Legacy Blogs – Edition XIII

shop floor automations blogDocument control. Gcode editing. Machine utilization. Documentation of any variety is important to us at Shop Floor Automations, and not just for our customers. We welcome you back to our Legacy Blog series, where we archive past press coverage.

We appeared in the October 2017 issue of MFG News, with a piece reviewing the top three benefits to machine monitoring appearing from us. Updates to DataXchange and an overview of Touch HMI features were also in the issue. We were also in the August 2017 issue of MFG News.

The benefits of cloud-based machine monitoring are reviewed in this piece from us, published in Modern Machine Shop this past January, plus we were mentioned in this piece on R&D Manco. Speaking of Modern Machine Shop, we were also in the February issue with an ad and an article. We have photos of our appearances in this issue on Instagram, too, so be sure to network with us and the #instamachinist movement!

Finally, in the January 2017 Production Machining Magazine issue, we were part of the annual product directory. You can find us under Software>CAD/CAM, Software>ERP & Other Shop Management, Software>Data Collection Devices, and the general directory.

For more information, we would love to start a conversation with you for your productivity needs. Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form so we can get back to you on your time. 

Predator Software Top Reseller Again

Predator Software ResellerPredator Software Top Reseller

We are proud to be the top reseller of Predator Software 16 years running and we are determined to continue this streak for the years to come!

“There is something happening with our business, knowing our customers are our biggest fans, referring new business to us, “ Greg Mercurio, President of Shop Floor Automations, says.  “We have close relationships with our customers, CAD/CAM partners, machine tool distributors, and other ERP/MRP that believe in our sales, service, and support staff.  They know SFA will take care of them and recommend Predator as the best solution.”

Thank you to all of our customers in making us an industry leader in manufacturing automation solutions.


The SFA Team

Predator Touch HMI Released

touch hmi tabletPredator Touch HMI Released

La Mesa, CA – November 16, 2015 – Shop Floor Automations (SFA), one of the largest independent CNC Automation Suppliers for Predator Software has now released Predator Touch HMI, a new addition to our software line.

This new Windows application is a touch-first HMI, Human Machine Interface, designed to replace shop floor bar code readers, QR code readers and handheld terminals. The simplicity of this new software allows machinists and operators to control with ease and little training.

The touch-first interface simplifies real-time manual data collection and direct numerical control. Touch HMI also supports data collection for machine downtimes, scrap reasons, and more. Running on almost all Windows editions, Predator Touch HMI is easy to install and begin improving manufacturing processes and operations.

Predator Touch HMI has many features including the ability to create an unlimited number of shop floor applications. This software also includes three different button types with the touch-optimized interface. Additionally, there is no install required and it can be integrated with other Predator applications as well as other third-party apps.

Touch HMI has the ability for wired or wireless support as well as configuration to communicate with CNCs, CMMs, test stands and other devices. With an affordable site license, Predator Touch HMI is a valuable tool in the automation of machine shops.

For more information: www.shopfloorautomations.com, email: info@shopfloorautomations.com,
Tel: 619-461-4000, fax: 619-461-5918, toll free: 877-611-5825.

Check out more info on machine monitoring software


SFA New Product Released in CNC West Magazine

Predator DNC V10 Released – original article from CNC West Magazine: 

Predator DNC SoftwareShop Floor Automations (SFA), one of the largest independent CNC automation suppliers for Predator Software has begun implementing the latest version of Predator DNC Software v10. The new version continues to improve support for the latest CNCs, robots, PLCs and other manufacturing equipment under the latest version of Microsoft Windows. Numerous new features and improvements have been added.

The support for MicrosoftWindows 8, and Server 2012 has been completed under 32 and 64 bit operation systems while including Predator DNC Objects for Microsoft SQL for 2012 and 2014. The new version extends the support for virtual operating systems such as VMware and HyperV.

Predator DNC v10 supports the latest Fanuc Focas v3.9 device drivers. The change improved support for Fanuc controls with new options to eliminate spaces in filenames, automatically rename to an O number and force uppercase files. The new drivers enable support forWindows functional account providing specific permissions to access target folders to help secure CNCs from network.

