Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 7

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 7

We are always appreciative any time we get press coverage, here at Shop Floor Automations. This is especially a great edition for Spanish speaking readers, where we feature our Modern Machine Shop Mexico coverage. 

shop floor automations Manufacturing Tomorrow published our piece talking about organizations who are enriching the Made in America movement, which you can read here. Manufacturing Talk Radio also published the same piece here, which includes coverage on Workshops for Warriors, Open Source Maker Labs, and Edge Factor.

We thank Aerospace Manufacturing & Design for talking about our Wi-Fi USB Connect product here. MFR Tech also published our piece talking about how spreadsheets kill productivity at a manufacturing operation and why graphical job scheduling is the best alternative to this old technology.

Finally, Modern Machine Shop Mexico has published a few of our pieces. They also have a cool homepage for us with Spanish-speaking resources.

Want more info on how to help your shop floor be more productive? Fill out a sales contact form, request a software demo request, or call us at (877) 611-5825 

March/April 2017 Newsletter – PDM, EdgeFactor & More

The following is an archived copy of the Shop Floor Automations newsletter – the March/April 2017 issue:

Top 3 Reasons for PDM

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterIs your production flourishing or failing? One of the key factors in having a successful manufacturing operation is keeping organized, so if you feel there are any issues at all with your shop floor, this is a great place to start.

There are many reasons to research Production Data Management (PDM), but these Top 3 Reasons are key: it helps you go paperless, it can make your job easier, and it can help you rest assured that you are following the law, as a manufacturing operation.

What is Edge Factor? 

Has your shop floor been affected by the manufacturing skills gap, or do you wish you knew more about your industry? If so, you should definitely look into investing in Edge Factor.

Edge Factor, which can be described as a Netflix-style video program for the manufacturing industry, is a new asset to this community. It is being used to bring new interest into the American manufacturing industry, and it’s also great for those already in the industry to learn more about it.

Adding Wi-Fi is Easy

Have you ever wished that you could make your CNC machine wireless, but thought it was out of your price range? It may be easier than you think to take a step forward in technology for your shop floor.

The Wi-Fi USB Connect will help you transmit data from an old machine in your shop wirelessly. It adds Wi-Fi to the machine via a USB port, allowing it connect wirelessly to a shared folder. 

As long as the machine in question has a USB port, you are good to go! The best part – you don’t need to drop thousands of dollars or take part in a complicated install process.

For more information on any of the topics above, call (877) 611-5825 or fill out an inquiry form here. Link to original newsletter here

Why Customers Use CNC Machine Tool Hardware

Shop Floor Automation Hardware Evaluated

When working with a CNC machine tool, it can sometimes be frustrating for machinists and those on the shop floor. When you have a big, expensive machine that can do amazingly complicated tasks, yet there are certain tasks it cannot handle, it is understandable. Upkeep can also be a chore. There are workarounds that can get a machine of any age working great again, and CNC machine tool hardware is one of them.

cnc hardwareCNC machine tool hardware can fulfill any number of purposes. It can make a machine with a USB port go wireless. It can help replace old media, such as floppy disks or PCMCIA cards. They can replace cabling on the shop floor, help drip-feed programs that are too big to download at machines, plus many more benefits.

Why do some of our customers invest in machine tool hardware? Here are some of their reasons:

I bought the Portable (USB Connect) unit for some of our older machines and it definitely saved us a lot of time and a lot of money from running around, doing it with a laptop. Especially a lot of the older units with floppy drives in them, the PCMCIA cards, and they kind of died out.  -Randy, Fredon Corporation

Heat and humidity were wreaking havoc on our old RS232 cables…we went wireless with a MOXA system sold by SFA. Their customer service and tech support is top notch. – Stollen Machine & Tool Co. via Instagram

My old-style floppy drive stopped working, and since I am a returning customer, I looked into the floppy drive emulator. Guy Barrow helped me and he always does a great job. SFA solved my problem by giving me a much better transfer system and once again supplying good customer service. -David,  Top Line Tool

Check out our hardware, software and support customer reviews. If you want to learn more about our hardware or other solutions, call (877) 611-5825 or fill out this form to have an Account Executive get back to you. 

