Category Archives: CNC Nesting Stories

Stories of manufacturers and their many and varied approaches to nesting along with insights for the rest of us.

Nesting Software Increases Productivity 320 Fold

Vac-U-Max Productivity U-Turn

Vac-U-Max Productivity U-Turn

We talk to manufacturers every day.  Each story is unique.  Some are in need of material savings.  Some are struggling with the slow task of programming.  Some want to better manage orders.  Finally, some are looking for a better way to connect engineering design, scheduling, and the shop floor.

Vac-U-Max from Bellevelle, NJ, was hampered by the manual nature of their programming and nesting operation.  Programming created a massive shop bottleneck.  It  took multiple hours per day and held up the laser operation.  The laser, not to mention all downstream operations, was “impatiently” waiting on programs every day.

Not good.

Fortunately, Vac-U-Max reached out to Optimation for help.  The result was a dramatic turn-around in productivity.  The laser didn’t need to wait – it could be running not 4 hours per day, but 10 hours per day as more work was brought in and the fabrication operation scaled up.  Vac-U-Max slashed the time from design to nest from  a ratio of 4 hours of programming to 4 hours of cutting to 15 minutes of programming for 20 hours of cutting.  A 320-fold increase.  The positive results were very apparent from “Day 1.”


Read more about the turn-around success story the partnership between Vac-U-Max and Optimation create here.


New Nesting Process Cut Delivery from 8 Days to 8 Hours

Cutting Delivery Time with Nesting Process

Cutting Delivery Time with Nesting Process

We recently met a manufacturer, who struggled to get product out in a timely fashion.  If that sounds familiar, read on.  Here is his story.

Before: Order to Delivery in About A Week

This manufacturer of large industrial equipment had an established shear-to-blank, then punch process that went something like this.

An order would come in for 50 of the same part.  The part blanks would be sheared from 10 very large sheets.  This means the shear operator would 1) make two trim cuts per large sheet to square the raw material, 2) measure and cut the first blank, 3) make sure it is square and accurate, 4) repeat four more times per large sheet.  Then he would move and stack the 50 small sheets beside the punch ready for punching the internal holes.  Are you seeing how this could be time consuming and slow delivery times? Read more …

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 …

CAD to CAM | 4 Best Practices Relaying Manufacturing Data

How to Manage Manufacturing Data | CAD to CAM

Relaying Information from CAD to CAM

Today we spoke to a manufacturer, who shared with us his process of taking geometries from AutoCad® to his nesting package.  It seems he exports them out of AutoCad, saves as DWG files segregated by material type, strips out all the non-cutting, non-tool path data by hand, and saves these edited files in another file for retrieval from the nesting software.

Maybe a piece or two of this cumbersome and frustration-ripe story resonates with your experiences or the experiences of another company you’ve heard about.  It strikes me that in this scenario, there can be a lot of opportunities for error in passing manufacturing data from CAD to CAM by missing a step, grabbing the wrong file, or processing parts based on incorrect information.  Ouch.  If this rings even a little true to you, allow me to suggest a few alternative ways of looking at this process that could save significant time, error, and frustration. Read more …