For Immediate Release
16th April 2013
Interroll Automation LLC, based in Jeffersonville, IN, manufactures engineered to order material handling systems. Until 2007 the company outsourced all of their sheet metal lasered components, but decided to purchase a CNC laser machine to bring the operations in-house. Stephen Book, Production Controller commented; “The increasing volume of work, our ability to improve lead times and desire to improve the quality of the finished part to our customers were all driving factors to bringing the manufacturing in-house.”
The company purchased a Hankwang 3015 CNC laser, which was supplied with JETCAM Expert 1 as standard. This allowed them to automatically import and apply tooling to CAD files using JETCAM’s Single Component Automatic Processing (SCAP) facility.
As the company developed their in-house manufacturing they decided to automate their nesting processes and purchased JETCAM’s Free-From High Performance nesting (FFHPN) module in April 2011 to produce highly optimized dynamically generated nests. They also updated to the latest version of JETCAM Expert, supplied by US distributor NestOne Solutions.
Immediately a number of benefits came to light from both enhancements in the new release and the upgrade to FFHPN. The time taken to apply profiling information and create nests were each reduced by two man hours per day. FFHPN delivered a 10% saving over previously created nests.
Stephen liked the logical layout of JETCAM’s menu system; “The menu system in JETCAM is organized and laid out by functionality. This reduces the time to perform functions such as setting up machine tech tables and to tool/nest parts. If we receive a surge in orders these can be quickly tooled and nested. JETCAM Expert is also supplied with a custom report writer. Reports have been designed that allow the operator to identify and tag parts as they come off the machine.”
Further material savings were made due to the speed and ease at which nests could now be created. Said Stephen; “We can now remodel nests to select the best sheet size for the parts. For example we nest on a 4 x 8 and 5 x 10 at the same time and then pick the best material utilization. High performance nesting works really well for as we have a wide variety of small run parts.”
Despite the creation of more remnants Interroll were able to manage this efficiently due to JETCAM’s built in remnant sheet management. Stephen liked the flexibility that this provided; “Remnants are easy to manage using auto-nesting. It’s a matter of having the size of the remnant and just selecting it before the nest button is pushed. This has reduced the time it takes to manage the whole material remnant process, while also reducing inventory and handling costs.”
Interroll has linked JETCAM to another in-house data system to streamline the flow of orders; “We download a CSV file containing part numbers, order quantities, due dates etc. By transferring the data in this way rather than re-keying we reduce errors and speed up the process. Once downloaded we can quickly determine which components are tooled and can then automatically apply tooling to the remainder. After nesting files are transferred via the network to the controller ready for production. By integrating JETCAM with our other systems in this way we have a system that is quick and responsive to the production and customer demands.”
Interroll use AutoDesk Inventor and are currently testing automation to dynamically import native Inventor files to JETCAM, with tooling being applied automatically during the import process. Once completed Stephen cites that this will reduce man-hours by a further 30 minutes per day.
Stephen has been delighted with the support from US distributor NestOne. Using remote desktop and JETCAM’s unique support file generation, which provides a complete working setup that can be used by the distributor for support any issues are resolved quickly. Stephen said; “The software is very robust in many ways. I don’t see how support could be any better with anyone else. Support has been excellent.”
Interroll saw a return on investment on their upgrade in just four months through material and time savings, but the company is still discovering benefits. Stephen finalized; “One intangible cost was a reduction in lead time in the order preparation. Our customers are date driven because they are project driven, meaning our due dates have to be achieved.”