Tag Archives: material yield

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 …

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 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 …

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 …

How to Estimate Material Yield and Machine Time | Laser Cutting Software

Estimating Material Yield and Machine Time

Estimating Material Yield and Machine Time

Introducing | Project Estimator by Optimation

I think it is fair to say that most – if not all – manufacturers are scoped-in pretty tightly on their costs these days. Competition – global and domestic – economic turns, and rising energy prices are forcing a heightened awareness of costs.

Any tools to help predict and evaluate costs using actionable data would be a welcome asset.

Wanted: Material Yield and Machine Time Information

Wouldn’t it be great to know how much a part would cost before you produce it? 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 …

Remnant Nesting

Irregular Sheet Metal Remnant Nesting

Irregular Sheet Metal Remnant Nesting

Nesting on irregular-shaped remnants can make a significant difference on material yield.  And if you are a manufacturer focused on reducing waste and improving yield, here’s a nesting strategy that could prove very helpful.

Manufacturers often have to create large, non-rectangular parts in small quantities.  These parts can and do fill the majority of the area on a metal sheet; however, they still leave a sizeable amount of usable space inside voids and around the exterior.  This usable space, or remnant, isn’t necessarily rectangular, as many remnants are.  The remnant naturally follows the negative contour of the single large part removed from the sheet.

Irregular-Shaped Remnant Nesting Challenges

When a programmer is faced with an odd-shaped, sheet metal remnant he is challenged with a couple problems Read more …