Add Ethernet to your CNC

LAN Connect Remotely Ethernet functionality to any CNC machine

The LAN Connect Controller brings Ethernet functionality to any CNC machine tool with serial capability. Through the regular and Remote models, program files can be sent to/from the LAN data server and any CNC.

Large files that will not fit in the memory of the CNC can be drip-fed (DNC) directly from the data server. Control and manage which files are available to operators on the shop floor from CNC programming stations or Engineering department.

Works with Microsoft’s Windows Explorer. Setup with ease and connect to virtually any CNC control on the market. This will help you add Ethernet to your CNC.

Call us toll free at (877) 611-5825 to learn more. More info on our Ethernet Connect solutions:

Your CNC machines have RS232 ports & SFA can connect them to your network. With our Wired CNC Connect, Wireless CNC Connect & LAN Connect, you have many options available. Leverage your current IT infrastructure on the shop floor & replace the long RS232 runs of older style hubs. Take advantage of your company’s wireless network & get rid of cables all together!

The benefit to using Ethernet is that it allows multiple PCs to be able to access machines on the shop floor. Ethernet can go longer distances, which keeps the RS232 connection short, & that means more reliable DNC communication. Wireless CNC Connect devices stay mounted to the machine – confirm you have a dependable wireless signal, move your CNC machine, & it is always connected to the DNC system.

Corporate networks expand beyond front offices & engineering departments on a daily basis. Network backbones are found on 80 percent of manufacturing shop floors.

If you are looking for a wired Ethernet Connect solution, we have this option available in 1, 2, 4, 8, and 16 surge protected ports. We also have Wireless Connect solutions, if you are interested in getting rid of wires.

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – February 2011

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter

Shop Floor Automations February 2011 Newsletter

The following is an archived copy of our Shop Floor Automations Newsletter from February 2011.

The manufacturing environment is changing and automation is here.  New solutions have slowly moved out to the shop floor and it may be time to revisit this area. A true network solution ensures the latest CNC programs are pulled from your file server and when changes or revisions occur the edits are stored back on your file server. The entire process will become more reliable and everyone will become more productive.

* Shop Floor CNC Communications *
CNC communication software is designed to network all of your CNCs, robots and PLC based machines. DNC systems manage your CNC programs, offsets and parameters. It supports a wide range of CNC communications for drip-feeding, downloading, and uploading via parallel, RS232, ethernet, and wireless.

* Add Wireless to your CNC*

The Wireless CNC Adapter acts as an interface between any CNC control with an available RS232 or ethernet port. The machine tool control can send from CNC memory to the Adapter, Adapter to CNC memory or drip-feed (DNC) from the Wireless CNC Adapter. The extended antenna allows for the unit to mounted internally or externally on the machine and powered by various power sources.
The Wireless CNC Adapter is available with 1 or 2 serial ports, comes with a lifetime warranty, and includes a serial cable for the specific machine.  The advantage of using the device is that it delivers high speed communication to the CNC controller while using 802.11B/G wireless technology.  The unit supports various encryption standards and has a web-based interface for quick programming.
* About Shop Floor Automations *
Shop Floor Automations (SFA) is committed to providing our customers individualized solutions for their manufacturing automation needs. By offering an extensive collection of shop floor software and hardware products, SFA can scale its automation solutions to customers of any size, regardless of needs.  Give us a call to learn how we can help you today!

See what customers are saying about wireless DNC:

“Wireless DNC provides a shop floor with added flexibility to move machines without reconfiguring software or cable layout – this is particularly beneficial when using machines with overhead cranes, traveling gantries and those too far to cable quickly and efficiently. Plus, wireless DNC provides high data rates over long distances.”

