July 2017 Shop Floor Automations Newsletter

shop floor automations newsletter

The following is an archived copy of the Shop Floor Automations newsletter from July 2017:

The buzz is out. The Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, lean manufacturing, and OEE for manufacturing are all hot topics for our industry. Machine monitoring is one way to measure what you have before you can start improving, but what does it take to get started?


Is it affordable and compatible with your equipment? What about Cloud-based products that are low-cost and hosts data offsite? If you haven’t yet been persuaded, it’s likely because you’re wondering what exactly happens to your data. 


Many customers have turned to our Cloud-based solutions not only due to low cost, the ability to get email or text notifications of production issues, and no long term commitments but also because of proven reliability. One of our customers stated they were able to run their five-axis CNC machines for 24 hours a day to increase productivity instead of investing in more machines. That’s a big deal! 


“By 2020, a corporate ‘no-Cloud’ policy will be as rare as a ‘no-internet’ policy is today,” states Gartner, which is a highly respected information technology research company. As the current workforce in manufacturing grapples with a mass departure of experienced workers who are retiring, a younger workforce that is likely more adaptive to modern technology trickles in. 


If you’re still on the fence about Cloud-based tech for your shop floor, read this blog from our site where we map out how exactly your data is handled for DataXchange machine monitoring. We also have this interesting blog that discovers how IIoT and Cloud tech can help cut down on maintenance costs and help with the current manufacturing skills gap.

Fill out a contact form for more information by clicking here. Link to the original newsletter here

May 2017 Newsletter – Machine Monitoring Data

If there are production issues at a manufacturing company, it is likely that at one time or another, a conflict has happened between those on the administrative side and those on the machinist side.

While it can appear as if the machinists are not doing their jobs, it is also likely that the machinists have tried to communicate their problems and lack of resources to the front office. With today’s diagnostic culture in mind, it’s a great idea to implement machine monitoring to help smooth over these communication issues.

Machine MonitoringWith machine monitoring data collection from Predator Software via MDC, it can help start a dialogue with your shop floor and its managers. Using the machine timeline dashboard via the Predator Machine Monitoring Client Software can help to plan a stand-up production meeting.

A manager can display this data on a shop floor screen and review with the team what the machines did yesterday during second and third shifts. This can encourage communication and understanding between those who work directly with machines, and those who work in the front office.

Also, the assumption that machine monitoring only works on CNC machines could be causing some shops to avoid investing in machine monitoring. For instance, an aerospace company that paints airplane parts needed their environment monitored for changes in humidity and temperature. We have also helped set up monitoring for a dairy farm, as well as testing the future possibilities of monitoring autoclaves and forklifts.

These unconventional machine monitoring capabilities have been possible with Scytec’s DataXchange and our industrious technicians. It also starts at $45 per month, per machine, which is a great way to get your feet wet with the concept of machine monitoring.

Visit our website for more machine monitoring info 

by clicking below, or by calling (877) 611-5825 today!

Want to try out our software
before you commit to buying it?
Ask about our trial packages.
Request a demo by clicking here! Link to original newsletter here.

March/April 2017 Newsletter – PDM, EdgeFactor & More

The following is an archived copy of the Shop Floor Automations newsletter – the March/April 2017 issue: 

Top 3 Reasons for PDM

shop floor automations newsletter Is your production flourishing or failing? One of the key factors in having a successful manufacturing operation is keeping organized, so if you feel there are any issues at all with your shop floor, this is a great place to start.

There are many reasons to research Product Data Management (PDM), but these Top 3 Reasons are key: it helps you go paperless, it can make your job easier, and it can help you rest assured that you are following the law, as a manufacturing operation.

What is Edge Factor? 

Has your shop floor been affected by the manufacturing skills gap, or do you wish you knew more about your industry? If so, you should definitely look into investing in Edge Factor.

Edge Factor, which can be described as a Netflix-style video program for the manufacturing industry, is a new asset to this community. It is being used to bring new interest into the American manufacturing industry, and it’s also great for those already in the industry to learn more about it.

Adding Wi-Fi is Easy

Have you ever wished that you could make your CNC machine wireless, but thought it was out of your price range? It may be easier than you think to take a step forward in technology for your shop floor.

The Wi-Fi USB Connect will help you transmit data from an old machine in your shop wirelessly. It adds Wi-Fi to the machine via a USB port, allowing it connect wirelessly to a shared folder. 

As long as the machine in question has a USB port, you are good to go! The best part – you don’t need to drop thousands of dollars or take part in a complicated install process.

For more information on any of the topics above, call (877) 611-5825 or fill out an inquiry form here. Link to original newsletter here

March 2017 Special Newsletter – IIoT

Adapting to the IIoT can help you stop hovering over machines & waiting for a problem to occur. Shop Floor Automations can easily help implement this new technology. 

