General Information

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.

Load More

Cloud/Monthly 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.

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.

Load More

DNC 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.

Load More

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.

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.

Load More

CNC Editor

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.

Load More

MTConnect

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.

Load More

Fanuc FOCAS

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.

Load More

Shop Floor Hardware

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.

Load More

Floppy Drive Emulators

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.

Load More

RS232 Serial Cabling

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