General Information

The most common FANUC alarm codes are 086 where no hardware handshaking is occurring.

It can also be known as DR Signal Off, which means your cable connection is bad.

We also see 073 alot, which means the program number has already been used.

There are several different Fanuc parameters for the series of controls available, but we do have most of them.

If you’re an existing customer, submit a support request with the model # you have so we can assist you. You can also call (877) 611-5825

If you are on a support contract, you can call us from Monday through Friday during our business hours, which is 7 AM to 4 PM Pacific Time. Otherwise, please contact us for special After Hours availability.

Yes, you have the option of doing a ‘support only’ support contract if you are currently one version behind the most current version of the software.

However, please note that choosing a ‘support and upgrades’ contract will allow you to have the newest version of your software installed if you are behind on the software version, or if a new version is released.

Shop Floor Automations provides 24 hour support for all of the products we sell for customers who are on our maintenance service contracts.

If you request support after normal business hours, someone from our team will assess the urgency of the request. If appropriate, you will be contacted within 2 hours.

Otherwise, our Support Staff will contact you the following business day.

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or RX activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool for $20, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

For CNC buffer overflow errors, the process of disabling your ‘FIFO-buffer’ when using the PC’s standard COM ports depends on the version of Windows you are using.

In Windows NT 4:

  • Go to the Control Panel. If ‘Ports’ is available, double-click on it.
  • Choose the port in question
  • Press ‘Settings,’
  • Press ‘Advanced,’
  • Uncheck ‘Fifo enable.’

In Windows 95-98 (all versions):

  • Go to the Control Panel and open ‘System’
  • Find the port under ‘Serial ports’
  • Press ‘Properties’
  • Press ‘Advanced’
  • Uncheck ‘Fifo enable’
  • Reboot your PC after these changes

In Windows 7, 8, and 8.1:

  • Go to the Control Panel
  • Open the Device Manager
  • Press the ‘+’ button next to ‘Ports (COM & LPT)’
  • Right-click on the COM port you wish to change
  • Choose ‘Properties’
  • Click on the tab at the top that says ‘Port Settings’
  • Press the ‘Advanced Settings’ button
  • This will prompt you with a window with FIFO settings
  • Uncheck the box at the top and FIFO will be disabled on your device
  • Reboot your PC after these changes

If this does not help, your cable might be too long, or it may be placed next to a power cable, creating a lot of noise.

For the Wired and Wireless Connect units from SFA, you will need to alter the FIFO setting using the proprietary software used to handle the drivers for your product. If you have one of these devices, then you will need to first run NPort Windows driver manager.

Once it starts, select the desired port, click ‘Setting,’ choose the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab, then set ‘FIFO’ to disabled.

ASCII is the most common format for text files in computers and on the Internet.

In an ASCII file, each alphabetic, numeric, or special character is represented with a 7-bit binary number (a string of seven 0s or 1s). 128 possible characters are defined. UNIX and DOS-based operating systems (except for Windows NT) use ASCII for text files.

Newer versions of Windows use a newer code, Unicode. IBM’s System 390 servers use a proprietary 8-bit code called EBCDIC. Conversion programs allow different operating systems to change a file from one code to another.

ASCII was developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). A chart of ASCII characters and their decimal or hexadecimal equivalent can be found at asciitable.com

Mazatrol is a proprietary conversational programming language that is standard on all Mazak mills and lathes. It is primarily used for 2 & 2 1/2 axis work and is especially popular for turning applications.

It has a different format than G-code programming and is supported by Predator DNC by using the Mazatrol link in your commands.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

In the early 1960’s, a standards committee, today known as the Electronic Industries Association, developed a common interface standard for data communications equipment. At that time, data communications were thought to mean digital data exchange between a centrally located mainframe computer and a remote computer terminal, or possibly between two terminals without a computer involved.

These devices were linked by telephone voice lines and consequently required a modem at each end for signal translation. While simple in concept, the many opportunities for data error that occur when transmitting data through an analog channel, as it requires a relatively complex design.

It was thought that a standard was needed first to ensure reliable communication, and second to enable the interconnection of equipment produced by different manufacturers, thereby fostering the benefits of mass production and competition. From these ideas, the RS232 standard was born. It specified signal voltages, signal timing, signal function, a protocol for information exchange, and mechanical connectors.

If a proprietary or special high-speed transfer method is required by the CNC control, the customer may have to be upgraded to Predator DNC. Unlike the Editor, Predator DNC is designed to support proprietary and special high-speed transfer methods. Refer to our DNC Objects section for more details.

Yes, you can monitor machine overrides with most FANUC FOCAS based controls or MTConnect enabled controls, you can easily monitor when your operators are turning the feed rates down.

Yes – Some NC programs include many M00/M01 (program or optional stops), but the CNC machine shows that as cycling.

On FANUC controls with FOCAS, we can have the machine go into either an idle state or unplanned downtime when M00/M01 are active.

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Cloud/Monthly Machine Monitoring

Each level of DataXchange has different CNC data collection features. Therefore, you will get different machine notifications depending on what level you use.

Typical machine monitoring requests from customers:

  • Lower feedrate overrides? All feedrate overrides can be tracked with all levels of DataXchange.
  • Unknown downtime? Yes – with all versions. Includes CNC downtime reasons such as CNC program stop, machine sitting in feed hold, etc.
  • Planned machine downtime? Input notes for planned downtime such as coolant change, tool change, lockout tagout, and more with levels Silver, Gold and Platinum.
  • Shop floor utilization? OEE can be tracked with levels Gold and Platinum only.
  • Mobile machine monitoring? DataXchange users can achieve iPhone CNC monitoring and Android CNC monitoring through the software. Ask us for more info.
  • Email and text machine notifications? Yes, for Silver, Gold and Platinum levels.
  • CNC notifications, including machine downtime notifications? It depends on the type of notifications you want from different equipment activity.

Want machine historical data? Machine usage stats? Machine cycle status? Or have custom needs? Contact us

Yes, this machine monitoring software is available for Apple iOs and on Google Android devices.

If you want to collect CNC machine data, there are various methods to collect real-time status information from a CNC.

We have solutions that make it possible to monitor all types of machines and equipment from manual machines, boilers, cell controllers, assembly lines, and of course the obvious, CNC machines. all while providing one interface to see the real-time status and run historical reports.

Collection methods include network-based protocols, MTConnect, wiring PLC’s to electrical points, bar code scanners, RFID’s, manual user input, and more. We also recommend machine monitoring through Predator MDC and Scytec DataXchange.

The Scytec DataXchange Settings page displays the Account Settings, along with the Settings to enable automatic login into the application.  In addition, the initial page that is displayed after login can be set up, as well.

The Options displayed will vary, depending on the currently selected Chart Type.  Options are used to select information such as filter by specific status.

The Equipment page is used to select specific equipment for display in the static charts.  If User or Company Groups have been configured within the DataXchange

If User or Company Groups have been configured within the DataXchange application, then those will be available for use in the mobile applications as well.

Many quick selectors are available for selecting a time frame, or the individual controls can be used to select any specific time range.

The Scytec Process Control System is available in four versions. Any quantity combination of versions can be used allowing some equipment to only collect cycle status while other equipment also collects downtimes, etc.

For Bronze, cycling and idling status are automatically tracked and collected from the equipment. Cycle status can also include multiple types of cycle time including spindle time and runtime. There is unlimited reporting access and mobile reporting is included.

The Scytec Process Control System is available in four versions. Any quantity combination of versions can be used allowing some equipment to only collect cycle status while other equipment also collects downtimes, etc.

Silver level includes all the features of Bronze Level and adds the ability to track planned and unplanned downtime. The various reasons for downtime can be captured through bar code scanners and data entry at a computer to better explain why idle time occurs.

Common reason codes for CNC downtime are setup, maintenance, tooling, quality, breaks, meetings, waiting on material and others. Keep in mind, when the machine is not running, it is considered idle unless otherwise defined with a reason code.

The Scytec Process Control System is available in four versions. Any quantity combination of versions can be used allowing some equipment to only collect cycle status while other equipment also collects downtimes, etc.

Gold level includes all features of the product and also tracks good, rejected and scrap parts. Users can also be tracked along with work orders to help improve feedback to any business system.

OEE is also included which allows the user to input standard times for parts to generate accurate calculations to prove what they have measured. Data can also be exported to Microsoft Excel.

Pricing

The pricing for Scytec DataXchange is straightforward and simple.  There is a one-time setup fee per account and then a monthly fee per piece of equipment.  Discounts are provided as your quantity of equipment increases.

The user interface will vary some between the Apple iOS applications and the Google Android applications, however, the functionality between the two is generally the same.

The Scytec DataXchange application must be used to collect data and to set up basic information, such as Users, Password, and the Equipment. The mobile application will utilize the information entered in DataXchange as well as utilize settings such as the translation assignments.

For example, if Spanish is set as the translation for a user, then the mobile device will utilize the same Spanish translations.

Mobile apps are available for iPad and iPhones. The apps allow real-time viewing and automatic updating of the equipment status along with the ability to generate a variety of historical charts.The iPad and iPhone apps are available on the Apple App store. Click the App Store link or scan the QR code to go to the App Store to purchase and download the app.

Google Android AppsMobile apps are available – coming soon for Android phones and tablets. The apps allow real-time viewing and automatic updating of the equipment status along with the ability to generate a variety of historical charts.The Android tablet and phone apps will be available on Google Play very soon.

The iPhone and iPod Touch view of the current status for all of the equipment. The current status updates automatically once a minute.

The first time the application is run the Account information must be entered on the Account page.

The Account Number and Account Password will be retained and will not have to be entered each time the application starts.  Once the Account information has been saved the username and password must be entered to log in.

The username and password will not be retained automatically, however, Auto Login can be enabled on the Settings page.

Once your settings are set up, collect from Ethernet or RS232 based devices
In addition to supporting the latest technologies, DataXchange also supports RS232 serial devices such as CNC machines, CMM’s, scanners and RFID hardware.

Collect from CNC machines, PLCs, or even manual machines
While collecting from equipment with the latest technology such as MTConnect is great, many times there’s a need to collect from manual equipment. Keying off of voltage, current, or presence sensors are all methods used as input into DataXchange to identify the state of the equipment.

If the Internet connection is lost, data is retained and automatically uploaded once the connection is restored
Temporary loss of internet connectivity will not cause the loss of any data. If the data collection terminal running DataXchange locally cannot connect to any of the hosted servers the data will be retained locally and uploaded as soon as the internet connection is restored.

The Sytec DataXchange current status screen shows a list of all of the equipment. Each row contains four pieces of information.

The color icon will represent the General Status and will use the color assigned to the associated Status Type. The machine name will be displayed, and then the middle text will show the specific status is one is active.

If a specific status is not active then the general status will be displayed. The text on the bottom will be the amount of time the equipment has been in the associated status. The current status will update automatically approximately once a minute.

The Chart Type screen provides the ability to select a specific chart for viewing.

All charts that are generated from the Chart Type page are static charts, they will not update automatically.  Associated information such as the time frame and the equipment must be selected before a chart can be generated.

Yes. Almost all models of Mazak controllers can be monitoring with MTConnect. 

Mazak has embraced the MTConnect standard to allow for software updates to older controls back to T2, M/T32, Plus, Fusion, etc.  For more information, send us an email for a complete listing and how to update your controller.

This is the latest Industry 4.0 technology being utilized by manufacturing companies to monitor CNC machines without the hassle of databases, servers, web servers, firewalls, or any IT challenges.