IIoT newsletterEmbracing manufacturing shop floor automation and the Industrial internet of things (IIoT) will help the American manufacturing sector as it tries to keep pace with the millions of manufacturing jobs that need filling. Implementing automation tactics such as machine monitoring, DNC software, job scheduling, CMMS, and more, does not intend to replace people who could do these jobs.

But what exactly is the IIoT? “Although there is no exact definition for what this phrase means, it undoubtedly refers to the strategy of linking machine tools, and other shop floor equipment, to a web-enabled network that makes manufacturing increasingly data-driven,” says Mark Albert of Modern Machine Shop in their January 2017 issue.

The power of the IIoT is more than a fad nowadays; it’s revolutionizing maintenance operators. Nearly every asset in a manufacturing environment has the capability to provide critical information. This capability can come directly from the machine using handheld devices, such as pressure calibrators or multimeters, or machine-mounted sensors to collect and feed critical asset data to a single system of record.

Cloud-based software, such as Scytexc DataXchange or Predator MDC, can easily monitor CNC machines that already have the necessary interfaces to connect to a network and the internet. For legacy machines that do not have a readily available Ethernet port, SFA has found easy-to-deploy solutions to establish Cloud connectivity.

Want a quick laugh? Check out our machine monitoring themed Shop Floor Man comic strip by clicking the image below. Machine monitoring is definitely a big part of the IIoT and we would love to tell you more about it, so contact us anytime!

Quick announcement: Our friends at Workshops for Warriors are holding an inaugural gala aboard the USS Midway here in San Diego on April 20th, 2017. The event will honor military veterans and raise money for their cause of gaining manufacturing industry certifications for veterans.

If you would like to attend or donate, please click here for more info or email AmandaD@wfwusa.org to see how you can help contribute!

For more information on any of the topics above, call (877) 611-5825 or fill out an inquiry form here. Link to the original newsletter here

January/February 2017 SFA Newsletter

shop floor automations newsletterThe following is an archived copy of our January/February 2017  SFA Newsletter.


HOUSTEX is around the corner and Shop Floor Automations (SFA) will be at Booth 1616 with our solutions for better OEE and productivity. This trade show in Houston, TX will feature some amazing technology, and our booth will be included. We will have Predator, Scytec and JobPack solutions on-hand to discuss with attendees.

There is still time to get free admission to HOUSTEX, courtesy of Shop Floor Automations. Check out machine monitoring, DNC software, and other solutions we will have at the show, as well as how to get a free pass, by clicking here.

What is Secure DNC?

If you have taken the steps to invest in DNC Software for your shop floor, you also want to be sure these programs are secure and your manufacturing operation isn’t taken for a ride by hackers and other shady characters. How many new machines do you have that are just plugged into the network?

Ask us about Secure DNC – a Windows application designed to be installed on Windows-based CNC machines, CMMs, test stands, and other equipment.

It supports a wireless or wired Ethernet interface via TCP/IP. It eliminates the requirements of corporate domains, workgroups, or Windows Shares for DNC transfers. Further good news is that it supports older versions of Windows, which reduces the need for costly Windows updates on CNC machines. Read more about Secure DNC!

Consider: Job Scheduling 

“Shops often share their data management woes, so when I came across these five reasons for making the change from spreadsheets to a real-time, graphical job scheduler, I just had to pass them along,” declares Christina from MoldMaking Technology, regarding our article where we boldly declare spreadsheets to be “dead weight.”

Spreadsheets in the manufacturing industry have to be given the boot, for a number of reasons. Having a responsive program that can help you plan up to 365 days into the future for production schedules is a great step forward for your shop floor. We would love to help you transition to this technology. See more about our job scheduling solution JobPack!

Original SFA newsletter link HERE

BONUS ANNOUNCEMENT: We are in the San Diego area and selling the following – a metal truss in a wooden crate, discontinued (but still working) discounted bar code readers, and two folding metal literature racks. If interested, please call our office for information at (619) 461-4000 ext 1006.

Where is USA Manufacturing going?

made in the USA This is an archive of our January 2017 topical newsletter:

What exactly is going on with the welfare of American manufacturing? Are the horror stories of all our jobs going to robots and China unfounded? Here are two good pieces of news, and one factor we should consider, in regards to this industry in the USA:

1) Manufacturing jobs that were already in America continue to grow. With organizations such as Workshops for Warriors training a new workforce, and movements like MFG Day encouraging a younger generation to show interest in our industry, the seeds of growth are being planted. Bloomberg News also declares that manufacturing is the strongest it has been since August 2009, with notable improvements this past December.

