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Manufacturing News – June 2016

Manufacturing News – June 2016

Shop Floor Automations was featured in Manufacturing News this past month of June 2016. In the article, we spoke about Touch HMI Software from Predator, as well as our Floppy Drive Emulators.

“Touch HMI has the ability for wired and wireless support, as well as configuration to communication with CNCs, CMMs, test stands, and other devices,” we stated, of Touch HMI software.

In regards to the Floppy Emulator, which was once called the FD Connect but is now part of our Floppy Connect line, we wrote: “a CNC control that still uses a floppy drive can easily switch to using a USB drive.” The Floppy Connect line is off-the-shelf compatible with Haas, but it is also compatible with other machines, with the help of our technicians.

Click Read our piece, plus the whole issue! Call (877) 611-5825 for more information.

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.

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.

Lights-Out Manufacturing Saves Money

Lights-Out Manufacturing Saves Money

Disturbed by your machine shop electricity bills? You are likely not imagining things if you feel like they’re just getting higher. Lights-out manufacturing may help ease this stress.

Lights Out ManufacturingAccording to Philip Moeller of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, this is a trend we won’t be able to shake off in coming years. “We are now in an era of rising electricity prices,” he said in this article, attributing the growth to modern consumption. “If you take enough supply out of the system, the price is going to increase.”

While some companies try to turn to solar or wind power for energy alternatives, many shops choose to remain on a more reliable power source, which puts them at the mercy of power companies. Especially for shops that are located in California, the same state Shop Floor Automations has its main office, there is an estimated 47 percent jump in electric prices for our state within the next 14 years!

According to the US Energy Administration, the commercial and industrial sections take up more than half of the electricity consumption rates in America. Average prices of 6.89 cents to 10.59 cents per kilowatthour means your bill will add up quick. Is there any way the manufacturing industry can save money on power? Read more below or keep scrolling for the rest of the story.

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SFA New Product Released in CNC West Magazine

Predator DNC V10 Released – original article from CNC West Magazine: 

Predator DNC SoftwareShop Floor Automations (SFA), one of the largest independent CNC automation suppliers for Predator Software has begun implementing the latest version of Predator DNC Software v10. The new version continues to improve support for the latest CNCs, robots, PLCs and other manufacturing equipment under the latest version of Microsoft Windows. Numerous new features and improvements have been added.

The support for MicrosoftWindows 8, and Server 2012 has been completed under 32 and 64 bit operation systems while including Predator DNC Objects for Microsoft SQL for 2012 and 2014. The new version extends the support for virtual operating systems such as VMware and HyperV.

Predator DNC v10 supports the latest Fanuc Focas v3.9 device drivers. The change improved support for Fanuc controls with new options to eliminate spaces in filenames, automatically rename to an O number and force uppercase files. The new drivers enable support forWindows functional account providing specific permissions to access target folders to help secure CNCs from network.

Additional diagnostic tools have been created to allow users to support a machine specific error log without enabling multiple commands and individual logs. A single log created to trace all activity and shared to multiple users for confirmation of transfers and historical archiving. Shop Floor Automations reports the benefits of upgrading the Predator Software to the latest version allow for future compatibility between enhanced wireless and wired serial devices used for CNC communication and machine monitoring applications. The Predator Editor Lock provides software control over a CNC machines “Write Protect” key to lock and unlock the CNC’s memory.

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 SoftwareLA 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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Happy New Year! Have a great 2014

Shop Floor Automations 2014

Happy New Year! We hope 2014 turns out to be a great year for you.

A large number of our existing customers have started to expand with more machines and a look toward automation. We added more machines than previously to our machine monitoring software and see a great improvement in productivity and a reduction of downtime.

Because we’ve been so busy, we wanted to make sure you are informed of some of the other solutions in Predator’s new EditLock feature, used with Predator Product Data Management (Document Control) and Predator DNC networking along with JobPack’s scheduling software.

Discover how we can save you more time and money by expanding your existing system today. Call (877) 611-5825 or contact us on social media!

More about Shop Floor Automations:

Founded back in 1998, Shop Floor Automations, Inc. (SFA) started as a small company focused on distributing the Predator Software product line to the San Diego and Los Angeles markets of California.  Within 6 months, the company expanded to cover the entire West Coast as a reseller with the goal to be the #1 reseller in a year.

The goal was met in 1999 when SFA was awarded the status of largest distributor of Predator Software in North America. SFA has been ranked #1 in Predator Software Sales, Service and Support for many years.

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.

