Category Archives: How to Buy Nesting Software

The research process and evaluation tips to help determine the best nesting software for your needs.

How Different Nesting Technologies Achieve Material Efficiency | Video

Programmers, fabricators are faced with many factors to consider when creating a nest.

  • Schedule Demand
  • Machine Efficiency
  • Unplanned Demand
  • Part & Order Flow
  • Material Efficiency
All of these have a cost impact and must be considered when trying to find the optimal solution.
This compounds an already complex nesting challenge in finding the optimal layout simply to conserve material with thousands upon thousands of part orientation and layout options.  Even in a small nest with only a few parts the problem gets very, very large.
Multiple strategies have attempted this problem over the years with varying success.
This short video (the first in a 3-part series) looks at how different nesting technologies tackle the problem.
Nesting Software to Achieve Material Efficiency

Nesting Software to Achieve Material Efficiency

For more information on advanced nesting strategies and the nesting software that supports them, contact Optimation at 877-228-2100.

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 …

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 …

How to Financially Justify a Nesting Software Purchase

Cost Justifying a Nesting Software Purchase

Cost Justifying a Nesting Software Purchase

Most project managers we meet, who are tasked with investigating a nesting software purchase, inevitably come to the fork in the research road where they need to make a case for the software to the boss.  Those who come equipped to management with an argument for why and how the nesting software will pay for itself in a short period of time, come out ahead for their efforts.

The question then becomes, how does the nesting software pay for itself?  Or you may be asking, really, can the nesting software pay for itself?  The answer to both questions unfolds several ways.

We’ll break the ways to make that case for cost-justification down here. Read more …

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.

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 …

Automatic Nesting and Automated Nesting – Smart Shoppers Know the Difference

Automated Nesting v. Automatic Nesting

Automated Nesting v. Automatic Nesting

To the uninitiated manufacturing professional the two terms “automatic” and “automated” as they apply to nesting and nesting software can whiz by undifferentiated in a conversation.  That’s perfectly understandable because our everyday experiences afford us no reason to assume there is much difference between the two terms.

Ah, but it is in that distinction where an important mistake is made when it comes to looking at nesting processes and nesting software.  Read more …

Nesting Software | 9 Insider Tips to Benefiting the Most from a Demo

Preparing for a Nesting Software Demo

Preparing for a Nesting Software Demo

It seems natural to start requesting demonstrations of nesting software when you begin your research for a nesting software package.  The objective seems obvious. You want to know what the nesting software does and how it works.  And one of the best ways to answer those questions is to see a demo.

Stop.  Before you pick up the phone or fill out that online form to request a demo, there are several things you can do first to make the demo a productive use of your time.  Trust me on this one.  We’ve done a bazillion demos, and the manufacturers who were well prepared came away with clear action items, a clear idea of how it would benefit them, and a shorter, less-stressful acquistion timeline.

So here’s the formula for watching nesting software demonstrations success. Read more …

How to Shop for Nesting Software

Sheet Metal Software Shopping Tools & Techniques

Sheet Metal Software Shopping Tools & Techniques

Whether you’re in the market now or think buying sheet metal software may be a project in the future, it’s helpful to have tools and techniques to make the process easier, more efficient and a productive use of your time.

Assuming you’re not a professional buyer or in the corporate product acquisition department, you may not be used to identifying, evaluating, requisitioning, budgeting, and purchasing sheet metal software.  It can be a daunting task for the uninitiated or the already busy.

Indeed, most manufacturing engineers, programmers, or even manufacturing management doesn’t concern themselves with the software acquisition process on a day-to-day basis.  Their focus is all about producing parts and products.  And suffice to say, there isn’t a lot of overlap in the steps and processes involved in purchasing software and producing a product.  So there is often a fairly large, on-the-job learning curve to be had for anyone endeavoring to research and purchase sheet metal software. Read more …