IMTS 2018

IMTS 2018We had a great time at IMTS 2018!

Did you come to the manufacturing technology show in Chicago this year? It’s not hard to believe – attendance was up. There were 129,415 IMTS 2018 visitors versus 115,612 from 2016!

Solutions we had on display:

Machine monitoring – DataXchange real-time OEE utilization monitoring software. Cloud-based and on-premise.

Hardware – Floppy drive replacements, add USB to any CNC & more solutions.

DNC software – CNC networking and program revision control needs for the shop floor.

Shop Floor Automations We got a chance to take some photos of visitors to our booth and we put up a gallery over on Facebook! We also shot this short video from the trip.

What did you go to IMTS for this year? What does your manufacturing operation do? Are you a moldmaker? Do you work in fabrication? Or tried-and-true CNC machining?

Call us for manufacturing productivity info at (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form so we can get back to you ASAP! 

IMTS 2018 Newsletter

The following is an archived copy of the Shop Floor Automations IMTS 2018 newsletter. Add us to your IMTS schedule!

IMTS 2018 NewsletterWant improved productivity and increased profits? Stop by Booth 133240 at IMTS! 

Shop Floor Automations has software solutions that help improve CNC communications and increase machine utilization by delivering OEE metrics using machine monitoring software. Our hardware solutions include wireless, ethernet, and USB technology to replace floppy disks, PCMCIA cards, and serial ports on your machine tools.

Solutions we will have on-hand at IMTS 2018:

  • Scytec DataXchange – Machine monitoring has become a crucial element for manufacturing productivity. Evaluate your machine tool performance and give your machinists an easy method to communicate shop floor issues. See the latest features, such as the addition of work orders and the new operator data interface. Ask how we can add the MTConnect protocol to your equipment!
  • Go wireless – Tired of serial cables and slow baud rates to your equipment? Use our Wireless CNC Connect to interface to any age, brand or type of connection on your shop floor. See this hardware in action with Predator DNC software!
  • Replace floppy disk drives – Floppy disks are obsolete. Replace them with a USB thumb drive. We have specific models for Haas, Mazak, and Okuma machines, as well as a universal model to eliminate any floppy drive on any equipment. Just provide your machine’s make and model of the current floppy drive info, and we will have you up and running.
  • Add USB ports to any machine – If you want an economical way to add memory to the machine control and to modernize all of your CNC machines, ask us how we can transform your RS232 port into a USB port!
  • Standardize on Ethernet – Do you still have legacy CNC’s with serial ports and you’re looking to standardize on a network connection similar to your new machine tools? Stop by and check out our LAN Connect device. Simplify your file transfers and modernize your shop floor!

Shop Floor Automations has been in business helping manufacturers since 1998. Call (877) 611-5825 for more information.

Link to the original newsletter 

Legacy Blog – Edition XVI

shop floor automations blogIn this Legacy Blogs edition, Shop Floor Automations shares news of exclusives we will have at IMTS, product news, and coverage in regards to MFG Day.

Shop Floor Automations is once again headed to IMTS (Booth 133240), where our booth will be shared with Scytec DataXchange machine monitoring. New features of DataXchange will be displayed, as well as their E-Learning program. Thanks to MFG Talk Radio for covering both pieces of news!

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. Ready to start the conversation about upgrading your shop floor without replacing machines? Call us at (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form!

 

Machine Monitoring: Improve OEE & Ownership Costs

Did you know that machine monitoring helps to improve OEE, as well as to keep ownership costs low?

Improve oee

Click the photo for video blog is based on

At WESTEC 2017, Josh Davids of DataXchange spoke at a panel about how to improve equipment utilization & quality, while keeping the total cost of ownership low. In this discussion, his main focus was on how simple implementing machine data collection is – especially in terms of Cloud-based software.

“Another thing the Cloud allows you to do, and this again works with on-premise types of solutions, but basically, analyze the data,” Davids discussed. “Looking at the data as it’s collected can be something so simple. To look for trends in real-time…such as looking at the last few records that came in and displaying results, triggered text or email notifications, something so simple.”

Why Use The Cloud – Cloud tech makes adopting new technology accessible with a low entry cost and flexibility. For instance, Cloud-based machine monitoring from DataXchange has a low entry cost, no long-term commitment and it’s as low as $45 per month per machine. Since the data is not being housed on-site, it also allows for better security, as well as automatic software updates from the vendor and better quality of support. This blog explains more about what happens to your data in the Cloud, which is a common concern to new users.

How does Cloud-based machine monitoring help with OEE and ownership costs? Real-time data from machine monitoring helps machinists present accurate data for production meetings, as well as to communicate to higher-ups items needing attention. With notifications on-the-go for smartphones and email notifications, this also allows those on and off the shop floor to take immediate action when downtime occurs, which helps utilization. When utilization improves, then less raw material is wasted. Also, when machine operators are dealing less with downtime and can spend less time trying to communicate machine issues, this is less time wasted on human error and overtime.

