Mastercam 2018 Rollout

mastercam 2018 rollout CAD/CAM Consulting Inc. recently held a Mastercam 2018 rollout event at the Planes of Fame Museum in Chino, CA. Shop Floor Automations (SFA) was lucky enough to participate as a vendor whose solutions integrate with Mastercam software.

Guests of the event not only got to sit in on informative demonstrations of new and improved Mastercam features, but they also got to walk throughout this beautiful museum full of aviation history. Lunch was served and a raffle took place at the end of the event – SFA even got to give out our Wireless CNC Connect and the Wired CNC Connect.

Click here to watch our video from the event & subscribe to our YouTube channel

Some of the enhancements reviewed for the event were general, which include analyzing the toolpath, analyzing the distance along the curve, lathe coordinates, and more.  Overall design enhancements, as well as tool enhancements, mill enhancements (2D and 3D), lathe enhancements, and mill-turn enhancements, were discussed.

Some detailed presentations given to attendees touched on customizing your interface with nifty features such as the Quick Access Toolbar. A litany of commands are at your fingertips and your tabs can be customized to your ease of use, which includes selecting the option of displaying large icons. We were also informed that posts from Mastercam which are three versions back or newer can also be updated to the Mastercam 2018 version.

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mastercam 2018 rolloutHow does SFA work with Mastercam? The three best solutions are:

# 1 – DNC Software: Once Mastercam is done building your programs, send them to your machines with DNC Software. Able to store 1000’s of programs securely, you won’t have to worry anymore if your programs are floating around the shop, or if the program is too large for the CNC memory. This is a great upgrade if you find your current CNC communication methods are failing.

# 2 – Hardware: A more economic approach when compared to DNC Software, some opt for our USB Connect hardware (available in units which can be mounted on a machine or in a rugged, portable unit) or they gravitate towards our Wired/Wireless, CNC Connect devices. No longer run from the machine to the PC, or risk damaging your laptop by carrying it around the shop floor. Expensive memory upgrades will now be a thing of the past.

# 3 – Machine Monitoring: Okay, it’s more of an accessory to Mastercam, but it is a great addition to your shop. Monitoring downtime and other machine trends help to increase OEE and drives real-time improvements on your shop floor. Customers report productivity increases of up to 25% just from monitoring the utilization of their machines. Imagine the time you’ll save with Mastercam plus machine monitoring in your shop!

If you want more information on this event or any of the solutions mentioned above, Shop Floor Automations would love to hear from you! Fill out our Sales contact form, or call (877) 611-5825. 

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 8

shop floor automationsA company does not thrive on satisfied customers alone. That is why we use the Shop Floor Automations blog to show we are grateful for the press coverage we get on our solutions and other company news we like to share. Here is another edition of our Legacy Blogs:

MFG Talk Radio published a piece from us where we discussed the top 3 reasons to get a floppy drive emulator here. Speaking of our hardware, Modern Machine Shop published a blog on our WiFi USB Connect in April here, as well as publishing a piece on the device in their May 2017 issue (pages 136 through 138). MFG News also published a piece about the same device on their blog here, as well as in their June 2017 issue in all editions (page 76 for the Southwest edition and page 62 for the West edition, for example).

We were the May 2017 Tip of the Month for Moldmaking Technology, which you can check out by doing to page 72 of the issue, or check it out hereVeterans Today shared our piece on the great work that Workshops for Warriors is doing at this link.

A recent piece we have done on the top 3 reasons manufacturing jobs are for millennials has been picking up a lot of buzz. MFG Talk Radio published the piece hereMFR Tech published the piece here, and Today’s Medical Developments published the piece hereWhyMFG also published it, as well as Manufacturing Global publishing it hereA2Z Manufacturing Magazine published the piece as well, wherein they referenced Today’s Medical Developments as the source, but we definitely appreciate our work reaching a wider audience, regardless. We love the chance to display our industry knowledge outside of our solutions and are flattered by the attention this piece has been getting.

Want more information on how to get more OEE and better productivity? Fill out a sales contact form here, request a software demo request, or call us at (877) 611-5825. Thank you for visiting the Shop Floor Automations blog! 

