How to use DataXchange

how to use dataxchangePicking up a new software system can be challenging.  DataXchange makes the process easy with lots of resources.

DataXchange machine monitoring software is a solution for manufacturing companies. The benefits are decreases in downtime, increasing machine capacity, and real-time notifications of machine issues.

Machinists can enter notes if material is needed or lockout/tagout occurs. Shop floor managers can also be notified of unplanned downtime.

Here are the top resources on how to learn to use this machine monitoring software system:

1) Videos & FAQs – Use quick videos on how to use specific parts of the software system. Look at how to use the data entry screen or how to use the modified time stamp. If you have specific questions, it has also likely be answered in our FAQ section focused on DataXchange.

2) DataXchange E-Learning – 12 months of access to video courses on every aspect of DataXchange. This is the best option for beginners, or if you want to train someone else to use it.

The courses cover the topics of installation, equipment/reporting groups, schedule reports, shifts/shift assignments, modifying machine data, MTConnect, Fanuc FOCAS, specific troubleshooting, configuration, and more. Each section has a quiz and the courses can be revisited for a refresher.

Request info on DataXchange E-Learning

3) Schedule a Webinar/Demo – Be part of a DataXchange webinar, or request a software demo. This is the best way to ask specific product questions and get a taste if this software is correct for you.

We encourage you to get in touch with us by calling (877) 611-5825 or schedule a demo/webinar above.

Shop Floor Automations is the #1 reseller of DataXchange and we are always happy to have a conversation about the machine monitoring system!

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – March/April 2018

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThis archived issue of the Shop Floor Automations newsletter was first sent to subscribers April 24th of 2018. A brand new way to modernize your RS232 port is featured.

A Place to Belong

There are quite a few organizations out there who are working to close the manufacturing skills gap. They are also teaching a trade to those who not only need the guidance but the steady career path that manufacturing provides.

Shop Floor Automations (SFA) wanted to share with our audience a local organization called Rise Up Industries.

Trainees of the program become machine operators by trade. They are also taught to overcome obstacles from their past to become productive members of society through various life skills classes.

Their motto is “a place to belong” and we were very touched by our visit to their shop recently. We invite you to check out what they are doing over in Santee, CA!

LAN-USB Connect

You have heard it from us before – you can add USB to your CNC of any make, model, and age. You may have also heard we can add Ethernet to your machines. Why not both?

We present to you the LAN-USB Connect. This hardware packs a one-two punch. It’s easy to install, as it connects to your machine’s RS232 port. You can drag and drop files from, and to, your CNC machine memory. Use the Ethernet connection via FTP, and best of all, no special software is required to install and use the device!

For more information, please call (877) 611-5825 or fill out our contact form.

Funny CNC Control Photos

cnc control

Click the photo to see the full detail of these hilarious CNC control operator buttons!

Everyone works differently on the shop floor. Some machinists use sticky notes, or custom stickers on machines, other use full sheets of paper to leave notes, and there are others who embed reminders in their coding. That being said, here are some funny CNC control photos we have seen over the years!

SFA has serviced all manner of manufacturers over the years. We have helped increase productivity for CNC machinists, fabricators, moldmakers – you name it! We are also fascinated with the #instamachinist movement on Instagram. Read more below!

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Titans of CNC

titan gilroy“Titan”: rooting from Greek mythology, it means a person or figure of great importance or power. Have you heard of the Titan who started a free CNC learning program called Titans of CNC?

Titan Gilroy has created a program that has handed back power to countless people. Individuals who want to thrive in the manufacturing field.

Titan grew up with a sordid past and much adversity to overcome. He experienced highs in his life, such as being a Top Ranking boxer.

He faced lows such as spending years in prison. Six months of that sentence served alone in solitary confinement.

“Let’s make the parts faster. Something made in eight minutes is now made in two minutes…that’s money you’re saving.”

Read more below! 

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Haas Demo Day 2018

Haas CNC machine Haas Automation is celebrating the 30th anniversary of their Haas VF-1 vertical machining center with Haas Demo Day 2018!

Via your local Haas factory outlet on Wednesday, May 9th, there will be a celebration of the release of this groundbreaking CNC machine.

There will be machine demonstrations and a chance to network with others in the industry. Better yet, you will get some delicious food and refreshments, as well as an opportunity to win a Race Weekend Giveaway! You will also walk away with a limited edition shirt just for attending the event (that we are sure would look great in your closet next to our G-code shirt).

Register for Haas Demo Day 2018 and celebrate how far manufacturing equipment has come! 