MFG School of the Month – WSBVI & Beyond Vision

WSBVI & Beyond Vision

Vision impaired manufacturing jobsIn previous manufacturing school and education resource blogs, we have mentioned Workshops for Warriors for military veterans, as well as discussed manufacturing apprentice positions and the Cardinal Manufacturing program. Now, we want to highlight our MFG School of the Month by mentioning both WSBVI (Wisconsin School for the Blind and Visually Impaired) and Beyond Vision.

WSBVI describes their services on their main site stating they have “students with varying degrees of visual impairment enrolled full-timee, with other students receiving short-term educational services. WSBVI offers state-standard K-12 education, as well as an early childhood program, college and career readiness program, extracurricular activities, meals, on-campus housing, and the latest in assistive technology to our students.”

The school has many resources and programs for students, including events such as the Braille Olympics and a YouTube channel with videos that highlight their students’ achievements, and even tutorials on how to use social media more easily with screen readers. What we also want to talk about is the amazing possibility that those with visual impairments in Wisconsin have to go on and seek out manufacturing jobs.

Those who graduate from WSBVI, or any other school for those who are blind or otherwise visually impaired, should inquire with an organization called Beyond Vision (AKA the Wisconsin Workshop for the Blind). These individuals work tirelessly to gain meaningful employment for those who are blind or visually impaired. One of Beyond Vision’s services is a machine shop where they employ individuals who are 70 percent or more visually impaired.

“They perform call-center work, assemble and package products, and distribute office supplies at military bases,” states Tim Heston, who wrote about Beyond Vision for The Fabricator. “Perhaps most surprisingly, it also has an eight-employee machine shop that recently delved into metal fabrication with a 40-ton press brake and a single-station punch press.”

“We’re not-for-profit, but we’re not for loss either,” James Kerlin, President and CEO of Beyond Vision explained in The Fabricator. “We have a little saying around here: no margin, no mission. Ninety-nine percent of funding comes from work we do for other companies.”

If you enjoyed this piece, please be sure to share it on social media. If you have a machine shop or a manufacturing shop floor that needs OEE or other efficiency fixes, call (877) 611-5825 or fill out this form so we can get back to you. 

Why Customers Use Machine Monitoring Software

What is Machine Monitoring Software?

Machine Monitoring gives you the ability to see what your machines are doing in real-time.

machine monitoring This software allows you to collect and 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.

Wondering where does your data go when it’s in the Cloud?. Check out this case study on how machine monitoring helped one aerospace company improve productivity. 

Runtime, downtime, and OEE data is then presented via dashboards, historical reports, and charts.  Emails or text notifications can be sent to notify you of production issues on the shop floor. Machine monitoring can be done on-premise or via the Cloud at various price ranges.

Now that you know a little more about machine monitoring software, here are some reasons why our customers use it:

I am very happy with the software and it is having a positive impact on our productivity…There was minimal startup cost and it requires little software management on the user end. Significant increases in machine utilization, better information flow between engineering guys and programming guys, quality guys, shop floor guys, and us as owners! Knowing what’s happening on the shop floor. -Jerry, Tech Manufacturing LLC

We were looking for some machine monitoring software to be able to see the effectiveness of our machines. -Tom, AMT Senior Aerospace

We have been able to increase our productivity by 25 percent just monitoring the machine utilization. SFA did it all remotely and it worked great. The software is very easy to use. -Derek, Aero Precision 

Read more customer reviews of our software. Schedule a machine monitoring webinar with an account executive, or if you are ready to make a purchase, call us at (877) 611-5825. 

Customer Spotlight Blog: Hyperloop One

Hyperloop One

We at Shop Floor Automations love to show appreciation for our customers. As a new blog series, we want to take the time to highlight certain customers and what they are doing in the manufacturing industry.

Hyperloop OneOur first Customer Spotlight Blog will be focused on Hyperloop One

Their mission, via their website: “Hyperloop is a new way to move people and things at airline speeds for the price of a bus ticket. It’s on-demand, energy-efficient and safe. Think: broadband for transportation.”

Invention on the map: “Hyperloop One is reinventing transportation to eliminate the barriers of distance and time. Traveling at speeds of 1080 km/h, Hyperloop will enable travel between cities in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) in under an hour, enabling disruption that will create new opportunities in manufacturing, warehousing, and supply chain distribution.”

Want to be featured in our Customer Spotlight Blog? Contact Marketing@ShopFloorAutomations.com

Need solutions for your manufacturing shop floor? Call us at (877) 611-5825 or chat with us on one of our social media channels