The addition of a Fiber laser into the sheet metal fabrication process is going to create a re-alignment of the status quo. You now have a tool that can produce substantially more parts per hour, so naturally all of the supporting systems will feel the effects.
Optimizing the front-end order processing, engineering and programming systems will surely help with the “pull demands”. Optimizing the material handling for both loading raw materials and also unloading the cut sheets will help with both the “pull and push demands.” Optimizing the press brake and other downstream processes from the Fiber will help with the “push demands”.
Real-time System Integration
The key is to optimize the process, whether that entails optimizing current equipment and processes or in making the decision to replace equipment or software that is no longer capable of meeting the demands. Purchasing a Fiber laser requires careful thought as to how it will “fit” into the fabrication process and also what additional equipment or software will be required. Of course you can look at these supporting tools as stand-alone solutions or as part of an integrated solution that reaches far beyond just satisfying production demands. Can the ERP system communicate with the programming system? The programming systems communicate with the machines? Can the machines communicate with the programming system and subsequently back to the ERP to close the loop? This is real-time system integration and the most efficient way to ensure that your process remains consistent so that your costs and margins remain consistent.
It’s really is no longer how a single piece of machinery will affect the fabrication process, but how all of the machines and supporting automation and software technologies work together to create a cohesive and effective fabrication business solution.
By Frank Arteaga, Head of Product Marketing, NAFTA Region
Bystronic Inc., Elgin, IL – Voice.firstname.lastname@example.org