Shop Floor Automations Newsletter – August 2012

Shop Floor Automations NewsletterThe following is an archived copy of the Shop Floor Automations Newsletter from August 2012.

Are you going to IMTS 2012?

SFA will be there in force at Booth E3240. Come meet Greg, Amy, Justin, Josh, Andrew and John. We look forward to helping you find the best solution for your shop floor. We will also have the JobPack team showing off their Job Scheduling System as well as Josh Davids from Scytec showing off their Hosted DataXchange Machine Monitoring Solution. Scytec is also a TAG partner for MT Connect, so stop by our booth to learn how we can help you seamlessly connect with your old and new CNC machines with one solution!

We will showcase the latest in Apple and Android Mobile applications using Ipads, tablets, and smart phones presenting live machine monitoring software. You can see demos of Hosted DataXchange, JobPack Scheduler, Bigfoot Maintenance Software and more. We will also have our USB Connect, wireless and other hardware products for you to see firsthand how they integrate with CNCs.

Book your installations and service for the 4thQuarter soon!

Frequently after a large tradeshow, we get really busy. Please plan ahead for your year-end budgets so that we can meet your needs for 2012.  Be sure to sign up for our promotions and end of year clearance on hardware as we close out our inventory levels.  Special bundle pricing will happen immediately after the show on software and hardware packages, so be sure to ask your Account Executive.

USB Connect Portable Backup Solution

It seems to happen to all of us.  The CNC machines are making chips and the parts are on schedule when, all of the sudden, the operator notifies you he cannot transfer the NC program into the machine for the last operation.  He tried several times, checked the cable, reset the hardware and is still unsuccessful.  The PC crashed and IT department has to order a new power supply, which is 3 days out.  Now what??

The rugged, portable, USB Connect is a great solution to interface to any CNC to transfer NC programs or drip feed large programs using any brand or size USB flash drive.  The LCD display allows the operator to quickly select the file, and load the program into the controller with the supplied RS232 cable.  The unit can be configured for multiple baud rates, flow control and parameters to store a variety of machine configurations.  When the PC crashes, this unit can be the lifeline between production and downtime. Are you prepared?

Did you know?
The Predator CNC Editor Light can be installed on an unlimited number of PCs for editing, saving and printing of G-Code programs.  You can download a copy from our website for FREE and register the product at no charge to help improve editing files over using Windows Notepad.  The CNC Editor integrates with all CAM systems and a great tool for the shop floor or programming office.

SFA in the NEWS

Communicating with the Shop Floor

Greg Mercurio, President of Shop Floor Automations is interviewed in the August issue of
Manufacturing Engineering

Link to original newsletter HERE

Predator Software drops Windows 2000 Support

Predator SoftwarePredator Software has been supporting Microsoft’s Windows 2000 since it was released to manufacturing back on December 1999. Unfortunately, after almost 12 years, Predator will no longer be able to provide day-to-day support for their applications on this platform as of August 2012.

However, support is ongoing to upgrade Predator applications from an existing Windows 2000 installation to a newer edition of Microsoft Windows. Please call (877) 611-5825 for more information.

More about Shop Floor Automations and Predator Software:

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 the past 17 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.

SFA is located in San Diego County, situated in the bustling suburb of La Mesa, California, about 10 miles East of San Diego, ever since our founding year.  We expanded our support offices throughout the USA over the years to meet customer demands.

We are focused on the sales, service and support of the Predator Software MES Suite. The Suite consists of Predator DNC (shop floor networking and communications), Predator MDC (Manufacturing Data Collection and machine monitoring), Predator DNC Enterprise (shop floor control), Predator Product Data Management (CNC and data management), Predator Travelers (electronic work instructions), Predator Tracker (tool crib and gage crib organization and tracking), Predator Virtual CNC (NC verification and simulation), and Predator CNC Editor (NC editing). The Predator MES Suite provides manufacturers and machine shops with answers to real-world shop floor automation problems. SFA combines an experienced and dedicated staff with internal systems for development, testing, and support of all Predator Software applications. We are committed to investing in the resources it takes to remain the recognized industry leader in shop floor automation technologies.

Many of our clients know us as the DNC Communications and Data Collection / Machine Monitoring experts and we look forward to helping your company in these areas and with our new product solutions.

SFA in August Modern Machine Shop

Shop Floor Automations was in Modern Machine Shop for our Cloud-Based software Tracks Cycle Time.

Shop Floor Automations’ cloud-based Software as a Service (Saas) data collection software is designed to capture utilization, downtime and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) information without upfront purchase costs or the need to install or maintain database or reporting servers.

The system can track multiple types of cycle time, including from a hardware adaptor or through MTConenct or FANUC FOCAS, and report on metrics such as utilization and efficiency. The system can also run both sets of cycle time and then compare data.
The company will also showcase various hardware products, including a wireless device for connecting controllers to networks and USB Connect for adding memory sticks to CNCs. The latter product is available in either a pendant-mounted version that can be attached to a control or a portable unit for use with a variety of machines.

Read more….

Featured in – Modern Machine Shop – Website www.mmsonline.com

More info on MTConnect:

MTConnect is an open, royalty-free, universal factory floor communication standard that is designed specifically for the shop floor environment to enable the efficient transfer of data between devices (such as CNCs) & software applications similar to Predator MDC & Scytec DataXchange. Some users have referenced this as the “Bluetooth” technology we currently experience with our smartphones & daily electronic devices. By establishing an open & extensible channel of communication for plug-and-play interconnectivity between devices, equipment, & systems, MTConnect allows sources to exchange & understand each other’s data.  It’s like speaking a common language!

If you want propriety software & solutions, MTConnect is not for you! This new standard will bridge your factory shop floor & link you to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).  Think of the equipment on your shop floor now that has limits on how they connect, can they connect, can you get real-time data from them, & what if you could make them all speak to each other?  While some equipment would be limited on what can come from it, the information can quickly be displayed on dashboards, smartphones, ERP/MRP systems, & other equipment.