Tag Archives: material efficiency

How to Optimize Sheet Metal Sizes and Quantities with Nesting Software

Optimizing Sheet Metal Sizes and Inventory

Optimizing Sheet Metal Sizes and Inventory

Managing sheet inventory is one of the many ongoing challenges for fabricators.  They don’t want to consume their cash flow and floor space with too much inventory.  Likewise, no one wants to impede production by not having what is needed readily available.

Specifically, the first challenge is to have sufficient sheet quantity on hand.  The second challenge is to have the right sizes available.  The right size is defined as sheets sufficient in area to meet the need, but not too large or ill shaped that there is excessive scrap.

Engineers and programmers have struggled with this problem since the dawn of fabrication.  And there isn’t an easy solution to it, unless or until you turn to nesting automation to provide the answers.

The Case of the Shipbuilders

The right-sized sheet problem plays out on a very large scale for builders of ocean-going vessels.  Here’s the challenge they face.  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 …

10 Ways to Cut Sheet Metal Waste

10 Ways to Cut Material Waste with Nesting Software

10 Ways to Cut Material Waste with Nesting Software

Nothing cuts into cash flow or is a profit drain like wasted raw material.  And nothing is more frustrating than seeing huge piles of scrap go out the door.  It is these real, tangible costs that, with some foresight and creative thinking, can be turned into rewards.

Here are a few tips to start you down the road toward material savings.

1. KNOW YOUR MATERIAL USE RATE

It is surprising in this age of technology how many manufacturers don’t know their material use rate. They cannot easily answer the question, “How much of each sheet of material is used for parts?” or “What percentage of your raw material is scrap?” In some cases they need to grab a pencil and paper and do some quick estimates.  And that’s fine if that’s where you are.  At least it is a start. The best place to start when reigning in your material waste is getting a handle on what kind of scrap rate you currently have. When calculating, be sure to look at a large enough production sample to extrapolate use over six months or a year to get a truer picture of reality.  Remember you can’t change what you can’t measure…at least when it comes to material waste. Read more …

Nesting Software | 8 Best Practices to Gain Productivity

Does the nest meet all production requirements?

Does the nest meet all production requirements?

When sheet metal nesting every parameter, machine setting, order sequence, or part layout choice impacts nesting productivity – time & material.

There are countless sheet metal fabrication requirements to be considered when placing parts on a CNC punch, laser, plasma, waterjet or router.  The design, the fabrication requirements, and the order sequence can have a significant impact on the quality of the nest.  How well those requirements are respected when compiling a  nest is at the heart of an effective sheet metal nesting strategy.

Let’s look some of the real world demands that these requirements place on a programmer when nesting, and more significantly, the tools and techiques available improve your numbers today. Read more …

Nesting Efficiency Figures – What Everybody Ought To Know

Measuring Sheet Metal Nesting Material Efficiency

Measuring Sheet Metal Nesting Material Efficiency

Here’s A Quick Way To Understand Sheet Metal Nesting Efficiency Numbers

Why Manufacturers Track Material Efficiency

Manufacturers track their material efficiency for a few reasons. They follow efficiency numbers as a means of keeping an eye on day-to-day costs.  They look at variances in their material efficiency numbers to see if any production changes (part mix, sheet size, trim allotment) have made a difference in efficiency.  Finally, manufacturers frequently look at material efficiency as one basis for evaluating the return on investment when sizing up different sheet metal nesting software or CAM packages.

How to Measure Material Efficiency

We  now turn to the task of measuring or calculating material efficiency.  Read more …

Does Mixing Shop Orders Make You Nervous?

Not Dynamic Nesting of Mixed Orders

Not Dynamic Nesting of Mixed Orders

Does the thought of mixing orders in a nest strike fear into your heart?  Or does it just feel better to keep your items separate, like food on a tray -  no mixing allowed.

This probably isn’t you, but maybe you’ve heard of others, who under penalty of death, will not mix orders when nesting.  It’s true.  We hear about it a lot.

Although I’m having a little fun with it here, some have very real concerns about mixing parts from different orders, jobs, customers on a single or series of nests.  And those concerns are probably based in real-world, nightmarish experiences.

Today, we’ll look at the challenges of mixing orders and some best practices and tools to address them.  Then we’ll consider why mixing orders would be beneficial when done right and with the right tools.  Finally, we’ll ask the questions you may be asking to determine if mixing sheet metal nesting orders is right for you.

Challenges in Mixing Orders When Nesting

Shop Floor Chaos

The biggest concern we hear about mixing orders, jobs, customers Read more …

Six Ways to Eliminate Waste | Nesting Software

Stop Wasting Time & Material

Nesting Software Eliminates Time & Material Waste

There are a handful of practical ways to eliminate waste and add value to a product.  In order to best see their impact, we’ll put them in the context of the Lean Manufacturing concept of “value stream.” To do this we first have to understand how to add value,  and what is “waste.” The value stream is the set of all the specific actions required to bring a specific product to a customer.

Every time you add value to the product  you are contributing to the value stream and enhancing the worth of the product for the customer.  If you’re not enhancing the value, you are not adding to the value stream.

Value Stream in Manufacturing

The value stream is every process applied to your product that enhances the value to the customer.  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 …