January February 2019 Newsletter

The following is an archived copy of the Shop Floor Automations newsletter from January/February 2019. The focuses of this email blast are RS232 port upgrades, OEE monitoring and more.

Do you really know what your OEE is?

Overall equipment efficiency (OEE) is a key element to better manufacturing productivity. Sadly, most shops gravely overestimate how well their shop is performing and manage without numbers. 

2019 is the year to know how often your machines are down and why. Improve your machine uptime with reports, charts and dashboards to give you a competitive edge. Two models are available: on-premise with in-house data servers/database, or through flexible, low-cost, monthly Cloud monitoring. 

Give machine operators a voice. Communicate machine data easily and automatically. Interface with CNC machines, lasers, water jets, grinders, robots, and more! Start a machine monitoring trial

Manufacturing in 2018 & 2019 Outlook

American manufacturing last year was incredibly successful. We grew from a $2.2 trillion industry in 2017 to $2.33 trillion in 2018.

How do we keep this momentum going for 2019? We need to face certain issues in our industry head-on.

Other than the ever-present training skills gap, we also need to foster better technology relationships on the shop floor.

Solutions For Your CNC’s – RS232 Port Upgrades

Hardware from Shop Floor Automations is one of our hottest categories of merchandise. It’s a sign that people in the industry are further looking to extend the life of their existing equipment and save money versus buying new machines.

Take a moment to evaluate if any of these items apply to your shop floor:

  • Are you carrying a laptop around the shop floor in order to make sure programs make it to the CNC? 
  • Considering turning an old RS232 port into a USB port?
  • The cost of cabling continues to rise. Are you ready to go wireless?
  • Stuck using floppy disks versus USB memory drives? 
  • Need file control and management of NC programs on one network? 

We have various shop floor hardware solutions that suit all of your manufacturing needs. These investments are affordable and the ROI is outstanding! 

Want more information? Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form

CNC Monitoring 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

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.

 Be sure to call SFA for any automation needs at (877) 611-5825 or fill out an online contact form

SFA Legacy Blog Edition XVII

shop floor automations blogIn the latest round of digital coverage for Shop Floor Automations (SFA), which includes a few MoldMaking Technology pieces:

SFA highlighted two of our customers and one organization we work with for a MFG Day piece. We thank MoldMaking Technology (MMT) for sharing it.

Thanks to MFG Talk Radio for publishing our piece about automation ROI.

We had much more coverage recently and we thank Moldmaking Technology and Manufacturing Tomorrow for these articles.

Want more info? Check out our recent coverage in trade publications, or call (877) 611-5825 

Fall 2018 Newsletter

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThe following is an archived copy of our Fall 2018 newsletter.

Decisions to make for Q4

Fall has begun, and before you know it, Winter will be here. Then, surprise, it’s suddenly Q1. Where did all that time go?!

Take a moment to think if you have any of the following issues on your shop floor:

    • CNC communication failures?
    • Old revisions running on machines, with programs floating all over the shop floor?
    • Still using a CNC floppy drive instead of USB?
    • Old cabling causing too much of a hassle?

Check out DNC software combined with shop floor hardware from Shop Floor Automations. These investments are more affordable than you would assume, and the ROI is exceptional!

If excessive downtime is a concern, scroll to the bottom of this newsletter for information about running a machine monitoring trial!

Want even more info on DNC and hardware? Check out articles about our solutions in publications such as Modern Machine Shop, Moldmaking Technology, CNC West, MFG News & more –

What is your OEE?

If you do not know your true rate of utilization, how can you truly be on the path to improved productivity?

Ask us about a machine monitoring trial! It’s affordable, flexible and illuminating on how productive your equipment really is.

Request info on a DataXchange Machine Monitoring trial

Call (877) 611-5825 for more info! 

Link to original newsletter 

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

Legacy Blog – Edition XVI

shop floor automations blogHere are some SFA pieces of product news and MFG Day coverage. Manufacturing Tomorrow especially shared a few of our pieces.

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!

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.

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.  

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!

Read more