Report real-time CNC machine data including uptime, downtime, reason codes, alarms and more across the web or on your mobile device. DataXchange, in particular, offers incentives for using Cloud-based monitoring, such as no contracts and monthly per machine pricing.

Scytec DataXchange uses a single PC located in your facility which is connected to the equipment.

There are no servers to maintain or purchase but Microsoft SQL licensing is required. Each user has an individual login, which can be configured to their language of choice. Each login has a set of permissions which define the areas of the cloud machine monitoring software that can be accessed.

Data is automatically collected from equipment to indicate a running or an idle status and includes various downtime codes as well. Data can be access from anywhere with an internet connection, including phones and tablets.

There are several reporting options available in the product.

Real-time configurable dashboards, trend reporting and desktop and mobile charting are all available. The real-time viewer (RTV) is user/company based live display which includes timelines, current status, and grids.

The trend reports include cycle time, unknown downtime, planned, and unplanned downtime. Any computer or mobile device with access to the Internet can chart historical and current status information to allow for easy off-site reporting.

Licensing is simple and straightforward with Scytec.

The licensing is based on the number of equipment collecting data and there are discounts based on the quantity of equipment.  There are no license keys and the license is assigned to the equipment and can be moved to other CNC equipment as desired.

You will need:

  1. Focas option on FANUC CNC (Active)
  2. Embedded network port on FANUC CNC (Active)
  3. Network cable ran from your network to FANUC CNC machine
  4. Static IP address for FANUC CNC
  5. A valid subscription to a version of DataXchange
  6. PC that has Microsoft .NET Framework 4 (This PC must be running at all times)

Yes – this is fully supported with your account.

Yes! Common data that is available through the FOCAS are CNC state (running, idle, alarm), part count information, program name, number, size, and date modified, tool and work offsets, alarm number and text, feed overrides, parameters, positional data, spindle speed, and Modal data.

In order to see if you have FANUC FOCAS available on your CNC, is to first check if you have Ethernet. To do that follow these steps:

  • Press the [SYSTEM] hard key
  • Press [>] approximately 5 times until you see *ETHEPRM*
  • Press [ETHRM] soft key, followed by [OPRT]
  • This will display the ethernet connections available
  • Select a connection (normally EMBEDD or BOARD)
  • Press the [DOWN] hard key. (page 2)
  • This should display FOCAS / ETHERNET

If those steps took you to the Ethernet page and/or the FOCAS page, then you’re good to go! Contact us for more information.

Yes. MTConnect is a set of open, royalty-free standards intended to generate greater communication between CNC controls, device and software applications by publishing data over networks using the Internet Protocol.

Scytec DataXchange is the software application used to collect, report and chart the results of the data collection via a cloud-based solution.

Yes, you can mix and match versions under one account.

Yes, you can monitor machine overrides with most FANUC FOCAS based controls or MTConnect enabled controls, you can easily monitor when your operators are turning the feed rates down.

Via our DataXchange product page, the Status Relay Control (SRC) helps simplify ease of collection from equipment via a signal/combo of signals.

Connect to outputs from another system (EXAMPLE: a CNC, a PLC, or devices like a proximity sensor). Scytec DataXchange reads all inputs of status to help users create a better understanding of their machines.

More information about it:

  • for machines not MTConnect of FANUC FOCAS based
  • no programming required & has a low price
  • can be wired or wireless
  • has 8 data collecting inputs
  • 6 outputs for triggering
  • has an RS232 serial interface
  • is powered off 24 volts
  • typically used with Serial to Ethernet converter

For more information, contact the SFA Sales Department for an in-depth brochure on the SRC.

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DNC Software

Yes – leveraging the Xmodel protocol built in to your CNC with DNC software is the best protocol to use for error correction transfers.

Category: DNC Software

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or RX activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool for $20, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

Mazatrol is a proprietary conversational programming language that is standard on all Mazak mills and lathes. It is primarily used for 2 & 2 1/2 axis work and is especially popular for turning applications.

It has a different format than G-code programming and is supported by Predator DNC by using the Mazatrol link in your commands.

Predator DNC supports FTP (File Transfer Protocol) as well as Windows Share (mapped drives) for communication to the CNC.

The advantage of using this connection is faster speed and ease of connection to the network. The machine will require configuration from your network administrator to provide IPs, drive letters, user and permission controls. Some corporate networks do not allow this equipment to be connected through FTP due to security issues and potential risk of viruses.

Furthermore, most operating systems on CNCs are out-dated running Windows 95, 98, Server 2000 or NT. Updates to the operating system are not permitted typically from the machine tool builder, unlike computers used in the office.

Due to issues such as these, Predator DNC software now also supports Secure DNC, which allows encrypted communication via only two TCP ports. It can also transmit not only main programs but also subprograms and library programs to the correct folders in your CNC working memory and/or hard drive. It supports operating systems as old as Windows 95 and has extremely minimal system requirements that essentially any Windows-based CNC can meet.

It is also worth noting that Predator DNC now supports Fanuc FOCAS communication, which can rapidly send programs directly in and out of Fanuc i-Series controls. This is done without any action needed at the CNC itself, unlike older Serial send/receive processes. Moreover, Predator DNC now also supports Ethernet-based communications for DMG Mori (formerly Mori Seiki) machines running MAPPS versions II, III, and IV. This, in a fashion very similar to Fanuc FOCAS, allows programs to be sent in and out of CNC controllers, over the network, without any operator input needed at the machine.

Category: DNC Software

If you see a gray screen when you open Predator DNC, you will need to map the location of your PXP file.

To do this, open the DNC in Administrator mode, (Start -> All Programs -> Predator DNC Administrator) choose “File”, and then “Open”. Now point to the location of your PXP file and click “Open” again.

Category: DNC Software

To make any changes in Predator DNC, you must open the program in “Administrator Mode”. Cancel any open connections, close the application, and then choose “Start” -> “All Programs” -> “Predator DNC Administrator”.

Category: DNC Software

Most of the time, this is caused by having improper serial communication (RS232) parameters set.

Check to make sure your baud rate, parity, data bit, and stop bit within Predator DNC match the settings on your control.

When in doubt, leave the default settings. Check the physical connections to make sure everything is properly attached.

If you are unsure, call us for support at (619) 461-4000

Category: DNC Software

No. The first Windows 7 version compatible of Predator DNC is Version 9. However, version 9 and version 10 are both compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

If you have an older version but would like to use Predator DNC on a Windows 7 machine, call us!

Yes, numerous software upgrades are available from any level of Predator DNC Hardware. Upgrades depend on each type of hardware.

The Connect series of hardware from SFA is designed to add ports at any time and offers a very easy upgrade path. Contact us to ensure there are no issues.

Yes. Haas CNC’s can communicate to Predator DNC Software using serial RS232 connection or FTP.

Haas FTP is also supported through Predator DNC to enable faster communication. Each Haas control can be configured in the software and can be configured for any method.

Predator DNC communicates up to 115K baud rate to the Haas using Xmodem and hardware handshaking.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Predator DNC will continue to send any data in the NC program until done. The cause is usually due to a blank line, space or some other character after the percent sign at the bottom of the program.

To fix this issue, add a Clean Code Link to the Send to CNC Command. Place the Clean Code link above the COM port Terminator in the Object Manager. On the configuration screen of the Clean Code – Send, select the box Send % to % (included) to only send the data between the percent signs.

An alternative solution is to use a Command Time Out. To use this option, add the Command Time Out Link above the COM port Terminator on the Send to CNC command. Do this in the “Object Manager” Screen. Once placed, insert the values of the time out and number of characters on the Properties page. Note: If the time is too short, data could be cut off early, we recommend 1 minutes.

To add a CNC to Predator DNC, a few items are required.

  • Available Serial Port
  • Available DNC License
  • Make and Model of the CNC Control
  • Copy Existing / Similar or Sample PXP

Begin by confirming you have an available serial port on the Predator DNC Hub or PC. Take note of where the new RS232 cable will connect (port number and hub).

Check the Windows Control Panel | Device Manager to determine the port number and communication port. If installed by SFA, the system will begin at COM 5 = Port 1; COM6 = Port 2. The exact settings can be determined by reviewing the Multiport Serial Adapter from the Device Manager.

Determine the number of CNCs currently configured in the DNC Networking System. If the number of CNC exceeds the current DNC License, a license upgrade will be required. While in the DNC Software, select HELP | ABOUT for the current license purchased, ie. DNC/8.

If a license is available, then proceed.

Launch the Predator DNC Administrator if not currently in this mode. Select Command | Cancel All. Next, find a similar CNC / Machine in your current PXP. Select the CNC with your mouse, right click, select {COPY}. Select the Predator Red Gear at the top of the Predator Software, right click and select {Paste}. This creates a copy of the existing machine. Modify this copied CNC to match the Communication Port number as well as the baud rate, parity, and stop bits. The machine directory and any other features can be modified by using the Predator Wizard.

Category: DNC Software

DNC Objects are software options that extend Predator DNC for special customer applications.

DNC Objects can add databases, spreadsheet, and email connectivity, improve high-speed machining, offer greater lights out reliability, automatic error correction, and support for proprietary CNC controls. Predator DNC Objects support any RS232 hardware including DNC bundles, Flex series, and PC COM ports.

A DNC Object development kit is available for even further customization or integration.

NOTE: Predator DNC Clients usually do not require DNC Objects.

Category: DNC Software

Yes, Predator DNC supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names.

Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC

Predator DNC can also automatically name your files when uploading to the server. They can be “auto-named” using their O-number, a user-chosen name, the first comment in the file, and so on.

Yes, Predator DNC does support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files directly from the CNC control.

Category: DNC Software

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

The following example will automatically delete extra carriage returns during a Receive from CNC command.

Receive Translate CharactersTranslate Action
\013Remove
\010Replace with \013\010
Category: DNC Software

The Predator CNC Editor bundled with the DNC Networking Software is controlled by the license of the Predator DNC Software. The SIM and the serial number from the DNC will enable the full version of the CNC Editor.

Currently, there is no option to split the seat from the DNC Networking license. However, you may install the Predator CNC Editor on as many PCs as you wish and use the “light” version of the product for general editing purposes.

A stand-alone full version is available if needed. Contact our sales department.

You can access the DNC COM port configuration one of two ways:

In the Edit menu, Click “Template” > Choose your template > Click “Next” > Choose your MCH file > Name your template if necessary > Click “Next” > Click “DNC Properties.” > Check “Wait for CNC”

Alternatively, in the DNC Menu, click “Properties” > Navigate to the “DNC Properties” window > Check the “Wait For CNC” box > Click Next until Finish is available > Click “Finish.”

DNC is a menu option in CNC Editor. DNC refers to any communication to and from the machine tool and is a generic term.

The CNC Editor will support communications up to a baud rate of 19,200. The communication can be configured for hardware, software, or both flow control along with various data bits, stop bits and parity.

If you want to communicate to your machines faster, then talk to our Sales department about purchasing Predator DNC software.

Yes, Predator CNC Editor supports an unlimited number of different machines and can communicate with multiple machines. Each machine can have unique COM port, baud rate, and numerous other properties. The Editor supports switchboxes, intelligent switchboxes, and the entire line of Predator DNC and Connect AKA FlexN hardware.

NOTE: The Predator CNC Editor can only communicate to one machine at a time and is not designed for simultaneous multitasking operations to multiple machines. If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC, which is designed to support machines simultaneously.

No, CNC Editor does not support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files from the CNC control.

If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC software, which is designed to support Remote Request for up to 1024 machines simultaneously.

