January February 2019 Newsletter

The following is an archived copy of the Shop Floor Automations newsletter from January/February 2019. The focuses of this email blast are RS232 port upgrades, OEE monitoring and more.

Do you really know what your OEE is?

Overall equipment efficiency (OEE) is a key element to better manufacturing productivity. Sadly, most shops gravely overestimate how well their shop is performing and manage without numbers. 

2019 is the year to know how often your machines are down and why. Improve your machine uptime with reports, charts and dashboards to give you a competitive edge. Two models are available: on-premise with in-house data servers/database, or through flexible, low-cost, monthly Cloud monitoring. 

Give machine operators a voice. Communicate machine data easily and automatically. Interface with CNC machines, lasers, water jets, grinders, robots, and more! Start a machine monitoring trial

Manufacturing in 2018 & 2019 Outlook

American manufacturing last year was incredibly successful. We grew from a $2.2 trillion industry in 2017 to $2.33 trillion in 2018.

How do we keep this momentum going for 2019? We need to face certain issues in our industry head-on.

Other than the ever-present training skills gap, we also need to foster better technology relationships on the shop floor.

Solutions For Your CNC’s – RS232 Port Upgrades

Hardware from Shop Floor Automations is one of our hottest categories of merchandise. It’s a sign that people in the industry are further looking to extend the life of their existing equipment and save money versus buying new machines.

Take a moment to evaluate if any of these items apply to your shop floor:

  • Are you carrying a laptop around the shop floor in order to make sure programs make it to the CNC? 
  • Considering turning an old RS232 port into a USB port?
  • The cost of cabling continues to rise. Are you ready to go wireless?
  • Stuck using floppy disks versus USB memory drives? 
  • Need file control and management of NC programs on one network? 

We have various shop floor hardware solutions that suit all of your manufacturing needs. These investments are affordable and the ROI is outstanding! 

Want more information? Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form

Lean Manufacturing Newsletter

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThe November/December 2018 SFA email blast was a lean manufacturing newsletter. It was sent to subscribers November 19th, 2018.

Lean Manufacturing for 2019

Heard of it? Thinking about it? Make 2019 the year to pursue lean manufacturing!
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.

Portable Drip Feed HardwareBlack 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.
Need us? Leave us a message or call (877) 611-5825

Fall 2018 Newsletter

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThe following is an archived copy of our Fall 2018 newsletter.

Decisions to make for Q4

Fall has begun, and before you know it, Winter will be here. Then, surprise, it’s suddenly Q1. Where did all that time go?!

Take a moment to think if you have any of the following issues on your shop floor:

    • CNC communication failures?
    • Old revisions running on machines, with programs floating all over the shop floor?
    • Still using a CNC floppy drive instead of USB?
    • Old cabling causing too much of a hassle?

Check out DNC software combined with shop floor hardware from Shop Floor Automations. These investments are more affordable than you would assume, and the ROI is exceptional!

If excessive downtime is a concern, scroll to the bottom of this newsletter for information about running a machine monitoring trial!

Want even more info on DNC and hardware? Check out articles about our solutions in publications such as Modern Machine Shop, Moldmaking Technology, CNC West, MFG News & more –

What is your OEE?

If you do not know your true rate of utilization, how can you truly be on the path to improved productivity?

Ask us about a machine monitoring trial! It’s affordable, flexible and illuminating on how productive your equipment really is.

Request info on a DataXchange Machine Monitoring trial

Call (877) 611-5825 for more info! 

Link to original newsletter 

May 2018 Shop Floor Automations Newsletter

The following is an archived copy of our May 2018 newsletter sent May 22nd. Subscribed, but not receiving newsletters? Get more info on this page!

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterDoes getting your shop floor paperless, organized, ready for an audit, and functioning sound impossible? Trust us. It’s not.

The Predator Software Suite contains a solution called PDM, or Production Data Management. You can use PDM to organize programs, safety procedures (such as lockout/tagout and other OSHA standards), setup sheets, quality documents, and more. Use PDM to help obtain revision control, as well as to finally go paperless.

Every department can find a benefit from PDM. Whether they work in engineering, programming, or quality – everyone on the shop floor has a reason for document control. Especially when auditors will be checking if you have management and sign-offs for your processes and files, this solution is especially crucial.

PDM will integrate with other pieces of the Predator Software Suite, such as DNC (CNC networking software), CNC Editor, MDC (Machine Data Collection), and Tool Tracker. It will also integrate with ERP and MES software systems.

Seeking out CAD/CAM software for your growing manufacturing operation? Especially one that can integrate with our solutions?

BOBCAD is a CAD/CAM company we have been working with for quite a few years. Especially since it integrates with some of our most popular solutions, such as DNC software, machine monitoring software, and our USB Connect hardware. Yes, it will even integrate with the PDM software mentioned above!

Shop Floor Automations is the number one reseller/integrator of Predator Software. Call (877) 611-5825 for a quote and more information. Link to original newsletter

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.

March 2018 Shop Floor Automations Newsletter

The following is an archived copy of our March 2018 Shop Floor Automations newsletter. We celebrated 20 years contributing to USA manufacturing via our solutions.

shop floor automations newsletter20 years is a long time. Granted, there are companies in the manufacturing industry who have been around much longer, but for us, we just want to humbly say “thank you.”

In 1998, we began as a reseller of Predator Software for the San Diego and Los Angeles areas. By 1999, we were the Number One Reseller of the software.

