Tag Archives: cnc nesting

How well is your part ordering system working? | Part 3 of 4

How to Evaluate the Nesting Process

Steps to Evaluate the Nesting Process

In the last two blog posts we’ve first laid a foundation for evaluating a process, then applied that foundation to the CAD to CAM process or geometry acquisition and data cleaning and storage steps.  As you know the nesting process takes input from two areas – design and scheduling.  Now we’ll turn to the other side of the equation (parts + orders = nests), and evaluate the order entry and order communication process as it relates to nesting.

Every manufacturer has a capturing and communicating order information approach.  It can be a paper-based system with travelers and making use of the “sneaker-net” to transfer the information.  It can be an Excel spreadsheet with a list of customer orders and associated parts, or it can be a sophisticated MRP/ERP system which is updated in real time.  Regardless of the tools in place, there are fundamental process requirements that can be described, evaluated, and compared to alternatives.

Here we go. Read more …

4 Secrets to Profiting with Nesting Software

4 Secrets to Profiting with CNC Nesting

4 Secrets to Profiting with CNC Nesting Programs

Why would a fabricator consider, let alone implement nesting program? What’s in it for the manager or the shop personnel to invest in a CNC nesting program? There’s got to be ways to profit from this investment, why else would someone go down this road.

Let’s be upfront. Changing or introducing new software into the work environment means, well, change.    And there are costs to making such a change.  Beyond the monetary investment there is the time and effort invested in the research and implementation.  So any sound reasoning would lead us to believe there must be a profit at the end of the process to make that experience worthwhile. There needs to be benefits for the whole team – managers and shop personnel – to justify not only the expense but the transition time and effort. Read more …

Nesting Software | 4 Best Practices When Kit Nesting

Optimation Assembly Manager Nesting Software

Optimation Assembly Manager Nesting Software

Some manufacturers – maybe you – build products out of component parts.  Those completed products are kits or assemblies or units, depending on the term you use.  Some parts are sheet or plate metal; some are not.  Some parts involve extensive post-fabrication work (bending, forming, painting); some not.  But the one thing all kit parts have in common is that they belong together.  Kits are designed as a unit and need to be programmed together, nested together, cut or punched together, assembled together, and ultimately delivered together, which creates a rather difficult production challenge.

How do you keep the assembly parts together in a cohesive unit, while reducing the programming time, managing the material yield, and not slowing down machine productivity?  There are sheet metal software best practices to help.  Often times one or two of these goals are sacrificed to achieve another goal in what is seen as a zero-sum game.

It doesn’t have to be that way.  There are tools and practices that can help achieve all of these goals in concert and without sacrificing one good for another.  Let’s look at some of the day-to-day challenges kits present and some solutions to the problems. 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 …

Pros & Cons of Single Part CNC Programming

Single Part Programming | Time vs Material

Single Part Programming | Time vs Material

We often hear from manufacturers that they are doing single part programming.  Some do it by design.  Some do it by default.  Either way it is a process that dramatically impacts how your fabrication operation works.  Therefore, it merits a discussion to better understand what it is and how it strongly influences throughput and material efficiency outcomes. 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 …

CAD to CAM | 4 Ways to Manage Revisions

Optimation_CNC_Nesting_Revision_Management

Managing Part Revisions with Optimation CNC Nesting Software

Most manufacturers we encounter have to manage part revisions.  They know there will always be design changes.  And they know changes can be very disruptive to the production process, and changes are ripe for errors.

So, the question arises, how best to manage the inevitable change with minimal disruption and error when communicating designs from CAD to CAM.  Here are four ideas we like to recommend. Read more …

Lean Fabrication with CNC Nesting | Value & Value Stream

Optimation Adding Value Through CNC Nesting

Optimation Adding Measurable Value With Automatic CNC Nesting

Lean Idea #3 – Building on Nesting Successes | Creating Value & a Value Stream

Wouldn’t it be great to make a small, measureable fix here and a modest incremental change there and go home at the end of the day feeling satisfied you’ve handled the “fabrication crisis?”

Selecting a few ideas or solutions in the hopes of making great strides with small movements doesn’t address the whole picture, and it won’t work…in the long run.  Well, yes, you will see some changes, and maybe that will be all the solution necessary to fend off the immediate crisis – for the time being.  But Lean Manufacturing isn’t about isolated successes. Read more …

Nesting Software | Weighing Material Efficiency & Throughput

Balancing Nesting Priorities

Balancing Nesting Priorities

 

Balancing Priorities

When nesting, most manufacturers see a clear trade off between material efficiency and throughput.  They feel they must choose one or the other goal.  Sacrifice one “good” for the other.

And depending on the nature of the manufacturing operation, there may be only one, clear, obvious choice.  If you’re cutting expensive material, i.e. stainless steel, it would be common sense to save every last percent of material because waste is expensive and the cost only nominally retrievable. However, if you’re in a quick-turn-around shop where delivery is measured in hours, not days or weeks, you may be willing waste material just to meet the delivery requirements.  If the customer is satisfied with your responsiveness and offers more business or is willing to pay more for the fast turn around, the monetary loss in waste can be overcome.

However, most manufacturers don’t live in such a black-and-white world where there is only one, clear objective.

Read more …

Achieve Lean Fabrication Success with Small Nesting Changes

Achieving Lean Success with Nesting Software

Taking Lean Steps with Nesting Software

 

Imagine going into the boss’s office and announcing, “Boss, I have a great idea.  I can save the company thousands of dollars, and it will only take 10 years to see results.”  Maybe there is a manufacturer out there with that long-term vision or the margins to justify a protracted project and long-awaited results.

I’m here to tell you, that if you want your crisis solved or your idea for lean manufacturing techniques to succeed, nothing sells like success.

Small, incremental progress with real, tangible results will rule the day for any project to maintain momentum, insure ongoing commitment, and demonstrate viability.

Let’s look at what that means in manufacturing.

Read more …

Starting Lean Fabrication Project with Nesting Software

Lean Manufacturing & Nesting Software

Lean Manufacturing & Nesting Software

In this era of economic turmoil, returning to – or maybe introducing – the concepts of lean manufacturing can serve us well in understanding the tools at hand with Optimation.  Over the next few posts we’ll look at “lean” from a number of perspectives, with the intent to understand what “lean” means and how Optimation can support its concepts.

Idea #1: Never Waste a Good Crisis

Does the idea of “launching a program” or “starting a new initiative” bring the terror of long meetings ending in inaction to mind?  Yes? Me, too. How many ideas – no matter how well intentioned – never get off the ground?  They get bogged down in bureaucracy, territorial disputes, budget crunches, or you name it.  So, how do “lean” initiatives get off the ground?

Read more …