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.
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?
July 11, 2013 | By Tim Heston
Matot, a small dumbwaiter manufacturer in the Chicago suburbs, is a microcosm of high-product-mix, low-volume manufacturing. Fabricators no longer make it work on the floor. Instead, they adjust the model to suit the process.
June 3, 2013 | By Derek Weston
Advancements in nesting software development have made a real impact in terms of increased material utilization and machine uptime, but for a fabricator to get the most out of the nesting software, it needs to be fully integrated with the design and shop management software systems.
April 19, 2013 | By Tim Heston
Conductix-Wampfler, Omaha, Neb., developed software that integrates information from CAD, product data management, ERP, and customer relationship management. Built on the company's success, the software is now available for others interested in ensuring everyone in the business is on the same page.
April 17, 2013 | By Dan Davis
The speed of fabricating is increasing at a rapid pace, but the press brake remains a bottleneck for many companies. Laser cutting and punching machines can run unattended if necessary without the need to program a robot, but the same can't be said for a press brake. Human operators still are pretty much a necessity. Advancements in bending software, however, can help to streamline the bending process. Fabricators only need to give it a try.
Hard tooling for traditional fixtures often depends on costly milling and other non-sheet metal processes. So how can these costs be minimized? The simple answer is to marry the processes and machinery you already have--including laser cutting, waterjet cutting, and punching--to the appropriate CAD system.
September 7, 2012 | By Dan Davis
It sounds like a no-brainer in electronically connected world, but shops don't have the ability to integrate their 3-D modeling capabilities with nest creation. As more shops jump into 3-D modeling with the goal of decreasing turnaround time for jobs, they are looking at a more formal connection between the design and production world.
January 11, 2011 | By Jack Thornton
Equipment and software upgrades are helping Decimal Engineering, Pompano Beach, Fla., to increase its customer base and, as a result, increase its profits.
November 1, 2010 | By T.R. Kannan
Making cost-effective designs has become a basic requirement in manufacturing, and proper nesting can contribute to this overall goal.
September 1, 2009 | By Dan Davis
Nortool Precision Machining and Tool has turned to a 3-D CAD/CAM package for both design and NC and has found that it is delivering quicker and more accurate bids, while simultaneously improving the quality of tool- and diemaking.
July 6, 2009 | By Erik Kettenhofen
Nesting software has evolved to the point where it can "see" shape contours and can determine how they best fit together.
June 2, 2009 | By Dan Davis
Doug Bergeson of Bergeson Technology, Dawson, Minn., saw the carnage that improvised explosive devices caused in Iraq, so when he came on, he worked on a solution. He has one now and wants others to know about it.
May 1, 2009 | By Tim Heston
Ohio-based Diamond heavy-haul found efficiency in its cutting operations through nesting software by managing remnants and reducing scrap.
March 1, 2009 | By Gerald Davis
Among the tools in the 3-D CAD toolkit—extrudes, revolves, sweeps, and lofts—the first two can be used to create identical parts, but they don't work the same way. Depending on which process you choose, the time the computer needs to model and rebuild the part can vary substantially.
February 1, 2009 | By Gerald Davis
Columnist Gerald Davis explains that preparing a 3-D CAD model without dimensions may look great, but it doesn't really do anybody any good. For example, a 3-D CAD model with dimensions helps quality control inspectors.