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The SIM Wrapper Error is actually one of many various errors generated during licensing. If you recently moved your computer then you may have forgotten to move your USB license key to your new computer.

If you are still experiencing issues after moving the USB SIM over, or cannot find your USB SIM, give us a call and we can assist you with your licensing issues.

Migrating your Predator DNC software over to a new computer is a fairly complex process and there are many reasons your machines may not be communicating.

To make certain that this issue gets resolved, give our Tech Support line a call so we can get your shop back up and running again.

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Remote request through Predator DNC: In many cases, a CNC machine may be located a good distance away from the computer, or perhaps a number of machines are connected to a central computer. In either case, the last thing you want is machine operators running or shouting across the shop, or crowding around the computer.

If your CNC machines are based on a modern operating system, then they might be connected to your company’s Ethernet network and thus able to browse through a remote server’s files. In most cases though, the NC control just doesn’t have any networking capability and are unable to do anything like that.

One thing most CNC’s can do, however, is to send and receive files via RS232. They can’t request files from computers, but they can send files to computers. So, what we can do is create a small program on the CNC, write our request into that file, and sent that file to the computer. As long as the computer, in this example running the software Predator DNC, is expecting such a file, it would see the incoming data, read the request, and complete whatever action was contained within. In this example, Predator DNC has been programmed to expect such simple file requests from pretty much any CNC as long as the CNC is capable of punching out a CNC program through the serial port.

Before you can use the server mode within Predator DNC, you need to set it up and enable it. We’ll explain that in a moment. First, we’ll give an example of what you can do with it. In our examples, we’ll describe usage with a machine like a FANUC because there are lots of other makes and models of CNC which adhere to the same ISO data standards. We can also show you a couple of alternatives, so you can adjust this method to suit other machines.

In the CNC control, we first create a small program using a program number that isn’t used by the machine. We call this program the Remote Request, because we use it to request a program from the PC remotely. Let’s use program number 7 as our Remote program (O7777). You can, of course, use any program number you want. In our example we want the PC to send program number 1234 into the machine. On a FANUC we’d create a small Remote program like this:-

%

O7777

(LOAD 1234)

M30

%

That’s it: just those five lines. When you’re ready, send (“Punch”) the Remote Request to the computer and quickly switch the CNC into “Input” / ”Read” mode. When Predator DNC receives the request it opens the file, sees the command (LOAD) and the following text (1234) and knows that the CNC is waiting for program 1234. Predator DNC pulls the file from the machine’s default folder, loads it up, and sends it to the CNC.

Keep the Remote program stored on your CNC, so you can use it again. Next time you use it, just edit the text between the parentheses to request any other program. For more remote request info, check out this video from our YouTube channel

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On-Premise Machine Monitoring

Predator machine monitoring through Predator MDC is available in an Express, Standard and Enterprise versions. Each version is upgraded to the next level and includes functionality to collect data.

Predator MDC Express is a paper-based solution to allow users to collect data manually and report and chart data on events that happen previously.

Predator MDC Standard version is real-time data collection of utilization from the machines and collects cycle time, idle time, alarm and downtime.

Predator MDC Enterprise version is for companies who want to collect OEE, track parts, users, plus other metrics and interface the data with other business systems.

Yes. Predator MDC is real-time machine monitoring software that automatically collects, reports, charts and processes real-time shop floor manufacturing data including OEE, cycle time, idle time, setup time, teardown time, machine downtime and more.

Predator MDC improves manufacturing by supplying accurate shop floor metrics to improve operations and to make better decisions. The Predator MDC is an application that is installed on a computer inside the company facility.

It is only available as an on-premise solution.

If you want to collect CNC machine data, there are various methods to collect real-time status information from a CNC.

We have solutions that make it possible to monitor all types of machines and equipment from manual machines, boilers, cell controllers, assembly lines, and of course the obvious, CNC machines. all while providing one interface to see the real-time status and run historical reports.

Collection methods include network-based protocols, MTConnect, wiring PLC’s to electrical points, bar code scanners, RFID’s, manual user input, and more. We also recommend machine monitoring through Predator MDC and Scytec DataXchange.

No. Currently, the product is designed as an application that runs on a Windows platform.

Mobile applications for Android and Apple phones and iPads are not developed. A customer can create their own applications using other applications if desired since there are APIs and open databases available.

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

Yes. 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.

A typical practice is when downloading the NC program into the machine, the system will automatically track the part #, job #, user and place the status of the work order in setup. Upon cycling the part, the status of the machine would change from in setup to in cycle.

Yes. Using Predator MDC Express, users can print out the data collection form to enter cycle information, part quantity, good and scrap parts, and other metrics. Predator MDC standard also supports manual monitoring of events that are initiated by machine operators such as machine log on/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. SFA does provide an Android solution to also input this data via a tablet.

Yes. Dedicate one or more large-screen monitors on the shop floor for real-time digital signage using Predator MDC.

Create slides of charts, dashboards, and reports with specific filters and details. Eliminate manual posting of paper reports and charts on the shop floor. Provide a focal point for standup shop meetings while enforcing productivity and manufacturing metrics that management, engineering, and quality departments care about. Eliminate the clutter of paper and go high tech!

Over 1300 reports and charts provide unique insight into the productivity and efficiency of each manufacturer.

The flexibility of the reporting and charting options within Predator MDC converts the volume of data collected into concise reports and charts to identify issues and drive improved productivity. Eliminate manual OEE driven data collection and OEE spreadsheets. Software supports real-time OEE data collection with an OEE Dashboard, OEE Performance ranking charts, OEE Trend Analysis charts and OEE Reports.

Predator MDC standard and enterprise versions support up to 4096 CNC machines, robots, PLCs and ATE Test Stands per PC.

Data the software can monitor – simultaneous cycle time, setup time, teardown time, downtimes with reasons, good parts, scrap parts with reasons and an unlimited number of user-defined events.

Predator CNC Service is a comprehensive service designed to work with Predator MDC.

The service can be installed on a computer to communicate to various machine types using proprietary protocols. Predator MDC supports FANUC FOCAS, MTConnect, and Structured XML to capture real-time data from the machine using the network connection of the controller.

Development is also being tested for working with Okuma Thinc controllers on P100 and P200 where the service is installed on the machine. The service will then communicate through APIs and no interface is required.

Predator MDC Administrator is designed for the manufacturing department head or IS/manufacturing project lead to manage real-time machine monitoring processes centered on time and utilization. This seat is required with every purchase and allows for the creation of equipment, departments, locations, shifts, parts, reason codes, users, permissions and other administrative tasks.

Predator MDC Client is designed for personnel and users that need to run MDC reports and charts centered on time and utilization. Users can also see real-time data on a dashboard.

Predator MDC Shop Floor is designed for data entry for shop floor personnel. The software can also be used to display real-time data on the shop floor using LCD monitors or can be displayed in Engineering and Quality Departments to provide feedback on equipment status.

Predator Machine Monitoring is available in an Express, Standard, and Enterprise version.

Each version is upgraded to the next level and includes functionality to collect data. Predator MDC Express is a paper-based solution to allow users to collect data manually, report and chart data on events that happen previously.

Yes, you can monitor machine overrides with most FANUC FOCAS based controls or MTConnect enabled controls, you can easily monitor when your operators are turning the feed rates down.

Yes – Predator Machine Monitoring (MDC) includes a product called Predator CNC Service, which can be installed on the controller without any modifications to the controller.  This product will run as a Windows Service in the background and communicate directly to the Predator MDC data collection software over Ethernet.

Big data can be extracted from the controller with little effort to capture cycle status, idle time, alarm, emergency stop, feed hold, and part counts.  This results in real-time events as well as historical data on machine productivity and downtime.

From our Predator MDC product page – Hardware-based data collection for older CNCs, manual machines, and other equipment are supported by the Predator MDC Adapter. Predator MDC Adapters are din rail mounted and are wired into signal lamps, light towers, extended M functions or any digital input or output.

Predator MDC Adapters are available in 5, 12, 24, 48, 110 and 230 volt editions. Domestic and international editions simplify installation and configuration.

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CNC Editor

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

The CNC Editor includes basic editing, printing, and saving for any size part program. Major features such as communication, file compare, backplotting and color highlighting are not included.

Category: CNC Editor

No, the CNC Editor is only designed for editing and reviewing part programs written in G-code. Other products on the market support Mazatrol editing and can be recommended by Shop Floor Automations.

If you are seeking Mazak compatibility, MTConnect is suggested. For Mazak CNC controllers, the MTConnect can be added to the following machines by contacting Mazak directly.

**Note: Mazak Smart CNC can also be updated with SMART ADAPTER #CCWMPD0280E

Category: CNC Editor

The Predator CNC Editor bundled with the DNC Networking Software is controlled by the license of the Predator DNC Software. The SIM and the serial number from the DNC will enable the full version of the CNC Editor.

Currently, there is no option to split the seat from the DNC Networking license. However, you may install the Predator CNC Editor on as many PCs as you wish and use the “light” version of the product for general editing purposes.

A stand-alone full version is available if needed. Contact our sales department.

Creating a CNC Editor custom menu with Predator is for creating a shortcut to launch the desired program within Editor. Instead of going to your desktop or Start menu to start a common application, we can make a “bookmark” type link, which will reside in the options menu of Editor. To add a new custom menu:

  • From the File menu select New Custom Menu…
  • The New Custom Menu Wizard will appear:
Field
Name
Description
Menu
Name
Type a name for the new custom menu item.
Command LineEnter a command line to execute or click the … button to browse the Windows File System for a command line

-Examples of the command line parameter would be “PDnc.exe” for Predator DNC-

  • When finished, click Finish to save the new custom menu. It will appear under the Options menu.

At any time, click Cancel to discard the new custom menu.

A limit of four custom menu items exists. The Menu Name must be unique.

Category: CNC Editor

The wait function is designed to allow the operator to queue a file at the PC to send to the machine, and then receive at the machine.

The steps would be similar to the following:

At the PC, send a file out to the machine, using the wait option

Walk out to the machine and manually receive that file

Once the Wait is enabled, Editor will wait for an “XON” character before sending files. Note that the Wait option is only enabled when flow control is set to either Software or None.

This is different because typically, you would set the CNC control to receive, walk to the PC, and send the file out. Not all machine controls support the “Wait” option. Consult your control operator’s manual for compatibility.

Category: CNC Editor

You can access the DNC COM port configuration one of two ways:

In the Edit menu, Click “Template” > Choose your template > Click “Next” > Choose your MCH file > Name your template if necessary > Click “Next” > Click “DNC Properties.” > Check “Wait for CNC”

Alternatively, in the DNC Menu, click “Properties” > Navigate to the “DNC Properties” window > Check the “Wait For CNC” box > Click Next until Finish is available > Click “Finish.”

DNC is a menu option in CNC Editor. DNC refers to any communication to and from the machine tool and is a generic term.

The Predator CNC Editor Xpress has basic file editing, printing, and basic CNC communication. Color highlighting is not included.  The CNC Editor has file compare, backplot, CNC communication, and more advanced editing features along with color highlighting.

Category: CNC Editor

he CNC Editor Express only supports COM 1 through 8.  If you need additional communication ports beyond COM 9, you will need to upgrade to the full version of the Predator CNC Editor.

Category: CNC Editor

The CNC Editor will support communications up to a baud rate of 19,200. The communication can be configured for hardware, software, or both flow control along with various data bits, stop bits and parity.

If you want to communicate to your machines faster, then talk to our Sales department about purchasing Predator DNC software.

