No modern fabrication shop would be complete without computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). This technology area has information on 3-D modeling, nesting, machine control, and process simulation.
October 17, 2016 | By Gerald Davis
Columnist Gerald Davis considers techniques for adding parametric harness connections to models.
May 23, 2016 | By Tim Heston
Waiting for a callback to discuss a major design change is one thing; but waiting hours just to see if a hole can be moved a little farther from the bend radius—that’s something else. One industry project, iFAB, aims to make design for manufacturability far more efficient.
March 16, 2016 | By Tim Heston
Average on-time delivery rates in custom fabrication have remained stubbornly low. Clear, constant communication and transparency can change this. And here software can help, even at the smallest shops.
Design for manufacturability, just-in-time nesting, paperless order processing, and systems integration put a metal fabricator in a position to eliminate waste and reap the rewards of just-in-time manufacturing.
March 5, 2015 | By Sue Roberts
Companies have been programming 5-axis waterjet heads for 2-D and 3-D tables for decades. The process has moved from being a time-consuming chore to a couple of clicks, and from requiring extensive process and software knowledge to being operator-friendly.
December 18, 2014 | By Craig Downing
Streamlined production, better customer relationships, and smarter decision-making are just some of the benefits that may result from cloud-based ERP software.
November 7, 2014 | By John Reynolds
Software is allowing fabricators to squeeze every bit of productivity out of fabricating equipment and the people that run the equipment. The software optimizes advanced cutting features and automates related processes.
September 4, 2014 | By Dan Davis
AGCO engineers don’t have to rely solely on the traditional product development process any longer. They have implemented a new virtual reality system that enables engineers to correct design flaws without having to build multiple prototypes. Now the tool is being used to build the company’s first generation of global agricultural equipment.
August 7, 2014 | By Tim Heston
Fabricators sell their ability to produce the right part in the right quantity and at the right time, and to do that requires good information. Communication troubles arise if front office systems don’t communicate with each other, and this can include CAD and ERP.
June 2, 2014 | By Mark R. Allphin
To understand how building information modeling promises to further change the structural steel fabrication business, you have to know how it evolved over the years.
So much of metal fabricating activity today is focused on the elimination of waste, and one of the bigger steps a company can take is integrating its CAD/CAM software with its job shop management software.
January 13, 2014 | By Dan Davis
In all honesty, nesting software that works for CO2 laser cutting machines also works for fiber lasers. The speed of the fiber laser, however, forces the fabricator to think more deliberately about software options that help to maintain the continuous flow of laser-cut parts.
January 2, 2014 | By Bruce Renfro
The path to a quality beveled part evolves from hours, sometimes days, of trial and error. However, a part programmer can take specific steps to ensure beveling success.
October 9, 2013 | By Dan Davis
SHoP Construction Services sought out a nesting program to help it create exact-sized panels for the huge Barclays Center project in Brooklyn, N.Y., and the effort resulted in an award-winning architectural and fabricating effort.
September 5, 2013 | By Adria Iles
Country music legend Willie Nelson is credited with saying, “The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese." It’s unlikely that Willie was reflecting on manufacturing. Regardless, his quote still summarizes perfectly one of the greatest challenges sheet metal fabricators face: When nesting, is it better to be early, or just in time?