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. Here is the latest news we would like to share, including WESTEC 2017 news:

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. 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).

Modern Machine Shop had us in their publication twice this past Fall. They featured us in their November 2016 FABTECH section (look back to page 166), and they featured our ad on the Multi Connect in the September 2016 issue (page 246).

Back in August, Fabricating and Metalworking did a piece speaking about all of the solutions we were going to have at IMTS 2016. We also mentioned Moldmaking Technology earlier – they published a piece from us about why spreadsheets are no longer valuable to the manufacturing industry and why graphical job schedulers are a better ROI.

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! 

SFA’s Top 10 Moments of 2016

Shop Floor Automations 2016 Review

2016 was a pretty crazy year! With 2017 racing toward us, we here at Shop Floor Automations wanted to share our Top 10 Moments of 2016, whether they were inspiring, or just sentimental to us!

MOMENT # 10: The NTMA Business Expo night at the Belching Beaver Brewery. We had a lot of fun, and great food, at this NTMA event. We also gave away a USB Connect and the winner was Eddie from Aerotek!

MOMENT # 9: Visiting OSML (Open Source Maker Labs) via NTMA. We loved getting to visit this maker workshop. At OSML, people of all ages get to learn about 3D printing, welding, making robots, woodworking, and much more. You can read about how to participate in what they do at OSML.

MOMENT # 8: Getting inspired by a visit to Workshops for Warriors. Hernán Luis y Prado founded this program where they wish to combat the manufacturing skills gap and give veterans much-needed work that is not only stable but well paying. If you want to help this amazing organization, you can read about our visit. We also got to interview Hernán at FABTECH 2016, which you can watch here.

MOMENT # 7: Another big moment for us was when we premiered our comic character Shop Floor Man. Not only was it a cute idea, but it was also a statement from us that we really want to delve into the new media movement that is growing within the manufacturing industry.

“This is great for social media,” Christina M. Fuges of MoldMaking Technology stated about Shop Floor Man’s creation. She wrote about how our Marketing Coordinator “heard how social media isn’t valuable for this line of busines but believes this could not be further from the truth.”

MOMENT # 6: Social events at our company, such as our office parties, the bowling night we had, and going to the top of Willis Tower in Chicago, were all a hoot. Because some of our employees work in other offices around the country, it can be difficult for all of us to get together. We are grateful for all of the moments we have been able to have all our employees under one roof to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

MOMENT # 5: Halloween was a lot of fun this year. Everyone brought in snacks and we had a costume contest. The winners were Amanda as Beetlejuice, Amy as Wonder Woman, and Greg as a Minecraft character.

MOMENT # 4: Seeing Blue Man Group in Las Vegas during FABTECH 2016. Sam and Greg were “dragged” to see Blue Man Group by Amanda, who is a big fan of the crazy music trio. The guys ended up loving the show and everyone stayed afterward to meet some of the Blue Men. It was a fun bonding experience and our faces were sore from smiling and laughing during the show.

MOMENT # 3: Farewell to John. This is one of the bittersweet moments of 2016. John had been with our company for five years, but he decided that it was time to move on and pursue some of his dreams. We definitely support that he wanted to spread his wings, so we threw him a farewell party at Fuddruckers, one of his favorite places to grab a burger.

MOMENT # 2: Premiering the Multi Connect at IMTS 2016. Although the device is not ready for purchase yet, setting it up for display at IMTS and FABTECH has garnered a lot of interest. We look forward to the possibilities it has, and as you can see, it definitely is a good looking piece of tech!

MOMENT # 1: We love all of the moments this year in which we got to interact with our amazing customers. Whether it was over the phone, at a shop visit, or at a trade show, thank you for making us who we are today.

Honorable mention to Michael at MiniMachine, who posed for this great photo for us at IMTS 2016.  He uses Predator DNC through us and loves our G-code shirts. He actually came to that show already wearing the shirt, and he filmed this customer success story, too!

Happy New Year from Shop Floor Automations! If you want to make 2017 great for your shop floor, call us at (877) 611-5825. 

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.”

MFG News in September of 2016 published our announcement of what we would be presenting at IMTS 2016, which included Predator’s Touch HMI, Scytec DataXchange updates, and new products like the Multi Connect. The same month, 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