Monitor Machines in addition to CNC’s such as Plasma Cutters, Ovens, Grinders, Autoclaves and more

Shop Floor Automations (SFA), has been a leader in the realm of working with CNC machines to connect them to DNC or to add Machine Monitoring to them. Since many shops have a wide variety of machines to handle various needs, it is important to know what we can connect far more than just CNC’s.

The core benefits of machine monitoring still apply to Plasma Cutters, Ovens, Grinders and more.

  • Uptime reporting
  • Operator assignment stuff
  • Other things that still apply to non CNC’s

With LAN-USB, network outage protection also occurs via a local server to CNC connection that is independent of the shop floor’s network. The USB function of the device allows it to act as an interface between commercially available USB sticks and any CNC control with a functioning RS232 port. Machine programs can be sent from the CNC memory to the USB stick, USB to CNC memory, or can be drip-fed (DNC) from the USB.

Flexible CNC communication firmware is built into the unit. This allows for a connection to a large variety of machine tool controls. The device buffers the entire program at the machine, and acts as a dedicated computer that responds instantaneously to data flow changes from the CNC.

Positioning this device on the control allows the machine to run at its maximum baud rate. This will prevent a machinist from having to walk back and forth from the DNC PC to the machine in order to initiate machine operation. This important feature allows the LAN-USB to increase your shop floor efficiency by maximizing productivity and reducing downtime.

Find out if we can connect all of your machines.

You can call us at (877) 611-5825 or email us at info@shopfloorautomations.com or complete the form below and we’ll contact you. Once we help you add monitoring to your machines, we’ll support you with our industry leading support team!

2017 MFG Review & Looking Ahead

American manufacturingLast year was quite successful for American manufacturing. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Fourth Quarter survey from December of 2017 confirms it.

94.6% of those surveyed in December said they were positive about their company’s outlook. It was only 89.8% in September.

Confidence was only 56.6% in Q1 of 2016. According to NAM, companies expect their production to increase 5%, with an anticipated 5.2% growth in sales, and an expected 2.2% increase to employee wages.

58.7% feel American manufacturing is heading in the right direction. Those who felt it is going in the wrong direction were in the minority at 21.4%. 32.2% told NAM they were “unsure,” but it is in our nature to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Read on!

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Hurricane Harvey Impacts Houston MFG

Hurricane Harvey Impacts Houston TX MFG Industry

Americans have watched in horror this past week seeing the destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey. The Houston Texas area was hit the hardest, which includes the Houston TX manufacturing community.

The exact monetary amount of damage is debated heavily. A risk modeler for Bloomberg states the storm will cause up to $75 Billion in economic loss, while CNN also gave a figure of $75 Billion, with Accuweather estimating that Harvey will have caused a $160 Billion dent in the economy. For perspective, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 cost the economy $160 Billion.

The manufacturing community of Houston Texas, which is currently the most populated city in Texas, was no doubt impacted by this horrendous storm. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) states that manufacturers in Texas account for 15.22 percent of the State’s output and employs 7.33 percent of the Texas workforce.

These percentages may sound small, but as of 2013, manufacturing in Texas accounted for $233 Billion+ of output. In 2014, the industry employed 890,200 Texans and as of 2012, there were over 17,000 manufacturing companies in the state. As the past four years have gone by since these figures were recorded, these numbers have more than likely grown, since in 2013, manufacturing only accounted for 871,700 jobs in Texas, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

How can we help, in this time of need?

In terms of general services, you can donate money or blood to the Red Cross or offer shelter for free to impacted families through the AirBNB Disaster Response Program.

As far as helping the manufacturing community of Houston, which is no doubt already impacted by an existing skills gap and having to pick up the pieces from Harvey’s wake, there are a few ways to help. Students who are taking STEM or machinist course work in local schools or colleges can volunteer to help, as well as those who have retired recently from the manufacturing field can temporarily help.

Shop Floor Automations wants to assist manufacturing companies in the Houston TX area by offering heavily discounted services. To help assess the damage done to your productivity and tools, please visit this page or call (877) 611-5825 

Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program

Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program

America is the land of opportunity and the Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program (PIECP) is an unconventional example of this ideal.

Those who are behind bars will have opportunities through this program to gain skills that will land them stable jobs and do something productive while incarcerated. There can be mixed feelings about this program, though. Prison industry enhancement certification programs
Here are five basic things to know about PIECP, before going forward:

#1 – It was created by Congress in 1979 with the goal of having inmates contribute to society while offsetting the cost of their incarceration, as well as to pay back the crime victims and support their families. Source

#2 – Other than monetary reasons, the program was created not only to reduce prison idleness but to increase job skills for those in prison so they have a good transition upon release and help the economy by filling jobs.

#3 – The only prisoners who are allowed to participate in the program are in State prisons (not Federal prison), are medically able to participate, and have minimum disciplinary records while serving time. Only minimum or medium security level prisons may participate in this program and the only prisoners who take part in PIECP volunteer to do so. Source

#4 – The program also helps with reincarceration rates, since the prisoners who underwent this training and transitioned properly out of prison had non-arrest rates ranging from 60% to 93% meaning more than half of the participants who were monitored did not return to prison. Source

#5 – These programs help to offset the cost to taxpayers of running prisons, as well as helping prisoners not bounce back into jail to eat up further resources. Information varies from source to source, but via this 2010 study, State contributions via taxes to help run prisons can be as low as $58,065 (total annually from taxpayers in North Dakota) all the way up to $7,932,388 (total annually from taxpayers in California). With inflation and prison populations growing over the years, these amounts have no doubt changed. Source 1 & Source 2

Check out the rest of the story! 

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