Nesting Software | Weighing Material Efficiency & Throughput

Balancing Nesting Priorities

Balancing Nesting Priorities


Balancing Priorities

When nesting, most manufacturers see a clear trade off between material efficiency and throughput.  They feel they must choose one or the other goal.  Sacrifice one “good” for the other.

And depending on the nature of the manufacturing operation, there may be only one, clear, obvious choice.  If you’re cutting expensive material, i.e. stainless steel, it would be common sense to save every last percent of material because waste is expensive and the cost only nominally retrievable. However, if you’re in a quick-turn-around shop where delivery is measured in hours, not days or weeks, you may be willing waste material just to meet the delivery requirements.  If the customer is satisfied with your responsiveness and offers more business or is willing to pay more for the fast turn around, the monetary loss in waste can be overcome.

However, most manufacturers don’t live in such a black-and-white world where there is only one, clear objective.

Most wrestle with trying to achieve a bit of both simultaneously.  What, then, do you do?  How do you accomplish reducing material waste and increasing throughput at the same time?

Understanding Throughput

Before we answer these questions, let’s first understand the makings of throughput in a fabrication operation.  Throughput as it relates to nesting and CNC fabrication is a function of two variables – programming time and machine time.  Manipulating either of these variables will impact throughput, which we’ll simply define here as how much product can come off the CNC machines in a given period of time.

These two leavers (programming and machine time) need to be synchronized.  The machine optimally shouldn’t ever wait for a program.  Assuming the demand is there, the machine should run to optimal capacity for as long as needed.  Similarly, a program shouldn’t wait for machine time.  The machines shouldn’t be down, disabled, or otherwise off line – certainly because of a programming error.

Maxim: The longer programming takes, the longer a machine is down, the greater the drag is on throughput.

Understanding Material Efficiency

What tools do we have to drive material efficiency?  Well, the first is the density of the parts on the sheet.  How tight is the nest?  How much skeleton is left after the parts are cut?  The greater the density;  the higher the efficiency.

But there are other – not so obvious – tools at our disposal to increase efficiency.  Choosing the right sheet size can make a big difference in two ways.  Some parts fit more optimally on one sheet size versus another.  Knowing – or finding out – what is the best size sheet for any given set of parts can significantly improve material efficiency.  The second silent benefit is the potential cost savings on raw material.  It may be possible to transition from specialty size sheets to more common sheet sizes and save in purchasing costs.

Work-Around Solutions

There are ways to work-around these problems to achieve both material efficiency and throughput in a satisfactory manner.  Some may use manual nesting to get high efficiency at the cost of significant programming time.  Others may use static nests to get high efficiency with moderate programming time at the cost of reduced ability to respond to change.  Finally, others may turn to single part programming (programming one part at a time) to respond to change rapidly at the cost of material efficiency.

The Optimation Solution

Optimation has nesting software, AxiomVE®. It is so intelligent that it can respond to change, significantly minimizing programming time by up to 90%, and optimize material efficiency, and increase throughput.  It reduces machine downtime caused by poor programming resulting in 80 – 90% uptime.  It uses dynamic nesting to respond to your priorities in the manner you would if you had the time.

Notice: This work is licensed under a BY-NC-SA. Permalink: Nesting Software | Weighing Material Efficiency & Throughput

3 comments on “Nesting Software | Weighing Material Efficiency & Throughput

  1. Pingback: How to Avoid a Mistake Choosing a Nesting Software Provider | Optimation Nesting Software Blog

  2. Pingback: An Easier Way to Get 95% Nesting Material Efficiency | Optimation Nesting Software Blog

  3. Pingback: How Good is Your Nest? | 8 Ways to Measure Quality | Optimation Nesting Software Blog

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