January 29, 2009 - Central Profiles Laser Cutting Ltd, based in Kidderminster, provide sheet metal subcontract services using their three Bystronic lasers. When the company was founded in 2000 Managing Director Russell Flory investigated two CAM systems, one of which was JETCAM. He took advice from another sheet metal manufacturing company, which recommended JETCAM as easy to use and very efficient.
“At the time we were renting machine capacity but due to business demands we bought our own machine and needed something to run it. I looked at two systems, one of which was in the running as it was well known. In the end I took the recommendation of another user and went with JETCAM because they said it was easier to use.”
JETCAM Expert with free form nesting was installed in 2000. Since the company’s formation they have been proactive in upgrading their technology, initially starting with a Mazak laser, followed by another in 2001. In 2002 they purchased a second seat of JETCAM, and in 2004 they replaced one with a Bystronic laser and have since rotated their other machines to leave them with the current three Bystronics. At each stage Central Profiles only needed to purchase a postprocessor or modify any existing post to start using the new machine.
In 2003 a competing CAM company offered Central Profiles a system at a knock down price. Always interested to see if they could make further savings, Russell decided to try it. “We were offered the software for £500, so it was worth a go, however despite training it was just too complex to use and the programmers just went back to using JETCAM.”
Russell attended the MACH show in April 2008, stopping by JETCAM distributor’s Press and Shear’s booth. “I only stopped to say hello, however when they demonstrated JETCAM Orders Controller and High Performance nesting I could see that we could make some major savings. Steel prices were going through the roof, touching £760 per tonne.”
They upgraded one seat to High Performance Nesting (FFHPN) and installed JETCAM Orders Controller (JOC) on the shopfloor. Immediately programming time was reduced. “I wanted more than just being able to pick parts to order. JOC isn't technical - it’s very easy to use. We just import a CSV file containing all of our orders, which populates JETCAM’s materials and orders databases, which can then be automatically nested. We was able to reduce staff from two to one, freeing up resources to be deployed elsewhere.” Once the parts have been nested JOC is updated to reflect the completed nests and number of parts nested. Filler parts can also be added for frequently cut parts to fill additional space that would otherwise be scrapped. FFHPN also delivered clear benefits, saving on average 4% over previous best nests.
Central Profiles have received several beneficial software updates through their maintenance contract. They often cut parts on thick material, with one particular small part cut on 10mm steel. “We fit 1100 of these on a single sheet, and the heat build up would be colossal, but with JETCAM’s heat avoidance we can fill a sheet and it will not cut over an area again until it has sufficiently cooled. Even the lead-in is taken into consideration. With this update we can now leave jobs like this running unmanned.”
The company also has three Amada Press brakes, and uses SolidWorks to design parts, also storing bend information. With the JETCAM SolidWorks import filter Central Profiles can now import native SolidWorks files into JETCAM for nesting and use the same files with bend information for the press brakes.
Russell was extremely satisfied with the latest upgrade and sees JETCAM as an integral part of the business. “We chose JETCAM initially because of its ease of use but we've stayed because of the performance and support from Press and Shear, even when we had the chance to switch. The upgrade paid for itself within six months through labour and material costs alone. Even in the current climate I am happy in my own mind that we made the right decision to upgrade, rather than stand still as a business.”
- Using JETCAM since 2000 to drive a range of machine brands
- 4% improvement in nesting efficiency after upgrade to FFHPN
- JOC allows for import of orders from Excel
- Programming time and staff overhead halved after upgrade
- Heat avoidance allows long, complex jobs to run unmanned overnight
- Upgrade paid for itself within 6 months
- Much easier to use than competing system
- Tried low cost alternative but returned to JETCAM
- Excellent local support, which is rarely required due to software stability
- Can now design parts in SolidWorks with full bend information and import flat pattern into JETCAM
- Received further benefits through updates in the software
- JETCAM Expert
- High Performance Nesting
- JETCAM Orders Controller
- Bystronic 1800 Sprint Laser
- Bystronic 3kW Sprint Laser
- Bystronic 1800 Star Laser
Installed: 2000. Updated 2008
Digital images are available for immediate download from www.jetcam.com/press.htm.
About JETCAM International
JETCAM International has been developing and distributing its JETCAM Expert range of CADCAM software since 1986. In use in over 70 countries worldwide, JETCAM Expert software supports virtually every CNC punching, laser, plasma, routing, waterjet and flatbed cutting machine available today, allowing users to program any combination of CNC machines with a single CAM system.