Shop Floor Automations (SFA) is a big fan of Modern Machine Shop Magazine. We always appreciate when our pieces make the cut for this prestigious publication.
Here are our top four favorite recent issues:
March 2019 – Rise Up Industries, an organization in San Diego County near our corporate office, made the pages of this publication. SFA worked closely on this collaboration. You can see the original length article on the MMS blog.
June 2018 – We made the 90th-anniversary issue. Fun fact – this was the same year as our 20th anniversary! Our full-page spread on our LAN-USB Hardware device discussed adding Ethernet and USB to CNCs. Because the issue featured a retrospective look at shop floor technology, we were humbled to be included.
January 2018 – A crucial productivity tool for our customers at R&D Manco is machine monitoring. “Gathering basic data on machine status, and studying the data to diagnose and remedy the causes of non-cutting time, has been the shop’s most powerful resource for realizing machining capacity improvements.”
October 2017 – SFA Customers at Stollen Machine were dropping programs because of old cabling. So in order to increase productivity, they invested in wireless RS232 units. This gave them back 15% more time daily, according to this case study.
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.
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.”
Mr. 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.
https://www.shopfloorautomations.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SFA-Site-Logo-300x138.jpg00Greg Mercuriohttps://www.shopfloorautomations.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SFA-Site-Logo-300x138.jpgGreg Mercurio2018-12-10 23:25:442022-05-19 12:02:59Rise Up in Modern Machine Shop
Social media is a building movement in the manufacturing field. This is especially true of the Instamachinist community.
This subculture on Instagram shares manufacturing photos and insight with each other. These men and women even share life updates and advice for non-machinist issues.
For those new to the social media world, you can find people with similar interests when it is prefaced by a hashtag (or pound sign). For example, you would look up #instamachinist if you’re in manufacturing. You would look up #cookingram if you like cooking – the list goes on.
Manufacturing is an industry where the previous generation of workers is retiring out with younger workers coming in to fill a jobs gap. This means ways of earning business are also changing.
Marketing expert and Uncopyable author Steve Miller says in relation to other industries, manufacturing is “more in the middle of the bell curve.” Steve is well acquainted with manufacturing companies – his consultation services for 32 years has included manufacturing trade shows for 26 of them.
“There are many industries far ahead, such as high tech, medical, and consumer products,” Steve says. “There are many that are slower to catch on to new marketing methods – print, home, housewares, and recreational vehicles.”
Social media has had the power to not only be a powerful marketing tool in the manufacturing field. It has also changed many lives.
How can you get started? A few of our solutions help towards the goals of shedding excess, managing things outside of your control, and balancing the uneven:
Eliminate Floppy Disks: We offer plug and play solutions to replace CNC machine disk drives. We are a leading supplier for Haas, Mazak, Okuma, and Mitsubishi machine tools.
Go Wireless: Increase baud rates and reliability by linking your machine tools wirelessly to your network. Any machine connection can be enabled via Ethernet or RS232 serial ports on your controller.
Improve Machine Performance: Your ERP system is tracking job status and operator actions, but what is tracking the machine? Get real-time performance metrics on your equipment from anywhere you have internet access. Meet customer delivery dates and reduce unknown downtime.
Black Friday Deal
Looking for a great deal on a backup device to load NC programs into your machine?
Tired of using a laptop and cables to load files?
Purchase any USB Connect Pendant model, the USB Connect Portable unit, or any model of the LAN Connect at list price, and get a second unit for $100 Off!
NOTE: Previous orders do not qualify and this deal expires 11/30/18.
Eligible only for the products listed above.
Give Thanks by Helping Others
Thanksgiving Hours of 2018
We will be closed the 22nd and 23rd for the Thanksgiving holiday.
We hope you all have a great Thanksgiving with your friends and family. We are grateful to all of you.
After-hours Support is available via our web call back form, 24 hours via our site.
Aerospace. Medical. Defense. Skateboarding?! Shop Floor Automations loves fulfilling needs for unconventional manufacturers, so when we learned our customer Professor Schmitt (Paul Schmitt of PS Stix Inc) was going to be the focus of the Edge Factor documentary “Happy Accident”, we were very excited!
“Happy Accident” premiered at in September 2018 with a great response. Jeremy Bout and Larissa Hofman of Edge Factor, alongside Professor Schmitt, screened the film for 1100 students during a private viewing at their school in Lombard, IL.
Professor Schmitt, his career and his colorful personality are focused on in this film. He has manufactured over 15 Million skateboards and still participates in the sport in his 50’s. He works out of two locations – one in Tijuana and one in Costa Mesa. Though he is very spirited, he takes his craft seriously.
The process of making these boards is an art form that is highlighted in the film. First, the board is designed with CAD/CAM. Then we glue, press, drill, shape, router, sand, polish, paint, print, and wrap.
Schmitt crosses paths with competition skater Kelvin Hoefler, where a big component of the story is his career return after a massive leg break. Calibration and performance of the boards is crucial, and without spoiling story points, Hoefler uses his senses as a skateboarder while Schmitt uses his expertise together to combat an unforeseen design issue. It’s a fascinating story!
Another documentary to check out from Edge Factor is “Full Circle.” The unexpectedly emotional film focuses on unintentional connections we make in the manufacturing industry and how it helps us all fill the manufacturing skills gap.
The film is dedicated to the memory of John McCain. The late Senator was filmed visiting the Advanced Manufacturing Lab of Westwood High School in Mesa, AZ.
“I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but I’m just fascinated. I think it’s incredible. It’s wonderful, so I thank you – everybody who is responsible.” John said, when visiting.
MFG 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.
“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 FuelcellEnergy 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!
There 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.”
This 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!
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!
Last week, the long-awaited official trailer for documentary Masters of Resonance premiered. The film follows the path of how a quality drum set is made – from the raw material being sourced, to the concept of the product, to the making of it, to where it actually goes.
We first spoke to Jeremy Bout, Founder of Edge Factor, in February of 2017. Masters of Resonance was a big part of the conversation and was highly anticipated, even then.
“If I had to kind of pick that catalyst moment, definitely it had to be with Neil Peart, the drummer of RUSH,” Jeremy told us, about the film. “His statement was a pretty major one for me because when I started the process, I was building a TV show, and after the statement and processing what he said, I realized it was [instead] a film that needed to be completed.” Read more below!
https://www.shopfloorautomations.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SFA-Site-Logo-300x138.jpg00Greg Mercuriohttps://www.shopfloorautomations.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/SFA-Site-Logo-300x138.jpgGreg Mercurio2018-04-09 17:36:432019-02-21 21:50:30Masters of Resonance Official Trailer
ABOUT SHOP FLOOR AUTOMATIONS
Founded in 1998, we have delivered on our promise to thousands of customers with proven software from Scytec, Ascendant Technologies & Predator Software. We have automated thousands of manufacturing machines with hardware while partnering with numerous companies to increase shop floor efficiencies & profits.