CNC Revision Control

CNC Revision Control is overlooked in terms of manufacturing productivity. No control over shop programs leads to old ones running at machines. This means wasted raw material, man time, and customer time.

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

Techopedia lists benefits including record keeping and performance analysis. There’s also streamlined collaboration and conserved disk space.

Modern Machine Shop columnist Wayne Chaneski says – “It is hard to know if a process needs to be fixed if it is not being followed as intended.”

He continues that “valid processes that have veered off course may require additional employee training or better communication of expectations.”

Read more below!

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Legacy Blog – Edition XVI

shop floor automations blogHere are some SFA exclusives we will have at IMTS. There is also product news and MFG Day coverage. Manufacturing Tomorrow especially shared a few of our pieces.

Shop Floor Automations is once again headed to IMTS (Booth 133240). Our booth will be shared with Scytec DataXchange machine monitoring.

New features of DataXchange will be displayed, as well as their E-Learning program. Thanks to MFG Talk Radio for covering both pieces of news!

For product news, we thank Manufacturing Tomorrow for covering the news of our latest hardware release, the LAN-USB Connect, which adds USB and ethernet abilities to your machine. MFG Talk Radio also published this piece from us – a top 3 reasons list of why moldmakers need to embrace the IIoT.

Moldmaking Technology also published an article talking about how machine data collection software helps combat downtime.

Finally, it’s never too early to start talking about MFG Day (also known as “manufacturing day”). Fabricating and Metalworking shared our piece last year on shaping the Made in America movement, where we highlighted three organizations helping to make manufacturing great again.

Our newest article from Manufacturing Tomorrow on this holiday highlights three manufacturing companies SFA has worked with and how they are helping to close the skills gap.

SFA has been helping manufacturing companies increase productivity for 20 years now. Call us at (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form!

 

OEE Monitoring Trial

The Benefits of a Wireless Shop Floor

Wireless cnc machineManufacturing technology changes each day. Companies want more innovative ways to increase productivity through machine automation. A wireless shop floor is one avenue to pursue.

Customers who have issues with floppy disks or inferior cabling are a big wireless demographic. This was what brought Stollen Machine of New Jersey to SFA.

Stollen invested in six wireless hardware devices from SFA to help to replace an old cabling system. A case study done with the customers found that they were able to get back 15% more time daily.

Sometimes, innovation is not the reason for the switch. Unexpected events can turn customers to industrial automation.

In Modern Machine Shop, editor Stephanie Hendrixson shares the story of a manufacturer in 2005 that went wireless. A lightning strike destroyed their CNC machine circuit boards. This lead to an upsetting amount of downtime and lost profit.

“At the time of print, [the manufacturer] reported no problems with downloading numerical control (NC) programs wirelessly thanks to an error-checking protocol,” the article states.

“Download speeds were adequate for its needs,” Hendrixson writes. “Data encryption and other security measures kept NC programs safe from interception and [the] corporate network safe from attack.”

Here are some reviews from SFA customers who have gone wireless:

“My favorite features from the changes implemented are process control, process security, and enhanced availability of knowledge base information. Total cost was also very affordable.” – James, Amarillo Gear

“Wireless DNC has been fantastic for our production. We went from losing the wired system to [choosing] a wireless system, and it actually works very well.” – George at Gyford Production Standoff Systems

Whether an emergency prompts it, or a shop floor has the liberty to try new means to improve their manufacturing process, going wireless is an amazing investment. Want to know more? Call (877) 611-5825, or send us a message

SFA Newsletter – June/July 2018

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter The following is an archived copy of the SFA newsletter from June/July of 2018. We focused on a machine monitoring trial, IMTS, and a portable comm to USB adapter for this issue:

Machine Monitoring Trial

Do you know your machine utilization rate? Most manufacturers have an idea, but knowing your true OEE can help to supercharge your productivity!

Shop Floor Automations (SFA) and DataXchange are working together to offer a machine monitoring trial. Trials are 30 days long and will help you capture, understand and analyze machine data.

If you want to increase OEE and make more profits, the first step is knowing where to improve your manufacturing process. Get in touch today!

IMTS is Coming!

It’s never too early to start planning for IMTS. If you’ve never been, we recommend checking it out this year!

Held in Chicago IL, the International Manufacturing Technology Show is held every two years for manufacturers, machinists, developers, and tech enthusiasts. We will once again be displaying DataXchange machine monitoring and our hardware solutions.

