Data Driven Decision Making in Manufacturing

Data Driven ManufacturingManufacturing is all about numbers and measurements. Without both of those factors, a manufactured piece would not come out correctly and quotas would not be met. Numbers and measurements are also at the heart of Data Driven Decision Making, and it is a method more American manufacturers can, and should, easily embrace.

Data Driven Decision Making (DDDM) is simply the process of making operational decisions based on information that can be backed up via tangible data. Many of the big companies live the DDDM philosophy, and when you use data to make decisions about HR, logistics, marketing, and territories to expand into – why not use it for the manufacturing process?

“Big data, small data, internal, external, experimental, observational — everywhere we look, information is being captured, quantified, and used to make business decisions,” says Walter Frick of the Harvard Business Review.

“Data can come from all manner of sources, including customer surveys, business intelligence software, and third party research,” Walter continues. “One of the most important distinctions to make is between analytics and experiments. The former provides data on what is happening in a business, the latter actively tests out different approaches with different consumer or employee segments and measures the difference in response.”

Data driven manufacturing through machine monitoring is the best way to gather analytics on the performance of your shop floor, and then that shop can alter their machine utilization, schedule maintenance, and perform other administrative actions, to compensate for any measured loss in OEE.

Want more information on machine monitoring and how you can get your shop in a DDDM state of mine, contact (877) 611-5825 or get in touch with us on one of our social media channels.

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 2

Shop Floor Automations specializes, among many things, in legacy machines on the manufacturing shop floor. In the same spirit of preservation, we present Edition 2 of our Legacy SFA Blog Series from the Shop Floor Automations blog!

shop floor automationsIn February of 2016, MoldMaking Technology published an article about our machine monitoring solutions through Scytec DataXchange. “Scytec DataXchange software from Shop Floor Automations (SFA) is a machine monitoring software that provides detailed data collection and real-time reporting on a dashboard, enabling users to instantly track productivity, and plan for increased efficiency and time savings on the shop floor.”

You can read the whole article here. The same article was also published in the March 2016 MoldMaking Technology issue on page 47.

Recently, Shop Floor Automations made a brand new hire for a new position. Amanda came on board as our Digital Marketing Coordinator (she is now simply our Marketing Coordinator) and AMT (the Association for Manufacturing Technology) published the announcement here.

As a bit of a throwback, Advanced Manufacturing (formerly known as Manufacturing Engineering Magazine) published this piece on us in October of 2014. Patrick Waurzyniak writes “More people than ever are looking to automate their processes, said Greg Mercurio, president of Shop Floor Automations Inc. (La Mesa, CA), a reseller of Predator Software’s manufacturing data collection suite and of the cloud-based Scytec data monitoring solution. ‘Time is money, and now there’s more in-process probing and automatic collection of data,” he add. “The key is everything is done at the machine tool.’” You can read more here.

Want more information on the solutions we offer? Call us at (877) 611-5825 or chat with us on social media

FABTECH Event Review

FABTECH 2016Shop Floor Automations had a very productive, and fun, visit to FABTECH 2016 in Las Vegas this year. We thank everyone who came by Booth C13109 to check out our solutions.

Here is a review of what we did:

Our main FABTECH video – link here

An interview we got to do with Hernan Luis Y Prado, the Founder of Workshops for Warriors, talks about the importance of filling the manufacturing skills/job gap with military veterans who have, or will be, transitioning to civilian life – link here

Our Facebook photo album from the event – link here

Need shop floor solutions? Came by our booth, but didn’t get scanned? Call us at (877) 611-5825 or contact us on social media, and we will get back to you soon!

More about Shop Floor Automations at Trade Shows: Because Shop Floor Automations works with clients all over America (even some International folks), tradeshows are an essential part of our lives as a company. This is your resource page to see where you can find SFA at upcoming shows!

SFA will be at HOUSTEX 2017 and WESTEC 2017. We commonly give away our famous G-code T-Shirt and some of our hardware solutions, as well. We always make sure that your visit to an SFA booth is informative and fun.


November 2016 SFA Newsletter

shop floor automations newsletterThis is an archive of our November 2016 SFA Newsletter

We at Shop Floor Automations (SFA) are excited to be at FABTECH in
Las Vegas once again from November 16th – 18th.

We will be at Booth C13109 to show everyone our hardware and software
solutions to increase productivity on your shop floor. There is still
time to get free admission to FABTECH, courtesy of SFA.

