Alberta, Canada--GT Metal Products (www.gtmetal.com) provides custom fabrication services using two Mazak STX510 MkII 2.5kW laser cutters. The company had previously been running two CAM systems to drive the lasers, but experienced problems that made them consider alternative solutions.
Dustin Sim, production manager, said, “Previously we could only specify one cut condition per thickness, which gave us quality issues. Also, we were looking to find a faster way to nest parts and reduce material waste. Based on our previous CAM experience and the ability for it to allow for multiple cut conditions per thickness we selected JETCAM and also opted for JETCAM’s High Performance Nesting module to maximize efficiency and material usage.”
Two licenses were installed in May 2009 that allowed for two programmers to design parts and for one machine to be used for generating highly optimized nests. The staff was provided initial training and they were able to learn the system independently due to additional training material provided.
Benefits after installation included a halving of programming time, as processes took much less time than the previous systems due to many being automated. Once profiling information is applied to each part it is immediately available for each machine, with any updates reflected automatically on any nests. Nesting time itself saw a 90% reduction, as users simply queue up all parts to be nested for a given material and thickness, specify an amount of time that the nester can run for (which can be overnight to allow the system to consider the most optimized nesting options) and generating NC code.
Machine cycle time also saw a 20% improvement due to optimized lead-ins, common line cutting, path optimization and finishing cut sequences all playing a part. Finally, material utilization saw a 25% improvement. Sim commented; “One of the major benefits is that we can quickly queue up multiple jobs and nest them together for efficiency. Added up, these savings paid for the system within just two months.”
GT Metal is about to convert its two licenses to a server-based floating setup, allowing several PCs to have the software installed and for two to run concurrently. Sim finalized; “JETCAM is faster and much more flexible than all of the previous systems we’ve used. It excels in material utilization and generating optimized NC code.”
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