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Meet Manufacturing Demand at FABTECH 2021

Shop Floor Automations to Offer Manufacturing Machine Monitoring and Hardware Solutions to Increase Visibility, Productivity

With its recent announcement that it will be the first large-scale manufacturing trade show to return to McCormick Place in Chicago from September 13-16, FABTECH will once again make Chicago the epicenter of the North American metal fabrication industry. The event brings all aspects of the metal fabricating, forming, welding, and finishing industries together to showcase the technology, innovation, and solutions they provide.

Manufacturing machine monitoring solutions - FABTECH Booth #A3441

Schedule your demonstration of manufacturing machine monitoring solutions at the Shop Floor Automations Booth, #A3441, at FABTECH 2021

Shop Floor Automations (SFA), a manufacturing integrator offering hardware and software solutions to manufacturers and job shops throughout the United States, will be exhibiting the Scytec DataXchange machine monitoring solution at Booth #A3441 at FABTECH this year. This solution allows production environments to capture automated, real-time machine data for increased visibility of accurate cycle times, setup times, idle times, machine downtime and more. For manufacturers struggling to keep pace with demand as the United States recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, machine monitoring solutions, like DataXchange, can be the difference between a company’s ability to take on new work versus not.

In the May 2021 Manufacturing ISM® Report On Business®, Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee, stated, “Demand expanded, with the (1) New Orders Index growing at a strong level, supported by the New Export Orders Index continuing to expand, (2) Customers’ Inventories Index hitting another all-time low and (3) Backlog of Orders Index continuing at a record-high level.”

“Now, and well into 2022, manufacturers need to be able to make demonstrable impacts to machine uptime automatically to generate greater efficiencies to support existing work while increasing productivity for growth opportunities knocking on the doors of so many,” says Greg Mercurio, SFA President.

FABTECH facilitates connections between exhibitors and attendees in order to conduct business, share knowledge, and showcase the most advanced manufacturing equipment and technology in an unparalleled environment. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore three halls filled with cutting-edge technology, new product debuts, and firsthand product demonstrations from over 1,000 exhibitors.

Attendee and media registration for FABTECH 2021 is open now. Visit fabtechexpo.com to register and obtain additional show details. To schedule a DataXchange demonstration with SFA in advance of the show, contact us at www.shopfloorautomations.com.

Smarter Shop Floor With Cloud-Based Monitoring

Cloud-Based Monitoring Project Introduction:

Tech Manufacturing, a long-time manufacturer of machined metal parts for aerospace clients such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and Bombardier, needed to raise production capacity and reduce lead times for their clients’ largest and most urgent orders. With their 5-axis CNC machines already running 24 hours a day up to 7 days a week, Jerry Halley, Chief Engineer at Tech Manufacturing, looked towards smarter operation and real-time performance data to increase the productivity and useful life of their existing machines.

“We needed a better understanding of how our machines were actually performing for us in real-time,” said Halley. “Live and historical machine performance data would also help us identify technical or process issues that were detrimental to productivity.” With a combination of hardware and software, a CNC monitoring system would collect, analyze, and visualize the necessary performance metrics. However, Halley needed to weigh the productivity gains of such a system against the cost and effort of deployment, especially if it involved a new and unfamiliar server-based IT infrastructure. The ideal system would be easily deployed without specialized IT equipment, knowledge, or effort, and would not require repeated software installation, updates, or configuration.

manufacturing technology trends Application Requirements:
-Live dashboard with alerts based on historical and target performance metrics
-Easy to use with existing CNC machines that may not have built-in Ethernet interface
-Does not require investment or expertise in specialized IT infrastructure, servers, or software
-Knowledgeable and experienced integration and vendor support team

Solution:
Tech Manufacturing selected Shop Floor Automations, one of the most prominent systems integrators in North America specializing in CNC monitoring systems, to assist with cloud-based monitoring. Each CNC machine was connected to the existing local area network, so no additional IT infrastructure was required. For legacy machines that did not have a readily available Ethernet port, Shop Floor Automations provided an easy-to-deploy solution that was developed with Moxa. “The industrial networking units from Moxa make it easy for us to get our clients’ legacy machines connected to the cloud,” said Greg Mercurio, President of Shop Floor Automations.