Customer Spotlight Blog: Hyperloop One

We at Shop Floor Automations love to show appreciation for our customers. As a new blog series, we want to take the time to highlight certain customers and what they are doing in the manufacturing industry.

Hyperloop OneOur first Customer Spotlight Blog will be focused on Hyperloop One

Their mission, via their website: “Hyperloop is a new way to move people and things at airline speeds for the price of a bus ticket. It’s on-demand, energy-efficient and safe. Think: broadband for transportation.”

Invention on the map: “Hyperloop One is reinventing transportation to eliminate the barriers of distance and time. Traveling at speeds of 1080 km/h, Hyperloop will enable travel between cities in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) in under an hour, enabling disruption that will create new opportunities in manufacturing, warehousing and supply chain distribution.”

Recent big news: First full-scale Hyperloop One test track unveiled in Nevada (article here).

Want to be featured in our Customer Spotlight Blog? Contact Marketing@ShopFloorAutomations.com

Need solutions for your manufacturing shop floor? Call us at (877) 611-5825 or chat with us on one of our social media channels

Greg Mercurio interview with Manufacturing Tomorrow

Manufacturing Tomorrow Greg MercurioGreg here at Shop Floor Automations had an opportunity to speak to Manufacturing Tomorrow about how the manufacturing landscape is changing these days, Industry 4.0, as well as the concepts of machine monitoring and OEE. Here are some quotable bits from the Greg Mercurio interview in question:

“In a nutshell, we provide software and hardware solutions to manufacturing shop floors to help decrease downtime and improve OEE,” Greg said. “We help those working on shop floors gain extra time, productivity and profits.”

On Industry 4.0: “For years, the shop floor as been an island of its own and with the latest climate from the US government and other countries, more companies are seeking integration and connection to the corporate world.”

On how manufacturing will change in the new USA political landscape: “I think we’re going to be very busy in 2017 and hope that’s a trend that will build as time goes on.”

Greg Mercurio is President of Shop Floor Automations. He is a long-time resident of San Diego County and a family man. Shop Floor Automations will soon be celebrating two decades in business. 

To read the whole interview via Manufacturing Tomorrow, click here. You can also call us at (877) 611-5825, and we encourage you to share this article on social media

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 4

shop floor automationsPreserving your history is important, whether it’s backing up your work on a computer or doing a complex archive project. At SFA, we are working every day to preserve our history as we approach two decades in business. We hope you enjoy these archived pieces of news from our Shop Floor Automations Blog! 

The premiere of the WiFi USB Connect made the weekly wrap up for MFG Talk Radio the week of October 28th. MoldMaking Technology also talked about the same product in their December 2016 issue (on page 43).

Modern Machine Shop had us in their publication twice this past Fall. They featured us in their November 2016 FABTECH section (look back to page 166), and they featured our ad on the Multi Connect in the September 2016 issue (page 246).

Back in August, Fabricating and Metalworking did a piece speaking about all of the solutions we were going to have at IMTS 2016. We also mentioned Moldmaking Technology earlier – they published a piece from us about why spreadsheets are no longer valuable to the manufacturing industry and why graphical job schedulers are a better ROI.

To wrap it up with something cool we saw this past holiday season – machine tool brand Okuma featured us in one of their blogs. They said our popular G-code shirt was one of the top 10 holiday gifts for machinists, and we are very flattered they thought to include us in their post!

We would love to increase your shop floor’s OEE and productivity. Call (877) 611-5825 or use the chat function on our site to see how we can help! 

SFA’s Top 10 Moments of 2016

2016 was a pretty crazy year! With 2017 racing toward us, we here at Shop Floor Automations wanted to share our Top 10 Moments of 2016, whether they were inspiring, or just sentimental to us!

MOMENT # 10: The NTMA Business Expo night at the Belching Beaver Brewery. We had a lot of fun, and great food, at this NTMA event. We also gave away a USB Connect and the winner was Eddie from Aerotek!

MOMENT # 9: Visiting OSML (Open Source Maker Labs) via NTMA. We loved getting to visit this maker workshop. At OSML, people of all ages get to learn about 3D printing, welding, making robots, woodworking, and much more. You can read about how to participate in what they do at OSML by clicking here.