We certainly know the significance that Haas machines have on our industry and we carry multiple solutions for Haas users. Let’s see if you have any of the following concerns:

Don’t see your concern listed above? No problem! Call (877) 611-5825 or zip us over a message. We have worked with thousands of customers over the past two decades and can point you in the right direction for improved productivity. 

 

The CNC Floppy Emulator – What It Can & Can’t Do

shop floor floppy diskWe get many calls to our office asking questions about CNC floppy emulator hardware. While we invite you to contact us for more detailed information, we want to answer the most asked question: Does your Floppy Connect hardware add memory to my machine?

The answer is no, but don’t let this deter you! The benefit of floppy drive replacement hardware is not adding memory to your machine, but we will also touch on the subject of file sizes later.

There are three main benefits to this CNC upgrade:

  1. Refreshing, not replacing, legacy machines: Just because your machine still has a floppy drive does not mean it’s time to put it out to pasture, in terms of productivity! Using one of our floppy drive emulators will upgrade your machine and prevent you from spending thousands of dollars on a new CNC machine.
  2. No longer hunting for obsolete storage media: Floppy disks have been extinct technology for several years now. Finding them new is hard to do and will cost you. Meanwhile, getting a USB stick is as easy as making a run down to a pharmacy, a big box technology store, ordering from Amazon, or buying one from Target and Walmart! Remember, a 2GB stick is the largest size for the Floppy Connect, and it must be FAT formatted.
  3. Eliminate proprietary upgrades: Having a tech from the machine tool builder come down to evaluate your machines is expensive. It is also cost prohibitive to have them install their specific hardware to upgrade your machine. Our Floppy Connect is a small investment in comparison and works on a large number of controls, with the list growing daily.

replace floppy with usbHow many programs you can store on the USB stick is another big question we get. Since the customer is going from a disk that was once 720k or 1.4MB to a 1GB SFA USB stick, the assumption is that they can store and send big programs from it. This is incorrect.

A USB stick will hold no more than the floppy you would have used in the machine would dictate.  The machine still thinks it’s a floppy reader, so it is going to work within those restrictions. You are essentially fooling the machine into thinking the floppy drive still works, with the benefit of no longer needing those floppy disks. Let’s explore further:

Program sizes for customers typically range from 1kb to 25MB. On floppies, program sizes can range from 1kb to 1.4MB.

Let’s say your machine manufacturer made a floppy disk drive that could only handle DD (double density) floppy disks. This means it could only hold 720kb worth of storage, and could typically hold 110 machine program files on it.

What if your machine could handle 1.4MB floppy disks? This means you used HD (high density) floppy disks, which could hold up to 220 machine program files on it.

Case in point – your machine could only handle the size of those files that could fit on those floppy disks. So even though you are using a 1GB USB stick, it will only hold whatever your machine could handle. Remember though – the goal is not to increase memory. It is to save time and money on the shop floor by ditching old technology!

Want more insight on our hardware? Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form so we can get back to you when it is most convenient!

Get an Okuma floppy replacement

Get a Haas CNC floppy replacement 

Don’t have Haas or Okuma on your shop floor, but need to replace floppy drives? 

Masters of Resonance Official Trailer

masters of resonanceLast week, the long-awaited official trailer for documentary Masters of Resonance premiered. The film follows the path of how a quality drum set is made – from the raw material being sourced, to the concept of the product, to the making of it, to where it actually goes.

We first spoke to Jeremy Bout, Founder of Edge Factor, in February of 2017. Masters of Resonance was a big part of the conversation and was highly anticipated, even then.

“If I had to kind of pick that catalyst moment, definitely it had to be with Neil Peart, the drummer of RUSH,” Jeremy told us, about the film. “His statement was a pretty major one for me because when I started the process, I was building a TV show, and after the statement and processing what he said, I realized it was [instead] a film that needed to be completed.” Read more below! 

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Legacy Blog – Edition XIV

shop floor automations blogHere is more archived SFA press coverage. Controlling CNC programming with DNC software is part of the focus.

MFG News published a piece from us that lists 4 reasons medical manufacturers can benefit from machine monitoring software.

Moldmaking Technology also published a piece touching on how DNC software is crucial to moldmakers.

MFG Talk Radio published a piece on our new hardware product, the LAN-USB Connect.

Our 20th anniversary of being in business has been graciously covered by many publications in our industry.

We thank these publications for helping us continue our success: Modern Machine ShopCNC WestModern Metals, Cutting Tool Engineering, Fabricating & Metalworking, FabShop, and many others!

Need a laugh? Check out our latest Shop Floor Man comic strip, in which his recent absence is explained.

Otherwise, if you need solutions to increase productivity, call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form to get in touch with us!