“For industrial users like Tech Manufacturing, these solutions are invaluable in extending the capabilities and useful life of their still-functional but older CNC machines.” With the local network connected to the Internet, machine performance data was easily viewed and analyzed by cloud-based software such as Scytec DataXchange or Predator Machine Data Collection. Key performance metrics were organized on a visual dashboard so owners and machine operators were able to see exactly how productive each cell was, down to the machine level. Read more below.

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Improving Productivity with Cloud-Based Monitoring

IIoT Cloud OEE MFGCloud-Based Monitoring

Check out this article about Cloud-Based Monitoring and how it can improve productivity. This is a powerful tool for any modern machine shop and it is important to learn how easy it is to revolutionize the way machines are being monitored.

As a manufacturer of machined metal parts for aerospace clients such as BoeingLockheed Martin and Bombardier, Tech Manufacturing often ran its five-axis CNC machines 24 hours a day up to seven days a week. With such heavy CNC demands, the company began looking for ways to increase its production capacity and reduce lead times for its clients’ largest and most urgent orders.

Purchasing additional machines would, of course, be one way to achieve this. But Jerry Halley, chief engineer at Tech Manufacturing, was interested in finding a smarter, more efficient approach that did not require a large capital investment.

“It was clear to me that we needed a much better understanding of how our machines were actually performing for us in real time,” Halley explains. “In addition, if we had live and historical machine performance data available, we would be able to identify any technical or process issues that were detrimental to individual or overall productivity.” Read more below.

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Predator’s Enhanced Ethernet Based Machine Monitoring called CNC Service

Enhanced Ethernet Based Machine Monitoring

Shop Floor Automations announces a new solution for Machine Monitoring utilizing MTConnect, FOCAS and other solutions called CNC Service (originally an article in CNC West).

SHOP FLOOR AUTOMATIONS ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF PREDATOR’S
ENHANCED ETHERNET-BASED MACHINE MONITORING

Predator Software LA MESA, Calif. – December 16, 2014 – Shop Floor Automations (SFA), the largest distributor and Service Center for Predator Software Inc., today announced the release of Predator’s popular Manufacturing Data Collection (MDC) software for Ethernet-based machine tools.

For many years, Predator has offered its fully automated, real-time MDC system for any size company to monitor and improve shop floor productivity using PLCs, macros, and paper-based solutions. This solution integrated well into equipment with stack lights and older machines to capture running, alarms, feed hold, and idle time, but left some users objecting to adding more equipment due to the costs of hardware requirements.

Today, most CNC machines include Ethernet ports and can be leveraged for data collection. CNC machines that use a Fanuc controller may have a feature called FOCAS, which allows for the capture of real-time data such as overrides, spindle speed, program number, feed/speed rates, alarms, and indicates control mode. Read more below.

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SFA Offers Predator Basic Machine Monitoring Software

Predator Software Predator Software Machine Monitoring

Shop Floor Automations (SFA), a distributor and service center for Predator Software Inc., has announced the Basic version of Predator’s Manufacturing Data Collection (MDC) Software.

“For many years now, Predator has offered their fully automated, real time MDC system for larger corporations,” said a company spokesperson. “Now they have released the Basic version of the same software targeted toward the small to medium size manufactures looking to capture utilization, with alarm status and part counts.”

MDC Basic is designed to be an affordable way to collect real-time and historical data from the shop floor. It allows for no operator input at the CNC to capture running or idle status along with alarm mode. The customer can also record good and scrapped part counts directly from the CNC interface.

All the collected data is recorded into one of three database platforms: Microsoft Access, Microsoft SQLo r Oracle. Decision makers will have various reports and charts at their fingertips regarding production history, said SFA. Read more below.

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Data Collection Made Simple

machine status view Real-time machine data collection

Capturing real-time data from the shop floor does not have to be complicated.  Using your existing infrastructure and computers, our data collection solution Predator MDC can be added to your equipment with ease. Here is info on Data Collection for CNC Machines made simple.

Works with any type of  CNC control, including Mazak, FANUC, Haas, Okuma, Siemens, and Cincinnati. Compatibility also includes Robots, press brakes, bar feeds, welders, and more.

Report, chart and display on any workstation or LCD Monitor the current status of the machine to start.  Later, you can expand multiple plants, capture jobs, part counts, scrap reason and more with our Enterprise MDC. Learn More

More about our Machine Monitoring and Data Collection services through Predator MDC, as well as Scytec DataXchange:

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.