Machine Data Collection Case Study

We know that results from a machine data collection case study are imperative before making such an investment. We are pleased to announce a new one from Manufacturing News

Our customers at R&D Manco have been featured on all regional issues of the publication. The article focuses on results from using Predator MDC from Shop Floor Automations. 

Kevin Beach, the General Manager, is responsible for machine productivity and tasked with optimizing utilization. He decided to look for ways to implement an OEE solution with his existing equipment. The buzz about IIoT and OEE was definitely an attractive direction for him to proceed with.

R & D Manco

R & D Manco of Phoenix Arizona began in 1964 with owner Virgil Manion. It was then purchased by Chuck and Patricia Wyckoff in 1972. They started a sister company, R & D Specialty, in 1984.

After a series of events where the main company was sold, ownership shifting back and forth, the two shops merged. Chuck and Patricia named the combined shops R & D Specialty/Manco in the 1980’s. The company name would be shortened to R & D Manco in 2016.

In late 2017, the shop began a pilot program of Predator Machine Data Collection (MDC) on three machines. SFA, a Predator Software reseller and manufacturing integrator, implemented the machine monitoring system and was able to shed light on their current utilization rates.

Check out the rest of the piece, and call R & D Manco at (602) 278-7700. If you need improved shop floor productivity, call SFA at (877) 611-5825. We also can answer inquiries by filling out a contact form

Rise Up in Modern Machine Shop

Rise Up Modern Machine Shop

When we visited an organization changing lives in nearby Santee CA, we were very affected by what we saw. This is why we wrote about Rise Up for Modern Machine Shop. We were happy to see they have featured the organization on their blog.

From their blog,  regarding Shop Floor Automations’ first visit:

Visitors from the industry are often inspired by what they see and hear at Rise Up, Mr. Greeves says. A good example he cites is a recent visit by Greg Mercurio, president of Shop Floor Automations, a manufacturing integrator based in La Mesa, California.

Mr. Mercurio heard about Rise Up while planning activities to mark his company’s 20th anniversary. “I was looking for a special way to mark this milestone by giving something back to the industry and the community,” he says.

“I was intrigued by the concept behind Rise Up because it touches two key concerns of mine—the skills gap that is holding back U.S. machine shops and the false impression held by many people outside our industry that factories are dark, dirty dungeons.”

CNC Machine PartsMr. Mercurio spent two hours touring the facility and talking to managers as well as trainees currently in the program. “The experience changed my perception,” Mr. Mercurio recalls.

“I thought we could help by simply donating one of the solutions that Shop Floor Automations offers to the machining industry. As it turned out, the Rise Up machine shop wasn’t far enough along in its development to be ready for any of these solutions.” Mr. Mercurio offered a cash donation instead.

We encourage our readers to check out Rise Up by going to their website or calling (619) 457-0790

Need manufacturing productivity? Fill out a contact form or call (877) 611-5825

CAD CAM Software Resources

Gcode cad cam

Photo credit to DixiePrecision on Instagram

CAD CAM software is a powerful shop floor tool. There is a long-term problem most users don’t consider. What happens to the programs that the software produces?

“CAD CAM makes these beautiful models, then it produces G-code. What’s going to happen to it?” This question was posed by a Shop Floor Automations (SFA) spokesperson on the Manufacturing Engineering podcast.

“It’s going to go onto these USB sticks. You have all of these portable media going around the shop floor, or it’s sitting on someone’s computer.”

Read more below!

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What is IIoT?

IIoT ManufacturingWhat is IIoT? People in the manufacturing field have a lot of questions about the Industrial Internet of Things. We have answers.

For more insight on IIoT, we also have to explore Industry 4.0. Both these topics are widely accepted as a key part of the future of manufacturing.

Shop Floor Automations (SFA) recently sat down with Alan Rooks of the Advanced Manufacturing Podcast. We were asked about our view of this trend and how we are implementing these strategies.

