How to Manage CNC Nesting Information | CAD/CAM

CAD/CAM Information Management

Best Practices for CAD/CAM Information Management

Effective communication is the lifeline of most businesses.  It couldn’t be more important in manufacturing, or specifically, to the CAD/CAM process.  Where there is lack of communication or miscommunication between CAD and CAM there is waste.  And we know intuitively waste from poor communication is costly and even more costly to fix.

CAD/CAM information management is all about creating and tracking an order and/or the part geometry from sale through delivery.  Let’s look at some of the CAD/CAM information management challenges and categorize them by the impact they have on delivering value to the customer. CAD/CAM Information Management Challenges

What orders or parts have priority?  When is the order due? What parts are associated with it?  Where and when is that decision made?  How are changes handled in design, in scheduling, and on the floor?  Managing information effectively can mean the difference between delivering the right product at the right time to the right customer – or not.

CAD/CAM Communication Steps that Create Value

Certain communication links can make a difference in the customer’s experience.  They directly impact the quality of the product and the company’s level of service.  We want to make certain these links are fluid yet unbreakable because they are so important to the value of the product.

  • Identifying the correct quantity and material(s) an order for a job/unit/part 
  • Communicating the right part geometry or the right version from CAD to CAM 
  • Maintaining unit or order cohesion throughout the nesting process 
  • Identifying order priorities throughout nesting 
  • Prioritizing hot orders  

CAD/CAM Steps That Don’t Create Value, But are Unavoidable

Sometimes information needs to be shared just to facilitate production.  The “left hand” needs to know what the “right hand” is doing, just to effectively do the job.  The customer doesn’t care how or how well this is done – to the point of increasing costs.

  • Communicating order quantities to manufacturing 
  • Transferring parts from CAD to CAM 
  • Giving instructions to the shop floor 
  • Sharing priority and urgency statuses 

CAD/CAM Steps that Don’t Create Value

These are time-consuming, labor-intensive tasks that ultimately don’t make the product better.  The customer doesn’t gain from the extra work, extra time, and extra costs, therefore it doesn’t have substantive value – again up to the point where it increases costs that drive price increases.  These points of information linkage should be minimized or eliminated.

  • Assembling unit information
  • Rekeying the order quantity and/or material into a nesting software 
  • Recreating nests to accommodate changes 

Optimation Tools That Smooth Information Flow

The good news is that once the waste has been focused on, it can be minimized or eliminated with the right tools.  Often automation can streamline the communication process eliminating repetition and error.  Similarly, automation can create “short cuts” that make bullet-proof communication lines.

  •  Automatic Order Entry  – Eliminates rekeying of error-prone orders into the CAM or nesting software.
  • Shop Floor Reports – Automatically generated from the CAM software, these communicate clearly to the shop floor what’s being nesting, where, when, and in what quantities.
  • Sub-Assembly Nest – Think of this as program loop or mini-nest, that when the same set of parts is ordered, and there is an optimal nest pattern just for them, they are automatically nesting is a sub-routine.
  • Assembly Manager – Eliminates ordering each piece/part separately for any unit/kit/assembly.
  • Automatic Batch Nesting – This tool can based on your priorities create a run of nests automatically.  It knows how to build the best nest and accommodate all of the order information just as you would.
  • Just-in-Time Nesting – Nothing’s better at responding to change than something that doesn’t happen just the very last minute.  Nesting on the fly doesn’t overlook any new order information, it just happens with one touch.

How is information communicated in your shop?  Does design and manufacturing share information?  Is it a smooth process or one that is sometimes bumpy?  Feel free to share your thoughts on communication.

For more information managing information flow with automation contact Optimation.





Notice: This work is licensed under a BY-NC-SA. Permalink: How to Manage CNC Nesting Information | CAD/CAM

One comment on “How to Manage CNC Nesting Information | CAD/CAM

  1. Pingback: CAD to CAM | Process Problem Solving | Optimation Nesting Software Blog

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