No, the current protocols supported are XOn/XOff along with RTS-CTS. The Predator DNC module would be required to transfer via Xmodem or Mazatrol.

Category: CNC Editor

Yes, the editor supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names. Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC
Category: CNC Editor

Yes, Predator CNC Editor supports an unlimited number of different machines and can communicate with multiple machines. Each machine can have unique COM port, baud rate, and numerous other properties. The Editor supports switchboxes, intelligent switchboxes, and the entire line of Predator DNC and Connect AKA FlexN hardware.

NOTE: The Predator CNC Editor can only communicate to one machine at a time and is not designed for simultaneous multitasking operations to multiple machines. If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC, which is designed to support machines simultaneously.

No, CNC Editor does not support Remote Request. Remote Request eliminates walking back and forth and allows operators to request files from the CNC control.

If this is desired, upgrade to Predator DNC software, which is designed to support Remote Request for up to 1024 machines simultaneously.

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If you are using the CNC Editor to transmit a CNC program, and the control receives the complete file, but Predator is still trying to send, check the end of the CNC program to make sure there are no spaces or other invisible characters after the % sign. Predator CNC Editor stops sending the program when it detects that the last character of the program is a % sign.

In terms of COM port limits with CNC Editor – Yes, the Editor Express can only use COM ports 1-8 and the Full version of the Editor can only use COM ports 1-32.

Category: CNC Editor

Even if the USB SIM is in the computer, and the serial number and access codes have been verified, this problem may still occur.

There are many reasons for this, but the most common and easily solved reasons are:

1. Make sure you are opening the red “Predator DNC Administrator” icon to license your software, if you have codes that license both DNC and Editor. When Editor is licensed through DNC, the codes must be entered in DNC.

2. Make sure you are opening the orange “Predator CNC Editor” icon to license your software if you have codes that are for licensing the Editor. Often, users will try to license using Virtual CNC (blue icon) but codes intended for Editor will license Virtual on their own so that the Backplot functionality is included in Editor.

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MTConnect

If you want to collect CNC machine data, there are various methods to collect real-time status information from a CNC.

We have solutions that make it possible to monitor all types of machines and equipment from manual machines, boilers, cell controllers, assembly lines, and of course the obvious, CNC machines. all while providing one interface to see the real-time status and run historical reports.

Collection methods include network-based protocols, MTConnect, wiring PLC’s to electrical points, bar code scanners, RFID’s, manual user input, and more. We also recommend machine monitoring through Predator MDC and Scytec DataXchange.

MTConnect is a set of open, royalty-free standards intended to foster greater interoperability between controls, devices and software applications by publishing data over networks using the Internet Protocol.

The common communication data shared is XML language that allows for software designers to download, use, embrace the data from the equipment and provide a reporting tool for management. Visit our MTConnect page for more information

Category: MTConnect

Yes. MTConnect is a set of open, royalty-free standards intended to generate greater communication between CNC controls, device and software applications by publishing data over networks using the Internet Protocol.

Scytec DataXchange is the software application used to collect, report and chart the results of the data collection via a cloud-based solution.

Yes, you can monitor machine overrides with most FANUC FOCAS based controls or MTConnect enabled controls, you can easily monitor when your operators are turning the feed rates down.

The MTConnect adapter is a piece of software that translates data produced by shop floor equipment into a format that can be processed by MTConnect applications.

An MTConnect Adapter is usually created by the equipment or software provider, or an integrator.

MTConnect is compatible with:

  • DMG Mori Seiki
  • Mazak
  • Okuma
  • FANUC FOCAS
  • For more Compatible Machines, call (877) 611-5825
Category: MTConnect

MTConnect is a standard for formatting and transmitting data produced by manufacturing equipment so that it can be processed by software applications.

Common uses for this technology are real-time machine monitoring, and historical reporting using charts, graphs, and other visual representations of a shop’s performance.

We provide a list of other compatible machine tool builders on our MTConnect Compatibility resource page or call (877) 611-5825!

Category: MTConnect

An MTConnect agent is software that connects to the adapter and provides access to the data from an MTConnect-enabled device across a network. MTConnect agents format the data to XML and can be accessed by other nodes on the network through HTTP.

Category: MTConnect

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Fanuc FOCAS

The most common FANUC alarm codes are 086 where no hardware handshaking is occurring.

It can also be known as DR Signal Off, which means your cable connection is bad.

We also see 073 alot, which means the program number has already been used.

There are several different Fanuc parameters for the series of controls available, but we do have most of them.

If you’re an existing customer, submit a support request with the model # you have so we can assist you. You can also call (877) 611-5825

FANUC FOCAS has two types: FOCAS 1 and FOCAS 2.

FOCAS 2 is Ethernet and high-speed serial based and must be purchased from GE FANUC.

CNC Controls with FANUC FOCAS include series Oi, 15, 15i, 16, 16i, 18, 18i, 21, 21i, 30i, 31i, 32i and power mate i.

Category: Fanuc FOCAS

You will need:

  1. Focas option on FANUC CNC (Active)
  2. Embedded network port on FANUC CNC (Active)
  3. Network cable ran from your network to FANUC CNC machine
  4. Static IP address for FANUC CNC
  5. A valid subscription to a version of DataXchange
  6. PC that has Microsoft .NET Framework 4 (This PC must be running at all times)

Yes! Common data that is available through the FOCAS are CNC state (running, idle, alarm), part count information, program name, number, size, and date modified, tool and work offsets, alarm number and text, feed overrides, parameters, positional data, spindle speed, and Modal data.

In order to see if you have FANUC FOCAS available on your CNC, is to first check if you have Ethernet. To do that follow these steps:

  • Press the [SYSTEM] hard key
  • Press [>] approximately 5 times until you see *ETHEPRM*
  • Press [ETHRM] soft key, followed by [OPRT]
  • This will display the ethernet connections available
  • Select a connection (normally EMBEDD or BOARD)
  • Press the [DOWN] hard key. (page 2)
  • This should display FOCAS / ETHERNET

If those steps took you to the Ethernet page and/or the FOCAS page, then you’re good to go! Contact us for more information.

Yes, you can monitor machine overrides with most FANUC FOCAS based controls or MTConnect enabled controls, you can easily monitor when your operators are turning the feed rates down.

Yes – Some NC programs include many M00/M01 (program or optional stops), but the CNC machine shows that as cycling.

On FANUC controls with FOCAS, we can have the machine go into either an idle state or unplanned downtime when M00/M01 are active.

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Shop Floor Hardware

Simply plugging in the device may not always work. You may need to download the drivers for the hardware from our website prior to installing the device.

Otherwise, please contact Support.

Answer: Here are some steps to look into taking for this issue.

  • Does the Haas say FLOPPY DONE when you attempted to save a file to the Floppy Connect?
  • IF YES, then do an F4 command on the Haas and select EDIT to view the DIR (Directory) of the floppy emulator.
  • Is the program that you were trying to save shown in the DIR?
  • If YES, then before you remove the USB flash drive from the emulator, push the round RES button on the front of the emulator
  • Wait for a moment until all the LEDs stop flashing
  • After the flashing LEDs stop, then remove the USB flash drive
  • Take the USB stick to your PC to confirm the files have saved on the drive

Predator Flex Hardware does NOT work under Windows 7 or 8 due to the lack of support for drivers from the manufacturer. The hardware may fit inside of a PC, but known issues have been found in the reliability of communication to the CNC, as well as instances of blue screens.

We also do not recommend running the hardware in a newer PC due to lost functionality in performance and protocol support.

An upgrade is available from SFA to move towards FLEXN or FLEXW hardware, which is supported by Windows 7 and 8 and uses a network connection and network protocols instead of a dedicated ISA/PCI card on the motherboard to communicate with your FLEXN/FLEXW hardware.

Shop Floor Automations has the hardware for wireless and wired solutions on the shop floor, as well as solutions that work with the MTConnect Protocol and can connect multiple ways. Be sure to contact us for more information on what hardware is best for you, depending on your setup!

If your Wireless Connect unit only shows 2 red LEDs for the wireless signal strength, the wireless receiver on the device is receiving a weak signal from the wireless access point.

We recommend using an external antenna or moving the antenna to a better location. The optimal location for any wireless device is going to involve having a direct line of sight from the antenna to the access point you intend to communicate with.

Yes. If you want to achieve CNC machine communication with a wireless hub, there are a variety of ways you can connect your machines wirelessly.

After selecting appropriate hardware, our technicians come onsite to install it or will walk you through how to install it over a remote/phone session.

Using the most current RS232 and networking technology with thoroughly tested equipment encourages a process that will withstand the difficult environments of a machine shop floor.

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or RX activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool for $20, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

For CNC buffer overflow errors, the process of disabling your ‘FIFO-buffer’ when using the PC’s standard COM ports depends on the version of Windows you are using.

In Windows NT 4:

  • Go to the Control Panel. If ‘Ports’ is available, double-click on it.
  • Choose the port in question
  • Press ‘Settings,’
  • Press ‘Advanced,’
  • Uncheck ‘Fifo enable.’

In Windows 95-98 (all versions):

  • Go to the Control Panel and open ‘System’
  • Find the port under ‘Serial ports’
  • Press ‘Properties’
  • Press ‘Advanced’
  • Uncheck ‘Fifo enable’
  • Reboot your PC after these changes

In Windows 7, 8, and 8.1:

  • Go to the Control Panel
  • Open the Device Manager
  • Press the ‘+’ button next to ‘Ports (COM & LPT)’
  • Right-click on the COM port you wish to change
  • Choose ‘Properties’
  • Click on the tab at the top that says ‘Port Settings’
  • Press the ‘Advanced Settings’ button
  • This will prompt you with a window with FIFO settings
  • Uncheck the box at the top and FIFO will be disabled on your device
  • Reboot your PC after these changes

If this does not help, your cable might be too long, or it may be placed next to a power cable, creating a lot of noise.

For the Wired and Wireless Connect units from SFA, you will need to alter the FIFO setting using the proprietary software used to handle the drivers for your product. If you have one of these devices, then you will need to first run NPort Windows driver manager.

Once it starts, select the desired port, click ‘Setting,’ choose the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab, then set ‘FIFO’ to disabled.

No, because the RJ45 port on the front of the unit is designed for future functionality and is currently inactive. Currently, the only method to load the device is via the USB stick. We do, however, provide solutions for interfacing between a CNC control and network storage.

You must use a stick that is 2GB or smaller in the floppy drive emulator. The flash drives must be formatted as “FAT” or “FAT-16.” 32-bit FAT (“FAT-32”) will NOT work with the floppy emulator.

Shop Floor Automations recommends a DB25 RS232 mini tester with every hardware order. We terminate our RS232 cabling with RJ45 connectors and have different adapters to tailor to each installation. Depending on your machine, you may require different pinouts on the adapters.

To test the correct pin-out in the cabling:

  • Connect the cable to the PC, Hub, or switchbox.
  • At the other end of the cabling, where the control would normally plug in, connect the tester. Without the tester plugged in the machine, you should see have “RD” lit and “TD” unlit.
  • For most applications, the other lights do not matter. If you plug the tester into the CNC machine control, you should then see “TD” lit.

If you have any variation of this, your machine will not communicate properly.

Your floppy drive emulator will work with your CNC machine so long as you are using standard DOS-readable disks. There is a 99% chance that the Floppy Drive Emulator, previously known as the FD Connect, will work. Please provide the make and model of your current floppy drive and confirm you can read the floppy disks in a Windows or DOS PC, and Shop Floor Automations can tell you which FD Connect model will work for your CNC Machine.

