Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 2

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 2

Shop Floor Automations specializes, among many things, in legacy machines on the manufacturing shop floor. In the same spirit of preservation, we present Edition 2 of our Legacy SFA Blog Series from the Shop Floor Automations blog!

shop floor automationsIn February of 2016, MoldMaking Technology published an article about our machine monitoring solutions through Scytec DataXchange. “Scytec DataXchange software from Shop Floor Automations (SFA) is a machine monitoring software that provides detailed data collection and real-time reporting on a dashboard, enabling users to instantly track productivity, and plan for increased efficiency and time savings on the shop floor.”

You can read the whole article here. The same article was also published in the March 2016 MoldMaking Technology issue on page 47.

Recently, Shop Floor Automations made a brand new hire for a new position. Amanda came on board as our Digital Marketing Coordinator (she is now simply our Marketing Coordinator) and AMT (the Association for Manufacturing Technology).

As a bit of a throwback, Advanced Manufacturing (formerly known as Manufacturing Engineering Magazine) published this piece on us in October of 2014. Patrick Waurzyniak writes “More people than ever are looking to automate their processes, said Greg Mercurio, president of Shop Floor Automations Inc. (La Mesa, CA), a reseller of Predator Software’s manufacturing data collection suite and of the cloud-based Scytec data monitoring solution. ‘Time is money, and now there’s more in-process probing and automatic collection of data,” he add. “The key is everything is done at the machine tool.’” You can Read more.

Want more information on the solutions we offer? Call us at (877) 611-5825 or chat with us on social media

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 1

shop floor automationsLegacy SFA Blogs – Edition 1

We at Shop Floor Automations know that your legacy machines are important to you. We also take the same care in preserving our past press appearances, so we welcome you to our Legacy SFA Blog Series from the Shop Floor Automations blog!

In the first edition, we invite you to look back on articles and ads in:

Manufacturing News, October 2016 – page 35 (for the West issue) – In this issue, we talk about Predator Touch HMI and why it will benefit your shop floor manufacturing needs. The machine monitoring, big button interface is a program we have been excited to share with the public the past few months, and we are glad the manufacturing publications are helping us spread the word. Read the piece from MFG News.

Modern Machine Shop, October 2016 – on page 149 (and on their website) – We got to talk further here about Predator’s Touch HMI. “The HMI is designed to provide an easier way for operators on the shop floor to interact with management and Predator Software. Shop Floor Automations can customize color coding, layouts, prompts and third-party applications.” We invite you to read more.

American Machinist, November 2016 – on their website – our new WiFi USB Connect product is featured. The post states “The device serves as an easy and economic shop floor upgrade. Data can be stored on a remote PC, or locally in the device’s memory, with the device itself providing up to 128 MB of storage.” Read more.

Speaking of Modern Machine Shop, they also published a piece on our new creation, Shop Floor Man, in early November 2016! “With an eye toward a younger manufacturing audience, the company has launched a Web comic series called ‘Shop Floor Man Presents’ with the intention of carving out a space for manufacturing-related humor on social media, especially Twitter.” Read the piece.

Want more information on our hardware, software and support solutions? Call (877) 611-5825 to tell us what is going on with your shop floor! You can also fill out a contact form.

MFG Day Comic was a Success

mfg day shop floor man

MFG Day Shop Floor Man Comic

One of the final posts we put up about MFG Day 2016 was a specially themed Shop Floor Man comic to celebrate the day. It received a good amount of buzz on social media, and we wanted to share it here. 

Shop Floor Automations is an official endorser of MFG Day and we realize the importance the holiday has. It is so important that future generations be involved and get interested in the manufacturing industry. Be it a machinist, a programmer, an engineer, etc. – the industry must continue to thrive. We reviewed the reasons why manufacturing makes a difference for the USA in this previous post.

Shop Floor Man is our newest creation to help exemplify the benefits of upgrading your shop floor. He is a reflection of the frustrations and crazy things that happen in this industry, and we hope you enjoy his presence on the interwebs!

More about Shop Floor Automations and how we help shop floors:

  • Check out our archived newsletters with industry topics & event wrap-ups here
  • Read testimonials & see videos of what our customers have to say about us here
  • Check out the FAQ section about our software & hardware solutions here
  • See our case studies here and we have webinars coming up here
  • We are on social media here, and you can call us at (877) 611-5825 for more info!

