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Manufacturing and Software Automation

Advanced Manufacturing & Software Automation

When talking about automation in the manufacturing process often people talk about material handling, but this is not the only process to consider as I have learned from my customers. Automating the front-end processes (those that involve order entry, scheduling, material planning and inventory, engineering and programming) is critical to maintaining consistency in operations, especially in a multi-shift operation.

Since Fiber lasers have significantly increased the volume of parts being processed, and most companies typically having one shift of front office staff, it becomes even more critical to automate the front-end processes to maintain the workflow to the fiber laser.

ERP Order Management System:

By utilizing an Order Management System, companies have streamlined the entire process by interfacing with their existing ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system and process their parts automatically from incoming orders to finished parts. A good Order Management System can take incoming orders and search for the correct DXF part files and automatically program the parts, nest and schedule to the appropriate machine. Scheduling can be defined by the customer based on due date or job priority. The triggering of a job can be delayed until the clearly defined, latest possible point in time while still guaranteeing assured delivery deadlines. An Order Management System maximizes the selection of parts and distributes all the orders that have been released by the ERP system efficiently to the various cutting plans. The cutting plans can be automatically released to the machines based on achieving required material yields. This leads to more parts per sheet, better material utilization and better delivery forecasts.

Order Management System and Real-Time Data:

A solid Order Management System provides immediate access to all relevant production and machine data and exchanges data regularly with the machine and ERP system. For production management, the data is immediately available at all times. Production managers can access real time information from their computer to see what parts have been nested, where in the production schedule they are and what parts have been finished and moved to the next process. Customers can also see the utilization of their machines and apply efficient resource management including pending maintenance work.


By Frank Arteaga, Head of Product Marketing, NAFTA Region
Bystronic Inc., Elgin, IL –