Additional diagnostic tools have been created to allow users to support a machine specific error log without enabling multiple commands and individual logs. A single log created to trace all activity and shared to multiple users for confirmation of transfers and historical archiving. Shop Floor Automations reports the benefits of upgrading the Predator Software to the latest version allow for future compatibility between enhanced wireless and wired serial devices used for CNC communication and machine monitoring applications. The Predator Editor Lock provides software control over a CNC machines “Write Protect” key to lock and unlock the CNC’s memory.

#1 In Predator Software Sales 15 Years Running

SHOP FLOOR AUTOMATIONS – #1 In Predator Software Sales 15 Years Running

Predator Software Reseller

La Mesa, CALIF – June 9, 2015  – Shop Floor Automations (SFA), a leader in software solutions for the manufacturing shop floor,  has continued to rank #1 in Predator software sales for 15 years running. This accomplishment is credited to the SFA team due to the dedication and quality customer service.

This honor recognizes Shop Floor Automation’s achievement as Predator Software’s top revenue-producing reseller for the past 15 years.

The company is frequently required to go through certification and training at Predator Software Corporate Office in Portland, OR.  This hands-on training consists of install, troubleshooting, implementing, and best practices for the complete line of the Predator Software Suite.

SFA has also been involved with new product development and features for enhancements to existing products in beta testing and new hardware solutions.

As a service center and training center for Predator Software, SFA continues to show dedication, technical skills, new methods of implementation and connectivity to the manufacturing industry using CNC machines and other types of equipment.  Onsite training is provided at customer locations as well as SFA’s corporate office in La Mesa, about 10 miles near San Diego, California.

For more information: fill out this contact form 
Tel: 619-461-4000, fax: 619-461-5918, toll free: 877-611-5825.

Predator Software Version Upgrades Released

Predator SoftwarePredator Software Version Upgrades

At the end of 1st quarter of 2015, Predator Software has released v10 product suite.

Over 115,000 companies in over 40 countries rely on Predator solutions to network, monitor, revise, control, organize, verify, manage and automate their shop floor and improve productivity. Users are now able to upgrade to the latest versions to support Windows 8 and Server 20012, with enhanced support for virtual operating systems.

Predator Machine Monitoring and Data Collection included several new features: two new OEE dashboards, bar charts for good/scrap parts, 4 new components (cost centers, work center, machine type and report type), chart filters, and 125 machine time reports.

To learn more about the services Shop Floor Automations provides, which includes Predator, we invite you to check out our YouTube channel for tutorials, insights, and more. Visit our YouTube channel, and see our video’s technical guides AKA transcripts.

SFA is also located on other social media channels, such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, & more!

DNC Software for FANUC Controls – Part 1

DNC SoftwareDNC Software for FANUC Controls

Many clients call us about DNC Software for FANUC controls and ask “can I DNC or drip-feed my FANUC control?” The typical response is “what model of FANUC control do you have on the machine that you want to use the DNC software with?” Many times, the specifics are not available, but solutions are available depending on the make and model of the FANUC control!

To drip-feed or DNC to FANUC controls, there are several requirements that need to be met. For this post, assume this is a FANUC older controller with a tape reader. The old model of Fanuc controls had a switch or toggle on the controller that allowed for the operator to enable tape mode, along with other modes like MDI and Edit. When in the tape mode, the part program is executed line by line (more happens but keeping this post short). The operator would load up the tape on the machine’s tape reader and press Cycle Start to cue the part program.

Today, tape readers are a thing of the past and these FANUC controls still need DNC Software to drip-feed. For an older FANUC control that needs to be drip-feed or DNC, we can supply a Behind the Tape Reader (BTR). The BTR and DNC Software will replace the old tape reader and “trick” the control to believe it executes the old tape. If you have executives tapes, no problem – the DNC Software for the FANUC control can be configured to accept this as well.

There are many options for DNC Software for FANUC controls, but the key is compatibility and ease of configuration to work with Windows 7 and 8. Our motto is to keep it simple and don’t try to find the cheapest solution. Sometimes, you will spend more time trying to troubleshoot the FANUC drip-feed problem when something elsewhere is already proven and reliable.

Find a vendor who has experience and can provide you with the complete solution for DNC Software for the FANUC control. We would love to hear from you to help you with your shop floor needs!