Mark Twain once said – “It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago. She outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them.” That was back in 1883, so the city has become even busier, even without IMTS going on!

More info on SFA and DataXchange at IMTS – Booth 133240 

Portable USB Connect Sale

Having problems drip-feeding to your machines? Tired of carrying a laptop around your shop to transfer programs? Had enough of outdated technology such as PCMCIA cards?

Check out our Portable USB Connect! Compatible with hundreds of CNC controls out on the market today, it’s a time saver and helps machinists be more productive. This device adds a USB port without putting in hours of drilling and setup time. Use it on multiple machines throughout the shop floor!

Normally $700, our newsletter readers have an exclusive Summer discount on this device. Use promo code “portableusb” to get $50 off! Quantities are limited – the sale begins Monday, July 16th and ends Friday, August 31st.

Link to original newsletter or call (877) 611-5825 

Legacy Blog – Edition XV

shop floor automations blogIn this Legacy Blog, Shop Floor Automations thanks these digital publications for sharing our recent news about DNC software, machine monitoring, hardware, and more:

Manufacturing Tomorrow posted a piece we wrote about return on investment (ROI) for shop floor automation solutions. “A great example of actually showing your ROI comes from one of our customers who had an ROI sheet showing that their company had 30 machines, they ran two programs per day, and they loaded 300 programs per week…they then showed how expensive this older process was where they were using outdated shop floor media to transfer programs and estimated how much time/money would be saved by upgrading to DNC.”

MFG Talk Radio published quite a few of our pieces lately. They shared news of our new technology, the LAN-USB Connect. They also shared a piece where we shared with manufacturers how to approach decision makers with ways to prove automation ROI.

FabShop Magazine hosted SFA in the MFG ETC section once again. OSHA’s Top 10 safety violations in 2017 that apply to the shop floor were explored and how some automation solutions can help address some of these issues for 2018 onward.

Moldmaking Technology covered our appearance at Mazak West recently. “The company says that hardware implementation for machines that handle Mazatrol CMT files is easily accessible and affordable,” for example. “Mazak machines operators can add USB ports to machines with the USB Connect Mazak pendant model.”

In a throwback, Manufacturing Engineering published a blog about managing and collecting shop floor machine data. Within this piece, SFA owner Greg Mercurio was interviewed.

For our latest appearances in manufacturing trade magazines, check out our press page. Otherwise, we would love to start the conversation with you about automation! Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form.  

 

May 2018 Shop Floor Automations Newsletter

The following is an archived copy of our May 2018 newsletter sent May 22nd. Subscribed, but not receiving newsletters? Get more info on this page!

shop floor automations NewsletterDoes getting your shop floor paperless, organized, ready for an audit, and functioning sound impossible? Trust us. It’s not.

The Predator Software Suite contains a solution called PDM, or Production Data Management. You can use PDM to organize programs, safety procedures (such as lockout/tagout and other OSHA standards), setup sheets, quality documents, and more. Use PDM to help obtain revision control, as well as to finally go paperless.

Every department can find a benefit from PDM. Whether they work in engineering, programming, or quality – everyone on the shop floor has a reason for document control. Especially when auditors will be checking if you have management and sign-offs for your processes and files, this solution is especially crucial.

PDM will integrate with other pieces of the Predator Software Suite, such as DNC (CNC networking software), CNC Editor, MDC (Machine Data Collection), and Tool Tracker. It will also integrate with ERP and MES software systems.

Seeking out CAD/CAM software for your growing manufacturing operation? Especially one that can integrate with our solutions?

BOBCAD is a CAD/CAM company we have been working with for quite a few years. Especially since it integrates with some of our most popular solutions, such as DNC software, machine monitoring software, and our USB Connect hardware. Yes, it will even integrate with the PDM software mentioned above!

Shop Floor Automations is the number one reseller/integrator of Predator Software. Call (877) 611-5825 for a quote and more information. Link to original newsletter

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!

Mazak West Event

SFA will be at Mazak West from June 5th to the 8th, 2018. We will be exhibiting Scytec DataXchange machine monitoring software, showing attendees how to collect real-time data from their Mazak machines.

Ask the MTConnect experts in attendance at Mazak West how the protocol benefits you, how to integrate your legacy machines, and how information collected from your machines can help improve both capacity and productivity. Implementing machine monitoring has many benefits – we can’t wait to show you!

Hardware solutions for new and legacy machines will also be on display. Using wireless, wired and USB solutions will increase your shop floor productivity.

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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