Is machine monitoring only for CNC machines? Not at all! On the subject of machine monitoring, FABshop Magazine recently published a piece from us where we discussed unconventional machine data collection. Operators of lasers, press brakes, welders, and more equipment should look into the availability of monitoring. Our Senior Account Executive Amy Gates told the publication that “fabrication machines are becoming more common for people to want to monitor,” Gates said. “Just like with our standard CNC monitoring, customers want to know when their machines are cutting and when they are not.”

For more information on machine monitoring and OEE on the manufacturing shop floor, call (877) 611-5825. You can also fill out this contact form and we will get back to you when it is most convenient! 

 

WESTEC 2017 is a Wrap

westec 2017 WESTEC 2017 was another successful show for Shop Floor Automations.

While the show started slow on opening day, the crowds eventually filled the Los Angeles Convention Center, with a great number of people making their way over to see us at Booth 1935.

There were some worthwhile happenings to mention. Other than the great people who visited our booth during the show, there were fun networking events that happened at the end of the night for Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, we had a painter doing an original piece reflecting on manufacturing influence in Los Angeles, while Wednesday night treated us to stilt walkers and a walking/talking dessert table. Yes, it was odd, but a fun way to keep attendees involved during longer show hours.

WESTEC 2017We gave out some of our G-code shirts and lots of G-code mousepads. We also after the show raffled off some hardware to give away and a prize pack to give away on Instagram. Congrats to those winners!

We were also intrigued to find out that the next WESTEC show will be taking place in Long Beach. A change of venue for this show and this industry should prove refreshing and either way, we appreciate everyone who came by to see us during this year’s show!

shop floor automations westec 2017See our photos from the show in our Facebook photo album photo album. We will soon be uploading a video from WESTEC 2017, so be sure to subscribe to us on YouTube here to see it when it is uploaded.

Post-edit: we had to pick a runner-up winner for our Wired Connect prize, so we congratulate that winner!

Want more information on the solutions we had on display at WESTEC 2017? Send us a message or call (877) 611-5825

Must Sees at WESTEC 2017

WESTEC 2017What to see at WESTEC 2017

With WESTEC 2017 coming up fast, there will be a lot to see. To help out our fellow manufacturing peer members, here are the top 3 list of things at WESTEC 2017 in Los Angeles that we hope to see and feel you would enjoy:

1) Key note speech from Titan Gilroy – WESTEC Theater, Tuesday from 1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Titan and his company are the focus of the show “Titans of CNC” on the MAVTV Motorsports Network. It is building interest in American manufacturing in regards to the theme of global competition. Their YouTube channel is also full of inspiring videos, including the latest video of Titan helping out a high school aged inventor to create mass quantities of his product to keep up with the demand he is experiencing.

2) Resources for OEE & the MFG skills gap. There are many free information resources to check out at WESTEC. First, check out the MFG apprenticeship panel on Thursday (more info), info on getting California training funds on Tuesday (more info), and on Thursday, there will be a presentation on how to balance OEE, utilization, quality, and cost (more info).

3) You. WESTEC is an amazing place for the West Coast manufacturing community to network and learn from each other, whether in a panel, a workshop, or the halls of the convention center. We want you to come visit us at Booth 1935 – we love getting insight from the people who are the backbone of this industry. If you have any issues with OEE, experience downtime frequently, you have issues with CNC communication or are looking to replace old processes/media, we especially would love to see you. We will also have giveaways and promo codes, so come on over to meet Team SFA!

Coming to WESTEC? Or can’t make it, but want more info? Get in touch with us by calling (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form.

Special Edition Newsletter: WESTEC 2017

The following is an archived copy of our WESTEC 2017 email blast:

westec 2017Shop Floor Automations will be at WESTEC 2017 this year to show attendees the latest in smart manufacturing.

Where & When: Booth 1935, the Los Angeles Convention Center, September 12th through the 14th.

Quick Info: Come see demonstrations of DNC software, machine monitoring, job scheduling, and more. We will also have our USB and wireless solutions. Free giveaways of hardware, t-shirts, and mousepads will be available.

Why you should visit SFA at Booth 1935: Learn about Predator’s Manufacturing Suite of Software, which includes DNC, Document Control, Machine Monitoring, Tool Crib Management, and our integration services. See how as little as $45 per month, per machine, can help increase your shop floor productivity and OEE. Upgrade your legacy machines with USB and Ethernet connections, and eliminate serial cables by going wireless. We are celebrating almost 20 years in our industry, and we look forward to sharing our knowledge.

Can’t make it to WESTEC, but want some free insight on hardware or software? Visit our Webinars page and sign up to learn about our various solutions, or schedule a site visit in your shop with one of our manufacturing integrators.

Call (877) 611-5825 for more information!

Original Newsletter Here

SFA at WESTEC 2017

Thank you for visiting us at WESTEC 2017!

Shop Floor Automations will be exhibiting at WESTEC 2017 at Booth 1935 from September 12th to the 14th, where the west coast manufacturing community will come together to learn about new solutions, network with each other, and enjoy like-minded industry company!