Our Haas-specific floppy drive emulator has plug-and-play ability. You can see our tutorial about on YouTube or read about it in our technical video transcription page.

When ordering the non-Haas specific emulator, please provide your Salesperson with the make and model of your current floppy drive and confirm you can read the floppy disks in a Windows or DOS PC, and Shop Floor Automations can tell you which model will work for your CNC Machine.

The Floppy Connect (previously known as the FD Connect) can emulate a 720 kb or a 1.44 MB floppy drive. Due to limitations of the firmware on the CNC controller, the floppy emulator must use the same size limitation on the USB stick.

SFA supplies a USB stick that can be formatted to allow for simple transfers from the computer to the floppy drive emulator. More info on going from floppy disks to USB sticks on the shop floor.

The green LED indicates a Floppy Read or Write operation has been done. No green light at all, or a solid green light, indicates a problem. Please contact SFA Support if you are seeing this on your floppy drive emulator.

The red LED indicates that the USB stick is inserted. The red LED should flicker when the USB is inserted. If you don’t have a red light or if the red LED stays solid there is a problem. This is another time in which you should contact SFA Support.

The install process of the Shop Floor Automations Floppy Drive Emulator:

The floppy drive emulator from SFA is easily installed by simply plugging it into the existing floppy power cable (4-pin Mini Molex) and the ribbon cable (34-pin IDE) on the back of the existing drive. No other special cables or connectors are required, and the equipment runs as normal.

How to install an Okuma Floppy

How to set up a Haas Floppy

Yes, the floppy drive emulator is designed to replace existing floppy disk drive with a USB stick.

The emulator was made to replace almost all floppy drives on the market and eliminate the need to purchase floppy disks ever again.

Any off-the-shelf USB memory flash drive will work, as long as it is 1GB or smaller, and formatted as “FAT” or “FAT16.” We recommend you pick a name brand and if needed, Shop Floor Automations can supply one at a low cost to guarantee reliability and compatibility.

  1. On your PC, open PDAConnectWin.exe
  2. Match the profile settings in the PDAConnect software on your PC with the profile settings in the PDAConnect software on your PDA.
  3. Connect the cable from your PDA to the local COM port on your PC
  4. On your PC, name the file and click Receive
  5. On your PDA, select the file and click Send

– The file will now transfer to your PC.

Because modern Laptops and PCs don’t come with Rs232 serial ports any longer, you will need to get a USB to RS232 “Industrial grade” adapter and the proper serial cable to connect from the USB to RS232 adapter to your CNC Machine.

  • Reliable USB to Serial converter
  • Compatible with Windows, plus new & legacy RS232 devices
  • Use with mobile, instrumentation, & point-of-sale applications
  • Great for laptop computers without a serial port
  • CNC Control Compatible

A “Y-Cable” is designed to allow wireless or Ethernet communication to CNC machines, while still allowing access to the external serial port. We often recommend that companies implement these cables as a backup to their DNC system.

If the network goes down, programs can still be transferred into the CNCs manually, without having to open up the machine cabinets and disconnect the DNC system.

Yes, our newest version of the LAN Connect (LAN to CNC) will support long file names for ease of use with drag and drop functions. Easily add Ethernet to your machine. The best part? No proprietary software is needed.

No, the Wireless CNC Connect has a DB-9 serial port, but SFA sells those units as a KIT and the KIT includes a 5 ft serial cable that will connect the DB-9 serial port of the wireless CNC Connect to the CNC machines serial port.

Provide the Make and Model of the controls on your CNC machines that you are using the wireless units on and SFA will ship with the proper 5 ft serial cable when the order is placed.

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Floppy Drive Emulators

Answer: Here are some steps to look into taking for this issue.

  • Does the Haas say FLOPPY DONE when you attempted to save a file to the Floppy Connect?
  • IF YES, then do an F4 command on the Haas and select EDIT to view the DIR (Directory) of the floppy emulator.
  • Is the program that you were trying to save shown in the DIR?
  • If YES, then before you remove the USB flash drive from the emulator, push the round RES button on the front of the emulator
  • Wait for a moment until all the LEDs stop flashing
  • After the flashing LEDs stop, then remove the USB flash drive
  • Take the USB stick to your PC to confirm the files have saved on the drive

No, because the RJ45 port on the front of the unit is designed for future functionality and is currently inactive. Currently, the only method to load the device is via the USB stick. We do, however, provide solutions for interfacing between a CNC control and network storage.

You must use a stick that is 2GB or smaller in the floppy drive emulator. The flash drives must be formatted as “FAT” or “FAT-16.” 32-bit FAT (“FAT-32”) will NOT work with the floppy emulator.

Your floppy drive emulator will work with your CNC machine so long as you are using standard DOS-readable disks. There is a 99% chance that the Floppy Drive Emulator, previously known as the FD Connect, will work. Please provide the make and model of your current floppy drive and confirm you can read the floppy disks in a Windows or DOS PC, and Shop Floor Automations can tell you which FD Connect model will work for your CNC Machine.

Our Haas-specific floppy drive emulator has plug-and-play ability. You can see our tutorial about on YouTube or read about it in our technical video transcription page.

When ordering the non-Haas specific emulator, please provide your Salesperson with the make and model of your current floppy drive and confirm you can read the floppy disks in a Windows or DOS PC, and Shop Floor Automations can tell you which model will work for your CNC Machine.

The Floppy Connect (previously known as the FD Connect) can emulate a 720 kb or a 1.44 MB floppy drive. Due to limitations of the firmware on the CNC controller, the floppy emulator must use the same size limitation on the USB stick.

SFA supplies a USB stick that can be formatted to allow for simple transfers from the computer to the floppy drive emulator. More info on going from floppy disks to USB sticks on the shop floor.

The green LED indicates a Floppy Read or Write operation has been done. No green light at all, or a solid green light, indicates a problem. Please contact SFA Support if you are seeing this on your floppy drive emulator.

The red LED indicates that the USB stick is inserted. The red LED should flicker when the USB is inserted. If you don’t have a red light or if the red LED stays solid there is a problem. This is another time in which you should contact SFA Support.

The install process of the Shop Floor Automations Floppy Drive Emulator:

The floppy drive emulator from SFA is easily installed by simply plugging it into the existing floppy power cable (4-pin Mini Molex) and the ribbon cable (34-pin IDE) on the back of the existing drive. No other special cables or connectors are required, and the equipment runs as normal.

How to install an Okuma Floppy

How to set up a Haas Floppy

Yes, the floppy drive emulator is designed to replace existing floppy disk drive with a USB stick.

The emulator was made to replace almost all floppy drives on the market and eliminate the need to purchase floppy disks ever again.

Any off-the-shelf USB memory flash drive will work, as long as it is 1GB or smaller, and formatted as “FAT” or “FAT16.” We recommend you pick a name brand and if needed, Shop Floor Automations can supply one at a low cost to guarantee reliability and compatibility.

Currently, the RJ45 Ethernet port is not an active Ethernet Port on the Floppy Connect. It is there for future enhancements.

If you have a question about CNC machine drives, SFA can point you in the right direction. Many customers come to us because they purchase drives off of eBay that were well-priced, but offered no support and had not been tested to work with their CNC machine.

SFA has tested our drives on the following equipment with proven reliability:

  • Haas
  • Okuma
  • Mitsubishi
  • Charmilles
  • Agie
  • Hurco
  • FANUC
  • Sodick
  • Prototrak
  • Giddings and Lewis
  • Mazak/Mazaktrol CMT
  • Wired EDM
  • Mills
  • Lathes
  • Many more machines, makes and models!

Get toll free, USA based support for our drives. Call (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form to get started 

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RS232 Serial Cabling

Simply plugging in the device may not always work. You may need to download the drivers for the hardware from our website prior to installing the device.

Otherwise, please contact Support.

There are several steps to verify if a CNC is communicating, or if it is a CNC that is not communicating. You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

You will first want to verify the RS232 cable is connected to each device securely. There maybe two ports on the controller or appear to be a port on the front of the unit, however, this may not be connected inside the machine. CNC communication troubleshooting can be time-consuming and frustrating, so we recommend following these hints below:

Hint 1:
Verify the information is coming out of the communication port by placing an RS232 mini tester directly on the back of the computer, sending a file from the CNC control, and viewing the status of the tester. This device should show RD or RX activity when the control is sending to the computer. If you do not have this tester, you can contact SFA and purchase this valuable tool for $20, as it will save time and identify if the CNC controller or PC is failing.

Hint 2:
Make sure you are on the correct port on the back of the computer. Remove any switchboxes, adapters, misc. cables and try connecting directly to the computer serial RS232 port. If there is only one port, verify the COM port number in the device manager and match your software to this port. There maybe be various RS232 communications on your PC and you’re unaware of this port. If there are various ports, try moving the cable to the other ports.

Hint 3:
Verify the voltages on the cable are within the RS232 limits. If you are running an Ethernet cable as a serial cable, you may run into serious reliability issues. Ethernet cable (CAT5/6) cable is designed for networking computers and should not be substituted for RS232 cable to interface to a CNC control. You want to adhere to the machine tool builder’s specifications and not damage the port due to improper grounding or shielding. SFA does not sell or recommend Ethernet cable as RS232 as this normally will void warranties and damage equipment.

Note: SFA’s RS232 cable uses 8 wires, 3 levels of shielding, and has been proven to handle cable runs over 200+ feet. If you need a lengthier connection, consult our Account Executives for wireless or Ethernet solutions.

The RS232-C interface was developed for a single purpose. This purpose is stated by its title:

“Interface Between Data Terminal Equipment and Data Communications Equipment Employing Serial Binary Data Interchange.”

Every word in the title is significant: it describes the interface between a terminal (DTE) to a modem (DCE) for the transfer of serial data.

Short for Recommended Standard-232C, a standard interface approved by the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) for connecting serial devices. In 1987, the EIA released a new version of the standard and changed the name to EIA-232-D. And in 1991, the EIA teamed up with Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and issued a new version of the standard called EIA/TIA-232-E. Many people, however, still refer to the standard as RS232C or just RS232.

Almost all modems conform to the EIA-232 standard and most personal computers have an EIA-232 port for connecting a modem or other device. In addition to modems, many display screens, mice, and serial printers are designed to connect to an EIA-232 port. In EIA-232 parlance, the device that connects to the interface is called a Data Communications Equipment (DCE) and the device to which it connects (e.g., the computer) is called a Data Terminal Equipment (DTE).

The EIA-232 standard supports two types of connectors, a 25-pin D-sub type connector (DB25) and a 9-pin D-sub type connector (DB9). The type of serial communications used by PCs requires only 9 pins so either type of connector will work equally well.

Although EIA-232 is still the most common standard for serial communication, the EIA has recently defined successors to EIA-232 called RS422 and RS423. The new standards are backward compatible so that RS232 devices can connect to an RS422 port.

In the past, most IBM PC and compatible computers were typically equipped with two serial ports and one parallel port. Although these two types of ports are used for communicating with external devices, they work in different ways.

A parallel port sends and receives data eight bits at a time over 8 separate wires. This allows data to be transferred very quickly; however, the cable required is bulkier because of the number of individual wires it must contain and cable distances are generally very short.

Parallel ports are typically used to connect a PC to a printer and are rarely used for much else. A serial port sends and receives data one bit at a time over one wire. While it takes eight times as long to transfer each byte of data this way, only a few wires are required. In fact, two-way (full duplex) communication is possible with only three separate wires – one to send, one to receive, and a common signal ground wire.