Predator PDM Version 10 Release

pdm

Predator PDM Version 10 Release

La Mesa, CA – April 4, 2012 –Shop Floor Automations (SFA) has announced the release of the newest version of its shop floor PDM solution, Predator PDM version 10.
Version 10 of Predator PDM offers the most extensive expansion of features of any version yet, according to the company. Features include: direct integration with Predator DNC systems, including systems utilizing Remote Request; improved integration with Predator MDC (Manufacturing Data Collection) systems; expanded workflow, approval control and history options; new and improved bar code and RFID integration options and unlimited flexibility in definition and naming of PDM vault elements.
“All previous PDM systems have been designed and built with CAD & CAM files and design departments in mind and as such, have rarely been a good fit for controlling access to files on the shop floor,” said a company spokesperson. “Predator PDM is designed to be much more flexible than traditional PDM systems while still retaining the ability to provide absolute control over what files are being used on the floor and capturing a history of those files’ use as well.
“Our basic PDM systems can be utilized to simply control and track access to NC files, but they can easily be expanded to include almost any type of file used on the shop floor, including drawings, tool lists, setup sheets, videos, manuals, etc. While designed to be as simple as possible to implement and use, Predator PDM still has the power to be the single solution for file access control, file viewing, file use history, quality and manufacturing status history, initiation of DNC file transfers (when combined with our DNC software solution) and updating of machine status (both to our data collection solutions, as well as existing data collection systems).”

For more information: fill out a contact form here 

Tel: 619-461-4000, fax: 619-461-5918, toll free: 877-611-5825.

 

Predator CNC Editor v6.1 Released

CNC Editor Gcode EditorPredator CNC Editor v6.1 Released

Predator CNC Editor  v6.1 has been Released and is ready for use on manufacturing shop floor. If you would like more information on how Predator Editor and other CNC Editors can benefit you, read more below:

SFA provides customized CNC Editor Solutions for everyone, from small job shops to the largest manufacturers, with hundreds of features to improve day-to-day CNC machine tool productivity. Dozens of CNC intelligent editing commands make changes to your CNC program quickly & easily. Edit confidently with the ability to undo & redo all changes. Microsoft Word-compatible menus, toolbar, & shortcut keys make these systems easy to learn with basic CNC communications. Also, Windows 10 O/S is supported!

In addition, editing multiple CNC programs of unlimited file sizes at the same time, even while other applications run in the background, is supported. Cut, copy, & paste between them. Program includes a side-by-side file compare that identifies all G-code & M-code differences, then fixes them with a single click.

These extremely versatile but easy-to-use packages are designed to simplify your work & will also improve productivity. Our editing & backplotter packages are developed under rigorous testing.

Founded back in 1998, Shop Floor Automations, Inc. (SFA) started as a small company focused on distributing the Predator Software product line to the San Diego and Los Angeles markets of California.  Within 6 months, the company expanded to cover the entire West Coast as a reseller with the goal to be the #1 reseller in a year.

The goal was met in 1999 when SFA was awarded the status of largest distributor of Predator Software in North America. SFA has been ranked #1 in Predator Software Sales, Service and Support for decades.

 

Predator Software Releases DNC v3.2

Update Provides Increased Reliability and Integration

PORTLAND, OR – August 20, 2002 – Predator Software Inc., a leading provider of shop floor communication and automation software, today announced the release of Predator DNC (direct/distributed numeric control) version 3.2, the latest update to the company’s shop floor networking and communication application, which enables personnel to electronically automate the sharing of CNC program files between PCs and CNCs.

Predator SoftwarePredator DNC v3.2 provides nearly 40 enhancements, including new features to improve the user experience, as well as numerous performance-based upgrades to existing features. Recognized for its object-oriented flexibility, version 3.2 has added, among other key features, multiple file selection, wildcard directory searching, and improved Object functionality and reliability. More than a dozen new Objects have also been added, including integration Objects for Predator MDC and Predator Travelers, Regular Expression Objects, and CNC-specific protocols.

“Predator DNC v3.2 continues our emphasis on improving product quality while expanding the power of our application”, said Jim Abbassian, Predator Software President. “We received a tremendous amount of customer feedback, which drove many of the improvements in this latest release. The result is an excellent product update with an exceptional value-to-performance ratio.”

One of the biggest changes is a new installation process based on Microsoft’s Install Services. This technology was introduced in Windows 2000 and is supported natively. If the user is running Windows 95, 98 or NT v4.0 and Microsoft’s Install Services have never been installed, the new install procedure will do it automatically.

Read more below.

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