During the recent Fabtech show in Atlanta I had the opportunity to speak with many people visiting the Bystronic booth. While many were very interested in seeing our BySprint Fiber with new 6kW fiber, I noticed there was considerable interest in our software offerings. When I asked people about the importance of software to their day to day operations the overwhelming responses were; “it’s a huge part of our work flow; it’s a major consideration in purchasing new equipment; it’s a real differentiator.” With those comments it’s no wonder there was so much interest in software.
Software’s Influence on the Fabricating Process
A machine is a single node on a vast network of emerging software technologies that is making fabricators more productive and efficient. The amount of time that it takes for an order to be transformed to a physical delivery to the customer has become shorter due to machine and software innovations. ERP software can decipher an order and break it down to its bill of materials and respective work flow routing. ERP compatible CAD/CAM software can take sheet metal orders and process them by material type, thickness and due dates.
Cloud based optimization software can make use of non-PC based algorithms and high-end computers to save an additional 10% in raw material utilization and 15% time savings by calculating highly optimized cutting plans. Machine utilization and productivity can be tracked based on data transmitted directly from the machines in real time. Machine maintenance can be proactively scheduled. Orders status can be accurately visualized and predictably forecasted to completion. Consumable machine parts can be ordered directly 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. Remote diagnostics enables OEM support personnel to remotely diagnose software and machine problems and quickly get customers back and running with little downtime.
The Big Picture
Yes, software has become an integral part of the big picture in the fabrication process. It’s no longer how a single piece of machinery will affect the fabrication process, but how the machines and supporting software technologies work together to create a cohesive and effective fabrication and business solution.
By Frank Arteaga, Head of Product Marketing, NAFTA Region
Bystronic Inc., Elgin, IL – Voice.email@example.com