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. 

Machine Shop April Fools

Although the machinists, engineers and other workers in the manufacturing industry know it is serious business, strong bonds are also created in these workplaces. Naturally, with strong bonds comes some good-natured ribbing.

machinist april foolsHere is Top 5 List of prank videos in the manufacturing industry, which includes machine shop April Fools pranks. NOTE: please be aware that some brief, adult language is used in a couple of these videos.

1 – Christmas gift wrap prank, J&E Precison Tool, Inc – While the beginning of the video is a lovely look into the company culture, the rest of the video is where the prank comes in. The guys in this video snuck into their building to wrap office items with paper or stick candy canes where they should not be in the machine shop. The coworkers seem to take it in stride. The video is here.

2 – Birthday prank, Toshiba Machine Company – The boss of the office Keith is pranked in this video for his birthday. He is equally amused yet annoyed. The video is here.

3 – Carbide Drill Troubleshooting Prank, Greene Tool Systems, Inc – The owner of this company Tom loves to be in their YouTube videos to show customers how to use his products. He is not too happy with his workers pranking him, but his reaction is too funny to not share. The video is here.

4 – Various employees pranked, Shop Floor Automations – Okay, maybe it is cheap to mention ourselves in our own blog, but our blooper reel video lays the prank smackdown on a few employees. From those caught dropping their phones while filming, caught dancing in tradeshow booths, giving a coworker a hard time over a fear of heights, and consistently pranking a colleague from JobPack with fake food or bananas, this video has all the laughs you need!

5 – Powder bomb, Unknown Machine Shop – The machine shop owner’s son is pranked in this blurry, yet hilarious video. Check it out here.

Honorable Mention – Big Ass Fans. While they don’t necessarily have any prank videos, humor is at the heart of their company. They did a good prank photo for April Fools where they said they were going to start selling a grill, but they also have a lot of other funny social media to check out. Maybe the time they made Valentine’s Day cards, when they made Whoopee Cushions, or the time they made Sir-Mix-A-Lot an employee at their office. They also do “mean tweet” videos and other funny content.

If you feel like your machine productivity is a long-running prank, we can help! Call us at (877) 611-5825 or chat with us on social media.

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. 

NTMA Labor Law & HR Compliance Event

The San Diego Chapter of NTMA (National Tooling & Machining Association) will be holding a Chapter Meeting tomorrow night on the subject of Labor Law and HR Compliance at the Barrel Harbor Brewing Company. The event is in Vista CA and starts at 5:30 p.m., so be sure to plan accordingly for traffic, and bring $15 for the event, which includes dinner. There is a discount price of $10 for students, and you can register for the event by clicking the photo below.

ntmaAttorney James Roth (also goes by Jim) will be heading the event to talk about “labor policies for everything from overtime pay, to social media, to anti-discrimination and harassment” issues in the workplace. Jim is an expert in this field and will be discussing in particular new overtime rules that will be going into effect December 1st of this year.

Jim will be there to speak and to answer any business-legal related questions you may have for him. The event is hosted by Tim St. Martin (formerly of AlphaTec Spine and current CEO of Barrel Harbor Brewing Company).

$15 for dinner AND legal insight from an expert? That is truly a bargain and yet another example of NTMA providing amazingly helpful events. You can read coverage of another NTMA event Shop Floor Automations attended with Workshops for Warriors here.

Events NTMA has going on in October of 2016 are a Free Technology Career Institute special event on October 6th in Carlsbad from 5 to 7:30 p.m. with no admission price listed, but it looks like RSVPs are needed. They will also have a Chapter Meeting October 27th at Open Source Maker Labs at 5:30 p.m. in Vista CA with a $15 cost per person (again, it includes dinner). More details on these events are on NTMA’s San Diego based website here.

Going to any of these events? Tweet us at @SFA_inc or interact with us on Facebook. You can also call us to discuss what your shop floor is up to at (877) 611-5825.

NTMA Poker Run Event

NTMA san diegoJoin us at the Belching Beaver for an exciting NTMA poker run event where participants draw cards from table to table while enjoying some craft brew!

Tuesday, April 19 at 5:30 p.m.

The grand prize winner will receive a Portable USB Connect, retail value of $700!

This device acts as an interface between USB memory drives and any CNC machine. Click below to learn more about the Portable USB Connect.

