Legacy Blog – Edition XVI

shop floor automations blogIn this Legacy Blogs edition, Shop Floor Automations shares news of exclusives we will have at IMTS, product news, and coverage in regards to MFG Day.

Shop Floor Automations is once again headed to IMTS (Booth 133240), where 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. Ready to start the conversation about upgrading your shop floor without replacing machines? 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day, and they loaded 300 programs per week…they then showed how expensive this older process was where they were using outdated shop floor media to transfer programs and estimated how much time/money would be saved by upgrading to DNC.”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.

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.  

 

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

October 2017 Shop Floor Automations Case Study

Our favorite part of the job is learning the results our customers get after integrating our productivity solutions.

In this new Shop Floor Automations case study, our customers at Stollen Machine talk about how our hardware helped combat downtime.

shop floor automations case study

Thanks to Stollen Machine’s Instagram Account for this photo of the MMS article

In this October 2017 case study published in Modern Machine Shop, Doug at Stollen Machine says his inferior cabling was causing communication issues with his machines. After researching and weighing the pros/cons, he decided to go with our Wireless Connect devices in his multi-generation shop.

Investing in six hardware devices from Shop Floor Automations helped to replace an old system that wreaked havoc on Stollen Machine’s shop floor. The study found that they were able to get back 15% more time daily, which is invaluable in the manufacturing process.

Hardware isn’t the only way we help customers, either. Another customer of ours, Tech Manufacturing, attributes using machine monitoring through Shop Floor Automations for helping with overall productivity just by monitoring utilization. With many other solutions on hand, we look forward in the future to sharing more of these case studies with the manufacturing industry.

Check out our other case studies, or if you would like to share your story of how we helped your productivity, participate in a case study today. For more information, call Shop Floor Automations at (877) 611-5825

A little info about Shop Floor Automations: SFA was established in 1998 and will soon be celebrating our 20th anniversary in business. We have attended trade shows such as IMTS, WESTEC, FABTECH, and more. We support efforts to fill the skills gap, such as MFG Day and writing about organizations who focus on this cause. Our focus is to help the Made in America movement by supplying tools and support to combat downtime, increase OEE, organize your shop floor, and help with machine communication issues. Contact us today!

Machinist Humor Shirt Recommendations

Machinist & Manufacturing Industry Humor Shirts

machinist humor shirtPeople in the manufacturing shop floor industry love our G-code shirt. Even though it’s merely a machinist humor shirt, it makes us understand the value of being in a community and displaying the pride of being in that community via clothes and other accessories.

If you strive to wear machinist-related shirts each day of the week, add our shirt to your wardrobe AND check these folks out:

5th Axis – This work holding solution maker located in San Diego (hey, we’re in San Diego, too!) makes two great shirts to choose from. You can either wear a “Don’t drink the coolant” shirt, or their infamous “RUN CNC” shirt (a take on the RUN DMC hip-hop group logo). You can also buy a RUN CNC hat or mug, too! They used to carry a hilarious “License to Mill” shirt. Shirts are $20.

Dan’s Discount Tools – They sell tools, cutters, gages, and of course, shirts. Their current shirt is a bold definition of what a machinist is. They are also famous for a shirt that exclaims “Eat, Sleep, Machine, Repeat.” Priced $15 to $21 per shirt. They also have hoodies available for a little more money.

CNC.Worship on Instagram – This self-described “CNC Work Addict” not only posts daily photos of products made from CNC machines on Instagram, but they also sell some great shirts. There are close to 30 different designs, such as “CNC machinist – because freakin’ miracle worker is not an official job title” to “Keep calm and let the CNC operator handle it” designs. Shirts look to range from $20 to $22, as well as hoodies available for a bit of an upcharge. You can also order the shirts in lady sizes.

Big Ass Solutions – No, we promise we are not cussing. The company is famous for their Big Ass Fans (the “ass” is their mascot Fanny, who is a donkey – get it?) Humor is a big part of the heartbeat of this company, so naturally, their swag reflects this culture. Get a drink koozie that declares “Live life big ass,” use one of their mugs, or you can even get one of their decals for your car. During the election, they had a hilarious cap that looked like President Trump’s red “Make America Great Again” hat that read “I’m on Team Ass.” Clever. Shirts are $10 to $16.

