Monthly Archives: January 2012

How to Compare Nesting Software with a Benchmark

Using a Benchmark to Assess Nesting Software

Comparing Nesting Software with Benchmarks

When researching nesting software, most manufacturers turn to a benchmark as an objective, analytical tool to compare products.  This article is a primer on benchmarks – what are they, how are they best used, and what every manufacturer should know going into a benchmark.

What is a Benchmark?

A benchmark is a “test run” of sheet metal software using your parts, quantities, materials, guidelines.  It is a perfect opportunity to try out nesting software before you buy.

How is a Benchmark Done?

The manufacturer collects a real world, production-ready set of parts, order quantities, due dates, materials, and cutting or punching requirements.  That is, he is assembles everything necessary to simulate the cutting of these parts.  The manufacturer sends this data to the nesting software company  to do a trial run or simulated run of these parts through their software.  The results are returned to the manufacturer for comparison with their software and other nesting software products.

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4 Ways to Maximize Material Yield on Sheet Metal Remnants

Increasing Yield on Sheet Metal Remnants

Increasing Yield on Sheet Metal Remnants

Sheet metal remnants (a usable piece of material remaining after parts are cut from the sheet, often referred to as “drop”) are the bane of every programmer and shop’s existence.  They are a pain to inventory, difficult to handle because of their odd shape, and a constant reminder that they need to be used or wasted.

This article offers some hope to the beleaguered programmer and operator.  There are ways to avoid having remnants in the first place, and if all else fails there are tools to help quickly dispose of them with little effort.

Here we go.

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An Easier Way to Get 95% Nesting Material Efficiency

Material Waste - Programming Time - Inventory Expenses

Material Waste - Programming Time - Inventory Expenses

I recently heard about a manufacturer, who had an extraordinary material efficiency.  They consistently got 90-95% material efficiency on every sheet they ran.  Further, this was achieved with exceptionally complicated patterned/grained material.  It was an amazing feat!

First I’ll tell you how they did this and the problems they encountered.  Then I’ll walk through an easier solution.

How did they get the material efficiency?

The first question is, naturally, how did they do it?  They could be doing manual nesting and spending a great deal of time on each nest, but that’s only half the equation, they still need the right part selection to make a highly efficient nest.  They could be running lots and lots of the same or rectangular parts which lend themselves to static nests with high efficiency.  Or they could be making very large sheet-sized parts that have very little waste. Read more …

Dynamic Nesting v. Static Nesting | 6 Comparison Points

Static Nesting vs Dynamic Nesting

Static Nesting vs Dynamic Nesting

What’s the difference between dynamic nesting and static nesting?

They are two nesting strategies frequently used in 2D or sheet metal fabrication.  Both strategies speak to the means and method by which the parts are ordered, arranged or laid out and produced on the laser, punch, plasma, router or other fabrication equipment.

Although they serve the same need of nesting, the differences between the two approaches are striking.

Let’s Review.   Read more …

10 Ways to Cut Sheet Metal Waste

10 Ways to Cut Material Waste with Nesting Software

10 Ways to Cut Material Waste with Nesting Software

Nothing cuts into cash flow or is a profit drain like wasted raw material.  And nothing is more frustrating than seeing huge piles of scrap go out the door.  It is these real, tangible costs that, with some foresight and creative thinking, can be turned into rewards.

Here are a few tips to start you down the road toward material savings.

1. KNOW YOUR MATERIAL USE RATE

It is surprising in this age of technology how many manufacturers don’t know their material use rate. They cannot easily answer the question, “How much of each sheet of material is used for parts?” or “What percentage of your raw material is scrap?” In some cases they need to grab a pencil and paper and do some quick estimates.  And that’s fine if that’s where you are.  At least it is a start. The best place to start when reigning in your material waste is getting a handle on what kind of scrap rate you currently have. When calculating, be sure to look at a large enough production sample to extrapolate use over six months or a year to get a truer picture of reality.  Remember you can’t change what you can’t measure…at least when it comes to material waste. Read more …

How to Avoid a Mistake Choosing a Nesting Software Provider

Choosing the Right Nesting Software Vendor

Choosing the Right Nesting Software Vendor

So, you’re thinking about nesting software – either using it for the first time or possibly changing providers.  Great.  You’ve come to the right place for help.  You may have searched the Internet and found lots of companies that sell nesting software.  But how do you choose?  Who does what?  What’s the difference among these companies?

There is a lot to digest when you explore nesting software.  However, the first thing you need to know is that not all nesting software vendors are alike.  Yes, they all sell nesting software, but they come at it from very different approaches. Read more …