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

MFG Day 2018

MFG Day 2018MFG Day is here again. A great time to celebrate the growth of American manufacturing. It is also a time to address the issue of bringing a new generation of workers in the doors.

In the upcoming documentary “Full Circle” from Edge Factor, the film addresses the oncoming “silver tsunami” AKA the previous workforce soon retiring out. The message is clear – keep developing an action plan instead of continually discussing this skills gap.

What are our customers doing to promote our industry? There are different methods we see employed by customers, as well as some interesting colleagues we have made in 2018 that we wanted to share.

American Manufacturing“In all the companies I work with, their workforce is in their 50’s,” says Ross Bonacci, Tool & Die Marker at FuelCell Energy in Danbury, Connecticut. “In another ten years, they have no one there to continue the work, so it’s a great opportunity to get a trade.”

“I see these kids leave college and they’re in Starbucks or retail, but I feel like manufacturing is really making a comeback,” Ross said. “It’s a very satisfying career.” Ross also goes above and beyond by working a second job as a CNC machinist course instructor at Henry Abbott Tech in the same town that Fuelcell Energy resides!

Bridging a technological skills gap for older machinery with a solution that can be universally used was one challenge a customer of ours had. “I had to find a quick and easy solution that could be utilized by all team members, regardless of technical ability,” says Randy Glover, Project Manager at Fredon Corporation in Mentor, Ohio. He found our hardware fit the bill, in that it was “very intuitive for some of our more seasoned machinists who are not super tech-savvy.”

One interesting place to mention is Rise Up. The machine shop in Santee CA is an 18-month long program providing reformed ex-prisoners with CNC machine operator training, as well as life skills coaching, work ethics lessons, and other forms of support.

“We tell these guys, they know the stigma that they have attached,” says Machine Shop Manager/Instructor Dustin Greeves at Rise Up. Dustin has been in the manufacturing industry for years and has a lot of insight on the subject. “I tell these guys that they train me as much as I train them.” Keep reading below! 

mfg dayThere are solutions that can be implemented in shops to help ease the skills gap, as well. There is not only hardware from SFA to help replace old media, but there are also many forms of software that can assist. For example. the old-school generation who do hand coding or write out their G-code can use CAD/CAM to transfer their skills to new workers.

“First of all – that’s an art form that we shouldn’t ever lose,” says Ben Mund of MasterCam. “But for the folks who do it, the nice thing about CAD/CAM is you can save off what you have done and the work you have.”

“You can pass that [data] on to future generations,” Ben continues. “So, if you’ve got a specific way you like cutting, you have that as a library you can access and make sure that the people in your shop that you are training up have access to your knowledge and your wisdom as you decide to eventually leave the industry and do something else.”

 How are you helping our industry thrive? Share your stories with SFA on social media. If you need help with productivity, please call (877) 611-5825 

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 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.  

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – March/April 2018

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThis archived issue of the Shop Floor Automations newsletter was first sent to subscribers April 24th of 2018. A brand new way to modernize your RS232 port is featured.

A Place to Belong

There are quite a few organizations out there who are working to close the manufacturing skills gap. They are also teaching a trade to those who not only need the guidance but the steady career path that manufacturing provides.

Shop Floor Automations (SFA) wanted to share with our audience a local organization called Rise Up Industries.

Trainees of the program become machine operators by trade. They are also taught to overcome obstacles from their past to become productive members of society through various life skills classes.

Their motto is “a place to belong” and we were very touched by our visit to their shop recently. We invite you to check out what they are doing over in Santee, CA!

LAN-USB Connect

You have heard it from us before – you can add USB to your CNC of any make, model, and age. You may have also heard we can add Ethernet to your machines. Why not both?

We present to you the LAN-USB Connect. This hardware packs a one-two punch. It’s easy to install, as it connects to your machine’s RS232 port. You can drag and drop files from, and to, your CNC machine memory. Use the Ethernet connection via FTP, and best of all, no special software is required to install and use the device!

For more information, please call (877) 611-5825 or fill out our contact form.

