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August 2019

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Solutions to Address Automation and Cybersecurity Concerns

Security concerns with automation are common issues heard from potential customers at Shop Floor Automations. The company has addressed the top three concerns:

  • "We have older Windows-based machines that we cannot upgrade, so automation is not for us."

Windows-based machines with older operating systems are still able to send programs in an easy and protective way. Secure DNC from Predator Software eliminates requirements of corporate domains, workgroups or Windows Shares. Also, customers with Windows 7 and 8 who want to connect laptops without serial ports often invest in the USB to Serial, plus an RS232 cable, in order to make drip-feeding an easier process. If an old version of Windows is on the shop floor, there may also be old media such as floppy drives or paper tape readers that can also be replaced.

  • "We are fine just using USB sticks around the shop floor to control our programs."

While USB sticks are more modern than old media such as floppy disks, there are multiple concerns with this set-up. How many USB sticks are there floating around the shop floor? If a machinist accidentally takes a USB stick out of the shop and loses it, is there a backup? What happens when programs change? Everyone with sticks will need to have them updated. Predator DNC software has CNC revision control features to eliminate these concerns, plus the unnecessary leg work needed to ensure correct programs are running at the machines. Wasted time and material are never desirable outcomes.

  • "We do not like the idea of Cloud-based machine monitoring because our data is not secure."

While monthly pricing and no contracts are benefits to DataXchange machine monitoring, many potential customers state that they are concerned with what is happening with their data if they do not handle it on-site. Scytec, the company that develops DataXchange, has been around for more than a decade and has been perfecting its software, top to bottom, on a daily basis. There are also the added benefits of not needing databases, servers, web servers, firewalls or changes to IT infrastructure to monitor machines.

Authored by Shop Floor Automations

For more information contact:

Greg Mercurio, President

Shop Floor Automations, Inc.

5360 Jackson Drive, Suite #202

La Mesa, CA 91942

877-611-5825 / 619-461-4000

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