 

MFG Day 2016 is Coming

mfg dayMFG Day 2016 is Coming

Shop Floor Automations (SFA) will present to our audience a week-long celebration of MFG DAY, which takes place October 7th. The National Holiday is a celebration of how the industry has evolved in recent years, with a heavy focus on pulling in a future generation to keep the job field thriving.

SFA will roll out the red carpet for MFG DAY by providing followers a day-to-day parade of content relative to the Holiday the week it occurs. Informative blogs, a video, maybe even an infographic, will be just some of the fun content to experience. We may even give out one of their hilarious G-code T-Shirts, but definitely, count on a discount to celebrate the Holiday in our online store!

Could an MFG DAY related strip from our new comic series called “Shop Floor Man” (which is pictured to the top left and may be clicked on to magnify) be coming? We are also reaching out to some of their amazing customers in the Manufacturing field to get their stories and insight from the work they do, which will hopefully be included in these celebrations.

Follow what we will be up to on Twitter at both @SFA_inc and @ShopFloorHumor. We are also on Instagram and Facebook under the username ShopFloorAutomations. Look for all of our MFG Day related content on our website blog. Fill out our contact form, so we can get in touch with you on your time.

Remember – when tweeting about MFG Day, please use the tag #MFGday16 or use it to keep up with the fun events on this momentous day!

Scytec DataXchange Updates

August 2016 Scytec DataXchange Updates

There are some great changes on the horizon for DataXchange from Scytec. Shop Floor Automations, an authorized reseller of the program, would like to take the time to quickly highlight previews of changes to come.

dataxchange

Enjoy OEE machine monitoring with a real-time shop floor layout. New OEE charts, views from a real-time dashboard, plus multiple part-time analysis reports, a shop floor layout view in the dashboard, and various equipment status comparison charts that will analyze equipment utilization across a span of different days will be included in new updates.

dataxchange updates

For a quick window into what you get from Scytec’s DataXchange, via the product page:

  • Pay $45 monthly per machine – no long-term contract
  • We house the servers for an unlimited number of users
  • Real-time data collection from CNC controllers & equipment
  • Unlimited reporting & charting licenses
  • View & report on data results from anywhere
  • Track multiple cycle time types
  • System is supported under Windows 10

Check out our main page for what we will be up to at IMTS 2016, and call (877) 611-5825 for machine monitoring, and other shop floor solutions.

Closing the MFG Skills Gap

manufacturing skills gapClosing the MFG Skills Gap

To quote Bob Dylan – “the times, they are a-changin‘”. This also applies to the manufacturing industry and a serious demand for skilled workers in this field.

With today’s generation of youth, it seems as if they all want to be YouTube stars, singers, actors, artists – anything creative to get fame and to make a lot of money is the appeal. Many organizations are working hard to peak the interest of today’s youth into the manufacturing industry, which falls into the realm of more technological or scientific trades (AKA: STEM). They are trying to convey to this upcoming generation of workers that they can find creativity, the possibility of prominence, and good pay with jobs in the manufacturing sector. 

There are notable efforts from multiple organizations to combat the very near future’s need for skilled manufacturing workers. One example is the SME Education Foundation, who in a genius move also own the domain ManufacturingisCool.com.

You may remember a piece we did on Workshops for Warriors, which focuses on getting well-deserved military veterans into manufacturing jobs. We also tip our hats to NIMS (the National Institute for Metalworking Skills), the ML Council, The Manufacturing Institute, NAM (the National Association of Manufacturers), AMT (the Association for Manufacturing Technology), and NTMA (the National Tooling and Machining Association) for helping to close the skills gap in this area.

What more can be done? Recently, the Haas Technical Education Center has been encouraging those in any aspect of the manufacturing industry to let Congress know that the need currently ranges from moderate to serious for these skilled positions. With the help of NAM and the Manufacturing Institute, they are looking for help in passing H.R. 5587 AKA the Strengthening Career & Technical Education for the 21st Century Act.

More information about H.R. 5587 can be found via the National Skills Coalition site. If you are in need of technical solutions to help your shop floor thrive, please call us at 877-611-5825. You may also fill out our contact form

Machine Monitoring is a Must

Machine Monitoring

Machine Monitoring is a Must

You can see your machine manufacture something in real time. What about monitoring the data of what your machines are doing in real time? It’s possible! 

