SFA Inc. & Alumco

SFA is the featured wireless hardware and software provider for Alumco in a CNC West article. Look for us in the CNC West April – May 2004 issue.

More about our wireless shop floor solutions

SFA offers industrial grade wireless devices with quick installation to connect to your CNC machines. Consumer level devices, like DLink or Netgear products, cannot withstand the manufacturing environment. Our products allow you to connect your RS232-based machines to your existing wireless network & we can even help if you lack an existing wireless network!

Costs of stringing cable will vanish. Machines with overhead cranes, traveling gantries, or those simply too far to cable are efficiently & reliably networked. Want to move your CNC machines? No need to change cables or re-configure software. Best of all, nearly any CNC machine can be connected using wireless! Any PC with a Wi-Fi compliant network card on this wireless network can be configured to access the wider PC network.

Encryption & spread spectrum technology, thanks to WEP, WPA, & WAP encryption features, means wireless DNC is the most secure & interference-resistant way to network CNC machines.

Want to get in touch with Shop Floor Automations? Call (877) 611-5825 toll free, or visit on social media. We also have a convenient chat engine on our site.

Shop Floor AutomationsOrder from Shop Floor Automations online

Shop Floor Automations nows accepts cabling and CNC Editor orders via the internet. Avoid extra time you do not have over the phone through our safe, digital Shopping Cart.

AS OF 2016: We have done a complete overhaul of our shopping cart for customer convenience. Our solutions have been broken down by your needs.

For software – we have machine monitoring, DNC communication, CNC editor, plant maintenance, job scheduling, document control, tool management, and MTConnect.

For hardware – we now have the Connect Series. Connect options via ethernet, wireless, serial, USB, floppy, tape reader (BTR), and more.

We also have a line of accessories and much more. Go shopping in our store!

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.

SFA has become the industry leader in Shop Floor Communications and Machine Monitoring Solutions – totally redefining what “Shop Floor Automation” solutions should be.  With thousands of customers from across the United States, Mexico, Canada, Europe, and Asia, we were called upon by other vendors to provide other solutions that could be met by our knowledge, support and sales experience of the manufacturing industry.  In 2010, SFA aligned itself with these vendors to close the loop with maintenance management software, job management and scheduling software, hardware manufacturers, and machine tool companies.

 

Shop Floor AutomationsSFA Inc. Website Redesign

We at Shop Floor Automations are proud to announce that our Website Redesign has launched. We wish our visitors to have a smoother website experience and hope that your time on our site is enjoyable and informative.

More about the services on our website:

Our shop AKA Hardware & Software – Our solutions in DNC communications, machine monitoring, CNC editors, CMMS plant maintenance, job scheduling, document control, tool management, and MTConnect pairs well with our hardware solutions – connect to your equipment via serial cables, Ethernet, wirelessly, or replace old tech like floppy discs.

Support – Get some extra help with your hardware and software installation

Company – Our blogs, newsletters, webinars, training videos, customer testimonials, and more

Contact – Get in touch with Sales, send a request for a demo, contact Support, subscribe for Email updates, and connect with us on social media

Help – 24 Hour Support and Remote Assistance links are located here for customer convenience

Call Shop Floor Automations at (877) 611-5825 for more information! The founders here at SFA have many years of experience providing effective solutions to manufacturers large and small from coast to coast. Our expertise in designing and implementing DNC and Shop Floor Networks allows us to take the best hardware and software products to the next level. That level is a fully implemented, turnkey solution tailored specifically for our customer’s requirements and environments.

CNC Editor Gcode EditorPredator CNC Editor v6.1 Released

Predator CNC Editor  v6.1 has been Released and is ready for use on manufacturing shop floor. If you would like more information on how Predator Editor and other CNC Editors can benefit you, read more below:

SFA provides customized CNC Editor Solutions for everyone, from small job shops to the largest manufacturers, with hundreds of features to improve day-to-day CNC machine tool productivity. 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 with basic CNC communications. Also, Windows 10 O/S is supported!

In addition, editing multiple CNC programs of unlimited file sizes at the same time, even while other applications run in the background, is supported. 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.

These extremely versatile but easy-to-use packages are designed to simplify your work & will also improve productivity. Our editing & backplotter packages are developed under rigorous testing.

