Predator DNC Software and Ascendant eXtremeDNC Software Compared

DNC SoftwareDNC Software features compared

Predator DNC software and Ascendant eXtremeDNC software are two great tools for CNC networking of different CNCs, punch press, waterjets and other industrial equipment. They are each used to manage different types of programs. Ascendant eXtrmeDNC was the first DNC open architecture application for the 32-bit Windows operating system. It was first introduced in 1993, upgraded in 2010 to make it compatible with modern operating systems, and adapted to Ethernet, wired, and wireless hardware. It was developed for Windows NT 3.5 but with the modifications, it could be applied to some modern operating systems other than a Windows based OS. It works best in a Windows 7 or Server 2008 operating systems.

However, the introduction of Predator DNC software revolutionized the CNC and DNC world. This is because of the enormous multitasking functions that can be performed on it. It has more capacity to upload, download, and drip-feed. Just like the Ascendant eXtremeDNC Software, Predator DNC Software has wireless and Ethernet support. Predator DNC also uses a “object-oriented” tool library to build on functionality as the user desires. The solution also allows for a full upgrade path to other modules, such as machine monitoring, product data management, and tool rib management. While eXtremeDNC has connection ports that could serve 1023 communication networks at a time, Predator DNC Software has 4096 connection and it can be used with 4096 machines simultaneously. This gives it more networking capacity.

extremedncStill, eXtremeDNC software is a useful tool, it serves different purposes for its users. It is a smart architecture compliance server which supports transmission and effective maintenance of files. If a server failure occurs or there is a loss of server networking file transmissions are not disrupted.

EXtremeDNC does not require a lot of setup and configuration. Out of the box, the product comes with several CNC templates ready to communicate to the machine tool The software enhances functions such as email notifications, it facilitates the auto tag, and renames standardization. It also enables control and easy integration of third party software. Another great aspect to eXtremeDNC Is the client/server functionality that provides true, real-time feedback as to the status of transfer. The licensing is flexible as well to purchase only the ports needed and floats without any additional modules. Read more below.

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SFA in February 2014 Manufacturing News

February 2014 Manufacturing News

Read our article about DNC in this month’s Manufacturing News issue, “SFA + Predator DNC Software For Windows”

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterShop Floor Automations (SFA), a provider of software for the manufacturing shop floor, installed Predator’s version 9.0.16 through the end of 2013 while beta testing version 10.0 of Predator DNC Software and Editor.

Version 9.0 has been installed at hundreds of different sites. The main benefit is its compatibility with Windows 7 and Windows 2008/2012 server, including both 32- and 64-bit Operating systems.

“The DNC is easily migrated from previous versions running under Windows XP to the latest Predator DNC with our migration tools and hardware program,” said SFA President Greg Mercurio. “Customers have used the same solution for years from us and if it works, they do not want to change anything unless needed. Because of the end to Microsoft’s support for Windows XP, we have created a program to assist customers in keeping their machines up and running without interrupting production.”

SFA can provide end users with new hardware to integrate their existing wired system into wireless 802.11 B/G or embrace Ethernet technology on the shop floor. The use of RS232 serial ports is being phased out and networking CNC machines is becoming more prevalent. Predator Software includes functionality to communicate via FTP or Windows Share, and supports the use of the FANUC FOCAS to simplify file transfers. RS232 standard protocol is also included to support the hundreds of legacy CNC controllers with enhanced file management tools to automate the download and upload process.

Read the whole piece here! You may also call SFA and ask us about more Predator Software solutions at (877) 611-5825.

The different Predator solutions we are offer: DNC. Touch HMI, EditLock, MDC, CNC Editor, CNC Editor Express, CNC Editor Light, PDM, and Tracker. We have been the number one reseller of Predator Software since 1999 and continue to customize this solution to fit customer needs. Ask about demos and free trials!

 

Happy New Year! Have a great 2014

Shop Floor Automations 2014

Happy New Year! We hope 2014 turns out to be a great year for you.