Southwest Manufacturing News – April 2015

April 2015 Southwest Manufacturing News

Shop Floor Automations is a proud reseller of Predator Software, year after year. We took out an ad in the April 2015 Southwest Manufacturing News talking about the many solutions this software can give your shop floor.

Meeting document control, CNC editing, machine monitoring, DNC, and more needs, SFA is always happy to talk to customers about the advantages of this software. Contact us by sending a message, or tweet us at @SFA_inc

Check out our ad covering our Predator services

As we roll out our new office in Houston Texas, please see what we have to offer.  See more details about our new offices.

More about Shop Floor Automations:

About Shop Floor Automations (SFA): Founded back in 1998, SFA started as a small company focused on distributing the Predator Software product line to the San Diego and Los Angeles markets of California. SFA has been ranked #1 in Predator Software Sales, Service and Support since 1999.


Predator’s Enhanced Ethernet Based Machine Monitoring called CNC Service

Enhanced Ethernet Based Machine Monitoring

Shop Floor Automations announces a new solution for Machine Monitoring utilizing MTConnect, FOCAS and other solutions called CNC Service (originally an article in CNC West).


Predator SoftwareLA MESA, Calif. – December 16, 2014 – Shop Floor Automations (SFA), the largest distributor and Service Center for Predator Software Inc., today announced the release of Predator’s popular Manufacturing Data Collection (MDC) software for Ethernet-based machine tools.

For many years, Predator has offered its fully automated, real-time MDC system for any size company to monitor and improve shop floor productivity using PLCs, macros, and paper-based solutions. This solution integrated well into equipment with stack lights and older machines to capture running, alarms, feed hold, and idle time, but left some users objecting to adding more equipment due to the costs of hardware requirements.

Today, most CNC machines include Ethernet ports and can be leveraged for data collection. CNC machines that use a Fanuc controller may have a feature called FOCAS, which allows for the capture of real-time data such as overrides, spindle speed, program number, feed/speed rates, alarms, and indicates control mode. Read more below.

Read more

Predator CNC Editor v10.0.16 Released

CNC EditorPredator CNC Editor v10.0.16 Released

Predator CNC Editor v10.0.16 has been released. This new version primarily replaces backplotting with a light version of Predator Virtual CNC. It also adds several new features and improvements.

This latest release makes the following improvements:

  • Added Windows 8 support
  • Added new Predator Virtual CNC for backplotting
  • Added option to upgrade to higher levels of Predator Virtual CNC for solids, CAD Compare, 4 Axis, 5 Axis, Mill/Turn and machine simulation
  • Added backplot dialogs to simplify Virtual CNC preferences, job properties, machine configuration, OpenGL graphics and many more
  • Added backplot support for sub programs and subroutines
  • Added backplot support for branching such as IF, THEN, GOTO, DO and WHILE
  • Added backplot inspection support
  • Added backplot option to save the Predator Header
  • Added backplot option to Check Code
  • Added -hiderememberpassword command line argument – Enterprise Only
  • Added -hidedatabase command line argument – Enterprise Only
  • Added importing new components – Enterprise Only
  • Added importing new reference attachments – Enterprise Only
  • Added -trace command line argument
  • Added new external resource files
  • Added new PREDITOR.INI file for backplot integration with Predator Virtual CNC
  • Added new bar code label configuration for Summary Info Report
  • Added new command line variable \Template for the current template
  • Added new command line variable \FileFullName for the current file
  • Added new French language support
  • Added new German language support
  • Added new Portuguese language support
  • Added new Polish language support
  • Added new Spanish language support
  • Added new Installation that eliminates a required pvcnc.ocx dependency
  • Improved New Template wizard
  • Improved Edit Template wizard
  • Improved backplot graphics quality and performance
  • Improved Windows 7 and Vista installation
  • Improved splitter bars and scroll bars
  • Improved Summary Info report with a new bar code
  • Improved active window border
  • Improved help about dialog
  • Improved component editing
  • Improved history report
  • Improved error messages
  • Improved online help

Customers on software maintenance can download v10.0.16 of Predator CNC Editor from 

Predator CNC Editor
Version: 10.0.25