MOMENT # 8: Getting inspired by a visit to Workshops for Warriors. Hernán Luis y Prado founded this program where they wish to combat the manufacturing skills gap and give veterans much-needed work that is not only stable but well paying. If you want to help this amazing organization, you can read about our visit here. We also got to interview Hernán at FABTECH 2016, which you can watch here.

MOMENT # 7: Another big moment for us was when we premiered our comic character Shop Floor Man. Not only was it a cute idea, but it was also a statement from us that we really want to delve into the new media movement that is growing within the manufacturing industry.

“This is great for social media,” Christina M. Fuges of MoldMaking Technology stated about Shop Floor Man’s creation. She wrote about how our Marketing Coordinator “heard how social media isn’t valuable for this line of business, but believes this could not be further from the truth.”

MOMENT # 6: Social events at our company, such as our office parties, the bowling night we had, and going to the top of Willis Tower in Chicago, were all a hoot. Because some of our employees work in other offices around the country, it can be difficult for all of us to get together. We are grateful for all of the moments we have been able to have all our employees under one roof to get together and enjoy each other’s company.

MOMENT # 5: Halloween was a lot of fun this year. Everyone brought in snacks and we had a costume contest. The winners were Amanda as Beetlejuice, Amy as Wonder Woman, and Greg as a Minecraft character.

MOMENT # 4: Seeing Blue Man Group in Las Vegas during FABTECH 2016. Sam and Greg were “dragged” to see Blue Man Group by Amanda, who is a big fan of the crazy music trio. The guys ended up loving the show and everyone stayed afterward to meet some of the Blue Men. It was a fun bonding experience and our faces were sore from smiling and laughing during the show.

MOMENT # 3: Farewell to John. This is one of the bittersweet moments of 2016. John had been with our company for five years, but he decided that it was time to move on and pursue some of his dreams. We definitely support that he wanted to spread his wings, so we threw him a farewell party at Fuddruckers, one of his favorite places to grab a burger.

MOMENT # 2: Premiering the Multi Connect at IMTS 2016. Although the device is not ready for purchase yet, setting it up for display at IMTS and FABTECH has garnered a lot of interest. We look forward to the possibilities it has, and as you can see, it definitely is a good looking piece of tech!

MOMENT # 1: We love all of the moments this year in which we got to interact with our amazing customers. Whether it was over the phone, at a shop visit, or at a trade show, thank you for making us who we are today.

Honorable mention to Michael at MiniMachine, who posed for this great photo for us at IMTS 2016.  He uses Predator DNC through us and loves our G-code shirts. He actually came to that show already wearing the shirt, and he filmed this customer success story, too!

Happy New Year from Shop Floor Automations! If you want to make 2017 great for your shop floor, call us at (877) 611-5825. 

Top 5 Shop Floor Product Updates in 2016

shop floor technologyWith the year quickly coming to a close, we wanted to take the time to share some updates to shop floor software and hardware that you all need to see. Whether you implemented them into your manufacturing routine or you are looking for new tech for 2017, here is what you need to know to obtain the goals of lean manufacturing, continuous improvement, and turning data into actionable items:

1 –  Scytec DataXchange Machine Monitoring & Data Collection – Many shop floor runners are fans of DataXchange for their $45 per month, per machine Cloud pricing, but they may also want to check out Version 2016.10.03 updates. New features include an MTConnect Data Viewer, which is a testament to DataXchange’s continuing advocacy of the protocol. Scytec Support staff will also be able to remotely restart DataXchange for users without remote access, as well as many utilization tools being updated or refreshed. You can also integrate DataXchange with Bigfoot CMMS from Smartware Group if you are seeking a plant maintenance management system, which you can read more about here.

2 – The WiFi USB Connect – This new piece of hardware is a wireless USB solution for the manufacturing shop floor. It emulates a USB stick, allowing you to share data from a PC to your machines. No drivers are required, plus Floppy drive emulators and CNC machines with a USB port can now have wireless abilities! The device serves as an easy and economic shop floor upgrade, with more info here from MoldMaking Technology.

3 – Machine Monitoring through Predator MDCWith v11 now available, there are many incredible new updates, and quite a few improved features, that will be beneficial to your shop floor. From being able to access MDC machine monitoring on Android phones, to having a real-time view of data from any browser, many new charts to display information on, and an updated list of Windows Support, MDC is worth checking out.