The Wi-Fi USB Connect is HERE!

SFA is pleased to announce that our Wi-Fi USB Connect product is now
available for purchase.

The Wi-Fi USB Connect allows for a quick, affordable upgrade to your
shop floor. Machinists can see files on their machine without walking
to go find a programmer, which can kill productivity. Plus, you won’t
have to worry about cabling costs – this product will get your CNC
machines with a USB port and Floppy Drive Emulators to share data
wirelessly to workstation PCs!

Meet SFA’s Shop Floor Man

Our newest creation is only a few months old, but he’s making a lot
of noise. While that is not unusual for a baby, this new being is
actually Shop Floor Man, a comic book character who is already making
his mark in the manufacturing industry.

“SFA is doing its job to attract a younger manufacturing audience,”
declares MoldMaking Technology, while Production Machining says
“Finally, there is a cartoon character metalworkers can embrace.”
“TechSpex states that Shop Floor Man is “an intriguing entrance into a
sphere not many other manufacturers have explored, to date.”

Toll Free: (877) 611-5825


Funny Sounding Manufacturing Terms

MFG Machinist MemeWe could all use a little laugh now and again, right? Quite a few psychologists have even studied and recommend to implement laughter in your daily routine to help with health. It’s time that those in manufacturing, from the shop floor machinist to the guy working in the corner office, learns to laugh at themselves.

Manufacturing is serious business. It is an expensive industry full of skilled workers who want the industry to regain more footing in the American economy. But come on now – there are some funny factors about our business!

We have created a comic called “Shop Floor Man Presents” to help bring this community together through humor, but why stop there? Here is a list of terms familiar to our industry that, if you think about it for a moment, sound quite funny:

DONGLE – Aside from sounding funny, a dongle is a USB with a license on it. Many consumers are likely familiar with the term “dongle” with the latest “no headphone jack in phones” movement, and CNET is having a good laugh about it, as well.

DIP SWITCH – Not something you call someone with no common sense. It’s an arrangement of switches still used on industrial equipment, even though consumer electronics have veered away from them.

FLOPPY DISK – It’s not really floppy at all, is it? The misleading name actually means that it is a flexible magnetic disk that can be removed. The disk is surrounded by hard plastic and stores crucial data on it. For the last few years, it’s been able to be replaced by USB flash drives and alike hardware devices (AHEM, which we have plenty of in different varieties).

WORM – Stands for “Write Once Read Many.” Can also catch fish, as well as a familiar term for early birds.

BRAT – It doesn’t just explain a petulant child. It can have two manufacturing meanings: “Bi-drive Recreational All Terrain” OR “Business Risk Advisory Team.

WHACK-A-MOLE – A euphemism in manufacturing that states while one problem will be solved, another one is bound to pop up. (PS – we can help your shop floor stop feeling like this, but keep reading on!)

POKA-YOKE – While it sounds like something you would do when making over-easy eggs, this is the act of making a manufacturing process fail-safe and a process in which an error cannot be made. Detecting and preventing errors in this process falls into three stages. (AKA Baka-Yoke)

funny machine shop signs

Funny signs on display in a maker’s lab

No one is perfect. Check out our Shop Floor Automations blooper reel and subscribe to our YouTube channel! We also have tutorials and other useful info there.

BISCUIT – A ceramic that was fired, but not glazed. In terms of carbs, isn’t a glazed biscuit that was baked a scone? (AKA bisque)

BMS LOAD – It’s not an insult you hurl at someone on the manufacturing shop floor. It’s the input of resource estimates, charges and committed money in an engineering program.

CATCHBALL – Not something you do with a company sports team. It’s the process of back and forth communication between different organization levels in the workplace.

YOYO – Stands for “You’re on your own”. Hopefully, when someone says this to you, you don’t have a YOLO (“you only live once”) attitude about it.

If you can use more laughter in your life, follow our manufacturing humor related accounts on Twitter and Instagram. If you have serious business regarding your shop floor, we invite you to call us at (877) 611-5825 and we will get you taken care of.

Thanks to for help with explaining some of these terms!

Halloween with Shop Floor Man

shop floor man It’s a little late, but we wanted to make sure we got our Halloween issue of “Shop Floor Man Presents” up here on our blog. In this comic strip, we see it takes A LOT to scare Shop Floor Man (you can click the image to see the comic larger).