Software can be utilized to collect and analyze machine activity data such as MTConnect, Fanuc FOCAS, plus custom macros, and the aid of certain hardware devices. An easy-to-view dashboard, as well as charts and historical reports, can help your shop floor monitor downtime, runtime, and OEE data.

As discussed in a previous blog, you can get email notifications when there are any production delays due to your machines. You can also get text messages.

These different messages can also be targeted to specific operators who work different shifts, which means one employee who is off for certain shift doesn’t have to hear about a machine that is down when employee two can handle it.

Options for machine monitoring you can take advantage of range from a convenient application, a permanent license you own, or a month-to-month license that does not require on-site servers. Be sure to call us if you want more information at (877) 611-5825, or ask us questions on social media

 

SFA Examines TouchHMI

what is touch hmi Predator Touch HMI

Predator Touch HMI, a relatively new application, is a favorite here at Shop Floor Automations. We wanted to take the time to do an in-depth piece on its benefits.

What can best be described as a big button interface, Touch HMI is an application that operators to use to simplify sending and receiving programs to and from machines. For shops employing machine data collection, they can put in downtime codes that the operators can choose, such as setup or preventative maintenance, for example.

Touch HMI can be accessed from any Windows-based platform, such as a compatible tablet or cell phone, as well as a network PC. Touch HMI can communicate over a network, wired and wirelessly, as well as via a serial connection.

This time-saving interface consolidates multiple automation platforms with features like data collection, DNC, plus other types of document control platforms. You can automate processes on the machine, and really any third party software can be integrated with it. It acts as one common place for the operator to interact with that looks visually pleasing and is easy to understand.

Predator DNC is one tool used to communicate with and network CNC machines. Touch HMI makes communicating easier than all the different alternatives currently available. You can use it with a bar code reader, but it can also replace what a bar code does, too! Custom color coding is also an option SFA has for customers to make the system easier to read.

Another great feature of TouchHMI that you may not have thought about? Because the Internet of Things is such an influence in the manufacturing industry, a button can be customized on an individual client’s interface that is a supplement to their daily schedule.

Want a button that goes to a web browser, so your operator can order lunch and have it be ready for pick up when they go on break? Or a button where a tech can request time off? A button on the interface that can report work hazards is also a possibility. Anything you can think of to put on that extra button is likely a can-do by our creative technical team, so call us to learn more at 877-611-5825!

CNC Email Notifications

Machine Monitoring NotificationsCNC Machine Email Notifications

You rely on emails heavily in today’s technological world. Imagine being able to receive an email when your CNC machine goes down. 

DataXchange from Scytec is a machine monitoring solution we highly recommend if this sounds appealing to you. DataXchange connects to your newer CNC equipment through an ethernet port, or for legacy machines and non-CNC equipment, SFA adds a hardware solution to compliment DataXChange that can monitor your machines.

Configure downtimes you want to be notified about, and an email automatically sends to anyone on your specified distribution list. Set custom parameters for timing or hierarchy of the emails, too.

Picture this: if a machine alarm goes off, you can set the system up to wait for a set period of time before it emails you – this eliminates an email being sent out for every small event.  Or you can set it to send an email to John Smith at the company if the alarm happens during first shift, while if the alarm happens during second shift, the email is sent to Jane Doe. This eliminates unnecessary emails to people that might be at home asleep!

Instant access to shop floor data and productivity is a valuable tool.  Correct problems faster and increase up-time with solutions like these. Call us at 877-611-5825, send a message to our Sales team, or come find us on one of our social media channels.

First Hawaii SFA Customer

hawaii

First Hawaii Shop Floor Automations Customer

Here at Shop Floor Automations, we love all of our customers and we are excited that the number grows every day. An order we got today was particularly thrilling, as it’s our first ever client based out of Hawaii!

The order we saw come in was for our Portable USB Connect. Turns out, they need it to communicate with their Milltronics control. They are currently using SD cards and they no longer want to deal with the 2GB restriction. Who can blame them?! The cards are also hard to find for them, so they opted for our Portable USB Connect.

While our Wireless Connect was not the best option for them, we respect and will anticipate how to cater to every need for every one of our customers. As we say “aloha” to this unit and ship it off to Hawaii, we sure hope our new client will say “aloha” back and let us know how the unit is working for them!

If you want to become our newest customer, or have purchased from us in the past and want some new solutions, contact us here. Did you know that if you once had a maintenance agreement with us, that it may be time to renew? Call us to find out at 877-611-5825. We can’t wait to chat with you!