Tag Archives: cad/cam

Best Sheet Metal Nesting Process Questions | CAD to CAM | Part 2 of 4

How to Evaluate the Nesting Process

Steps to Evaluate the Nesting Process

In the last blog post we laid out an architecture by which we can critically evaluate a nesting process.  To review, our evaluation process starts with a clear and detailed description of the nesting process, they we ask “why” about each of those defined steps, finally we look for constructive alternatives. Our goals in sum are identifying challenges, means to improve the process, and overall opportunities for efficiencies.

Today we’ll apply our evaluation architecture or system to the processes we’re most familiar with in nesting – collection of part geometry and creation of the part program.

We start at the beginning of the nesting process for most manufacturers, which is creating, identifying, moving, cleaning, and all around getting the geometry from where it is to a place – literally and figuratively – where it can be manufactured.  Read more …

How to Manage CNC Nesting Information | CAD/CAM

CAD/CAM Information Management

Best Practices for CAD/CAM Information Management

Effective communication is the lifeline of most businesses.  It couldn’t be more important in manufacturing, or specifically, to the CAD/CAM process.  Where there is lack of communication or miscommunication between CAD and CAM there is waste.  And we know intuitively waste from poor communication is costly and even more costly to fix.

CAD/CAM information management is all about creating and tracking an order and/or the part geometry from sale through delivery.  Let’s look at some of the CAD/CAM information management challenges and categorize them by the impact they have on delivering value to the customer.  Read more …

Optimation & Inventor Integration

Optimation & Inventor Automation & Integration

Optimation & Inventor | CAD/CAM Integration

Optimation® stands alone as a leading CAM or nesting automation specialist.  Optimation has focused its more than 30 years of research, development and expertise on developing best-in-class nesting automation. Similarly, AutoDesk® has become ubiquitous in the CAD design field by becoming the tool of choice upon which most designers learn.  Inventor is one of their flagship products charting new advancements in technology.

When acting independently, these tools can and do make significant transformations in the automation of a production environment.  Individually, they create a multiplier effect with the productivity of the resources – individuals, equipment, and raw materials – at hand. Integrated they can further leverage their individual impact. Read more …

CAD to CAM | Process Problem Solving

Solving Production Problems with CAD/CAM

Solving Production Problems with CAD/CAM

Is the boss concerned about waste?  Are you asked to make cuts?  If so, you’re not alone.  Many manufacturers are belt-tightening.  However, the challenge most run into is finding waste beyond the obvious pile of scrap material.

The good news for searchers is that waste is everywhere.

Today, we’ll look at the CAD/CAM process in light of the lean manufacturing concept of “value stream.”  With this approach we’ll find lots of waste to root out and lots of unsung value in our processes. 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 …

How CAM Software Adds Value to a Product

Improving Delivery Speed, Service with CAM Software

Adding Value with Service and Product Improvements from Optimation

Now that we’ve discussed initiating a Lean Manufacturing Project, we’ll turn to deconstructing the sometimes mysterious — often foreign — components of lean thinking as it relates to the CAD/CAM process.  With these tools you can leverage your own knowledge of your business to make improvements that will, in hindsight, seem obvious.

So, let’s get started.

What is Value?

The first concepts to tackle are “value” and the “value stream.”  Intuitively we know what value means for ourselves and our products.  We know we have value as a person, spouse, employee, committee member because we bring knowledge and talents to our relationships and roles.  And we know our products have value — equivalent to the purchase price — because our customers buy them for that price!  But what do the lean manufacturing experts mean by “value,” and how does it apply to CNC Nesting and the CAD/CAM world?  Read more …