Tim – Houston, TX

Link to the original newsletter HERE 

Add Wireless to your CNC

Wireless CNC DataAdd Wireless to CNC machines

Through Wireless Connect solutions, add wireless to CNC machines with SFA’s industrial grade wireless devices with quick installation to connect to your CNC machines. Consumer level devices, like DLink or Netgear products, cannot withstand the manufacturing environment. Our products allow you to connect your RS232-based machines to your existing wireless network & we can even help if you lack an existing wireless network!

Costs of stringing cable will vanish. Machines with overhead cranes, traveling gantries, or those simply too far to cable are efficiently & reliably networked. Want to move your CNC machines? No need to change cables or reconfigure software. Best of all, nearly any CNC machine can be connected using wireless! Any PC with a WiFi compliant network card on this wireless network can be configured to access the wider PC network.

The Wireless CNC Adapter acts as an interface between any CNC control with an available RS232 or Ethernet port. The machine tool control can send from CNC memory to the Adapter, Adapter to CNC memory or drip-feed (DNC) from the Wireless CNC Adapter.

The extended antenna allows for the unit to mounted internally or externally on the machine and powered by various power sources. The Wireless CNC Adapter is available as 1 or 2 port and comes with a lifetime warranty and includes a serial cable for the specific machine.

The advantage of using the device delivers high-speed communication to the CNC controller while using 802.11B/G wireless technology. The unit supports various encryption standards and has a web-based interface for quick programming. Add Wireless to your CNC. Call (877) 611-5825 for more info!

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – January 2011

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter

January 2011 Shop Floor Automations Newsletter

The following is a January 2011 Shop Floor Automations newsletter archive.

As we move forward in 2011, we are excited about the rebound in the manufacturing industry.  Business is improving and the economy is getting stronger.  We have a few new products that will help to keep American manufacturing companies organized and competitive.

* Machine Monitoring and Data Collection *
Collect data real-time data from the shop floor on every piece of equipment including CNC machines network-based, RS232,  wireless or existing PLC interfaces.  Instantly capture cycle, idle, alarm, setup and more.  Even better view the data across the web or on your Smart Phone.

* Add USB Memory to your CNC*

The USB Connect device acts as an interface between commercially available USB flash memory and any CNC control with an available RS232 port. Machine tool files can be sent from CNC memory to the USB key, USB key to CNC memory or drip-fed (DNC) from the USB key. Flexible DNC firmware is built into the USB Connect unit allowing connection to just about any machine tool CNC control.
The USB Connect is also available as a pendant or portable model and supports the Mazak CMT format.
Shop Floor Automations (SFA) is committed to providing its customers individualized solutions for their manufacturing automation needs. By offering an extensive collection of shop floor software and hardware products, SFA can scale its automation solutions to customers of any size, regardless of needs.  Give us a call to learn how we can help you today!
To keep manufacturing going, we have established new lower service rates.

If you need cabling, hardware installation, troubleshooting of legacy systems or upgrades to Predator Software, give us a call.  We want to do what we  can to keep the industry strong and keep the machines running.

Because Shop Floor Automations is passionate about bringing your legacy machines up to date, we also realize that social media is a growing and helpful tool in the manufacturing industry. We would love to connect and be added by you on our Shop Floor Automations social media channels!
Check out the original newsletter HERE

December 2010 Shop Floor Automations Newsletter

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter

Shop Floor Automations Newsletter December 2010

The following is an archived copy of the Shop Floor Automations Newsletter December 2010 copy: 

As the end of the year approaches, we would like to reach out to each

of you and share our excitement for 2011.  Shop Floor Automations has

added new solutions to our product line to improve automation and

productivity on the shop floor.


* Maintenance Software *


Eliminate phone calls and papers, minimize equipment downtime and

repair costs with a flexible and an easy to use software solution.

Schedule unlimited maintenance procedures with automatic reminders

and monthly schedules.  Preventive, corrective, and predictive

maintenance, work orders, part inventory, and maintenance requests

all in one package for one price!


* Scheduling Software *

Improve your schedule accuracy and reduce costs using a real-time,

finite production scheduler that schedules production orders to

maximize the use of your resources and meet your delivery promises.


