December 2011 Shop Floor Automations Newsletter

The following is an archived copy of our Shop Floor Automations Newsletter from December of 2011.

We hope 2011 has been a good year for you and that 2012 will be even better. We are planning to launch a few new products next year and are encouraged with news about machine tool sales and continued growth in our market. Please let us know of anything we can help with to wrap up this year or kick off the New Year.

In Memory Of: Shawn Dunne
1968 – 2011
Vice President
Shop Floor Automations 

On October 27th, we lost our dear friend and Co-Founder, Shawn Dunne to cancer.

Shawn spent the last 13 years helping to build a remarkable company

and culture that was focused on providing the best solutions to our customers.

He cherished his relationships with all of his customers and enjoyed

learning about the wide variety of industries we serve. He will be missed by all of us.

You can read his obituary here  – http://www.legacyfuneralcare.com/shawn-dunne-obituary.html

Shop Floor Scheduler

What jobs do you have planned next year? Next month? Next week?

Are you using a whiteboard or Excel spreadsheet to figure this all out?

Get an instantaneous view of all of your jobs, equipment, capacity, bottlenecks, etc.

with a simple click. Our Scheduling Solution JobPack can help you with all these needs and more.

Partner Rewards Program 

Could you use an extra $500? That’s what one of our Partners received last month

(actually $560) for simply introducing one of his customers to us

and taking a little time to explain things to both parties.

Now our Partner is happy, as well as our mutual customer!

Email Greg (gregm@shopfloorautomations.com) to add your name

to our Quarterly newsletter and get rewarded! Earn up to 10% of a transaction.

If you get your referral in to us by the end of the year,

we will add 25% to your reward when it closes.

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterTechnical Tip: 

Are you about to change your shop floor PC?

Be sure not to throw out your security key / dongle.

It contains valuable information and losing it may disrupt your operation

and cost you in the long run. Keep in mind, we now use USB SIMs and we are able

to replace your old parallel key for a small fee.

Our year end specials are coming to an end soon. 

Planning on upgrading your PC, adding machines or moving the shop in 2012?

If you place an order for a service call before Dec 22nd

and pay in advance, you can receive up to 20% off.

Use of the service call must be made within 6 months.

Call (619) 461-4000 to place your order now.

Enjoy the Holidays with your family and friends while having a safe New Year!

http://twitter.com/SFA_INC

California Office Tel: (619) 461-4000
Toll Free: (877) 611-5825

Original link to newsletter

The Passing of Shawn Dunne

Rest in Peace, Shawn Dunne

On October 27th, 2011, we lost our dear friend and Co-Founder, Shawn Dunne to cancer. Shawn spent the last 13 years helping to build a remarkable company here at Shop Floor Automations and a business culture that was focused on providing the best solutions to our customers.

He cherished his relationships with all of his customers and enjoyed learning about the wide variety of industries we serve. He will be missed by all of us.

More about Shawn, from his obituary:

He will be deeply missed by his wife Belinda Dunne, sons Adrian Mendoza, Joshua Reynolds, James Dunne, Jacob Dunne, and Shawn J. Dunne, daughters Aubrianna Morris and Bella Dunne, granddaughters Kylee Reynolds and Eliana Morris, parents Gabriel Rivera III and Sandie Rivera, brothers Bill Dunne, Mike Doyle, Thom Dunne and Gabriel Rivera IV, sisters Sue Doyle, Chris Doyle and Kathleen Gettinger, grandmother Katy Zolman, and extended family and friends.

Shawn lived his entire life in El Cajon where he graduated from Grossmont High School and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in European History at the University of California at San Diego.

Shawn spent most of his life in youth ministry leadership and was an ordained pastor. He had a passion to reach junior high and high school students because he knew what a critical time that is in a young person’s life. He developed strong relationships and influenced many with his genuine love for people and the Word of God.

Shawn always had an open door policy at his home – everyone was welcome to hang out. His best times were spent serving others – whether it be taking close friends on trips across the country, hosting barbeques or one of his famous game nights at his home, officiating a friend’s wedding, playing DJ for special events, or spending hours working on church camp videos.

Shawn excelled at remembering the little things that most people forget. When someone casually mentioned that they liked something, Shawn would remember that and make sure they received it as his gift for their next birthday or Christmas. Shawn was a dedicated and active member of Foothill Christian Church in El Cajon.

He was a brilliant businessman and business owner. One of his highest priorities was to treat his employees as friends. He felt a deep responsibility to be a good steward of his business and the people who worked with him.

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – October 2011

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThe following is an archived copy of the Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – October 2011.