Founded back in 1998, Shop Floor Automations, Inc. (SFA) started as a small company focused on distributing the Predator Software product line to the San Diego and Los Angeles markets of California.  Within 6 months, the company expanded to cover the entire West Coast as a reseller with the goal to be the #1 reseller in a year.

The goal was met in 1999 when SFA was awarded the status of largest distributor of Predator Software in North America. SFA has been ranked #1 in Predator Software Sales, Service and Support for decades.

 

shop floor automationsShop Floor Automations Website Relaunch

Shop Floor Automations is proud to announce that we have launched a new website. Easier to navigate, easier to shop, easier to get in touch with our staff – we are very pleased with the end product.

We have separated our products into hardware and software categories, with categories matching the needs you are looking for. We also make sure customers can go right to our shop, if they know what brand or product they are looking for.

We also have lots of blog entries, archived newsletters, and many more resources. We look forward to helping you improve YOUR shop floor!

More about Shop Floor Automations:

Founded back in 1998, we started as a small company focused on distributing the Predator Software product line to the San Diego and Los Angeles markets of California. Within 6 months, we expanded to cover the entire West Coast as a reseller with the goal to be the #1 reseller in a year.

The goal was met in 1999 when SFA was awarded the status of largest distributor of Predator Software in North America. We have been ranked #1 in Predator Software Sales, Service and Support for many years running.

SFA has become the industry leader in Shop Floor Communications and Machine Monitoring Solutions – totally redefining what “Shop Floor Automation” solutions should be.  With thousands of customers from across the United States, Mexico, Canada, Europe, and Asia, we were called upon by other vendors to provide other solutions that could be met by our knowledge, support and sales experience of the manufacturing industry.  In 2010, SFA aligned itself with these vendors to close the loop with maintenance management software, job management and scheduling software, hardware manufacturers, and machine tool companies.

“Every day, more and more manufacturing companies come to rely on Shop Floor Automations, Inc. for shop floor solutions, services, and expertise to increase their manufacturing productivity and profitability.”

Greg MercurioPresident & Co-Founder of SFA

Predator DNC Software 4.0 released

Predator DNC 4.0 has been released for manufacturing shop floors. For more information on Predator DNC and other DNC options from Shop Floor Automations, read below:

Manage your CNC programs, machine parameters, & offsets. Enjoy a wide range of CNC communication options from your Predator PCs for drip-feeding, downloading, & bi-directional communication. Upload via parallel, RS232, RS422 Ethernet, & wireless Ethernet for thousands of CNC machines. With Microsoft Office  & Windows Explorer-compatible user interface (Windows 10 O/S supported), use familiar features for drag & drop, cut, copy, paste, shortcut menus, object-based menus, toolbars, tool tips, & available online help.

Improve CNC revision control while using existing ERP & MES bar-coded paperwork. Eliminate time wasted walking back & forth between your CNC & PC with a Remote Request function. Consider a 32-Bit, Multi-thread, Multi-tasking, Open-Architecture DNC Software solution that works wired & wirelessly.

Simplify operations with one network for all of your CNC machines, Robots, PLCs, & part makers, grouped by building or cell.

With Predator DNC, you can network all of your CNCs, Robots, and PLC- based machines. Predator DNC manages your CNC programs, offsets, and parameters. It supports a broad range of CNC communications for drip-feeding, downloading, and uploading via parallel, RS232, RS422 Ethernet, and wireless Ethernet.

When you need to manage your robots, CNC machines, part markers, and PLCs, you need Predator DNC. Not only will it manage your programs, but also your parameters and offsets. It supports everything you could possibly need when it comes to CNC communications, whether you’re uploading, downloading or drip-feeding via wireless, Ethernet, RS232, RS422, or parallel. Call SFA for more info at (877) 611-5825!

CNC Editor Gcode EditorPredator CNC Editor v 6.0 released

SFA announces that Predator CNC Editor V6.0 has been released. For more info on how this software can help your shop floor, read below:

Dozens of CNC intelligent editing commands make changes to your CNC program quickly and easily. Edit confidently with the ability to undo and redo all changes. Microsoft Word compatible menus, toolbar, and shortcut keys make Predator CNC Editor easy to learn.

The Predator CNC Editor supports up to 64MBs of code per CNC program. In addition, editing multiple CNC programs at the same time is supported, with the ability to cut, copy, and paste between them.