The number preceding each signal name corresponds to the pin number defined in the standard.

DB9

  1.     Received Line Signal Detect (Carrier Detect)
  2.     Received Data
  3.     Transmitted Data
  4.     Data Terminal Ready
  5.     Signal Ground
  6.     Data Set Ready
  7.     Request to Send
  8.     Clear To Send
  9.     Ring Indicator

DB25

  1.     Protective Ground
  2.     Transmitted Data
  3.     Received Data
  4.     Request to Send
  5.     Clear To Send
  6.     Data Set Ready
  7.     Signal Ground
  8.     Received Line Signal Detect (Carrier Detect)
  9.     +P (for testing only)
  10.     -P (for testing only)
  11.     (unassigned)
  12.     Secondary Received Line Signal Detect
  13.     Secondary Clear To Send
  14.     Secondary Transmitted Data
  15.     Transmission signal element Timing
  16.     Secondary Received Data
  17.     Receiver Signal Element Timing
  18.     (unassigned)
  19.     Secondary Request To Send
  20.     Data Terminal Ready
  21.     Signal Quality Detector
  22.     Ring Indicator
  23.     Data Signal Rate Selector
  24.     Transmitter Signal Element Timing
  25.     (unassigned)

Here are some options, but we definitely recommend you contact our Support team.

Connecting pin one (earth ground) at both ends:
This creates a giant antenna, earth ground should only be connected at one end and generally at the device that is most grounded.

Using CAT5 cabling:

While CAT5 cable might work for a short while for RS232 communications, it is not designed for that application. CAT5 cable is twisted pair cabling for ethernet. Because it is designed for lower voltages and data that is checked packet-by-packet, CAT5 ethernet cable used for serial purposes can potentially cause a scrapped part by dropping data, short out the machine because of improper voltages and signals, and even crash a machine by sending bad data or omitting it. CAT5 cable is never recommended for RS232 communications. We recommend Predator Grizzly cable for RS232 serial communication because it is designed for this exact purpose and will prevent loss of data and interference issues.

Cable is not properly jumpered at CNC end:
Most CNCs will require jumpering of some sort. Most common is for pins 4 & 5 plus pins 6, 8 & 20.

Using unshielded cable:
Unshielded cable should never be used in a machine shop environment.

Twisted pair cabling not properly balanced:
If you use twisted pair, pins 2 and 3 can not be on the same pair. It is also recommended that you ground the other half of the pair for pins 2 and 3.

Cable with too few wires:
Most CNCs will only need TD, RD and SG, but some will require hardware handshaking and thus require more wires.

Improper positioning of cable:
Do not strap RS232 cabling to electrical conduit in the shop.

Incorrectly pinning out a DB9 to DB25 cable or adapter:
See the chart above, note that pins 2 & 3 are opposite from DB9 to DB25.

Sure, but it may not be worth the effort in research, soldering, testing, and cost of parts.

Normal serial cable is sensitive to interference and signal loss. We carefully engineered, manufactured and tested Grizzly cable to fit the needs of a shop floor environment.

Furthermore, your time is valuable and you have better things to do! Why not consult with experts?

No, a Grizzly cable is far different than commercial Ethernet cabling.

A CAT-5 cable is typically un-shielded, provides a balanced signal, and uses different wiring intended for a computer, as opposed to a CNC control.

The Grizzly Cable is shielded, with an ultra-low capacitance, uses unbalanced signals, and is wired for RS232 signals to be sent to and from CNC machines.

CAT-5 cables are unreliable, able to pick up RF noise very easily and have limitations regarding baud rate when running beyond RS232 specifications.

First, each wire is individually shielded with a polypropylene jacket. Second, an aluminum foil wraps around all of the pairs. Third, a metal braid shield is wrapped around the foil. Finally, a thick but flexible PVC jacket is wrapped around the metal braid.

The quality and strength of the shielding included with Predator Grizzly cables protect your data from RF noise and electrical interference. We highly recommend that you do not attempt to make your own Grizzly Cable.

Shop Floor Automations recommends a DB25 RS232 mini tester with every hardware order. We terminate our RS232 cabling with RJ45 connectors and have different adapters to tailor to each installation. Depending on your machine, you may require different pinouts on the adapters.

To test the correct pin-out in the cabling:

  • Connect the cable to the PC, Hub, or switchbox.
  • At the other end of the cabling, where the control would normally plug in, connect the tester. Without the tester plugged in the machine, you should see have “RD” lit and “TD” unlit.
  • For most applications, the other lights do not matter. If you plug the tester into the CNC machine control, you should then see “TD” lit.

If you have any variation of this, your machine will not communicate properly.

In the early 1960’s, a standards committee, today known as the Electronic Industries Association, developed a common interface standard for data communications equipment. At that time, data communications were thought to mean digital data exchange between a centrally located mainframe computer and a remote computer terminal, or possibly between two terminals without a computer involved.

These devices were linked by telephone voice lines and consequently required a modem at each end for signal translation. While simple in concept, the many opportunities for data error that occur when transmitting data through an analog channel, as it requires a relatively complex design.

It was thought that a standard was needed first to ensure reliable communication, and second to enable the interconnection of equipment produced by different manufacturers, thereby fostering the benefits of mass production and competition. From these ideas, the RS232 standard was born. It specified signal voltages, signal timing, signal function, a protocol for information exchange, and mechanical connectors.

If a proprietary or special high-speed transfer method is required by the CNC control, the customer may have to be upgraded to Predator DNC. Unlike the Editor, Predator DNC is designed to support proprietary and special high-speed transfer methods. Refer to our DNC Objects section for more details.

Because modern Laptops and PCs don’t come with Rs232 serial ports any longer, you will need to get a USB to RS232 “Industrial grade” adapter and the proper serial cable to connect from the USB to RS232 adapter to your CNC Machine.

  • Reliable USB to Serial converter
  • Compatible with Windows, plus new & legacy RS232 devices
  • Use with mobile, instrumentation, & point-of-sale applications
  • Great for laptop computers without a serial port
  • CNC Control Compatible

A “Y-Cable” is designed to allow wireless or Ethernet communication to CNC machines, while still allowing access to the external serial port. We often recommend that companies implement these cables as a backup to their DNC system.

If the network goes down, programs can still be transferred into the CNCs manually, without having to open up the machine cabinets and disconnect the DNC system.

No, the Wireless CNC Connect has a DB-9 serial port, but SFA sells those units as a KIT and the KIT includes a 5 ft serial cable that will connect the DB-9 serial port of the wireless CNC Connect to the CNC machines serial port.

Provide the Make and Model of the controls on your CNC machines that you are using the wireless units on and SFA will ship with the proper 5 ft serial cable when the order is placed.

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Predator Software

Predator machine monitoring through Predator MDC is available in an Express, Standard and Enterprise versions. Each version is upgraded to the next level and includes functionality to collect data.

Predator MDC Express is a paper-based solution to allow users to collect data manually and report and chart data on events that happen previously.

Predator MDC Standard version is real-time data collection of utilization from the machines and collects cycle time, idle time, alarm and downtime.

Predator MDC Enterprise version is for companies who want to collect OEE, track parts, users, plus other metrics and interface the data with other business systems.

Yes. Predator MDC is real-time machine monitoring software that automatically collects, reports, charts and processes real-time shop floor manufacturing data including OEE, cycle time, idle time, setup time, teardown time, machine downtime and more.

Predator MDC improves manufacturing by supplying accurate shop floor metrics to improve operations and to make better decisions. The Predator MDC is an application that is installed on a computer inside the company facility.

It is only available as an on-premise solution.

Predator Flex Hardware does NOT work under Windows 7 or 8 due to the lack of support for drivers from the manufacturer. The hardware may fit inside of a PC, but known issues have been found in the reliability of communication to the CNC, as well as instances of blue screens.

We also do not recommend running the hardware in a newer PC due to lost functionality in performance and protocol support.

An upgrade is available from SFA to move towards FLEXN or FLEXW hardware, which is supported by Windows 7 and 8 and uses a network connection and network protocols instead of a dedicated ISA/PCI card on the motherboard to communicate with your FLEXN/FLEXW hardware.

Shop Floor Automations has the hardware for wireless and wired solutions on the shop floor, as well as solutions that work with the MTConnect Protocol and can connect multiple ways. Be sure to contact us for more information on what hardware is best for you, depending on your setup!

PC hardware minimum requirements to run Predator Software are a Pentium 4, AMD Athlon, or newer CPU.

40GB or larger hard disk, and 512 MB of RAM or more are the prerequisite components for a computer to run Predator Software.

Most off-the-shelf computers will far exceed these hardware requirements. Please consult with SFA on your specific software installations for the best performance and reliability.

Predator Software supports the following database versions included with Predator v10 and v9 applications: Microsoft Access 2000, 2002. 2003, 2007 and 2010 along with SQL 2000, 2005 and 2008.

Microsoft Express versions are also included for 2005 and 2008. Several customers are supported on Oracle 7, 8, 9, 10i, and 11i.

Predator v11 applications support Windows 2012, Windows 10, Oracle 12, Microsoft Access 2016, Microsoft Access 2013, Microsoft SQL Server 2016, Microsoft SQL Server 2014.

Support for the following Microsoft Windows versions are included with Predator v9 and v10 applications:

Windows 10 (v11 and newer only)
· Windows 2012 Server
· Windows 8
· Windows 7
· Windows 2008 Server
· Windows Vista
· Windows 2003 Server
· Windows XP

Support is included for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. The latest Windows updates and service packs for each operating system should be installed on any and all computers you wish to run Predator Software.

Predator Software Serial Number and Access Codes are attributed to each legal, paid for, licensed product. These numbers are based on the SIM attached to the PC or from the network card inside of the PC.

Upon receipt of payment for the software, the permanent license will be issued. The software can be run on a temporary basis to allow users to move the software from one PC to another, as well as for evaluation periods.

You can contact your local reseller, such as Shop Floor Automations (SFA), for these codes or refer to your Predator CD label for details.

Please note that SFA can only give you the aforementioned codes and serial numbers if we were the ones who were your reseller of the product. We also do not provide support for copies of free CNC Editor available via our website.

SFA offers media replacement and 90 days of technical support for any software you have purchased from us.

You can also download recent versions of this software directly from our website. For pricing and details to replace a lost software CD, please email us or call us at (877) 611-5825.

When upgrading Predator DNC or DNC Enterprise PXP, follow the steps below:

  1. Exit Predator DNC or DNC Enterprise
  2. Rename the existing PXP with a unique name “(company Name) YYYY MM-DD.pxp”
  3. Copy the new PXP into the exact same location where the backup was made
  4. Launch the Predator DNC or Desktop and confirm the new PXP is running.

Most of the time, this is caused by having improper serial communication (RS232) parameters set.

Check to make sure your baud rate, parity, data bit, and stop bit within Predator DNC match the settings on your control.

No. The first Windows 7 version compatible of Predator DNC is Version 9. However, version 9 and version 10 are both compatible with Windows 8 and 8.1.

If you have an older version but would like to use Predator DNC on a Windows 7 machine, call us!

Yes, numerous software upgrades are available from any level of Predator DNC Hardware. Upgrades depend on each type of hardware.

The Connect series of hardware from SFA is designed to add ports at any time and offers a very easy upgrade path. Contact us to ensure there are no issues.

Yes. Haas CNC’s can communicate to Predator DNC Software using serial RS232 connection or FTP.

Haas FTP is also supported through Predator DNC to enable faster communication. Each Haas control can be configured in the software and can be configured for any method.

