Xmodem Drip Feeding

Is the Xmodem protocol something to consider when drip-feeding CNC programs?

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

For more information on DNC Software, please call (877) 61-5825 or fill out a contact form

More helpful drip-feeding information:

My control is not showing the program sending via Predator DNC

Garbage data through Predator DNC 

Can’t change Predator DNC settings

Remote request with DNC software 

FANUC Alarm Codes

What are some typical FANUC alarm codes?

The most common FANUC alarm codes are 086 where no hardware handshaking is occurring. It can also be known as DR Signal Off, which means your cable connection is bad. We also see 073 alot, which means the program number has already been used.

If you need more information on getting your FANUC productivity back to where it needs to be. fill out a contact form or call (877) 611-5825

Other useful FANUC information: 

FANUC RS232 Parameters


Control models supported by FANUC FOCAS



What drive do I need for my CNC machine?

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

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

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

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

What notifications will DataXchange send me about my machine?

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

DataXchange pricing information 

DataXchange versions compared 

Typical machine monitoring requests from customers:

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

Want machine historical data? Machine usage stats? Machine cycle status? Or have custom needs? We welcome you to do the following if you still have more questions:

  1. Sign up for a machine monitoring demo
  2. Sign up for a trial
  3. Fill out a contact form or call (877) 611-5825



What Fanuc RS232 Parameters can I use?

What Fanuc RS232 Parameters can I use?

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

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

Our Fanuc specific solutions:

Fanuc DNC Software – Complete RS232 transfer & drip-feeding via Wireless and Ethernet communication. Simultaneous communication for all FANUC CNC model. Predator DNC includes all FANUC RS232 and Ethernet protocols.

Machine monitoring – DataXchange is compatible with Fanuc FOCAS for machine data collection.

How is Fanuc FOCAS different from the MTConnect protocol? Read more 



Why isn’t my USB to Serial cable working?

Why isn’t my USB to Serial cable working? I am having an issue with my USB to Serial adapter.

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

Check out this downloads page, call us or fill out a contact form.

Manufacturers turn to our USB to Serial solution when they need the following:

This product is compatible with new and legacy RS232 devices and can be used with mobile, instrumentation, and point-of-sale applications as well. Our USB-to-Serial converter is the perfect accessory for laptop computers that do not have a serial port.

Supports Windows 7, Windows 8 & 10, and 32/64 bit operating systems. DB9 male connector for RS232.

DataXchange on Mobile? Industrial IoT

Does DataXchange support mobile devices? I want to take further advantage of the Industrial IoT.

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

Having on the go access to your machine OEE data has many benefits. In this blog, we assert that there is less worry of machines going down, this can create a better work/life balance for those who work on the shop floor, and in the front office. Machine monitoring, which is a powerful IIoT (industrial internet of things) tool, is an amazing way to get notifications of what is going on with machines not only on the shop floor, but via email or text notifications.

When this proven solution to deal with downtime is combined with more accountability through the means of…other resources on the shop floor, there is more trust in the workplace. More people can use their PTO to go on vacation, or workers who are home sick can help give guidance when a machine goes down via a notes section through machine monitoring.

Call us for more info at (877) 611-5825 or fill out a contact form today

My Floppy Drive Emulator saves programs, but can it send programs?

I noticed I can’t save programs back to the Haas floppy emulator, but I can send programs to the Haas? How am I able to read from the hardware but not write from it?

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

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

If you are still encountering an issue, please contact Support or call (877) 611-5825 

What are the differences between Predator Machine Monitoring versions?

What are the differences between Predator Machine Monitoring versions?

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.

Predator Machine Monitoring is one of many software products that SFA provides full support on. We can provide remote sessions over the phone and computer, or visit your shop in person. We can also update your software when the time comes and specify it to your needs.

What is Predator Machine Monitoring Software?

What is Predator Machine Monitoring Software?

Predator Machine Monitoring AKA 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.

Machine Monitoring gives you the ability to see what your machines are doing in real-time. Collect & process data from your machines using software like MTConnect, FANUC FOCAS, custom macros, or hardware devices. Optional data collection terminals can be used for additional operator input. Run time, downtime, & OEE data is then presented via dashboards, historical reports, & charts. Emails or text messages can be sent to notify you of production issues on the shop floor.

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

In today’s competitive manufacturing environment, it is more important than ever to be as efficient as possible. Increase machine up-time & drive innovation on your shop floor.