The Predator CNC Editor includes a side-by-side file compare, which identifies each G-code and M-code difference and fixes them with a single click of the mouse. A summary report and numerous options to ignore spaces, blank lines, leader/trailer, feed rates, spindle speeds, and tool changes simplify the process of integrating shop floor edits with a master CNC program.

Send, receive, and drip-feed to one machine at a time, via switchbox or direct connection to any compatible CNC machine. Works in the background even while other software applications are running. Should a tool break, an easy to use DNC Restart command automatically re-creates the CNC program from any point.
NOTE: An upgrade to our full Predator DNC product provides support for DNC networking of multiple CNC machines at the same time.

Stryker Reduces Errors with Predator Desktop

A Nice, Tidy Operation – Predator Software case study

Predator SoftwareNowadays, joint replacements are expected to meet greater demands and be in service longer than ever before. This means ever-increasing demand on design and production, ensuring maximum joint mobility; whilst minimizing wear, through the use of materials such as ceramics, titanium, and polyethylene.

Also, to meet the ever-widening range of issues, preferences, and patient demands, surgeons must have an equally wide range of choices and options so that the right joint is readily available whatever size the patient.

All this puts pressure on companies like Stryker Corporation, which specializes in manufacturing medical equipment. It has to deal with numerous design variations and batch changeovers daily, whilst maintaining traceability and effective production within the bounds of strict regulation.

Not easy by anyone’s standards; there are many opportunities for operator error, especially when changing one batch of components for another – which may look exactly the same, but embrace dimensional changes too small for most to see. Such errors prompted senior information technology analyst Walter Switzer of Stryker’s facility in Cork to seek a solution.

He found it in a bespoke DNC installation developed in conjunction with Predator Software Europe. The first two parts of the proposed three-part installation have been a huge success: the possibility of downloading the wrong file has been obliterated, and productivity significantly improved. In fact, the system now manages everything associated with making products on the machines and is currently being implemented across the American plants as a result. Read more below.

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Virtual Machine — Machine Simulation & Verification

Predator SoftwareProduct Description

Predator Virtual CNC and Virtual Machine integrates CNC verification and machine simulation within a single Windows-based product. Predator Virtual Machine is designed to accurately simulate the CNC, the machine and the machining process.

How it Works

Predator Virtual Machine works just like a machine tool. It requires CNC programs, offsets, stock material, tooling, and fixturing details. A 3D virtual machining environment is displayed to the user with VCR buttons to control the simulation. Unlike a machine tool, Predator Virtual Machine will safely detect machine crashes, broken tooling, CNC programming errors, and numerous other problems.

Initial setup requires the user to design a machine with any major CAD/CAM system. By leveraging the strengths of today’s solid modelers, machine design is faster and easier then ever before. The machine’s base and moving parts are imported into Predator Virtual Machine and the kinematics are defined. A library of machine types such as VMCs and HMCs simplify the kinematic definitions. CNC specifics are configured down to the G-code & M-code level. A library of 150 CNC controls that can be edited by the user, dramatically simplify initial configuration.

Read more below.

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Update Provides Increased Reliability and Integration

PORTLAND, OR – August 20, 2002 – Predator Software Inc., a leading provider of shop floor communication and automation software, today announced the release of Predator DNC (direct/distributed numeric control) version 3.2, the latest update to the company’s shop floor networking and communication application, which enables personnel to electronically automate the sharing of CNC program files between PCs and CNCs.

Predator SoftwarePredator DNC v3.2 provides nearly 40 enhancements, including new features to improve the user experience, as well as numerous performance-based upgrades to existing features. Recognized for its object-oriented flexibility, version 3.2 has added, among other key features, multiple file selection, wildcard directory searching, and improved Object functionality and reliability. More than a dozen new Objects have also been added, including integration Objects for Predator MDC and Predator Travelers, Regular Expression Objects, and CNC-specific protocols.

“Predator DNC v3.2 continues our emphasis on improving product quality while expanding the power of our application”, said Jim Abbassian, Predator Software President. “We received a tremendous amount of customer feedback, which drove many of the improvements in this latest release. The result is an excellent product update with an exceptional value-to-performance ratio.”

One of the biggest changes is a new installation process based on Microsoft’s Install Services. This technology was introduced in Windows 2000 and is supported natively. If the user is running Windows 95, 98 or NT v4.0 and Microsoft’s Install Services have never been installed, the new install procedure will do it automatically.

Read more below.

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