Where: 
Belching Beaver Brewery, 
980 Park Center Drive, Suite A 
Vista, California 92081
 
Cost: $15 (Includes dinner)
More info at the newsletter link HERE

More about NTMA:

Shop Floor Automations is a proud associate member of the San Diego Chapter of NTMA. The National Tooling & Machining Association works to create allies within the San Diego region of the local machining and tool industry by fostering mutual success through education, technology and communication.

We encourage you to take advantage of what this great organization has to offer. Please check the schedule below in order to find upcoming events held by NTMA.

Are You Improving Operations With Data Collection?

Data Driven Manufacturing Data Collection“Cloud” applications can be found virtually everywhere today, and for good reason. Join us on April 14th at 12:00 p.m. PST to learn how cloud-based machine monitoring and data collection can make predictive maintenance a reality in your operations.

The webinar will be hosted by Smartware Group, Inc., makers of Bigfoot CMMS, and Scytec, makers of DataXchange. These experts will introduce the latest technologies to monitor and collect asset data and integrate this data for actionable and results-oriented operations and maintenance management.

Register for this machine monitoring webinar to glean real-world examples of the benefits of cloud-based machine monitoring and asset management, and see how high your utilization and asset management strategy can soar.

Get more information and to register, click here.

Manufacturing Day, October 2, 2015

Manufacturing Day is almost here, and Shop Floor Automations is excited to celebrate the manufacturing industry with our friends and community!

THE MFG DAY MISSION:

MFG Day

MFG DAY addresses common misperceptions about manufacturing by giving manufacturers an opportunity to open their doors and show, in a coordinated effort, what manufacturing is — and what it isn’t. By working together during and after MFG DAY, manufacturers will begin to address the skilled labor shortage they face, connect with future generations, take charge of the public image of manufacturing, and ensure the ongoing prosperity of the whole industry.

Supported by a group of industry sponsors and co-producers, MFG DAY is designed to amplify the voice of individual manufacturers and coordinate a collective chorus of manufacturers with common concerns and challenges. The rallying point for a growing mass movement, MFG DAY empowers manufacturers to come together to address their collective challenges so they can help their communities and future generations thrive.

For more information click here. We also invite you to follow Shop Floor Automations on our social media channels. We would love suggestions about what you would like to see on our blog, and on our YouTube channel! Click here to see where you can find us on social media.

2015 WESTEC & CNC West Ads

westecShop Floor Automations will be exhibiting at WESTEC 2015 in Los Angeles, located at Booth #1935. SFA also appeared in CNC West Magazine’s August/September 2015 issue, speaking about automation solutions in the advertisement.

Trade shows are always a time of the year in which SFA looks forward to meeting with peers and clients, present and future alike, to exhibit how they can help move the manufacturing industry forward.

You will be able to see SFA’s event photos from attending WESTEC 2015 on their Facebook page HERE. It will be sure to be a fun and enlightening trip!

SFA looks forward to attending future WESTEC trade shows in the future! Check out what trade shows you can see SFA at by clicking here You can also tweet Shop Floor Automations on Twitter at @SFA_inc

More about SFA – 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.

Del Mar Electronics & Design Show

del mar electronics showShop Floor Automations will be in Booth #561 at the Del Mar Electronics & Design Show 2015 on May 6th and 7th.

SFA will be demonstrating our software and hardware solutions to help machine shops operate more efficiently.

Tradeshows are the best time of year, as far as SFA is concerned. They proudly display which shows they will be attending, which you can see at this link.

SFA is based in La Mesa, CA –  a suburb of San Diego County (the same county where Del Mar is located). They are happy to connect with clients, potential and present, all across social media. The quickest method is to tweet @SFA_inc

SFA at Houstex 2015

After opening our Houston, Texas office earlier in the month, Shop Floor Automations will be at the Houstex 2015 trade show in Booth #239.

SFA enjoys visiting trade shows all over the United States to meet with present and future clients. Getting the chance to preview new technology and feature solutions for the ever growing manufacturing industry is SFA’s specialty. They often will also hold contests to give away prizes, such as their G-code T-Shirt!

Please stop by and visit the Houston team to say hi. Visit us on Facebook, too!

Read about SFA solutions and other pertinent news on the blog and follow their other social media channels.

Before you come to Houstex, drop us a line or leave us a review!

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If you want to leave a less than perfect review, we encourage you to reach out to us first. Please call (877) 611-5825 or contact us via this form. We would love the opportunity to fix the situation.