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 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

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. Here is the latest news we would like to share.

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!

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 8

shop floor automations

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 8

A company does not thrive on satisfied customers alone. Here is another edition of our Legacy Blogs where our shop floor software and hardware gained press coverage:

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 account. 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.”

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

Greg Mercurio interview with Manufacturing Tomorrow

Manufacturing Tomorrow Greg Mercurio

Greg Mercurio talks Industry 4.0, OEE & More

Greg here at Shop Floor Automations had an opportunity to speak to Manufacturing Tomorrow about how the manufacturing landscape is changing these days, Industry 4.0, as well as the concepts of machine monitoring and OEE. Here are some quotable bits from the Greg Mercurio interview in question:

“In a nutshell, we provide software and hardware solutions to manufacturing shop floors to help decrease downtime and improve OEE,” Greg said. “We help those working on shop floors gain extra time, productivity and profits.”

On Industry 4.0: “For years, the shop floor as been an island of its own and with the latest climate from the US government and other countries, more companies are seeking integration and connection to the corporate world.”

On how manufacturing will change in the new USA political landscape: “I think we’re going to be very busy in 2017 and hope that’s a trend that will build as time goes on.”

Greg Mercurio is President of Shop Floor Automations. He is a long-time resident of San Diego County and a family man. Shop Floor Automations will soon be celebrating two decades in business. 

Manufacturing Tomorrow has the whole interview on their site. You can also call us at (877) 611-5825, and we encourage you to share this article on social media

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 4

shop floor automations

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 4

Preserving your history is important in the American manufacturing industry. At SFA, we are working every day to preserve our history as we approach two decades in business. 

The premiere of the WiFi USB Connect made the weekly wrap up for MFG Talk Radio the week of October 28th. MoldMaking Technology also talked about the same product in their December 2016 issue (on page 43).

To wrap it up with something cool we saw this past holiday season – machine tool brand Okuma featured us in one of their blogs. They said our popular G-code shirt was one of the top 10 holiday gifts for machinists, and we are very flattered they thought to include us in their post!

We would love to increase your shop floor’s OEE and productivity. Call (877) 611-5825 or use the chat function on our site to see how we can help! 

Top 5 Shop Floor Product Updates in 2016

shop floor technology

Top 5 Shop Floor Product Updates from 2016

The year quickly coming to a close. We wanted to take the time to share some updates to shop floor software and hardware that you all need to see for 2017.

Whether you implemented them into your manufacturing routine or you are looking for new tech for 2017, here is what you need to know. Obtain the goals of lean manufacturing, continuous improvement, and turning data into actionable items.

1 –  Scytec DataXchange Machine Monitoring & Data Collection – Many shop floor runners are fans of DataXchange for their $45 per month, per machine Cloud pricing. They may also want to check out Version 2016.10.03 updates. New features include an MTConnect Data Viewer, which is a testament to DataXchange’s continuing advocacy of the protocol. Scytec Support staff will also be able to remotely restart DataXchange for users without remote access, as well as many utilization tools being updated or refreshed. You can also integrate DataXchange with Bigfoot CMMS from Smartware Group if you are seeking a plant maintenance management system, which you can read more about here.

2 – The WiFi USB Connect – This new piece of hardware is a wireless USB solution for the manufacturing shop floor. It emulates a USB stick, allowing you to share data from a PC to your machines. No drivers are required, plus Floppy drive emulators and CNC machines with a USB port can now have wireless abilities! The device serves as an easy and economic shop floor upgrade, with more info here from MoldMaking Technology.

3 – Machine Monitoring through Predator MDCWith v11 now available, there are many incredible new updates and quite a few improved features. All the changes will be beneficial to your shop floor. Enjoy accessing MDC machine monitoring on Android phones, a real-time view of data from any browser, many new charts to display information on, and an updated list of Windows Support.

4 – MTConnect & the Cloud –  More CNC machine controls, and more shop floors are embracing MTConnect. The open, royalty free factory floor communication standard is universal and embraced by shop floor factories. Industrial Machinery Digest published a piece about integrating MTConnect, along with machine monitoring, at this link.

5- Predator’s Touch HMI – A big button interface, Predator’s Touch HMI replaces bar code readers, handheld terminals and proprietary shopfloor hardware. It simplifies data collection on machine uptime and enables access to information via tablet, PC or CNC.  Buttons can transfer NC programs or launch the part drawing on the shop floor for the operator. It can also be color-coded for the convenience of individual machinists. More on Touch HMI via a Modern Machine Shop piece you can read here.

Want to become the hero of your shop floor by helping achieve better machine utilization? Call us at (877) 611-5825 or chat with us on social media. Check out any of the products mentioned in our store, or contact us for info on MTConnect & Cloud options.

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 3

shop floor automations

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 3

We know from years of experience that legacy machines are still an important part of the operations for many shop floors. In this edition, there is a heavy focus on our USB to Floppy solutions.

Back in 2010, we remember when the Floppy Drive Emulator made it’s New Product debut with Modern Machine Shop. This article states this product will “replace 3.5-inch floppy disk drives and media used to store NC programs and other CNC-related files used on the shop floor. The floppy drive replacement features a USB interface to transfer files from a PC with a USB port to virtually any CNC control with a floppy disk drive.” Read the rest of the piece here.

Fast forwarding to the Summer of 2016, Modern Machine Shop also helped introduce another new product for us – the Multi Connect. In this article, they shared that is is “compatible with a range of machine monitoring software packages including Scytec’s DataXchange and Predator’s Machine Data Collection. The device combines a PLC, Wireless, Ethernet, Serial RS232 and MTConnect. The hardware connects to a variety of equipment via built-in digital I/O, which can be overlaid on existing signals for monitoring cycle start, cycle stop, alarm and status indicators such as stack lights.”

In September of 2016 they shared our announcement of a new hire, with our brand new Marketing Coordinator.

We have been in business for close to 20 years, with many customers having been with us for over a decade. We would love to start a long term relationship with your shop floor to help increase OEE and productivity. Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form

First SFA Customer in Japan

shop floor automations

First Japan Shop Floor Automations Customer

As a New Year is around the corner, we at Shop Floor Automations are grateful to see our customer count grow each day. We are especially happy for the rare occasions we can help International customers. While we mostly do business with parts of Canada and Mexico, we are pleased to announce that we have our first customers from Japan! 

The customers who ordered from us were shipped out 2 of our USB Connect External devices, as well as 2 Pendant USB Connect devices. While we did not get to chat much with the customers on why they needed this equipment for their shop, it is possible they could share the same predicament as our first Hawaii customers.

From an earlier blog, our Hawaiian customers needed the USB Connect External to communicate with their Milltronics control. They were also using SD cards,  no longer want to deal with the 2GB restriction, and the cards were also hard to find for them, so this device suited them best.

We offer many solutions to help machinists and other workers on manufacturing shop floors communicate better with their machines. From software to the hardware solutions we mentioned earlier, our goals are to help your shop floor eliminate downtime, increase OEE and get the most utilization out of your machines. Even legacy machines still have a lot of potential just waiting to be discovered.

If you have manufacturing shop floor needs, or you have purchased from us in the past and want new solutions, contact us here. Time to renew your Support contract with us? Call to find out at (877) 611-5825.