Machine Shop April Fools

April Fools in Machine Shops & Manufacturing

Machinist pranksAlthough the machinists, engineers and other workers in the manufacturing industry know it is serious business, strong bonds are also created in these workplaces. Naturally, with strong bonds comes some good-natured ribbing.

Here is Top List of prank videos in the manufacturing industry, which includes machine shop April Fools pranks. NOTE: please be aware that some brief, adult language is used in a couple of these videos.

1 – Christmas gift wrap prank, J&E Precison Tool, Inc – While the beginning of the video is a lovely look into the company culture, the rest of the video is where the prank comes in. The guys in this video snuck into their building to wrap office items with paper or stick candy canes where they should not be in the machine shop. The coworkers seem to take it in stride. The video is here.

2 – Birthday prank, Toshiba Machine Company – The boss of the office Keith is pranked in this video for his birthday. He is equally amused yet annoyed. The video is here.

3 – Carbide Drill Troubleshooting Prank, Greene Tool Systems, Inc – The owner of this company Tom loves to be in their YouTube videos to show customers how to use his products. He is not too happy with his workers pranking him, but his reaction is too funny to not share. The video is here. Warning: some adult language used.

4 – Powder bomb, Unknown Machine Shop – The machine shop owner’s son is pranked in this blurry, yet hilarious video. Check it out here.

Honorable Mention – Big Ass Fans. While they don’t necessarily have any prank videos, humor is at the heart of their company. They did a good prank photo for April Fools where they said they were going to start selling a grill, but they also have a lot of other funny social media to check out. Maybe the time they made Valentine’s Day cards, when they made Whoopee Cushions, or the time they made Sir-Mix-A-Lot an employee at their office. They also do “mean tweet” videos and other funny content.

If you feel like your machine productivity is a long-running prank, we can help! Call us at (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form so we can get back to you.

NTMA Poker Run Event

NTMA san diegoNTMA Poker Event

Join us at the Belching Beaver for an exciting NTMA poker run event where participants draw cards from table to table while enjoying some craft brew!

Tuesday, April 19 at 5:30 p.m.

The grand prize winner will receive a Portable USB Connect, retail value of $700!

This device acts as an interface between USB memory drives and any CNC machine. Click below to learn more about the Portable USB Connect.

Where: 
Belching Beaver Brewery, 
980 Park Center Drive, Suite A 
Vista, California 92081
 
Cost: $15 (Includes dinner)
More info at the original newsletter

More about NTMA:

Shop Floor Automations is a proud associate member of the San Diego Chapter of NTMA. The National Tooling & Machining Association works to create allies within the San Diego region of the local machining and tool industry by fostering mutual success through education, technology, and communication.

We encourage you to take advantage of what this great organization has to offer. Please check the schedule below in order to find upcoming events held by NTMA.

Are You Improving Operations With Data Collection?

Data Driven Manufacturing Data CollectionImprove Lean Production Operations With Data Collection

“Cloud” applications can be found virtually everywhere today, and for good reason. Join us on April 14th at 12:00 p.m. PST to learn how cloud-based machine monitoring and data collection can make predictive maintenance a reality in your operations.

The webinar will be hosted by Smartware Group, Inc., makers of Bigfoot CMMS, and Scytec, makers of DataXchange. These experts will introduce the latest technologies to monitor and collect asset data and integrate this data for actionable and results-oriented operations and maintenance management.

Register for this machine monitoring webinar to glean real-world examples of the benefits of cloud-based machine monitoring and asset management, and see how high your utilization and asset management strategy can soar.

Get more information and register.

Manufacturing Day, October 2, 2015

Manufacturing Day is almost here, and Shop Floor Automations is excited to celebrate the manufacturing industry with our friends and community!

THE MFG DAY MISSION:

MFG Day

MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

Supported by a group of industry sponsors and co-producers, MFG DAY is designed to amplify the voice of individual manufacturers and coordinate a collective chorus of manufacturers with common concerns and challenges. The rallying point for a growing mass movement, MFG DAY empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive.

We also invite you to follow Shop Floor Automations on our social media channels. We would love suggestions about what you would like to see on our blog, and on our YouTube channel! Find us on social media.