Soon, we picked up other brands such as Scytec DataXchange and Ascendant Technologies. We also began to engineer a wide variety of hardware products to help customers across all industries to increase productivity, regardless if they had legacy machines or the latest CNC machines with Ethernet. SFA has helped thousands of customers with manufacturing solutions.

We have welcomed new employees of all ages over the years, and will never forget the loss of our co-founder, Shawn Dunne, who passed away in 2011. Our employees have had milestones of their own, such as getting married and having children. We have extended our reach across the United States, and have even taken on some International customers.

To celebrate 20 years of business, enjoy discounts up to 20% on our online store! Better jump on it, as this sale will end May 1st.

We invite you to grow with us! Call (877) 611-5825 for info on how to increase productivity and OEE.

Existing Customer?

We would like to say an extra “thank you” by inviting you to take part in a contest! Prizes range from free support to free software. Visit our 20th-anniversary page for more information and for details on what winners will receive!

Link to original newsletter post, or call us today!

Subscribe to our newsletter today, or read past issues!

SFA Newsletter – February 2018

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThe following is an archived copy of the Shop Floor Automations newsletter from February 2018. Aerospace manufacturing plays a big role here.

If you manufacture aerospace parts, there are two questions you need to ask yourself: Is your revision control as solid and secure as it should be? Do you know your utilization percentages? Knowing the answers could help you keep customers and grow revenue.

Production Data Management (PDM) and Machine Data Collection (MDC) are two solutions that are critical to your operations. To learn how to improve your machine utilization/OEE and prevent old programs from running on your shop floor, visit our website.

For example, Airbus – this major player in the aerospace division requires that new suppliers provide “a proven track record of operational reliability and delivering on shared commitments.” Even existing suppliers must “meet quality requirements, on-time, and on-cost.” On top of performance records, the Defence & Space department of Airbus specifically requires detailed document control (per Ref. ADS.E.0570 Issue 2, page 10 of 28).

As you can see, aerospace companies such as Airbus have high standards for accepting and maintaining suppliers. Having data via machine monitoring software can help to provide proof of uptime, while PDM allows for document control.

The Predator Software Suite provides both MDC and PDM, and Shop Floor Automations is the number one reseller and integrator of the software. Call (877) 611-5825 for pricing and integration information. 

Link to the original newsletter or fill out a contact form

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – JAN/FEB 2018

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThis archived copy of the January/February 2018 issue of the SFA newsletter focuses on machine monitoring data.

Estimated OEE vs Real OEE

A good number of our customers were able to contribute to the phenomenal growth in the manufacturing industry last year because of OEE information gathered by machine monitoring software.

Often the first overlooked step in improved production is not properly tracking utilization and OEE. Our customers at R&D Manco in Phoenix definitely agree with this statement.

We spoke to them recently and discovered that before implementing Predator MDC software, it was assumed that their machines were running at 50 percent utilization. Within a short period of time using the software, they found utilization was more around 30 percent. Uptime is critical to their operations, especially with lead times of 8 months to 1 year for the parts they run.

In a recent issue of Modern Machine Shop (MMS), the company credits machine monitoring from SFA (via Predator MDC) as an essential resource for increasing capacity.

MFG 2017 Review & 2018 Outlook

There is no doubt that 2017 was a fruitful year for manufacturing in America. Confidence in our industry, as well as positivity in future prosperity, is at an all-time high.

There are some concerns going forward to keep the momentum going in 2018. Industry 4.0, IIoT and automation are some of the concerns that we address.

Check out our 2017 Review for USA manufacturing & an optimistic outlook on 2018!

Okuma Floppy Drive Replacement

If you have an Okuma machine with a floppy drive that is about to bite the dust, the time to upgrade is now.

Even if your floppy drive is still functioning, floppy disk technology has been outdated for about a decade and it is best to adapt to new technology now before the worst happens. Best to be prepared than be stuck with a dead floppy drive on your machine.

The best part is that when you send back your old floppy disk drive core from the Okuma within 15 days, we will give you a $695 credit!

Get more information on Okuma Floppy Drive Core Replacements

Get in touch with our sales department by calling (877) 611-5825 or fill out a request for information

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – January 2018

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThis archived copy of the January 2018 SFA newsletter focuses on machine monitoring options.

In 2018, you could increase your productivity by 25 percent, as well as take on lights-out manufacturing and make more profits without buying new machines. How?

Machine monitoring can help you increase utilization and take an active role in making sure your machines are being used to their potential. Regardless of the manufacturing equipment you use or the industry you are in, your goals are the same: OEE, Productivity, and Profitability.

2017 was a monumental year for the manufacturing industry. Help the Made in America movement thrive by making sure your shop floor is as productive as possible.

Shop Floor Automations is holding a machine monitoring webinar focused on DataXchange January 10th. Be sure to request to be part of this free event, while you still have time!

DataXchange is the ultimate machine monitoring option for the manufacturing industry, and Shop Floor Automations is the number one reseller and integrator of the software.

Call (877) 611-5825 for DataXchange pricing, which includes affordable Cloud-based options and on-premise solutions.

We also encourage you to get in touch with our Sales department with further questions. 

For SFA Newsletter Subscribers

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As an added measure, make sure to add these domains to your allowed senders, which is pretty easy to do if you have Outlook:
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Please consult with an IT person at your company or anyone else who handles webmaster/email duties, if you need further help.

While we figure it out, check out our archive of past newsletters.

Want more info? Call (877) 611-5825 and we will be happy to help you out!