Original Date: 02/10/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : SigmaNest Integration and Application
Bender Shipbuilding and Repair and Company, Inc. installed a new nesting program, SigmaNest, never before used by the shipbuilding industry. The SigmaNest program is integrated with other programs to support scheduled due dates, optimize plate utilization, and provide detailed reports on the cutting operation.
In the recent past, Bender Shipbuilding and Repair Company, Inc. used a steel part-nesting program, Numerical Control (NC) Pyros, that required a skilled operator to manually orient and arrange the individual steel parts on a plate to optimize plate utilization. The program generated a nest tape that Bender sent to an outside vendor for cutting the parts. When the cut parts were returned to Bender, they had to be sorted and delivered to the appropriate workstation, a time-consuming task. Often, the vendor returned parts cut less than high quality.
To correct these problems, Bender installed in-house laser cutting capability and selected a new nesting program, SigmaNest, to generate the required code for the processing of plate parts. SigmaNest had never been used by the shipbuilding industry, but it offers capabilities beneficial to shipyards. The SigmaNest program receives plate part information from Bender’s ship design program, ShipConstructor, and work order information for each part from a program called Simtrans. The SigmaNest program nests the parts optimizing plate utilization for the work order due date. The NC code is generated for the nested plates and issued to the shop floor for processing through work packages. Parts are then cut by the laser, put in kits, and delivered to the appropriate workstation.
The major benefit of the SigmaNest system is that it provides in-house control of nesting and scheduling. The program provides better plate utilization, supports the laser’s capability for common line cutting, and allows the insertion of micro-tabs to prevent parts from moving as they are cut. SigmaNest also features a robust reporting feature on the cutting operation that can be used for time studies and process improvements. This program supports scheduled due dates, optimizes plate utilization, and provides detailed reports on the cutting operation.
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