The software also maximizes your available machine capacity and

integrates quickly and permanently with your ERP system for

bi-directional transfer of data.


We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation

for your support this past year and extend to you and your family our

best wishes for the New Year.  Your continuing business is

appreciated and important to our success. Thank you!


For all existing customers, receive 50% off our normal service rates

if an order is placed by 12/31/2010.


Add more machines to your DNC System, update your works stations or

servers with the latest version of Predator Software.  We also

support  Microsoft’s new Windows 7 and VMWare environments.

Limitations apply, contact your sales representative for details.


California Office Tel: (619) 461-4000

Toll Free:    (877) 611-5825

Original link to newsletter HERE

Shop Floor Automations at IMTS 2010

IMTS 2010

Shop Floor Automations (SFA), one of the largest independent CNC Automation Suppliers for the CNC Machine Tool Industry today, announced the company will presenting several new products at the IMTS 2010 trade show held in Chicago, IL.

Presenting in the booth #E-9040, SFA will be introducing and demonstrating two new hardware products. The USB Connect device acts as an interface between commercially available USB flash memory and any CNC control with an available RS232 port. Currently, there are two models available, a portable unit that can be shared between CNC machines and a pendant model mounted directly to the control.

The USB Connect device can provide an unlimited amount of storage capacity and USB functionality to the control. The second hardware device is the USB to Floppy Drive Emulator providing users with a USB interface to replace disks. The unit works with 720K or 1.44MB media found on most controls.

Several new software products will be running in the booth which includes the Real-Time Scheduler and Production Data Management solutions. The scheduling software allows users to graphically plan jobs based on the actual capacity of the machine load, work shift patterns, and work flow throughout the shop floor. What-if scenarios can be tested against the overall production of the factory and delivery dates to see the effects of orders accepted. The SFA Scheduler can be integrated with an existing ERP/MRP system or used standalone.

The Production Data Management (PDM) software developed by Predator Software will demonstrate the advantages of going paperless. The PDM software has a vaulting system to control which files are available to the operator including NC programs, drawings, setup sheets, tooling, and work instructions. Predator PDM includes best practice workflow wizards for release, un-release, revise, rollback, check-in and check-out controlled by the PDM Administrators.

Predator DNC Version 9.0 Released

Predator DNC SoftwarePredator DNC Software Version 9.0

With the new operating system released by Microsoft, Predator has responded and released Predator DNC Version 9.0 through the Predator MES Suite v9.0. Shop Floor Automations (SFA), the largest distributor and service center for Predator Software today announced implementing the new release and training on the product.

Whether using a wireless or wired network, RS232 or Ethernet, DNC can be configured to remotely upload, download and drip-feed from a single CNC Control Panel to as many as 256 CNCs, whether they are across the shop floor or across the globe. And now Predator DNC is even better with version 9.0.

In addition to Windows Vista, version 9.0 also supports Microsofts other 64-bit systems XP Professional x64 Edition, and Windows 2003 Server x64 – along with Microsoft Excel 2007, Access 2007 and Oracle Database 11g.

Predator DNC v9.0 also offers new Fanuc Focus connection to machines for transferring NC programs via Ethernet for uploading, downloading and drip-feeding. Plus it comes with the newly released Predator CNC Editor v9.0, which contains dozens of new features, such as several new CNC programming wizards and all new backplotting with support for Predator Dynamic Graphics.

More about DNC Communications solutions through Shop Floor Automations:

Manage your CNC programs, machine parameters, & offsets. Enjoy a wide range of CNC communication options from your Predator PCs for drip-feeding, downloading, & bi-directional communication. Upload via parallel, RS232, RS422 Ethernet, & wireless Ethernet for thousands of CNC machines. With Microsoft Office  & Windows Explorer-compatible user interface (Windows 10 O/S supported), use familiar features for drag & drop, cut, copy, paste, shortcut menus, object-based menus, toolbars, tool tips, & available online help.