Predator DNC communicates up to 115K baud rate to the Haas using Xmodem and hardware handshaking.

If you can’t uninstall a Predator application, do the following steps:

  • Log into Windows as an Administrator
  • Select Control Panel from the Start Menu
  • Select Add/Remove programs
  • Select the appropriate Predator application
  • Click the Remove button

If there is a reason you are looking to uninstall Predator Software, we encourage you to contact us first.

Every Predator installation is built using Microsoft Windows Installer technology. There is extensive documentation available on Microsoft’s website.

The following primary command line options are available:
/i    Installs or configures a product
/f    Repairs a product, has 10 options
/a    Administrative install on the network
/x    Uninstalls a product
/j    Advertises a product
/l    Specifies the log file path
/p    Applies a patch
/q    Sets the user interface level
/y    Calls API register server to install
/z    Calls API register server to uninstall

A sample command line option for repairing a CNC Editor installation is as follows:

msiexec /i “predator CNC editor v6.0.msi” /fv

To solve this problem run Microsoft Internet Explorer and from the Tools menu select Internet Options.

A dialog will appear, click the Advanced tab and scroll down to the Security section. Uncheck the “Check for publisher’s certificate revocation” option and click the OK button.

This problem only occurs when PCs are configured to have access to the Internet and then, in reality, don’t have access to the Internet. Predator applications are digitally signed just like every other program that is downloaded on the web. The digital signature is used to certify that Predator has not been infected with a virus etc.

NOTE: This problem can happen with any Predator application.

There are a few to examine. Here are the most common low-level errors seen in Predator DNC and Predator Desktop:

Error Number: 2 – File Not Found.
Problem: The file could not be found
Solution: Verify the file name is typed correctly and the file exists. Check the directory and the extension settings in Predator.

Error Number: 3 – Path Not Found.
Problem: The path could not be found
Solution: Verify the directory path is typed correctly and the directory path exists.

Error Number: 4 – Too Many Open Files
Problem: The system has too many files open.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 5 – Access Denied
Problem: The requested file exists, but the system is unable to access it.
Solution: Check the file permissions and ensure the logged in user has permissions for that file.

Error Number: 8 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 14 – Not Enough Memory
Problem: There is not enough memory to proceed.
Solution: Try closing any non-used programs or reducing the number of activities in Predator.

Error Number: 15 – Invalid Drive
Problem: The drive does not exist
Solution: Verify the drive is the correct drive. If the drive is a network drive, check network access and drive mapping.

Error Number: 19 – Write Protected
Problem: The media is write protected
Solution: The file being written to is read-only . Verify the permissions for the file and that the destination is not on read-only removable media (CD or DVD).

Error Number: 32 – Sharing Violation
Problem: A file is being used by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. Usually, this occurs when trying to write to the file.
Solution: Close the program using the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 32 – Lock Violation
Problem: A file is locked by another program and cannot be accessed by Predator. This may be a read or a write attempt by Predator.
Solution: Close the program locking the file. If the program is Predator, restart Predator. If that doesn’t clear the error, a reboot of the PC is required.

Error Number: 39 – Disk Full
Problem: The disk is full. Occurs during file write attempts.
Solution: Delete unneeded files from disk or try writing to a different drive

Predator Permanent Code Installation

  • Login to Windows with Admin Rights
  • Install the latest version of”Sentinel Protection Installer”
  • When install is complete, attach the SIM to the parallel port or a USB port on the PC
  • Launch Predator DNC Administrator (Start > Programs > Predator DNC xx (Version) -> Predator DNC xx (Version) Administrator)
  • If a pxp file loads, go to “Command > Cancel All”, and press “Yes”
  • Go to “Options > Upgrade”
  • Type in the information from the software envelope and Press OK
  • The software should now be validated and ready to use.

Troubleshooting

  • If you get a “SIM Wrapper 5 (0)” error, then double check the SIM to make sure it is attached, and try again.
  • If the problem persists, reinstall the Sentinel drivers from step 4.
  • If the problem persists after driver installation, download and run SIM Tester
  • Install and launch the sentdoc.exe file
  • Leave “SuperPro” checked, uncheck “Pro”, “CPlus”, “Scribe”
  • Press “Find Keys”
  • A dialog box will state “No keys found” or “[N] Sentinal SuperPro(s) detected” (where N is the number of keys found)
  • If you get a “Sim Wrapper 5 (####)” error, where #### is a 4 digit number, then re-enter the codes, and try again. It was most likely a typo in the codes.

If problems persist, please call Shop Floor Automations at (619) 461-4000 for technical support.

Predator uses a Rainbow Sentinel SuperPro key. This key is in the form of USB key. All software applications are licensed with a SIM and as such the SIM should be insured as property, for the actual cost of the software.

Predator DNC will continue to send any data in the NC program until done. The cause is usually due to a blank line, space or some other character after the percent sign at the bottom of the program.

To fix this issue, add a Clean Code Link to the Send to CNC Command. Place the Clean Code link above the COM port Terminator in the Object Manager. On the configuration screen of the Clean Code – Send, select the box Send % to % (included) to only send the data between the percent signs.

An alternative solution is to use a Command Time Out. To use this option, add the Command Time Out Link above the COM port Terminator on the Send to CNC command. Do this in the “Object Manager” Screen. Once placed, insert the values of the time out and number of characters on the Properties page. Note: If the time is too short, data could be cut off early, we recommend 1 minutes.

No. Currently, the product is designed as an application that runs on a Windows platform.

Mobile applications for Android and Apple phones and iPads are not developed. A customer can create their own applications using other applications if desired since there are APIs and open databases available.

Predator PDM is a paperless manufacturing driven Production Data Management tool. The software is designed to organize and control many facets of the shop floor.

CNC programs, setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, and others are under your control. Supports paperless shop floor operation with integration for CNC Communications and Machine Monitoring.

Predator PDM controls manufacturing driven processes and best practice workflows from manufacturing, quality, programming and other areas to the shop floor. 

Only the approved, released and authorized files are delivered to the shop floor operators and setup personnel to ensure the proven files are machines.  For ISO9000, ITAR, and other standards demanded by customers, Predator PDM is a solution to meet the manufacturing document control requirements.

Predator PDM supports an unlimited number of documents and support for numerous file types to be managed and viewed on the shop floor.

With the built-in viewing capability from Microsoft Internet Explorer, Predator leverages the built-in plug-in viewers supported and allows for continued upgrade path as new versions of file types are released.

For example, if Adobe released a new format or version of PDFs, Predator automatically embraces this compatibility with the new plug-ins from Internet Explorer.  A variety of files are supported for document control such as: Word, Excel, PDF, NC, TXT, STL, MPEG, TIFF. JPEG, and hundreds more.

As a manufacturer, you need to abide by legal code 21 CFR 820.40 – establishing and maintaining procedures to control documents (more info). As a business, you need to keep tax documents and any related records for anywhere from three to seven years. Employment records need to be kept for a minimum of a year and payroll records kept a minimum of three years.

There are over 140 permissions for control and management of who has access to files, approval process, released, un-released, rollback or pending files.

All security follows Microsoft standards for assigning permissions to users and groups.  Two versions of Predator PDM are available for purchase, PDM Administrator, and PDM Client.  Predator PDM Administrator allows for all control, configuration, and assignment of the security roles.

Yes. Predator PDM Client is used to view the proven, released and authorized manufacturing documents to the shop floor operator and setup users.  Once a user logs into Predator PDM with the username and password, the documents are displayed on the shop floor PC.

The operator can then deliver the NC program to the CNC machine via Predator DNC Software as well as collect real-time data on machine utilization from Predator Machine Monitoring Software.  Any other files related to the part can be viewed on the shop floor terminal providing a paperless environment.

Yes, Predator DNC supports long filenames, long directory names, names with spaces, shared network drives, and UNC names.

Refer to the following examples:

  •     Job 1234.NC
  •     H:CUSTOM PARTSJOB 4567.NC
  •     \\SERVER1\C\LARGE CUSTOMER\PART No 1234-5678.NC

Predator DNC can also automatically name your files when uploading to the server. They can be “auto-named” using their O-number, a user-chosen name, the first comment in the file, and so on.

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

Yes. 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.

A typical practice is when downloading the NC program into the machine, the system will automatically track the part #, job #, user and place the status of the work order in setup. Upon cycling the part, the status of the machine would change from in setup to in cycle.

Yes. Using Predator MDC Express, users can print out the data collection form to enter cycle information, part quantity, good and scrap parts, and other metrics. Predator MDC standard also supports manual monitoring of events that are initiated by machine operators such as machine log on/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. SFA does provide an Android solution to also input this data via a tablet.

Yes. Dedicate one or more large-screen monitors on the shop floor for real-time digital signage using Predator MDC.

Create slides of charts, dashboards, and reports with specific filters and details. Eliminate manual posting of paper reports and charts on the shop floor. Provide a focal point for standup shop meetings while enforcing productivity and manufacturing metrics that management, engineering, and quality departments care about. Eliminate the clutter of paper and go high tech!

Over 1300 reports and charts provide unique insight into the productivity and efficiency of each manufacturer.

The flexibility of the reporting and charting options within Predator MDC converts the volume of data collected into concise reports and charts to identify issues and drive improved productivity. Eliminate manual OEE driven data collection and OEE spreadsheets. Software supports real-time OEE data collection with an OEE Dashboard, OEE Performance ranking charts, OEE Trend Analysis charts and OEE Reports.

Predator MDC standard and enterprise versions support up to 4096 CNC machines, robots, PLCs and ATE Test Stands per PC.

Data the software can monitor – simultaneous cycle time, setup time, teardown time, downtimes with reasons, good parts, scrap parts with reasons and an unlimited number of user-defined events.

Predator CNC Service is a comprehensive service designed to work with Predator MDC.

The service can be installed on a computer to communicate to various machine types using proprietary protocols. Predator MDC supports FANUC FOCAS, MTConnect, and Structured XML to capture real-time data from the machine using the network connection of the controller.

Development is also being tested for working with Okuma Thinc controllers on P100 and P200 where the service is installed on the machine. The service will then communicate through APIs and no interface is required.

Predator MDC Administrator is designed for the manufacturing department head or IS/manufacturing project lead to manage real-time machine monitoring processes centered on time and utilization. This seat is required with every purchase and allows for the creation of equipment, departments, locations, shifts, parts, reason codes, users, permissions and other administrative tasks.

Predator MDC Client is designed for personnel and users that need to run MDC reports and charts centered on time and utilization. Users can also see real-time data on a dashboard.

Predator MDC Shop Floor is designed for data entry for shop floor personnel. The software can also be used to display real-time data on the shop floor using LCD monitors or can be displayed in Engineering and Quality Departments to provide feedback on equipment status.

Predator Machine Monitoring is available in an Express, Standard, and Enterprise version.

Each version is upgraded to the next level and includes functionality to collect data. Predator MDC Express is a paper-based solution to allow users to collect data manually, report and chart data on events that happen previously.

If you are using the CNC Editor to transmit a CNC program, and the control receives the complete file, but Predator is still trying to send, check the end of the CNC program to make sure there are no spaces or other invisible characters after the % sign. Predator CNC Editor stops sending the program when it detects that the last character of the program is a % sign.

The SIM Wrapper Error is actually one of many various errors generated during licensing. If you recently moved your computer then you may have forgotten to move your USB license key to your new computer.

If you are still experiencing issues after moving the USB SIM over, or cannot find your USB SIM, give us a call and we can assist you with your licensing issues.

