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.

Throughput Increases

Ask yourself, would it be worthwhile to either get more product out the door or shorten the amount of time it takes to get product out the door?  If more product goes out the door, presumably revenues and profits increase.  If this is of interest to you, you may have a case for nesting software.

Throughput: Streamlining the Process

Throughput or productivity in this discussion is about the amount of product that moves through the shop and out the door within a given period of time.  Impediments to throughput or productivity come in many forms.  They can be additional processes, i.e. shearing before punching.  It can be the number of machine set ups as a function of changing sheet sizes or turret configurations, which are time consuming.  It can be the hassle and time-involved material management such as loading and unloading, transporting sheets from one process to another, stacking and/or counting sheet inventory.

Automatic nesting software can minimize or eliminate redundant or additional steps streamline the process, and increase throughput.  If the machine operator changes out the turret fewer times, if there is less need for shearing, if there is fewer sheet sizes to manage, time and therefore money is saved.  Further, because of the savings in process time, more can be accomplished in the same time and more product can go out the door increasing revenues and profits.  When making a case for nesting software fortunately, this is measurable time.  With some calculations it can be the basis for a cost justification for nesting software.

Throughput: Optimizing the Cut Path

Another method to achieve greater throughput is by looking at the cut path or tool path.  This is the time and distance used by the cutting head or turret to cut or punch the entire sheet.  Logically, the shorter the distance from start to finish the faster the cut time and the greater the throughput.  Automatic nesting software can optimize for this benefit.  Further, the time and distance can be measured and compared to existing practices – yet another tool for a cost justification.  And as above, the faster the process, the more product that can be produced, which leads to greater revenues and profits.

For more windows into throughput savings visit this page.

Programming Time Savings

Sometimes a reduction of programming time can be used as justification for the nesting software purchase.  Typically users can see a reduction of up to 90% of programming time with automatic nesting software.

There are three ways to find the cost savings here.  1) When engineers are at or exceeding capacity and either their time could be more cost-effectively used elsewhere then the better use of their time can be a basis for justification.  2) When engineers are unable to keep up with production demands and productivity and throughput suffer, then improving the speed of programming can and does increase throughput (capacity), which can be the basis for justification. And finally, 3) if the demand on programming is so great as to incur overtime costs, employing nesting software to expedite the process and reduce overtime can lead to direct, justifiable savings.  The best way to quantify the time savings is to benchmark or test the programming time in an alternative software, then use those numbers to compare to the present situation.  The difference is the cost justification.

For specifics on where to find programming savings opportunities check this out.

Just-in-Time and Other Nesting Strategies

Then there is the production flow discussion.  If your facility is seeking to optimize its production using Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma or any other sophisticated production flow techniques, nesting software is a near imperative.  Beyond drawing a direct line to any savings, it is needed to put in place manufacturing strategies that require a faster programming speed, an ability to manage variety of due dates and priorities, and the ability to tightly integrate into upstream and downstream software such as an MRP/ERP system.  The savings then become clearly apparent when the whole system – nesting software included – transforms the production facility and squeezes out waste everywhere.

In Conclusion -

As we have seen there are several ways to meet the needs of the decision makers when looking for a cost justification for a nesting software purchase.  The answer may mean looking to one or more of these approaches, running the tests, doing the analysis and creating a cohesive, compelling argument.  If that sounds daunting, that’s okay, there are experts at Optimation, who travel this road every day and can help.

How about you?

Are you looking to build a case to justify nesting software?  What’s your approach?

If Optimation can help you build a justification, please contact us.










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