While shirts are great for a machinist’s daily routine, it is also important that you have the tools needed to function on the shop floor. For solutions that combat downtime, communication errors, production scheduling, and OEE issues, please call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form here

WESTEC 2017 is a Wrap

westec 2017 WESTEC 2017 was another successful show for Shop Floor Automations.

While the show started slow on opening day, the crowds eventually filled the Los Angeles Convention Center, with a great number of people making their way over to see us at Booth 1935.

There were some worthwhile happenings to mention. Other than the great people who visited our booth during the show, there were fun networking events that happened at the end of the night for Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, we had a painter doing an original piece reflecting on manufacturing influence in Los Angeles, while Wednesday night treated us to stilt walkers and a walking/talking dessert table. Yes, it was odd, but a fun way to keep attendees involved during longer show hours.

WESTEC 2017We gave out some of our G-code shirts and lots of G-code mousepads. We also after the show raffled off some hardware to give away and a prize pack to give away on Instagram. Congrats to those winners!

We were also intrigued to find out that the next WESTEC show will be taking place in Long Beach. A change of venue for this show and this industry should prove refreshing and either way, we appreciate everyone who came by to see us during this year’s show!

shop floor automations westec 2017See our photos from the show in our Facebook photo album photo album. We will soon be uploading a video from WESTEC 2017, so be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube here to see it when it is uploaded.

Post-edit: we had to pick a runner-up winner for our Wired Connect prize, so we congratulate that winner!

Want more information on the solutions we had on display at WESTEC 2017? Send us a message or call (877) 611-5825

SFA Legacy Blogs – Edition 9

shop floor automations blog

SFA Legacy Blogs – Edition 9

The Shop Floor Automations blog is dedicated to preserving the history of our company. An important part of this history is the press coverage we are always grateful to receive. Here is the latest news we would like to share:

WESTEC 2017 is around the corner and we will be at Booth 1935. We would like to thank  MFG Talk Radio and Today’s Medical Developments for posting pieces about what we will be up to at our booth.

Our popular piece about millennials in manufacturing jobs continues to make its way through our industry. Haas Technical Education Centers published the piece on their blog recently.

We also have some vintage news pieces we would like to share. This piece from Manufacturing Engineering Media (from SME) in 2014 features an interview with our company President Greg Mercurio. This piece from June of 2012 by MFG News was from a time when our floppy drive emulators were still fairly new. American Machinist also published this piece in December 2016 about how recent Scytec updates meant even more MTConnect compatibility.

We were also honored to be in the following recent publications: the CNC West April/May 2017 issue (pages 69 and 73), the MFG News March 2017 issue (in each edition – page 53 Midwest, page 65 West, etc), and the MFG News June 2017 issue (in all editions – page 76 Southwest, page 71 Midwest, etc.)

If you would like more information about how to increase productivity on your shop floor, call (877) 611-5825 or fill out our contact form. Want to see some reasons why customers have stayed with us? Check out our reviews!

Mastercam 2018 Rollout

mastercam 2018 rollout

Mastercam 2018 Rollout Event Review

CAD/CAM Consulting Inc. recently held a Mastercam 2018 rollout event at the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, CA. Shop Floor Automations (SFA) was lucky enough to participate as a vendor whose solutions integrate with Mastercam software.


Guests of the event not only got to sit in on informative demonstrations of new and improved Mastercam features, but they also got to walk throughout this beautiful museum full of aviation history. Lunch was served and a raffle took place at the end of the event – SFA even got to give out our Wireless CNC Connect and the Wired CNC Connect


Watch our video from the event & subscribe to our YouTube channel


Some of the enhancements reviewed for the event were general, which include analyzing the toolpath, analyzing the distance along the curve, lathe coordinates, and more.  Overall design enhancements, as well as tool enhancements, mill enhancements (2D and 3D), lathe enhancements, and mill-turn enhancements, were discussed.

