Manufacturing News

A long standing publication with a classic newspaper vibe – we are proud to have been featured in Manufacturing News many times. The issues focus on different regions and their varying Made in America goals.

Here are some recent pieces that Manufacturing News have featured us in:

Our case study with R & D Manco in Arizona appears in the December 2018 issue. This manufacturer previously had experience with our CNC Editor software and our hardware. However, they implemented an on-premise machine monitoring system after a pilot program. Because of this, they boosted their productivity in a short period of time.

Proving return on investment for automation solutions can be complicated. Because of this, we created an article for decision makers on how to lay these details out. Some pieces of valuable information in this process are equipment compatibility, evaluating processes and having alternative options available. This article appears in the November 2018 issue.

The medical manufacturing industry is a very high-volume business. We constantly work with these shops to find the best automation solutions for them. Specifically, we always recommend OEE (overall equipment efficiency) monitoring. The top four benefits to this software appear in the April 2018 issue.

Check out our other articles on similar manufacturing solutions. Ready to start the conversation about shop floor automation? Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out an online contact form

2018 Manufacturing Wrapup & 2019 Outlook

SFA services CNC machinists, moldmakers, metal fabricators, & more industries for 2019

At the start of January 2018, optimism for our industry was high. For all of 2017, manufacturing in America produced $2.2 Trillion of our gross domestic product. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Made in America just kept growing!  

At the start of January 2018, optimism for our industry was high. For all of 2017, manufacturing in America produced $2.2 Trillion of our gross domestic product. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Made in America just kept growing!  

According to financial news site The Balance, American manufacturing contributed $2.33 Trillion towards our gross domestic product in all of 2018. We comprised 11.6 percent of the USA’s economic output, with every dollar spent translated to $1.89 going towards business growth in related sectors (defense, medical, aerospace, etc.)

While symbiotic B2B manufacturing transactions are part of the story, American consumers helped a lot. According to a Thomas survey from October 2018 (shared by A2Z Manufacturing Magazine), 61 percent of Americans prefer products made in America. Shoppers in the USA are helping to facilitate this growth by insisting on American-made products.

Our industry also became more environmentally conscious this year. For example, a partnership of over 200 manufacturers took part in the Better Plants Initiative. Together, they helped to save $5.3 Billion in energy costs in 2018!

For 2019, the outlook for our industry varies. John Hitch, Manufacturing Trends writer for Industry Week, says we may see a slowdown due to the ever-lingering skills gap in our industry. Overall, the sentiment is optimistic, as we need to embrace IIoT and see more decision makers help their workers use new technology to “reach new levels of productivity.”

The PMI (Purchasing Managers’ Index) according to the Institute for Supply Management said January 2018 started at 59.1 percent for manufacturing. By June, we were at 60.2 percent. PMI dropped to 54.1 percent by December, so the goal for 2019 is to get back to where we were, and higher.

Our take on the 2019 outlook? We have some of the best customers in the industry who are ready to take on the challenges of the new year. Whether you’re an existing customer, or looking for manufacturing productivity needs for the first time, let’s start the conversation!

Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form to get in touch with us today!

Other good reads we recommend about our industry growth:

CNC Monitoring Case Study

We know that results from a machine data collection case study are imperative before making such an investment. We are pleased to announce a new one from Manufacturing News

Our customers at R&D Manco have been featured on all regional issues of the publication. The article focuses on results from using Predator MDC from Shop Floor Automations. 

Kevin Beach, the General Manager, is responsible for machine productivity and tasked with optimizing utilization. He decided to look for ways to implement an OEE solution with his existing equipment. The buzz about IIoT and OEE was definitely an attractive direction for him to proceed with.

R & D Manco

R & D Manco of Phoenix Arizona began in 1964 with owner Virgil Manion. It was then purchased by Chuck and Patricia Wyckoff in 1972. They started a sister company, R & D Specialty, in 1984.

After a series of events where the main company was sold, ownership shifting back and forth, the two shops merged. Chuck and Patricia named the combined shops R & D Specialty/Manco in the 1980’s. The company name would be shortened to R & D Manco in 2016.

In late 2017, the shop began a pilot program of Predator Machine Data Collection (MDC) on three machines. SFA, a Predator Software reseller and manufacturing integrator, implemented the machine monitoring system and was able to shed light on their current utilization rates.

Check out the rest of the piece, and call R & D Manco at (602) 278-7700. If you need improved shop floor productivity, call SFA at (877) 611-5825. We also can answer inquiries by filling out a contact form

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

CAD CAM Software Resources

Gcode cad cam

Photo credit to DixiePrecision on Instagram

CAD CAM software is a powerful shop floor tool. There is a long-term problem most users don’t consider. What happens to the programs that the software produces?

“CAD CAM makes these beautiful models, then it produces G-code. What’s going to happen to it?” This question was posed by a Shop Floor Automations (SFA) spokesperson on the Manufacturing Engineering podcast.

“It’s going to go onto these USB sticks. You have all of these portable media going around the shop floor, or it’s sitting on someone’s computer.”

Read more below!

Read more

USB Connect Portable Hardware Case Study

RS232 to USB Want RS232 to USB hardware results before purchasing? Check out this case study with Fredon Corporation!

Today’s Medical Developments published this study in Winter 2018. USB Connect hardware bridged a technological skills gap for this Ohio manufacturing company.

A constant goal at Fredon is to remain at the front of the manufacturing world. They seek to provide customers with high-quality parts, to manufacture with innovation, and keep close relationships with customers.

Randy Glover Jr. at Fredon says operators are “skilled enough to surpass the expectations of a facility many times larger [than ours].” But there was a big productivity problem to address.

Read more below!

Read more

SFA Legacy Blog Edition XVII

shop floor automations blogIn the latest round of digital coverage for Shop Floor Automations (SFA), which includes a few MoldMaking Technology pieces:

SFA highlighted two of our customers and one organization we work with for a MFG Day piece. We thank MoldMaking Technology (MMT) for sharing it.

Thanks to MFG Talk Radio for publishing our piece about automation ROI.

We had much more coverage recently and we thank Moldmaking Technology and Manufacturing Tomorrow for these articles.

Want more info? Check out our recent coverage in trade publications, or call (877) 611-5825 

Happy Accident

Skateboard ManufacturingAerospace. 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!

John MccainAnother 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.

Visit Edge Factor‘s website for more info on how to watch their programming or help with their efforts. If you would like more manufacturing productivity info, call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form today. 

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 XVI

shop floor automations blogHere are some SFA pieces of product news and MFG Day coverage. Manufacturing Tomorrow especially shared a few of our pieces.

For product news, we thank Manufacturing Tomorrow for covering the news of our latest hardware release, the LAN-USB Connect, which adds USB and ethernet abilities to your machine. MFG Talk Radio also published this piece from us – a top 3 reasons list of why moldmakers need to embrace the IIoT.

Moldmaking Technology also published an article talking about how machine data collection software helps combat downtime.

Finally, it’s never too early to start talking about MFG Day (also known as “manufacturing day”). Fabricating and Metalworking shared our piece last year on shaping the Made in America movement, where we highlighted three organizations helping to make manufacturing great again.

Our newest article from Manufacturing Tomorrow on this holiday highlights three manufacturing companies SFA has worked with and how they are helping to close the skills gap.

SFA has been helping manufacturing companies increase productivity for 20 years now. Call us at (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form!