Migrating your Predator DNC software over to a new computer is a fairly complex process and there are many reasons your machines may not be communicating.

To make certain that this issue gets resolved, give our Tech Support line a call so we can get your shop back up and running again.

Even if the USB SIM is in the computer, and the serial number and access codes have been verified, this problem may still occur.

There are many reasons for this, but the most common and easily solved reasons are:

1. Make sure you are opening the red “Predator DNC Administrator” icon to license your software, if you have codes that license both DNC and Editor. When Editor is licensed through DNC, the codes must be entered in DNC.

2. Make sure you are opening the orange “Predator CNC Editor” icon to license your software if you have codes that are for licensing the Editor. Often, users will try to license using Virtual CNC (blue icon) but codes intended for Editor will license Virtual on their own so that the Backplot functionality is included in Editor.

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Yes, as long as you have the permission setup for each user. If you need more help with setting up your Predator PDM software, contact us.

If you want a paperless manufacturing shop floor, Predator PDM will help you accomplish this goal.

Within Predator PDM, you will be able to pull up your Job and any file that connects to that job. PDF’s, SolidWorks, eDrawings, MS office files, and images.

Yes. While official support will come with Predator Software v11 applications, several clients are currently running Windows 10 with Predator Software v10. Do contact our support team for assistance prior to upgrading.

Predator uses the Sentinel Hasp Key (ex: SIMs & Dongles). They are typically plugged into the USB port on the workstation or server to license the product. If you are in a virtual operating system, we have hardware that will allow this USB key to be seen. Contact our sales team for more info on how to license Predator Software applications.

Predator Software can also help with data-driven decision making in manufacturing. 

Remote request through Predator DNC: In many cases, a CNC machine may be located a good distance away from the computer, or perhaps a number of machines are connected to a central computer. In either case, the last thing you want is machine operators running or shouting across the shop, or crowding around the computer.

If your CNC machines are based on a modern operating system, then they might be connected to your company’s Ethernet network and thus able to browse through a remote server’s files. In most cases though, the NC control just doesn’t have any networking capability and are unable to do anything like that.

One thing most CNC’s can do, however, is to send and receive files via RS232. They can’t request files from computers, but they can send files to computers. So, what we can do is create a small program on the CNC, write our request into that file, and sent that file to the computer. As long as the computer, in this example running the software Predator DNC, is expecting such a file, it would see the incoming data, read the request, and complete whatever action was contained within. In this example, Predator DNC has been programmed to expect such simple file requests from pretty much any CNC as long as the CNC is capable of punching out a CNC program through the serial port.

Before you can use the server mode within Predator DNC, you need to set it up and enable it. We’ll explain that in a moment. First, we’ll give an example of what you can do with it. In our examples, we’ll describe usage with a machine like a FANUC because there are lots of other makes and models of CNC which adhere to the same ISO data standards. We can also show you a couple of alternatives, so you can adjust this method to suit other machines.

In the CNC control, we first create a small program using a program number that isn’t used by the machine. We call this program the Remote Request, because we use it to request a program from the PC remotely. Let’s use program number 7 as our Remote program (O7777). You can, of course, use any program number you want. In our example we want the PC to send program number 1234 into the machine. On a FANUC we’d create a small Remote program like this:-

%

O7777

(LOAD 1234)

M30

%

That’s it: just those five lines. When you’re ready, send (“Punch”) the Remote Request to the computer and quickly switch the CNC into “Input” / ”Read” mode. When Predator DNC receives the request it opens the file, sees the command (LOAD) and the following text (1234) and knows that the CNC is waiting for program 1234. Predator DNC pulls the file from the machine’s default folder, loads it up, and sends it to the CNC.

Keep the Remote program stored on your CNC, so you can use it again. Next time you use it, just edit the text between the parentheses to request any other program. For more remote request info, check out this video from our YouTube channel

From our Predator MDC product page – Hardware-based data collection for older CNCs, manual machines, and other equipment are supported by the Predator MDC Adapter. Predator MDC Adapters are din rail mounted and are wired into signal lamps, light towers, extended M functions or any digital input or output.

Predator MDC Adapters are available in 5, 12, 24, 48, 110 and 230 volt editions. Domestic and international editions simplify installation and configuration.

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Manufacturing Document Control

Predator PDM is a paperless manufacturing driven Production Data Management tool. The software is designed to organize and control many facets of the shop floor.

CNC programs, setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, and others are under your control. Supports paperless shop floor operation with integration for CNC Communications and Machine Monitoring.

Predator PDM controls manufacturing driven processes and best practice workflows from manufacturing, quality, programming and other areas to the shop floor. 

Only the approved, released and authorized files are delivered to the shop floor operators and setup personnel to ensure the proven files are machines.  For ISO9000, ITAR, and other standards demanded by customers, Predator PDM is a solution to meet the manufacturing document control requirements.

Predator PDM supports an unlimited number of documents and support for numerous file types to be managed and viewed on the shop floor.

With the built-in viewing capability from Microsoft Internet Explorer, Predator leverages the built-in plug-in viewers supported and allows for continued upgrade path as new versions of file types are released.

For example, if Adobe released a new format or version of PDFs, Predator automatically embraces this compatibility with the new plug-ins from Internet Explorer.  A variety of files are supported for document control such as: Word, Excel, PDF, NC, TXT, STL, MPEG, TIFF. JPEG, and hundreds more.

As a manufacturer, you need to abide by legal code 21 CFR 820.40 – establishing and maintaining procedures to control documents (more info). As a business, you need to keep tax documents and any related records for anywhere from three to seven years. Employment records need to be kept for a minimum of a year and payroll records kept a minimum of three years.

There are over 140 permissions for control and management of who has access to files, approval process, released, un-released, rollback or pending files.

All security follows Microsoft standards for assigning permissions to users and groups.  Two versions of Predator PDM are available for purchase, PDM Administrator, and PDM Client.  Predator PDM Administrator allows for all control, configuration, and assignment of the security roles.

Yes. Predator PDM Client is used to view the proven, released and authorized manufacturing documents to the shop floor operator and setup users.  Once a user logs into Predator PDM with the username and password, the documents are displayed on the shop floor PC.

The operator can then deliver the NC program to the CNC machine via Predator DNC Software as well as collect real-time data on machine utilization from Predator Machine Monitoring Software.  Any other files related to the part can be viewed on the shop floor terminal providing a paperless environment.

Contact support for a more in-depth explanation, but here are some codes:

We always recommend you first make sure you review your Predator serial number and access code for typos. Extra spaces or tabs can cause issues. Don’t assume a zero in the code is a capital O.

If all else fails, here is more info on troubleshooting SIM Errors –

SIM Wrapper error 0 (0) – No Error
Try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 1 – No Driver
Proceed to troubleshooting steps listed under “SIM Wrapper error 5 (0)”
Or you can try reinstalling the device driver

SIM Wrapper error 2 – No SIM
Check the physical installation of the SIM adapter.
Try to install the device to a different port available on the PC, available parallel or USB port

SIM Wrapper error 3 ” Bad SIM
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 4 ” Expired
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 5 (0) ” Drivers corrupt or not installed for the SIM or invalid codes.
Follow these steps if you have a SIM from Predator.

  1. Sentinel Protection Drivers must be installed locally on the PC running Predator (Remote Desktop / VNC or any other remote program will not work during the initial setup)
  2. Remove the SIM from the USB or Parallel port on your PC.
  3. Go to Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs and remove the Sentinel Protection Installer and remove.
  4. Insert the CD that you received from Shop Floor Automations in the CD-Rom drive and navigate to “Drivers\Sentinel System Driver” folder and double-click the “Sentinel Protection Installer 7.1.0.msi”
  5. After this is completed, insert the SIM into the USB or parallel port on the PC and watch for the Windows notification that the new hardware has been detected.
  6. Open Predator and if the registration window opens, enter the serial number and access code in the provided spaces.
  7. If Predator opens, go to the Options menu and choose Upgrade. Enter the serial number and access code here.
  1. If no errors, verify in the title bar of Predator that it does NOT say “Predator/DEMO”.
  2. If you do get an error again, proceed to the troubleshooting steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 5 (56) below.

SIM Wrapper error 5 (56) – The serial number or access code is invalid.
Symptom: Codes seem to not update; you are entering the correct codes, but keeps coming up with an error.

  1. Enter “dncdemo” for the serial number. Leave the access code blank.
  2. This should bring you up to Predator. Shutdown Predator and relaunch.
  3. Go to the Options menu > Upgrade
  4. Enter the correct serial number and access codes and hit “OK.”
  5. If this still does not work, go to Start > All Programs > Predator DNC > Repair All
  6. If you still get this error code, call our technical support department.

SIM Wrapper error 6 – DES Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 7 – CRC Failure
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 8 – SIM Write
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 9 – SIM Read
Reinstall the device driver and if problems persist, contact SFA Support

SIM Wrapper error 10 – Clock Altered
If you are using temp codes, changing the date and time can cause this issue

SIM Wrapper error 11 – Registry Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 12 – SIM Altered
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 13 – Bad Registry
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 14 – Registry Write
Can’t write to the Windows registry – check permissions

SIM Wrapper error 15 – Bad Product
Uninstall the Predator application, doublecheck info entered, including serial numbers and access codes

SIM Wrapper error 16 – Bad Date or Time
Predator failed to retrieve current system date or time

SIM Wrapper error 17 – Wrong Version

  1. Launch Predator and check the version by clicking “Help” > “About”
  2. If you have version 4.x.x.x, you should be using a serial number beginning with “04””, if you have version 3.x.x.x installed, you should be using a serial number beginning with “03””
  3. If you do not have the correct version that matches your installed version, verify that the codes you are using are the correct ones.

SIM Wrapper error 18 – Wrong Product
Follow the above steps for the SIM Wrapper Error 17.

SIM Wrapper error 19 – Already Running
Predator app may be running on another user’s desktop

SIM Wrapper error 20 – FLM Server Not Found
Review computer name and IP address

SIM Wrapper error 21 – FLM No Licenses
Need to purchase additional licenses of appropriate Predator application

SIM Wrapper error 22 – Unable to create FLM
Confirm .Net framework is installed

SIM Wrapper error 23 – FLM Not Enabled
Confirm FLM Manager is licensed properly

SIM Wrapper error 500 – Invalid Handle
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

SIM Wrapper error 501 – No Dialog
Contact Shop Floor Automations Support ASAP if you see this error

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem with this system is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with these systems. Whoever saves the file last wins!

Most revision control software packages use a database for the backend to store “links” or flags to shared files and reference the actual file.  The problem is that while you might have the NC program and can place it in a database for check-in and check-out, there is no control with this system. Whoever saves the file last wins!

With a true PDM system, complete revision control, lockout, and access only can be obtained by a single user until completed.  This eliminates changes of multiple file revisions – they will be unapproved.

More on Predator PDM:

  • Paperless manufacturing-driven Production Data Management
  • Designed to organize & control CNC programs
  • Master your setup sheets, safety procedures, quality documents, & more
  • Complete revision control
  • Integration with DNC, CNC Editor, Virtual CNC, MDC & Tracker.

Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, unreleased, revise, rollback, check-in, and check out. Every wizard honors user and group permissions and includes ISO 9000-style history.

Yes, as long as you have the permission setup for each user. If you need more help with setting up your Predator PDM software, contact us.

If you want a paperless manufacturing shop floor, Predator PDM will help you accomplish this goal.

Within Predator PDM, you will be able to pull up your Job and any file that connects to that job. PDF’s, SolidWorks, eDrawings, MS office files, and images.

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