Detailed presentations given to attendees touched on customizing your interface with nifty features such as the Quick Access Toolbar. A litany of commands are at your fingertips and your tabs can be customized to your ease of use, which includes selecting the option of displaying large icons. We were also informed that posts from Mastercam which are three versions back or newer can also be updated to the Mastercam 2018 version.
mastercam 2018 rollout

How does SFA work with Mastercam? The three best solutions are:

# 1 – DNC Software: Once Mastercam is done building your programs, send them to your machines with DNC Software. Able to store 1000’s of programs securely, you won’t have to worry anymore if your programs are floating around the shop, or if the program is too large for the CNC memory. This is a great upgrade if you find your current CNC communication methods are failing.

# 2 – Hardware: A more economic approach when compared to DNC Software, some opt for our USB Connect hardware (available in units which can be mounted on a machine or in a rugged, portable unit) or they gravitate towards our Wired/Wireless, CNC Connect devices. No longer run from the machine to the PC, or risk damaging your laptop by carrying it around the shop floor. Expensive memory upgrades will now be a thing of the past.

# 3 – Machine Monitoring: Okay, it’s more of an accessory to Mastercam, but it is a great addition to your shop. Monitoring downtime and other machine trends help to increase OEE and drives real-time improvements on your shop floor. Customers report productivity increases of up to 25% just from monitoring the utilization of their machines. Imagine the time you’ll save with Mastercam plus machine monitoring in your shop!


If you want more information on this event or any of the solutions mentioned above, Shop Floor Automations would love to hear from you! Fill out our Sales contact form, or call (877) 611-5825. 

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 8

shop floor automations

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 8

A company does not thrive on satisfied customers alone. That is why we use the Shop Floor Automations blog to show we are grateful for the press coverage we get on our solutions and other company news we like to share. Here is another edition of our Legacy Blogs:

MFG Talk Radio published a piece from us where we discussed the top 3 reasons to get a floppy drive emulator. Speaking of our hardware, Modern Machine Shop published a blog on our WiFi USB Connect in April, as well as publishing a piece on the device in their May 2017 issue (pages 136 through 138). MFG News also published a piece about the same device on their blog, as well as in their June 2017 issue in all editions (page 76 for the Southwest edition and page 62 for the West edition, for example).

We were the May 2017 Tip of the Month for MoldMaking Technology, which you can check out by going to page 72 of the issue, or check it out on our Instagram accountVeterans Today shared our piece on the great work that Workshops for Warriors is doing.

A recent piece we have done on the top 3 reasons manufacturing jobs are for millennials has been picking up a lot of buzz. MFG Talk Radio published the piece MFR Tech published the piece, and Today’s Medical Developments published the piece. WhyMFG also published it, as well as Manufacturing Global publishing it. Want more information on how to get more OEE and better productivity?

Fill out a sales contact form, request a software demo, or call us at (877) 611-5825. Thank you for visiting the Shop Floor Automations blog! 

Customer Spotlight Blog: Hyperloop One

Hyperloop One

We at Shop Floor Automations love to show appreciation for our customers. As a new blog series, we want to take the time to highlight certain customers and what they are doing in the manufacturing industry.

Hyperloop OneOur first Customer Spotlight Blog will be focused on Hyperloop One

Their mission, via their website: “Hyperloop is a new way to move people and things at airline speeds for the price of a bus ticket. It’s on-demand, energy-efficient and safe. Think: broadband for transportation.”

Invention on the map: “Hyperloop One is reinventing transportation to eliminate the barriers of distance and time. Traveling at speeds of 1080 km/h, Hyperloop will enable travel between cities in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) in under an hour, enabling disruption that will create new opportunities in manufacturing, warehousing, and supply chain distribution.”

Recent big news: First full-scale Hyperloop One test track unveiled in Nevada (article here).

Want to be featured in our Customer Spotlight Blog? Contact Marketing@ShopFloorAutomations.com

Need solutions for your manufacturing shop floor? Call us at (877) 611-5825 or chat with us on one of our social media channels