Improve CNC revision control while using existing ERP & MES bar-coded paperwork. Eliminate time wasted walking back & forth between your CNC & PC with a Remote Request function. Consider a 32-Bit, Multi-thread, Multi-tasking, Open-Architecture DNC Software solution that works wired & wirelessly.

New Michigan Support Office

Shop Floor Automations in Michigan

Shop Floor Automations, Inc. (SFA), the largest independent supplier of Predator Software products, has recently open a new support office in Kalamazoo, Michigan. SFA will now be able to provide local support to customers in the Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. With the new office opening, support will be provided on the East Coast Time Zone from 7:00AM to 8:00PM, Monday – Friday.

About Shop Floor Automations, Inc.:
Shop Floor Automations, Inc. is the largest independent supplier of Predator Software products in the world. Serving as a United States Service Center for Predator Software, SFA provides sales, service, and support for all Predator products. Based in La Mesa, California, with offices and personnel in California; Texas, Michigan, and Arizona, SFA has remained Predators top reseller for twelve years running.

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

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

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

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Automate and Streamline Moldmaking with DNC Software

DNC SoftwareDNC Software  for Moldmaking

Shop Floor Automations (La Mesa, CA), the leading reseller and support provider for Predator Software, offers the perfect solution to automate and streamline the moldmaking process.

Predator DNC Software is designed to allow moldmaking applications to communicate with up to 256 CNCs simultaneously from a single PC. Predator DNC works in the background, even while other applications are running, to drip-feed large programs typically used by mold makers. Predator also includes a Server Safe Mode to protect against lost data in the event of a network crash during drip feed transfers. The software also supports various baud rates up to 256,000bps to allow for fast through-put to the machine to eliminate starving the control, which is common when running at lower baud rates.

The most used feature in the software is the DNC restart functionality to allow for the operator to restart mid-tape should a tool break in the middle of the program. The user can also specify a string of text that is then inserted at the beginning of the CNC program that is sent.

Predator DNC comes standard with protocols for error-free communication to packetize the data as the NC programs are being requested from the CNC controller. These protocols include Bridgeport Easylink, Brother Dialog, Fagor, Heidenhain Blockwise, Okuma B, and Xmodem at no additional cost.

This article was featured in Mold Making Technology. Read it here.

Shop of the Future

Shop of the Future

Using Shop Floor Automation’s software, manufacturers are now able to increase the efficiency and precision of their machines. These advancements in software technology have allowed manufacturers to reduce the amount of manpower as well as errors in their manufacturing processes, truly making them the shop of the future.

Joe Morales, director of manufacturing of Implant Direct states in the article:

“We chose Shop Floor Automation’s Predator DNC software,” he says. “All our machines have plenty of built-in memory, so we don’t use the drip-feed feature of the software, but we use most of its other features. All our machines are linked to their own computers, which, in turn, are linked to a server with Predator software. That way, our guys can read their travelers, input the program they need and Predator will deliver it to their workstation.”

“One thing we really like about the Predator software is its editor,” he says. “With as many parts and programs as we have, document control is extremely important. In the past, if an operator made changes to the G-code, the change could slip through a crack. But Predator prevents that. As soon as a program is no longer needed on the floor, it goes back to the programmer via Predator Software. The programmer uses the Predator editor to compare the returned program with the original. The software instantly flags changes so the programmer can check it out.”

Another useful feature, according to Morales, is the software’s “mass” editor. “The mass editing capability lets you call up multiple programs all at once and make changes to them,” he says. “This saves a tremendous amount of time. For instance, let’s say we wanted to alter speeds, feed rates or G-code. With Predator we can make one change and the software will change the entire family of parts all at once. It’s one of the key links in our manufacturing chain that helps us run this factory on the cutting edge of technology.”

Read the full article here.