2) Manufacturing jobs reported to be moved to America from overseas. There is talk of Apple moving production of iPhones to America, while a Chinese garment company that makes clothing for brands such as Armani, is definitely moving to America. There is also the infamous story of Ford canceling a factory in Mexico and instead, investing Millions into a Michigan facility. With these moves, more manufacturing jobs will be created to keep the Made in America movement growing.

3) Whatever is broken in this industry won’t be fixed overnight, is the hard truth. This article from The Economist is a fascinating read, as they point out that not all of America’s manufacturing problems are caused strictly by globalization. The President of the Alliance for American Manufacturing said it best “America felt left behind as manufacturing jobs disappeared, and no single election cycle can erase that,” said Scott Paul. “As President-Elect Trump prepares to take office, the question becomes how best to restore the American dream for our working people – and that path, for many, lies in the heart of a resurgent manufacturing sector.”

CONTACT US Toll Free: (877) 611-5825

Link to original newsletter HERE

Holiday 2016 SFA Newsletter

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

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from all of us here at SFA!

We have special holiday hours the 23rd & we’re closed the 26th. We are back
the 27th – thank you!

Click HERE to see the new Holiday-themed Shop Floor Man comic strip. Enjoy!

Toll Free: (877) 611-5825

Connect with us on Social Media

Link to original newsletter HERE

More about the Shop Floor Man comic series:

“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 Technology writes.


December 2016 SFA Newsletter

shop floor automations newsletterThis is an archive of our December 2016 Shop Floor Automations newsletter. 

Happy Holidays from SFA!

Shop Floor Automations (SFA) knows that the holidays are different for
all of our customers, and even our employees. No matter how you
celebrate this winter, we hope it is the very happiest and healthiest
of holiday seasons for you!

We would be nowhere without our customers, so from now until the very
start of the New Year, please take advantage of our 10% off sale
going on in our store.

We hope you enjoy the rest of this newsletter, which focuses on Data
Driven Decision Making in manufacturing, as well as a feature on our
Wireless Connect solutions. We would love to help your shop floor
plan a more productive 2017.

Make a New Years Resolution to Go Wireless

Ready to go wireless? We have your shop floor covered with products
from our Wireless Connect line.

Replace your broken cables and increase the speed of file transfers
to your machines. These affordable devices are simple to install, can
be configured with a web interface, and have a lifetime warranty.
Worried about compatibility? Our units work with any CNC control,
regardless of the machine’s age, with RS232 or Ethernet.
Ready to start?

Data Driven Decision Making for 2017

You wouldn’t make a decision to create a part without having the
measurements and proper software to build it first, right? Then why
not capture data from your machines to make better production

Data Driven Decision Making, or DDDM, is used for HR decisions,
marketing budgets, and even expansion strategies. It’s perfect to
adopt it into your manufacturing habits, too!

Toll Free: (877) 611-5825
Link to original newsletter HERE

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


September/October 2016 SFA Newsletter

shop floor automations newsletterThis is an archive of our September/October 2016 SFA Newsletter.

IMTS 2016 was a Success

Shop Floor Automations (SFA) had a great show at IMTS.
Attendance was at a record high of both guests and exhibitors this year.
People visited Booth E3240 not only to see the long-anticipated Multi Connect product, but also to ask questions about Machine Monitoring, Wireless DNC,
Job Scheduling, and more needs.

In addition to the business SFA conducted and the contest winners,
who scored free items in the post-show drawing, the SFA employees
who got to attend IMTS also found some rare time to explore Chicago
at the end of each day.

Looking Ahead to FABTECH 2016

Shop Floor Automations will be attending Fabtech at Booth C13109 in
Las Vegas in November. SFA will be displaying some amazing updates
for software lines Predator (Touch HMI) and Scytec (DataXchange). SFA
will also bring the Multi Connect to display it for Fabtech
show-goers who did not get to attend IMTS, or missed an opportunity
to see it in person.

Celebrate MFG Day 2016

Where would we all be without the manufacturing industry?
SFA simply would not exist as a business, for one. We also see how this
job field effects our lives. Phones, cars, planes, coffee machines –
the final products of manufacturing have a daily impact on us all.

MFG Day 2016 will be on October 7th and all this week,
as an official endorser, Shop Floor Automations will celebrate
this day by sharing related content daily about it. Friday, when the
Holiday actually occurs, will be extra special for customers – the
company will have a discount available for MFG Day only, applicable
to anything in the store! The promo code will be shared on their
homepage, and social media channels, once Friday hits. Call the Sales
team at (877) 611-5825 for more info.

Toll Free: (877) 611-5825