4 – MTConnect & the Cloud –   More CNC machine controls, and more shop floors, are embracing MTConnect. The open, royalty free factory floor communication standard is universal and embraced by shop floor factories. Comparative to Bluetooth technology that allows for plug-and-play connectivity of shop floor devices, equipment and systems, the protocol helps collect and process data from machines. The concept of software on the Cloud, AKA IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), is also taking off. Cloud tech can be cost effective (as you saw above with DataXchange’s Cloud pricing), is easy to implement, and can often come with advanced tech support that will help a company’s IT Department struggle less. Industrial Machinery Digest published a piece about integrating MTConnect, along with machine monitoring, at this link.

5- Predator’s Touch HMI – A big button interface, Predator’s Touch HMI replaces barcode readers, handheld terminals and proprietary shopfloor hardware; simplifies data collection on machine uptime; enables access to information via tablet, PC or CNC; and provides buttons to transfer NC programs or launch the part drawing on the shop floor for the operator. It can also be color-coded for the convenience of individual machinists, and novelty buttons can be added through the magic of IoT. More on Touch HMI via a Modern Machine Shop piece you can read here.

Want to become the hero of your shop floor by helping achieve better machine utilization? Call us at (877) 611-5825 or chat with us on social media. Check out any of the products mentioned in our store, or contact us for info on MTConnect & Cloud options.

Legacy SFA Blogs – Edition 3

shop floor automationsWe know from years of experience that legacy machines are still an important part of the operations for many shop floors. In keeping that spirit of preservation, the Shop Floor Automations blog humbly presents another edition of our Legacy SFA Blogs! 

Back in 2010, we remember when the Floppy Drive Emulator made it’s New Product debut with Modern Machine Shop. This article states this product will “replace 3.5 inch floppy disk drives and media used to store NC programs and other CNC-related files used on the shop floor. The floppy drive replacement features a USB interface to transfer files from a PC with a USB port to virtually any CNC control with a floppy disk drive.” Read the rest of the piece here.

Fast forwarding to the Summer of 2016, Modern Machine Shop also helped introduce another new product for us – the Multi Connect. In this article, they shared that is is “compatible with a range of machine monitoring software packages including Scytec’s DataXchange and Predator’s Machine Data Collection. The device combines a PLC, Wireless, Ethernet, Serial RS232 and MTConnect. The hardware connects to a variety of equipment via built-in digital I/O, which can be overlaid on existing signals for monitoring cycle start, cycle stop, alarm and status indicators such as stack lights.”

MFG News in September of 2016 published our announcement of what we would be presenting at IMTS 2016, which included Predator’s Touch HMI, Scytec DataXchange updates, and new products like the Multi Connect. The same month, they shared our announcement of a new hire, with our brand new Marketing Coordinator.

We have been in business for close to 20 years, with many customers having been with us for over a decade. We would love to start a long term relationship with your shop floor to help increase OEE and productivity. Call (877) 611-5825 or chat with us on our site to see how we can help! 

First SFA Customer in Japan

shop floor automationsAs a New Year is around the corner, we at Shop Floor Automations are grateful to see our customer count grow each day. We are especially happy for the rare occasions we can help International customers. While we mostly do business with parts of Canada and Mexico, we are pleased to announce that we have our first customers from Japan! 

The customers who ordered from us were shipped out 2 of our USB Connect External devices, as well as 2 Pendant USB Connect devices. While we did not get to chat much with the customers on why they needed this equipment for their shop, it is possible they could share the same predicament as our first Hawaii customers.

From an earlier blog, our Hawaiian customers needed the USB Connect External to communicate with their Milltronics control. They were also using SD cards,  no longer want to deal with the 2GB restriction, and the cards were also hard to find for them, so this device suited them best.

We offer many solutions to help machinists and other workers on manufacturing shop floors communicate better with their machines. From software to the hardware solutions we mentioned earlier, our goals are to help your shop floor eliminate downtime, increase OEE and get the most utilization out of your machines. Even legacy machines still have a lot of potential just waiting to be discovered.

If you have manufacturing shop floor needs, or you have purchased from us in the past and want new solutions, contact us here. Time to renew your Support contract with us? Call to find out at (877) 611-5825. 

 

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