A large number of our existing customers have started to expand with more machines and a look toward automation. We added more machines than previously to our machine monitoring software and see a great improvement in productivity and a reduction of downtime.

Because we’ve been so busy, we wanted to make sure you are informed of some of the other solutions in Predator’s new EditLock feature, used with Predator Product Data Management (Document Control) and Predator DNC networking along with JobPack’s scheduling software.

Discover how we can save you more time and money by expanding your existing system today. Call (877) 611-5825 or contact us on social media!

More about Shop Floor Automations:

Founded back in 1998, Shop Floor Automations, Inc. (SFA) started as a small company focused on distributing the Predator Software product line to the San Diego and Los Angeles markets of California.  Within 6 months, the company expanded to cover the entire West Coast as a reseller with the goal to be the #1 reseller in a year.

The goal was met in 1999 when SFA was awarded the status of largest distributor of Predator Software in North America. SFA has been ranked #1 in Predator Software Sales, Service and Support for many years.

The founders of SFA have many years of experience providing effective solutions to manufacturers large and small from coast to coast. Their expertise in designing and implementing DNC and Shop Floor Networks allows them to take the best hardware and software products to the next level. That level is a fully implemented, turnkey solution tailored specifically for a customer’s requirements and environments.

Shop Floor Automations is appropriately positioned to provide our customers with a complete technology environment. Customers are not looking for products so much as they are seeking solutions to their business problems. Our total solution approach for manufacturing customers provides hardware and software packages, installation and support services, and expert consultation where required. Our principal goal is to help customers save time and make money.

Manufacturing Engineering – Real-Time Manufacturing Data – November 2013

Greg Mercurio in Manufacturing Engineering

President of SFA, Greg Mercurio, is featured in the Manufacturing Engineering November 2013 issue. In the interview, he talks about real-time data and machine monitoring for the shop floor.

“One of the challenges we face every day is trying to educate the manufacturing industry on how critical this data is,” Greg is quoted. “It’s at our fingertips and it’s not being utilized because a lot of manufacturers think it’s too complicated or it’s cost-prohibitive.” 

“Technologies including wireless, bar code readers, touch screens, and tablets have started to drive implementation prices down,” Greg says. “The reality is most shops run only at about 60 percent to 65 percent machine utilization.”

Read the entire piece! Call 877-611-5825 – we invite you to be surprised just how affordable and easy these solutions are!

More about data monitoring (AKA machine data collection and machine monitoring):

Improve manufacturing by supplying accurate shop floor productivity metrics to improve operations & make better decisions. Enjoy automatic, error-free, & unattended machine monitoring for events such as job start/end, setup start/end, log on/off, cycle start/end, & more. Data collected includes cycle time, idle time, setup time, teardown time, machine downtime, & scrap reasons.

Drive improvements based on real-time data. In today’s competitive manufacturing environment, it is more important than ever to be as efficient as possible. Increase machine up-time & drive innovation on your shop floor. What is the overall equipment effectiveness formula? Ask us!

 

 

Predator MDC Video – How to get started

Predator MDC Video

Predator MDC creates a continuously up to date knowledge base of your manufacturing performance. It quantifies how well your machines, people and parts are produced. Predator MDC can establish and compare continuous improvement results for lean manufacturing efforts. Predator MDC organizes your real-time data into actionable metrics for availability, quality and performance. Metrics for specific machines or rolled up metrics for an entire department across multiple plants are available with a few mouse clicks. Refer to the following major features

Predator MDC supports automatic, error-free, and unattended machine monitoring for events such as job start and end, setup start and end, cycle start and end, to name a few of the events that can be monitored. This type of data is collected automatically using software, hardware, custom macros and other methods without requiring operator training or input.

Predator MDCPredator MDC also supports manual monitoring of events that are initiated by machine operators such as machine login/offs, downtimes, and scrap reasons. Predator MDC can be used to manually collect data using several methods including Remote Request, swiping bar codes, touch screen PCs or standard PCs.

