peace of mind that comes with knowing you are in control.

We are excited to announce the release of the latest Bigfoot read-only free trial.

We encourage you to try out this amazing software for yourself!

NTMA is an organization that works to create allies within the San Diego region of the local machining and tooling industry by fostering mutual success through education, technology and opportunity sharing.

Being an active member in the community and in our industry is an important aspect of what we stand for.

We appreciate the opportunity we had to present to our San Diego NTMA chapter in October.

We would like to thank you for a great year of business. We strive to deliver the best in automation solutions and service.

We value all of our customers and appreciate having the opportunity to deliver value through improving your efficiency and productivity.

We believe that machine shop automation is the way of the future whether it be through Machine Monitoring, Computerized Maintenance Management Systems or Direct Numerical Control. These streamlined solutions have the capabilities to save shop’s time, money and headaches.

High quality, application specific RS232 cables are an essential component in any reliable shop floor communication network. We have put together a system that provides customers with an entire cable solution. Our line of serial port adapters can accommodate any combination of CNC controls and different computer ports.

Customize RS232 cables to work specifically for your shop’s needs in three easy steps: Choose the length you need, select your CNC Control then pick your computer. We will develop a custom cable configuration just for your specifications.

We are so confident that you will love our RS232 cable solutions that we are giving you 10% off a RS232 cable purchase. Use the coupon code “CABLEGUY” to receive your discount.

Link to original newsletter

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 handheld 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.

Check out more info on machine monitoring software


Corporate Training at MOXA

MOXACorporate Training at MOXA

To keep up with the rapid changes in communication technology, our support team is often tasked with visiting our vendors, such as MOXA, to learn about the latest products they have to offer. It is very important to us to be as knowledgeable as possible about the products we sell and support.

Our latest tech training was held at the MOXA corporate office in Brea, California. Being an integral part of our product line, Moxa products are very sophisticated communication devices that we are proud to use as part of our automation solutions. During the visit, our support team was trained on the latest wired and wireless devices in the Industrial Ethernet Lab.

In our ongoing effort to provide the best solutions to our valued customers, our staff has up-to-date knowledge to help facilitate your shop floor’s automation solutions.

Check out some photos from the event on Facebook. For more information on our hardware, check out more information or call (877) 611-5825

Manufacturing Day, October 2, 2015

Manufacturing Day is almost here, and Shop Floor Automations is excited to celebrate the manufacturing industry with our friends and community!



MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

Supported by a group of industry sponsors and co-producers, MFG DAY is designed to amplify the voice of individual manufacturers and coordinate a collective chorus of manufacturers with common concerns and challenges. The rallying point for a growing mass movement, MFG DAY empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive.

We also invite you to follow Shop Floor Automations on our social media channels. We would love suggestions about what you would like to see on our blog, and on our YouTube channel! Find us on social media.

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.

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – July & August 2015

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThis is an archived copy of our Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – July & August 2015

Did you miss our last webinar on machine monitoring? 

Call us at (877) 611-5825 for more demonstrations!

Quickly begin collecting real-time data from the shop floor with no servers to maintain, works with any type of CNC controller or equipment, and access anywhere there is an Internet connection. There is no limit to the number of users, equipment or licenses using our new “cloud-based” machine monitoring software.
See our recent tutorials on YouTube to learn valuable information about our solutions and products. 

The latest tutorial features how to license the Predator CNC Editor Light product which is promoted in our newsletter.

We also highlighted the Predator CNC Service showing how to gain valuable, rich data from your CNC controller with Predator Machine Monitoring Software.

The Predator CNC Editor free software is perfect for any programmer, hobbyist, or shop floor user to edit, save, print, and modify NC code.

The free CNC Editor can be used with any CAD/CAM software to review NC programs before sending them to the shop floor and you can install the application on any number of computers desired.

DataXchange from Scytec is our product spotlight this month.
Cloud-based monitoring is the way of the future and DataXchange is revolutionizing the way companies can monitor their machines. With mobile applications, you can view and report your data from anywhere. There is a one-time account setup fee and packages start at $45 per month for each CNC.

Link to original newsletter

New Tutorials on YouTube

Shop Floor Automations YouTube Tutorials

Shop Floor Automations has created a new line of videos on YouTube called Tutorials. This is a collection of helpful lessons on different processes a customer might have to complete.

shop floor automations youtubeWe value our customers highly and that is why we want to make it as easy as possible for them to get step-by-step instruction on issues they may have. If you cannot call us or cannot have another technician remote in, we encourage customers to visit our channel and check out the tutorial videos.

If you are having trouble finding a video with the proper instructions please contact us and we will do our best to make a tutorial for your specific needs. We also have top quality technicians that can assist with any technical questions.

You can see the new playlist here or visit the Shop Floor Automations YouTube channel here. We also have a list of transcriptions from our videos here.

For more information contact us Toll Free at (877) 611-5825

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.

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#1 In Predator Software Sales 15 Years Running

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

Predator Software Reseller

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 the 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 consists of install, troubleshooting, 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 dedication, technical skills, new methods of implementation and connectivity to the manufacturing industry using CNC machines and other types of equipment.  Onsite training is provided at customer locations as well as SFA’s corporate office in La Mesa, about 10 miles near San Diego, California.

For more information: fill out this contact form 
Tel: 619-461-4000, fax: 619-461-5918, toll free: 877-611-5825.

Improving Productivity with Cloud-Based Monitoring

IIoT Cloud OEE MFGCloud-Based Monitoring

Check out this article about Cloud-Based Monitoring and how it can improve productivity. This is a powerful tool for any modern machine shop and it is important to learn how easy it is to revolutionize the way machines are being monitored.

As a manufacturer of machined metal parts for aerospace clients such as BoeingLockheed Martin and Bombardier, Tech Manufacturing often ran its five-axis CNC machines 24 hours a day up to seven days a week. With such heavy CNC demands, the company began looking for ways to increase its production capacity and reduce lead times for its clients’ largest and most urgent orders.

Purchasing additional machines would, of course, be one way to achieve this. But Jerry Halley, chief engineer at Tech Manufacturing, was interested in finding a smarter, more efficient approach that did not require a large capital investment.

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

Read more