More about our manufacturing and machinist themed cartoon creation:

“With an eye toward a younger manufacturing audience, the company has launched a Web comic series,” says Jedd Cole of TechSpex. “With the intention of carving out a space for manufacturing-related humor on social media, especially Twitter.”

“The comic appears in two-panel stories in which the main character, Shop Floor Man, shows life with SFA’s solutions compared with exaggerated horrors he faces elsewhere,” Cole continued. “Other comics will riff on familiar trials faced by machinists everywhere, as well as other industry-related humor.”

Shop Floor Automations (SFA) is doing its job to attract a younger manufacturing audience by working its social media channels and developing a comic strip series called Shop Floor Man Presents,” Christina M. Fuges of MoldMaking Technologywrites.

“Finally, there’s a cartoon character metalworkers can embrace,” Chris Koepfer from Production Machining writes. “He is the brainchild from a collaboration among the owner and two employees of California-based Shop Floor Automations (SFA)…the entire company contributes ideas and feedback for the comic, which makes it fun for the employees to get involved and share their shop floor experiences.”

“With a younger MFG audience on the horizon, SFA is looking to make an impact within the social media landscape, just as the company has made its mark in the shop floor automation field,” Manufacturing Tomorrow published on October 13th.

To read more about Shop Floor Man, click here! To get solutions to make your manufacturing shop floor more productive, call (877) 611-5825!

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 1

shop floor automationsWe at Shop Floor Automations know that your legacy machines are important to you. We also take the same care in preserving our past press appearances, so we welcome you to our Legacy SFA Blog Series from the Shop Floor Automations blog!

In the first edition, we invite you to look back on articles and ads in:

CNC West, November 2016 – pages 88, 89 and 70 – where we had our new products appearing at our FABTECH 2016 booth, as well as an ad for our Multi Connect, which will also be on display at FABTECH.

Manufacturing News, October 2016 – page 35 (for the West issue) – In this issue, we talk about Predator Touch HMI and why it will benefit your shop floor manufacturing needs. The machine monitoring, big button interface is a program we have been excited to share with the public the past few months, and we are glad the manufacturing publications are helping us spread the word. Click here to read the piece in MFG News.

Modern Machine Shop, October 2016 – on page 149 (and on their website) – We got to talk further here about Predator’s Touch HMI. “The HMI is designed to provide an easier way for operators on the shop floor to interact with management and Predator Software. Shop Floor Automations can customize color coding, layouts, prompts and third-party applications.” We invite you to read more at this link.

American Machinist, November 2016 – on their website – our new WiFi USB Connect product is featured. The post states “The device serves as an easy and economic shop floor upgrade. Data can be stored on a remote PC, or locally in the device’s memory, with the device itself providing up to 128 MB of storage.” Read more here.

Speaking of Modern Machine Shop, they also published a piece on our new creation, Shop Floor Man, in early November 2016! “With an eye toward a younger manufacturing audience, the company has launched a Web comic series called ‘Shop Floor Man Presents’ with the intention of carving out a space for manufacturing-related humor on social media, especially Twitter.” Read more of the piece by clicking here.

Want more information on our hardware, software and support solutions? Call (877) 611-5825 to tell us what is going on with your shop floor! 


houstex 2017

Shop Floor Automations is proud to be returning to HOUSTEX for their 2017 show from February 28th to March 2nd 2017 in Houston, Texas! Click here to register and here to see what we will be up to. Come see us at Booth 1616.

Use coupon code HOUSTEX2017 in our cart up until 3/31/17 for 10% off all SFA Software (discount is not valid on demos, free downloads, or past purchases) 

At HOUSTEX 2017, SFA will present Predator Software updates, Scytec DataXchange updates, plus we will be showing our new product – the WiFi USB Connect from the Connect Series! We will also have a lot of info on machine monitoring, DNC software & other ways to increase productivity and your OEE!

 Follow Shop Floor Automations on our various social media channels. Like us on Facebook, Tweet us, watch our YouTube videos, check out our Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn.

If you are a Texas-area manufacturing shop floor looking to increase productivity, get rid of downtime, and help your machinists focus more on what they do best, come to our booth. We have a great Support team that can help you over Remote Sessions, or we can send them out to your shop floor. 

Click on the HOUSTEX banner above to get free admission to the show, on us!

Our full line of software options will also be demonstrated at the show. We look forward to presenting new products versions, as well. Specific displays will be changes to Scytec’s DataXchange and live demonstrations of Predator’s Touch HMI