Data Driven Decision Making in Manufacturing

Data Driven Manufacturing

Data Driven Decision Making for Manufacturing

Manufacturing is all about numbers and measurements. Without both of those factors, a manufactured piece would not come out correctly and quotas would not be met. Numbers and measurements are also at the heart of Data-Driven Decision Making, and it is a method more American manufacturers can, and should, easily embrace.

Data-Driven Decision Making (DDDM) is simply the process of making operational decisions based on information that can be backed up via tangible data. Many of the big companies live the DDDM philosophy, and when you use data to make decisions about HR, logistics, marketing, and territories to expand into – why not use it for the manufacturing process?

“Big data, small data, internal, external, experimental, observational — everywhere we look, information is being captured, quantified, and used to make business decisions,” says Walter Frick of the Harvard Business Review.

“Data can come from all manner of sources, including customer surveys, business intelligence software, and third party research,” Walter continues. “One of the most important distinctions to make is between analytics and experiments. The former provides data on what is happening in a business, the latter actively tests out different approaches with different consumer or employee segments and measures the difference in response.”

Data driven manufacturing through machine monitoring is the best way to gather analytics on the performance of your shop floor, and then that shop can alter their machine utilization, schedule maintenance, and perform other administrative actions, to compensate for any measured loss in OEE.

Want more information on machine monitoring and how you can get your shop in a DDDM state of mine, contact (877) 611-5825 or get in touch with us on one of our social media channels.

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 2

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 2

Shop Floor Automations specializes, among many things, in legacy machines on the manufacturing shop floor. In the same spirit of preservation, we present Edition 2 of our Legacy SFA Blog Series from the Shop Floor Automations blog!

shop floor automationsIn February of 2016, MoldMaking Technology published an article about our machine monitoring solutions through Scytec DataXchange. “Scytec DataXchange software from Shop Floor Automations (SFA) is a machine monitoring software that provides detailed data collection and real-time reporting on a dashboard, enabling users to instantly track productivity, and plan for increased efficiency and time savings on the shop floor.”

You can read the whole article here. The same article was also published in the March 2016 MoldMaking Technology issue on page 47.

Recently, Shop Floor Automations made a brand new hire for a new position. Amanda came on board as our Digital Marketing Coordinator (she is now simply our Marketing Coordinator) and AMT (the Association for Manufacturing Technology).

As a bit of a throwback, Advanced Manufacturing (formerly known as Manufacturing Engineering Magazine) published this piece on us in October of 2014. Patrick Waurzyniak writes “More people than ever are looking to automate their processes, said Greg Mercurio, president of Shop Floor Automations Inc. (La Mesa, CA), a reseller of Predator Software’s manufacturing data collection suite and of the cloud-based Scytec data monitoring solution. ‘Time is money, and now there’s more in-process probing and automatic collection of data,” he add. “The key is everything is done at the machine tool.’” You can Read more.

Want more information on the solutions we offer? Call us at (877) 611-5825 or chat with us on social media

Funny Sounding Manufacturing Terms

MFG Machinist Meme

Funny Manufacturing Words

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)

funny machine shop signs

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 or fill out our contact form.

Thanks to for help with explaining some of these terms!

Halloween with Shop Floor Man

shop floor man

Halloween Shop Floor Man Comic

It’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.

Read more about Shop Floor Man! To get solutions to make your manufacturing shop floor more productive, call (877) 611-5825! You can also fill out our contact form.

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 1

shop floor automationsLegacy 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!

In the first edition, we invite you to look back on articles and ads in:

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. Read the piece from 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.

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.

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 the piece.

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! You can also fill out a contact form.