As the end of the year approaches, we would like to share our excitement for 2012. Shop Floor Automations has added new solutions to our product line to improve automation and productivity on your shop floor.

* CNC Editors *
Tired of manually editing G-code on your CNC? The Predator CNC Editor is the most popular 32-bit CNC code editor on the market. It includes hundreds of features to improve the day to day productivity of CNC machine tools, yet is extremely easy to use. Four editions are available including a free version.  Features include:
  • CNC Editing
  • Unlimited File Size
  • File Compare
  • CNC Communications with drip-feed
  • Backplotting

* Network Serial Hardware *

Designed for manufacturers with multiple buildings and existing Ethernet infrastructure. The hardware eliminates PCI cards plugged into computers and directly links to the network backbone. You can network up to 256 machines to your Windows-based PC. The hardware supports transfers of your CNC programs, offsets and parameters.
This solution supports a wide range of CNC protocols for drip-feeding, downloading, and uploading via RS232. Models are available in a 1, 2, 4, 8, or 16 port configuration and include a 5-year warranty from Shop Floor Automations.
* CASH For Clunkers *
Do you have an outdated, unsupported DNC System from a software company who has been out of business or not updated their product since Window NT or 2000? Now is the time to consider a software upgrade with our trade-up program.  For orders placed in 2011, we will provide up to 25% of credit towards the purchase of a new system from Shop Floor Automations. Call us now at (877) 611-5825 Toll Free!
  • Support for Windows 7, Vista,
    Server 2008
  • Wireless or Wired System
  • Upgrade from switchboxes
  • Simple upgrade path
For all existing customers, please remember to backup your systems.

Consider a spare hub, PC or even our backup portable USB device in case something goes wrong. Downtime is costly and a small investment now can save thousands later.

Tell your colleagues about Shop Floor Automations and receive up to a 5% or 10% referral reward when they become a customer. Fill out our contact form with the company information and details or contact your Account Executive.

Link to original newsletter HERE

CASH For Clunkers

Discount to Replace Old Systems

Do you have an outdated, unsupported DNC System from a software company who has been out of business or not updated their product since Window NT or 2000? Now is the time to consider a software upgrade with our trade-up program.

New technology with a good support system is how to stay ahead in this industry. Don’t let your shop floor fall behind. We can help!

For orders placed in 2011, we will provide up to 25% of credit towards the purchase of a new system from Shop Floor Automations.

Give us a call now (877) 611-5825 Toll Free!
• Upgrade from switchboxes
• Support for Windows 7, Vista, Server 2008• Wireless or Wired System
• Simple upgrade path

More about Shop Floor Automations:

Many of our clients know us as the DNC Communications and Data Collection / Machine Monitoring experts and we look forward to helping your company in these areas and with our new product solutions.

The founders of SFA have many years of experience providing effective solutions to manufacturers large and small from coast to coast. Their expertise in designing and implementing DNC and Shop Floor Networks allows them to take the best hardware and software products to the next level. That level is a fully implemented, turnkey solution tailored specifically for a customer’s requirements and environments.

Shop Floor Automations is appropriately positioned to provide our customers with a complete technology environment. Customers are not looking for products so much as they are seeking solutions to their business problems. Our total solution approach for manufacturing customers provides hardware and software packages, installation and support services, and expert consultation where required. Our principal goal is to help customers save time and make money.

CNC Editors

CNC backplotter32-bit  G-code editor with CNC Backplotter

Tired of manually editing G-code on your CNC? The Predator CNC Editor is the most popular 32-bit CNC code editor on the market.

This software includes hundreds of features to improve the day-to-day productivity of CNC machine tools, yet it is extremely easy to use. Four editions are available, including a free version.

Features include:
• CNC Editing
• Unlimited File Size
• File Compare
• CNC Communications with drip-feed
• Backplotting

Additional information on our free CNC Editor download

From our CNC Editor Landing page:

SFA provides customized CNC Editor Solutions for everyone, from small job shops to the largest manufacturers. Dozens of CNC intelligent editing commands make changes to your CNC program quickly & easily. Edit confidently with the ability to undo & redo all changes. Microsoft Word-compatible menus, toolbar, & shortcut keys make these systems easy to learn.

In addition, editing multiple CNC programs at the same time is supported, with the ability to cut, copy, & paste between them. Program includes a side-by-side file compare that identifies all G-code & M-code differences, then fixes them with a single click. Our editing & backplotter packages are developed under the most rigorous testing.

These extremely versatile but easy-to-use packages are designed to simplify your work & will also improve productivity.

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – July 2011

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThe following is an archive of the Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – July 2011.