WESTEC 2017 Giveaways –

We will also be doing a raffle giveaway of hardware – everyone who gets their badge scanned at our booth is entered. Stay tuned for more info!

westec 2017   

Follow Shop Floor Automations on all of our various social media channels. You can like us on Facebook, tweet us on Twitter, subscribe and watch our YouTube videos, check out our Instagram posts, or connect on LinkedIn. Shop Floor Automations has been in business since 1998 helping manufacturing shop floors with OEE, productivity, and preventing expensive memory or machine upgrades. Come to Booth 1935 to see how we have made automation in manufacturing an obtainable goal for any production!

Past or Present Customer of SFA? Visit our Booth, film a video testimonial/review, and get a free SFA G-code T-Shirt! 

westec 2017

At FABTECH, we anticipate presenting:

  • Hardware solutions, such as the Pendant USB Connect, Floppy Emulator & more!
  • Displaying Predator’s Touch HMI
  • Showing new Scytec DataXchange machine monitoring updates

Contact us for more info, or visit us at Booth 1935 at the show to ask us more. For WESTEC, use hashtag #shopfloorautomations so we know you visited us!

Special Edition Newsletter – HOUSTEX 2017

The following is an archived copy of our HOUSTEX 2017 email blast:

HOUSTEX 2017Come visit us at HOUSTEX 2017, Booth 1616! From February 28th to March 2nd, we will be in Houston TX at this great tradeshow.

Why you should visit Booth 1616: See the latest in Machine Monitoring, CNC Communications, Document Control, Job Scheduling, CMMS, and more software solutions. We will also have the WiFi USB Connect, the Floppy Emulator, and other hardware solutions on display for attendees.

Can’t make it to HOUSTEX 2017, but want some free insight on software? Come to our Webinars page and sign up for one of them to learn about our software solutions, such as machine monitoring or DNC software.

Call for more info at (877) 611-5825

Original Newsletter Here 

SFA’s Top 10 Moments of 2016

Shop Floor Automations 2016 Review

2016 was a pretty crazy year! With 2017 racing toward us, we here at Shop Floor Automations wanted to share our Top 10 Moments of 2016, whether they were inspiring, or just sentimental to us!

MOMENT # 10: The NTMA Business Expo night at the Belching Beaver Brewery. We had a lot of fun, and great food, at this NTMA event. We also gave away a USB Connect and the winner was Eddie from Aerotek!

MOMENT # 9: Visiting OSML (Open Source Maker Labs) via NTMA. We loved getting to visit this maker workshop. At OSML, people of all ages get to learn about 3D printing, welding, making robots, woodworking, and much more. You can read about how to participate in what they do at OSML.

MOMENT # 8: Getting inspired by a visit to Workshops for Warriors. Hernán Luis y Prado founded this program where they wish to combat the manufacturing skills gap and give veterans much-needed work that is not only stable but well paying. If you want to help this amazing organization, you can read about our visit. We also got to interview Hernán at FABTECH 2016, which you can watch here.

MOMENT # 7: Another big moment for us was when we premiered our comic character Shop Floor Man. Not only was it a cute idea, but it was also a statement from us that we really want to delve into the new media movement that is growing within the manufacturing industry.

“This is great for social media,” Christina M. Fuges of MoldMaking Technology stated about Shop Floor Man’s creation. She wrote about how our Marketing Coordinator “heard how social media isn’t valuable for this line of busines but believes this could not be further from the truth.”

MOMENT # 6: Social events at our company, such as our office parties, the bowling night we had, and going to the top of Willis Tower in Chicago, were all a hoot. Because some of our employees work in other offices around the country, it can be difficult for all of us to get together. We are grateful for all of the moments we have been able to have all our employees under one roof to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

MOMENT # 5: Halloween was a lot of fun this year. Everyone brought in snacks and we had a costume contest. The winners were Amanda as Beetlejuice, Amy as Wonder Woman, and Greg as a Minecraft character.

MOMENT # 4: Seeing Blue Man Group in Las Vegas during FABTECH 2016. Sam and Greg were “dragged” to see Blue Man Group by Amanda, who is a big fan of the crazy music trio. The guys ended up loving the show and everyone stayed afterward to meet some of the Blue Men. It was a fun bonding experience and our faces were sore from smiling and laughing during the show.

MOMENT # 3: Farewell to John. This is one of the bittersweet moments of 2016. John had been with our company for five years, but he decided that it was time to move on and pursue some of his dreams. We definitely support that he wanted to spread his wings, so we threw him a farewell party at Fuddruckers, one of his favorite places to grab a burger.

MOMENT # 2: Premiering the Multi Connect at IMTS 2016. Although the device is not ready for purchase yet, setting it up for display at IMTS and FABTECH has garnered a lot of interest. We look forward to the possibilities it has, and as you can see, it definitely is a good looking piece of tech!

MOMENT # 1: We love all of the moments this year in which we got to interact with our amazing customers. Whether it was over the phone, at a shop visit, or at a trade show, thank you for making us who we are today.

Honorable mention to Michael at MiniMachine, who posed for this great photo for us at IMTS 2016.  He uses Predator DNC through us and loves our G-code shirts. He actually came to that show already wearing the shirt, and he filmed this customer success story, too!

Happy New Year from Shop Floor Automations! If you want to make 2017 great for your shop floor, call us at (877) 611-5825.