“I love to paraphrase Josh Davids of Scytec about Industry 4.0 because people say, ‘okay what exactly does that mean?'” SFA Marketing Coordinator Amanda Rosenblatt says. “Industry 4.0 is the current level of automation in the use of data in the manufacturing industry.”

“Our industry has gone from to a mechanical system, to mass production, or assembly lines if you will,” Rosenblatt explains. “Then computers and automation, and now, Industry 4 is the Cloud.”

Here are just some ways in which IIoT is used to improve manufacturing productivity:

  • Devices/sensors on shop floor equipment communicate via the Internet, modernizing it
  • Data from devices/sensors on machines is stored in the Cloud, so there is no need to house data servers on site
  • Real-time historical analytics are fed into charts and reports for machine monitoring systems, ERP software, and much more
  • MTConnect and similar protocols allow for data to be collected in a non-proprietary manner, which is more cost effective and does not force the purchase of new equipment
  • Hardware such as modified PLCs can help to make legacy machines IIoT-ready

Want more info on IIoT and Industry 4.0 solutions? Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form!

Instamachinist

instamachinistSocial media is a building movement in the manufacturing field. This is especially true of the Instamachinist community.

This subculture on Instagram shares manufacturing photos and insight with each other. These men and women even share life updates and advice for non-machinist issues.

For those new to the social media world, you can find people with similar interests when it is prefaced by a hashtag (or pound sign). For example, you would look up #instamachinist if you’re in manufacturing. You would look up #cookingram if you like cooking – the list goes on.

Manufacturing is an industry where the previous generation of workers is retiring out with younger workers coming in to fill a jobs gap. This means ways of earning business are also changing.

Marketing expert and Uncopyable author Steve Miller says in relation to other industries, manufacturing is “more in the middle of the bell curve.” Steve is well acquainted with manufacturing companies – his consultation services for 32 years has included IMTS and AMT for 26 of them.

“There are many industries far ahead, such as high tech, medical, and consumer products,” Steve says. “There are many that are slower to catch on to new marketing methods – print, home, housewares, and recreational vehicles.”

Social media has had the power to not only be a powerful marketing tool in the manufacturing field. It has also changed many lives.

Read more below! 

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Giving Tuesday

Lean Manufacturing Newsletter

lean manufacturing newsletterThe November/December 2018 SFA email blast was a lean manufacturing newsletter. It was sent to subscribers November 19th, 2018.

Lean Manufacturing for 2019

Heard of it? Thinking about it? Make 2019 the year to pursue lean manufacturing!
How can you get started? A few of our solutions help towards the goals of shedding excess, managing things outside of your control, and balancing the uneven:
  • Eliminate Floppy Disks: We offer plug and play solutions to replace CNC machine disk drives. We are a leading supplier for Haas, Mazak, Okuma, and Mitsubishi machine tools.
  • Go Wireless: Increase baud rates and reliability by linking your machine tools wirelessly to your network. Any machine connection can be enabled via Ethernet or RS232 serial ports on your controller.
  • Improve Machine Performance: Your ERP system is tracking job status and operator actions, but what is tracking the machine? Get real-time performance metrics on your equipment from anywhere you have internet access. Meet customer delivery dates and reduce unknown downtime.

Portable Drip Feed HardwareBlack Friday Deal

Looking for a great deal on a backup device to load NC programs into your machine?

Tired of using a laptop and cables to load files?

Purchase any USB Connect Pendant model, the USB Connect Portable unit, or any model of the LAN Connect at list price, and get a second unit for $100 Off!

NOTE: Previous orders do not qualify and this deal expires 11/30/18.

Eligible only for the products listed above.

Give Thanks by Helping Others

Thanksgiving Hours of 2018

We will be closed the 22nd and 23rd for the Thanksgiving holiday.
We hope you all have a great Thanksgiving with your friends and family. We are grateful to all of you.
After-hours Support is available via our web call back form, 24 hours via our site.
Need us? Leave us a message or call (877) 611-5825

USB Connect Portable Hardware Case Study

Fredon Corporation was recently featured in a case study. Results from using SFA’s USB Connect Hardware were discussed.

