SME 30 Under 30

shop floor automationsSam Wilkins, Technical Operations Manager at Shop Floor Automations, has earned a spot in the SME 30 Under 30 List.

We are very proud that Sam made the Honorable Mentions list from this distinctive Society of Manufacturing Engineers lineup for 2018.

Sam’s love of technology began at age 16, when he took up computer systems as a hobby. He first entered the world of manufacturing by machining medical devices in a small shop. He then moved on to facilitating production of several medical product lines while implementing quality control systems. He was responsible for research and development from initial design to final products.

He then moved on to the field of manufacturing integration, where he works with SFA today. Here, he uses his past experiences in manufacturing and his technical skills to find better productivity solutions for manufacturers. He is very familiar with protocols such as MTConnect, Fanuc Focas, and more. Thanks for all of your hard work, Sam!

Other honors bestowed to employees of Shop Floor Automations: Marketing Coordinator Amanda Rosenblatt won the first ever SME manufacturing talent contest in 2017. We are also consistently the #1 Reseller of Predator Software and Scytec DataXchange each year.

Ask us for our insight on integrating manufacturing solutions for your shop floor! Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form today

CNC Remote Request

cnc to pcAs American manufacturing grows, efficient machining is key. SFA is often asked about secure and quick CNC to PC communication. Here, we take a look at CNC remote request procedures.

Otherwise known as a CNC remote call, remote request operations provide the following benefits:

  • Keeping operators at machines allows for better productivity
  • Eliminates walking back forth from PC to CNC
  • Machinists can send, receive & drip-feed programs at machines
  • They have directory listings of CNC programs via every machine tool

Remote requests take place through DNC software. It often comes with additional features, including remote error messages, remote auto name, and the ability to send notifications to higher-ups. These messages usually target maintenance, quality or programming issues.

A followup question we get in relation to this subject is this: Can these secure, remote transfers only be done via a serial machine?

DNC software can be used wired and wirelessly. If wired is the route customers want to go, we always recommend cabling specifically made for shop floor environments for effective RS232 communications. The bottom line is that remote calls do not take place at exclusively serial-based machines.

For older Windows-based machines wishing to achieve successful PC to CNC transfers, we recommend a feature called Secure DNC. This allows secure file transfers to CNC machines through firewalls. For example, you can send directly to the hard drive of the machine without interfering with the network.

Secure DNC is great for shops with heightened security measures. It is especially useful for shop floors that still utilize older Windows operating systems because they currently can’t afford to upgrade machine tools.

A great alternative to DNC software for small shops is USB Connect hardware. Devices store programs at machines via a USB thumb drive. It is worth noting, however, that hardware will not have the same plentiful features that software does.

Want more info on PC to CNC program transfer solutions? Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out our contact form

 

CNC Revision Control

CNC Revision Control is overlooked on the shop floor. Raw material and time are wasted when old programs run at machines.

CNC Revision Control“Revision control is the management of modifications done to software applications, sites, documents or any set of information,”

This definition is from Techopedia. Benefits of this concept include better record keeping, performance analysis, collaboration, and more.

Modern Machine Shop columnist Wayne Chaneski says evaluating shop floor programs is crucial for success.

“It is hard to know if a process needs to be fixed if it is not being followed as intended…valid processes that have veered off course may require additional employee training or better communication of expectations.”

So what is a huge issue to resolve, according to Chaneski? “Instances of different computer numerical control (CNC) programs for the same part with the same revision code.”

cnc drip feedBefore retiring from Buck Knives, Shop Floor Automations customer Lee said this was a daily battle. Because of issues with programs, it was a productivity roadblock.

“We had programs pretty much stored everywhere,” he said. “What we needed to do was lock down the programs,” Lee stated. Buck Knives resolved their issues, and they weren’t alone.

“We were trying to control over 8000 programs, revision levels, and updates,” says Wayne of Carrol Machine.

Revision control helps the shop minimize the time and mistakes of manual program management. Revision control also allows for grabbing programs from the right directories.

Ready to start the conversation about your manufacturing equipment? Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form today