Your company’s business applications and network are continuously improving, however, the manufacturing network may not have seen a technology update in years. Legacy systems are still in place using switchboxes, RS232 cabling and old Windows operating systems that seem to just hang on. It might be time to consider a few new tools which includes tips and tricks when updating the shop floor.

* Ethernet Solutions *
Over the years, RS232 cabling and switchboxes or serial hubs have been the standard to link CNC machines together.  With this connection came limited length in cable runs, slow baud rates and power spikes.  Embracing the same technology as your office PC’s use, you can now run Ethernet cables to network-based machines.  But what about your older serial based machines?  Now you can breathe new life into them with our FlexN hardware.  Run Ethernet cable from a standard network switch to each machine, across longer distances using  TCP/IP error correction protocols.  Leverage the fastest baud rate at your CNC and eliminate the bottleneck!

*Network Based  CNCs *

They have finally arrived, network-based CNC machines on the shop floor.  But how are you connecting them to your company network?  Connecting CNC Machines to your network switches has many advantages such as high-speed machining, low-cost Ethernet cable, easy wiring schemes along with IPs for each machine.  Your IT Department can probably get them going quickly but have you thought about…
  • Virus software – adding this to your control is probably not an option and leaves a security breach
  • Operator training  – there are two sides to learn now, Windows and the CNC control interface
  • Procedural differences between transferring NC programs- serial based machines and network buttons are unique
  • Remote monitoring and support – who has access to your machine and corporate network
There are ways to control, manage and transfer data to your network based machines with confidence and using Predator DNC Software.   FTP and TCP/IP protocols are built into the DNC Networking application that currently manages your serial based machine and allows one product to do it all.

*Predator DNC Tip *

Most users of Predator DNC Software use the application to transfer NC programs to and from the control connected to the system with ease.  However, a recent poll showed users only use 43% of the application features and benefits.  Did you know you can…
  • Track every upload and download into a log which includes date/time, command and NC program name
  • Transfer offsets, capture probe data or machine parameters
  • Clean up legacy files in minutes by adding O’s, removing unwanted characters or making sure each begins with %
  • Create revisions of NC programs being saved automatically
  • Send messages back to operators that files are not available or secure on the DNC Server when saving out of the CNC
  • Add email notification or print from the CNC control

You can optimize your system by calling your account manager to arrange a system review and make a recommendation to utilize the full features of your investment in Predator Software.

Replace Floppy Disk Drives with our USB Floppy Emulator. Add Ethernet to Any CNC! See what customers are
saying about SFA!”Thank you for a great support team.  They were very pleasant to speak with, knowledgeable and patient.  They knew their stuff and had me up and running in 5 minutes.”Mike- Hauppauge, NY”I purchased a used Okuma lathe and proceeded to try to get it to communicate with my DNC software to no avail. After 2 years, 15 cables, 12 manuals, 100s of pages of parameter settings, and advice from every expert I could find, I stumbled across Shop Floor Automations. Between their expert advice, cabling, and Predator Software I was up and running in 20 minutes.”Charles- Bandon, OR”Shop Floor Automations has provided a fully functional, completely “wireless” solution to our CNC communication needs. They have demonstrated expertise, professionalism, and problem-solving persistence in a manner that supports my decision in choosing them. I enthusiastically recommend them.”Charles – Phoenix, AZ

Link to original newsletter HERE

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – May 2011

The following is an archived copy of the Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – May 2011.

The manufacturing industry continues to grow and the upswingShop Floor Automations Newsletter in business seems to be around the corner for our customers.  Although most of us have not fully recovered from the recession, there is hope through automation and solutions.  Shop Floor Automations is here to bring your attention to some of the new products we have found to be most productive and keep the machines running!

* Backup USB Solution *
Many of our customers have been using Predator DNC or other competitive products to communicate to CNC machines for years.  These systems are very reliable and typically are untouched until something goes wrong. Do you have a plan in place?  Check out our backup USB solution to add to your CNCs or have on the shelf for when that day comes. Works with any brand or size USB memory stick and any CNC control.

* Data Collection Made Simple*

Capturing real-time data from the shop floor does not have to be complicated.  Using your existing infrastructure and computers, our data collection can be added to your equipment with ease.  Works with any type of  CNC control including Mazak, Fanuc, Haas, Okuma, Siemens, Cincinnati and robots, press brakes, bar feeds, welders, and more.  Report, chart and display the machines current status, including cycle, idle, and down times on any PC or shop floor LCD.   Later you can expanded to, capture job numbers, part numbers, downtime reason codes, scrap reason and more with our Enterprise MDC.