Today’s Medical Developments recently featured a case study in their November/December 2018 issue.  The article highlights how our hardware bridged a technological skills gap for this Ohio company.

“A consistent goal of ours is to remain at the front of the manufacturing world,” Randy Glover Jr. at Fredon states. They want “to be able to provide our customers with high-quality parts manufactured in innovative ways.”

“Fredon is small enough to keep a one-on-one relationship with our customers,” Glover was quoted. He also stated they are “skilled enough to surpass the expectations of a facility many times larger [than ours].”

Read more below!

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Manufacturing Automation Podcast

Manufacturing Automation PodcastShop Floor Automations recently was interviewed by Manufacturing Engineering‘s Editor in Chief Alan Rooks. Our Marketing Coordinator Amanda Rosenblatt was part of the manufacturing automation podcast to talk about our industry.

“What we do is, we are a manufacturing integrator,” Rosenblatt said of the company, which has been open since 1998. The ultimate goal is to increase manufacturing productivity.

“Our customers vary in size and industry,” says the Marketing Coordinator. Examples included automotive, medical and oil industry clients. CNC machine shops, moldmakers, fabrication shops, and a wide variety of manufacturing equipment can be serviced.

Ease of use when using automation, Industry 4.0 and IIoT solutions was also discussed. “It can’t be too technologically prohibitive or people aren’t going to use it. They’re not going to get the benefit of those tools.”

CNC Shop Automation“Everything we have is really user-friendly. It really depends on what the solution is.”

She continues, “With our hardware, some of it is plug and play, while some of our solutions like our USB Pendant Connect requires about a four hour time commitment to install it.”

Rosenblatt stated a list of training materials via YouTube tutorial videos, brochures, helping customers on site, remote sessions, or programs such as DataXchange ELearning for machine monitoring training.

Automation integration, including DNC Software combined with CAD/CAM Software, was a big focus of the podcast. ” It’s going to organize those programs, it’s going to communicate them to the machines, and it’s going to do that revision control.”

The company’s involvement with the manufacturing social media community was also highlighted. “I know that’s a new concept in our industry, but we like to use that to promote the manufacturing community.” SFA are official MFG Day endorsers and are vocal supporters of Workshops for Warriors and Rise Up Industries.

Listen to the entire interview via AdvancedManufacturing.org! Be sure to call SFA for any automation needs at (877) 611-5825 or fill out an online contact form

Lean Production

Lean ProductionWhat is lean production? One can view it as an alternative term for lean manufacturing, but we wanted to take a deeper look.

“Lean production is centered on determining what activities or processes add value by reducing other aspects,” this Techopedia article explains.

So there is our concept: instead of focusing purely on the bad (what processes to get rid of), we choose to focus on what is working. What can we magnify in order to increase production?

The first part of the equation is always your talent on the shop floor. Without people at the equipment doing the work, nothing happens. So how can we help?

“In lean-production systems, a manufacturer’s employees are organized in teams,” this Economist article explains. The article goes on to explain how the team structure works.

“These tasks are less narrowly specialized than those demanded of the worker in a mass-production system,” they describe. “This variety enables the worker to escape from the soul-destroying repetition of the pure assembly line.”

What kind of teams can you form on the shop floor to help with productivity? We suggest taking on these projects with Shop Floor Automations’ help towards the overall goal of lean production:

  1. Lights Out Manufacturing – This will require a specialized team to evaluate where there are snags in the process in order to do 24/7 machining. Especially if you have team members who work different shifts, this helps them to compare data and see what is happening.
  2. CNC Revision Management – Assign a team to investigate if programs are floating around the shop floor that needs to be better controlled. This team will help make sure old revisions aren’t running at machines.
  3. Going Paperless – Have a team designated to help the shop floor go paperless. Take on a system of real-time dashboards versus spreadsheets or whiteboards. This team can even help the front office out for a real sense of teamwork.

For solutions that will help with these team goals, contact SFA. Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form today.