Predator MDC supports up to 4096 CNC machines, robots, PLCs, ATE Test Stands, band saws, dot peen markers and other equipment per PC for simultaneous cycle time, setup time, teardown time, downtimes with reasons, good parts, scrap parts with reasons and an unlimited number of user defined events.

Keep score of your shop floor productivity with Predator MDC. Every second is tracked per machine, job, part, operation, shift and person. Real-time dashboards displays current machine, part, job, operation and personnel status. Multiple engineers, supervisors and managers can view the dashboard from any networked PC. Leverage the power of the Internet and VPN from anywhere in the world to see the status of your shop floor.

Dedicate one or more large screen monitors on the shop floor for real-time digital signage. Create slides of charts, dashboards and reports with specific filters and details. Eliminate manual posting of paper reports and charts. Provide a focal point for standup shop meetings while enforcing productivity and manufacturing metrics that management, engineering and quality departments care about.

Want more information? Call (877) 611-5825 and ask us how we can help you increase OEE on your shop floor!

Predator PDM v10.0.191 is released

pdmPredator PDM Enterprise has enhanced the shop floor dialogs with New Machine Events and Tracker style Check-In and Check-Out dialogs. In addition, the following improvements have been made:

January 17th 2013 – Predator PDM v10.0.191 is released

  • Added -UNRELEASED to change manufacturing and quality status workflow
  • Improved online help
  • Improved -viewvaultitem command line to support wildcards
  • Improved -viewvaultitemdialog command line to support wildcards
  • Improved machine wizards
  • Improved the Oracle database login screen
  • Improved displaying the database name and host within the status bar
  • Improved check-out warning message
  • Improved display of LF only style CNC files within the shop floor windows
  • Fixed a bug with editing a list item
Customers on software maintenance can download v10.0.191 of Predator PDM from our downloads at any time. Customers running v9 or older of Predator PDM should contact Shop Floor Automations for upgrade details and pricing. Read more below.

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SFA Offers Predator Basic Machine Monitoring Software

Predator SoftwarePredator Software Machine Monitoring

Shop Floor Automations (SFA), a distributor and service center for Predator Software Inc., has announced the Basic version of Predator’s Manufacturing Data Collection (MDC) Software.

“For many years now, Predator has offered their fully automated, real time MDC system for larger corporations,” said a company spokesperson. “Now they have released the Basic version of the same software targeted toward the small to medium size manufactures looking to capture utilization, with alarm status and part counts.”

MDC Basic is designed to be an affordable way to collect real-time and historical data from the shop floor. It allows for no operator input at the CNC to capture running or idle status along with alarm mode. The customer can also record good and scrapped part counts directly from the CNC interface.

All the collected data is recorded into one of three database platforms: Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQLo r Oracle. Decision makers will have various reports and charts at their fingertips regarding production history, said SFA. Read more below.

Read more

Predator Software drops Windows 2000 Support

Predator SoftwareNo Windows 2000 Support from Predator Software

Predator Software has been supporting Microsoft’s Windows 2000 since it was released to manufacturing back on December 1999. Unfortunately, after almost 12 years, Predator will no longer be able to provide day-to-day support for their applications on this platform as of August 2012.

However, support is ongoing to upgrade Predator applications from an existing Windows 2000 installation to a newer edition of Microsoft Windows. Please call (877) 611-5825 for more information.

More about Shop Floor Automations and Predator Software:

Founded back in 1998, Shop Floor Automations, Inc. (SFA) started as a small company focused on distributing the Predator Software product line to the San Diego and Los Angeles markets of California.  Within 6 months, the company expanded to cover the entire West Coast as a reseller with the goal to be the #1 reseller in a year.

The goal was met in 1999 when SFA was awarded the status of largest distributor of Predator Software in North America. SFA has been ranked #1 in Predator Software Sales, Service and Support for many consecutive years.

SFA has become the industry leader in Shop Floor Communications and Machine Monitoring Solutions. Totally redefining what “Shop Floor Automation” solutions should be.  With thousands of customers from across the United States, Mexico, Canada, Europe and Asia, SFA was called upon by other vendors to provide other solutions that could be met by our knowledge, support and sales experience of the manufacturing industry.  In 2010, SFA aligned itself with these vendors to close the loop with maintenance management software, job management and scheduling software, hardware manufacturers, and machine tool companies.

