Delayed Equipment Purchase Exposes Company to Nesting Software Possibilities

By delaying the purchase of new punching machines with nesting software, a manufacturer discovered alternative nesting systems.

HC Coils Ltd. knew that the CAM software it was using to manufacture its heat-exchange products on two punch presses was too simple. In 2010, it still appeared to be DOS-based. Even more concerning was its lack of automatic nesting capability. According to Jon Yeomanson, drawing office manager, he had to employ someone all day literally to play Tetris to lay up nests. This mundane and boring job was not a good use of a relatively highly paid staff member, he says.

But new software was not on the company’s radar at first. Instead, HC Coils was considering new punching machines with impressive nesting software. In the end, the purchase of the new equipment was delayed, and the solution came to a dead end. However, the experience exposed the company to nesting software possibilities.

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After researching alternative nesting systems, HC Coils decided to invest in Expert Premium CAD/CAM software with free-form nesting from Jetcam International. After quick installation and training, the company imported its components into the Jetcam software. Using Jetcam’s Single Component Automatic Processing (SCAP), the company placed original DXF files for several thousand components into a folder, which SCAP then processed, creating component files and placing tooling automatically so that all parts were ready for nesting on both machines. Mr. Yeomason says that SCAP does a better job at tooling parts than an operator. “We even accidentally discovered a better way of punching our fan plates,” he notes.

Once parts have been created, the company uses JOC Lite to structure assemblies and create order lists. Assembly structures can be created by dragging and dropping components and specifying quantity and revision number where relevant. Worksheets can be created in the orders screen, and components or complete assemblies can be dragged onto the worksheet and sent to Jetcam for automatic nesting. CSV files of components can also be imported to populate order lists.

Since implementing Jetcam Expert Premium and JOC Lite, the company says that programming time has been reduced by 85 percent. “We can now get a full day of production programmed in under an hour,” Mr. Yeomason says. He adds that, with the savings in programming time, the system paid for itself in just a few months. Read the full story here.

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