Monthly Archives: April 2012

When Material Savings Don’t Justify a Nesting Software Purchase

Justifying a Nesting Software Purchase

Justifying a Nesting Software Purchase - Beyond Material Savings

One of nesting software’s the biggest benefits is material savings.  Manufacturers can see improvements in material usage of 5-15%.  That’s huge!  And that’s one of the primary reasons material savings is called upon to help make the financial case for a nesting software purchase.  There’s a clear line between use of nesting software and material saved in fabricating.

That said, what if you cut inexpensive material, where material savings isn’t a big dollar figure?  Or what if you don’t cut a large volume of material?  Then can a case be made for the purchase of nesting software?

The answer is “yes.”  Let’s talk about the other ways to make a case for nesting software that don’t hinge on material savings. Read more …

How long does it take to research new nesting software?

Researching Nesting Software

Researching Nesting Software

Don’t you just hate it when you ask a seemingly straight-forward question, and you get a waffle-y answer like “it depends?”  I think that’s frustrating, too.  But as we know life isn’t always black and white.  And as to the question, how long does it take to research nesting software, the answer really is, “it depends.”

I will cut to the chase and give you a time frame of three to nine  months up front.  But in all fairness to manufacturers, the vendors, and the process, I need to flesh this answer out a bit to make it more constructive for everyone.

There are a number of factors that strongly influence the amount of time it takes to research and purchase nesting software.  Let’s take a look at a few, and you can use this as a checklist to plan accordingly when and if you should take on a nesting software research project.

Read more …

How to Justify a Nesting Software Purchase

Building a Justification for Nesting Software

Building a Justification for Nesting Software

Most project managers we meet tasked with investigating a nesting software purchase inevitably come to the point of making a case – formally or informally – about why the software should be purchased.

The project managers are typically engineers or engineering managers who have first hand experience with the nesting software.  So they are inclined to seek a solution that meets their technical needs – does it work the way I need it to?

However, and as most eventually discover, there is a second line of justification equally important to be addressed.

I’ll break down the two ways to make a case for nesting software here. Read more …

What Problems Does Nesting Software Address?

Solving Process Issues with Nesting Software

Solving Process Issues with Nesting Software

Many times manufacturers are using an unsatisfactory nesting solution, and they think, “I know there must be a better way.”  And they are off to search for something better – sometimes not certain what that “something better” will do for them.

If you’ve had a similar discussion with yourself or associates, here are a few points to help frame your discussion internally and/or with potential suppliers.

Nesting Software Problems Solved

Nesting software tends to solve a multitude of problems, but they often fall into one or more of a few categories.

  1.  Creation of CNC Code – At the simplest level, nesting software generates NC code to drive a CNC machine – punch, laser, Waterjet, router, plasma.  The NC code communicates the X/Y coordinates for the cutting device to follow and in which order they should be cut.  Almost by definition, nesting software must do this to qualify as nesting software.
  2. Creation of a Nest – Again, almost by definition, nesting software should create a nest or a layout of parts on one or more sheets of material for a CNC machine to cut or punch out.  Where nesting software varies dramatically, however, is the means, method, and degree of sophistication involved in creating that nest.  From static nests to dynamic nests from batch to JIT there is a world of difference among the ways to create that nest.  What you need hinges completely on what you want your nesting software to do. (See the following points.)

Read more …

How Big Shop Nesting Software Can Benefit Small Shops

Big Shop Nesting Software for Small Shops

Big Shop Nesting Software for Small Shops

There was a time – 10, 20 years ago – when only very large manufacturers like Caterpillar or Siemens could afford advanced nesting technology.

Conventional wisdom had it that because these manufacturers were large and had deep pockets only they could benefit from the advantages of automatic part programming and automatic nesting.  Further, the thinking has been that the “big guys” could use this technology to support lean manufacturing, demand-pull, and other revolutionary, cost-cutting initiatives.  Therefore, only they could benefit from tools that afforded less programming time, less material waste, better order cohesion, improved throughput and all of the gains gotten from advanced nesting. Read more …