SFA is located in San Diego County, situated in the bustling suburb of La Mesa, California, about 10 miles East of San Diego, ever since our founding year.  We expanded our support offices throughout the USA over the years to meet customer demands.

We are focused on the sales, service and support of the Predator Software MES Suite. The Suite consists of Predator DNC (shop floor networking and communications), Predator MDC (Manufacturing Data Collection and machine monitoring), Predator DNC Enterprise (shop floor control), Predator Product Data Management (CNC and data management), Predator Travelers (electronic work instructions), Predator Tracker (tool crib and gage crib organization and tracking), Predator Virtual CNC (NC verification and simulation), and Predator CNC Editor (NC editing). The Predator MES Suite provides manufacturers and machine shops with answers to real-world shop floor automation problems. SFA combines an experienced and dedicated staff with internal systems for development, testing, and support of all Predator Software applications. We are committed to investing in the resources it takes to remain the recognized industry leader in shop floor automation technologies.

Many of our clients know us as the DNC Communications and Data Collection / Machine Monitoring experts and we look forward to helping your company in these areas and with our new product solutions.

Predator PDM Version 10 Release

pdm

Predator PDM Version 10 Release

La Mesa, CA – April 4, 2012 –Shop Floor Automations (SFA) has announced the release of the newest version of its shop floor PDM solution, Predator PDM version 10.
Version 10 of Predator PDM offers the most extensive expansion of features of any version yet, according to the company. Features include: direct integration with Predator DNC systems, including systems utilizing Remote Request; improved integration with Predator MDC (Manufacturing Data Collection) systems; expanded workflow, approval control and history options; new and improved bar code and RFID integration options and unlimited flexibility in definition and naming of PDM vault elements.
“All previous PDM systems have been designed and built with CAD & CAM files and design departments in mind and as such, have rarely been a good fit for controlling access to files on the shop floor,” said a company spokesperson. “Predator PDM is designed to be much more flexible than traditional PDM systems while still retaining the ability to provide absolute control over what files are being used on the floor and capturing a history of those files’ use as well.
“Our basic PDM systems can be utilized to simply control and track access to NC files, but they can easily be expanded to include almost any type of file used on the shop floor, including drawings, tool lists, setup sheets, videos, manuals, etc. While designed to be as simple as possible to implement and use, Predator PDM still has the power to be the single solution for file access control, file viewing, file use history, quality and manufacturing status history, initiation of DNC file transfers (when combined with our DNC software solution) and updating of machine status (both to our data collection solutions, as well as existing data collection systems).”

For more information: fill out a contact form here 

Tel: 619-461-4000, fax: 619-461-5918, toll free: 877-611-5825.

 

CNC Editors

CNC backplotter32-bit  G-code editor with CNC Backplotter

Tired of manually editing G-code on your CNC? The Predator CNC Editor is the most popular 32-bit CNC code editor on the market.

This software includes hundreds of features to improve the day-to-day productivity of CNC machine tools, yet it is extremely easy to use. Four editions are available, including a free version.

Features include:
• CNC Editing
• Unlimited File Size
• File Compare
• CNC Communications with drip-feed
• Backplotting

Additional information on our free CNC Editor download

From our CNC Editor Landing page:

SFA provides customized CNC Editor Solutions for everyone, from small job shops to the largest manufacturers. Dozens of CNC intelligent editing commands make changes to your CNC program quickly & easily. Edit confidently with the ability to undo & redo all changes. Microsoft Word-compatible menus, toolbar, & shortcut keys make these systems easy to learn.

In addition, editing multiple CNC programs at the same time is supported, with the ability to cut, copy, & paste between them. Program includes a side-by-side file compare that identifies all G-code & M-code differences, then fixes them with a single click. Our editing & backplotter packages are developed under the most rigorous testing.

These extremely versatile but easy-to-use packages are designed to simplify your work & will also improve productivity.