*Scheduling is Quick and Easy *

Scheduling is the key to efficient operations.  With Jobpack Production Scheduling software, you can quickly identify bottlenecks and react in real-time to unexpected production problems.  You’ll know what job to run next, when to promise the customer’s order, and what machines can get it done the fastest.  You can optimize production capabilities while achieving realistic delivery dates to keep customer satisfaction humming right along.

Link to original newsletter HERE

 

Scheduling is Quick and Easy

jobpackJobpack Production Scheduling

Scheduling is the key to efficient operations. With Jobpack Production Scheduling software, you can quickly identify bottlenecks and react in real-time to unexpected production problems.

You’ll know what job to run next, when to promise the customer’s order, and what machines can get it done the fastest.  You can optimize production capabilities while achieving realistic delivery dates to keep customer satisfaction humming right along.

Job Scheduling Software is essential for knowing if deliveries will be on time. It takes all of your current jobs, along with capacity, & gives you the ability to see where your jobs are & when they are going to be completed. The real-time scheduling module keeps operators on the shop floor up to date with what jobs to run next. Sudden downtime on machines is accounted for & re-scheduling based on new machine capacity can happen.

With a solid scheduling system in place, you’ll be better equipped to update your customers on delivery dates and identify late deliveries before they happen so you have time to do something about it. Displays of pre-order & estimated cost calculations, as well as actual costs incurred during manufacture, are shown as they occur, as well as displaying data for groups or individual cells of machines.

Learn More

Features include:

  • Activated jobs appear on planning board instantly
  • Display machine capacity for working & non-working days
  • Color-coding status indicates factory floor workflow
  • “What if” tests overall factory & delivery dates production
  • Use stand-alone or integrate with existing ERP/MRP business systems
  • Real-time queued jobs are displayed by work center set against shift pattern

Data Collection Made Simple

machine status viewReal-time machine data collection

Capturing real-time data from the shop floor does not have to be complicated.  Using your existing infrastructure and computers, our data collection solution Predator MDC can be added to your equipment with ease. Here is info on Data Collection for CNC Machines made simple.

Works with any type of  CNC control, including Mazak, FANUC, Haas, Okuma, Siemens, and Cincinnati. Compatibility also includes Robots, press brakes, bar feeds, welders, and more.

Report, chart and display on any workstation or LCD Monitor the current status of the machine to start.  Later, you can expand multiple plants, capture jobs, part counts, scrap reason and more with our Enterprise MDC. Learn More

More about our Machine Monitoring and Data Collection services through Predator MDC, as well as Scytec DataXchange:

Machine Monitoring gives you the ability to see what your machines are doing in real-time. Collect & 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. Run time, downtime, & OEE data is then presented via dashboards, historical reports, & charts.  Emails or text messages can be sent to notify you of production issues on the shop floor.

Improve manufacturing by supplying accurate shop floor productivity metrics to improve operations & make better decisions. Enjoy automatic, error-free, & unattended machine monitoring for events such as job start/end, setup start/end, log on/off, cycle start/end, & more. Data collected includes cycle time, idle time, setup time, teardown time, machine downtime, & scrap reasons.

 

 

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – April 2011

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterShop Floor Automations Newsletter – April 2011

The following is an archive copy of our Shop Floor Automations Newsletter from April 2011.

Are you an existing customer using Predator Software?  Maybe you are using an old copy the CNC Editor inside SurfCAM, GibbsCAM, SmartCAM, ProCAM, CAMWorks, or BobCAD-CAM.  Ask us about productivity improvement!

* Predator DNC*
Upload, download, drip-feed up to 100+ machines from a single server and eliminate walking to and from your CNCs.  We are offering upgrade specials to bring your legacy system up to speed with new hardware and operating systems with little downtime and effort.  Call us today to learn more and if you want to add your Ethernet-based CNCs, we support those too!
* Predator Production Data Management*
Predator PDM is a manufacturing driven software solution designed to organize and control CNC programs, setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents and others files with revision control.  The application works in server / clients environments and supports Microsoft Access, SQL or Oracle.

* Predator Data Collection*

Machine monitoring is real-time software that automatically collects, reports, charts and processes real-time shop floor manufacturing data including cycle time, idle time, setup time, machine downtime and more.  Predator MDC improves manufacturing by supplying accurate shop floor productivity metrics to improve operations and to make better decisions.
Ready for Wireless?

Add wireless to any CNC machine with a serial port or Ethernet port to eliminate long cable runs, data lost and flexibility to move machines.  Easy to install and can be added to any wired system regardless of communication software.  Works with Predator DNC, CAD/CAM system and competitive DNC systems. Free wireless survey at your facility by our service technicians.

Link to original newsletter HERE