CAD CAM Nesting one of the most marketed and focused features but what does it drive and what are the additional benefits? Having worked in the manufacturing arena for many years we have had the privilege of working on many cost out improvements and one such example washelping a facility take a process that reduced the sheet count from 130 to 69 using the same sheet sizes, parts and quantities! Nesting played a huge part in this process, with the ability to intermix the parts rather than run a fixed sheet off which gave this project a huge benefit, not just in material reduction but also setup reduction and overall cycle time reduction.
Understanding the Nesting process
The nesting process has several inputs and sometimes more than are actually realised, for example, to achieve a high material utilisation a good spread of different sized parts and quantities are beneficial as this will give the nesting engine more options when running its algorithms. Another key factor is a priority where the more priorities you place against parts the lower the utilisation can be as the nesting engine is being limited to the order that the parts can be nested.
How to improve your Nesting
- Where possible try to get a good spread of parts but always be mindful that pulling orders ahead of time could have a knock-on effect for your work in progress areas.
- Try and limit the priorities you put on parts as this will allow a nest engine to work with more.
- Try to use adaptable tooling solutions so for example, the Cut process has few constraints other than material grain, whereas Punch can also have tooling constraints that will limit the rotation of the parts on the sheet.
- Material Sizes, it is always great to stick the biggest sheet on but are there other standard sheet sizes that could benefit you better or even dual sheet sizes (large and small) can make a big difference.
- Review the process that you need to go through when you nest. Some nesting systems offer fast nesting but then require additional optimisation programs to be run whilst others could be packed with different nesting styles and methods where finding the most optimal one could cost you more time versus what you actually save.
Our Newest Solution
Flux Nest is our newest offering inside of MetaCAM, like our existing Flux engine products it was designed and built from the ground up taking into account what we have been doing in the last 20+ years for CAD CAM and best of all it is FREE to our customers that have dynamic nesting module and an active support contract.
The below short video has a very small nest example, wherein this example Flux Nest is nesting 3x quicker and giving a higher material yield. Flux Nest is also fully compatible with Metacam Enterprise edition and can speed your process up even more!