At Hypertherm, we place a high value on conducting business in a sustainable, environmentally responsible manner. Our commitment to sustainability is one of our core principles and we continually strive to incorporate that into our day to day operations. Part of this effort involves offering products with features that can help you reduce your environmental impact.
Green tips for nesting software
The process of extracting and processing ore into finished plates, sheets, or rolls represents a significant environmental impact in the metal fabrication industry. In addition, many consumables for cutting machines often contain rare earth materials, such as copper, silver, and hafnium, which are finite resources and involve an environmental cost to extract and process.
In terms of CAD/CAM software for the manufacturing industry, our approach to tackling environmental issues is to improve efficiency in terms of both plate and consumable usage. This involves reducing use of raw materials and maximizing consumable life.
Better material utilization
There are several different factors to consider for getting good material utilization. Basically, this involves nesting parts efficiently and cropping off usable portions of plate and then saving the remnants for later use.
- Automatic Nesting
Automatic Nesting provides tight, efficient nests with minimal scrap and limited user intervention. Nesting strategies are highly configurable and can be set up to prioritize material utilization.
- Plate Inventory
In ProNest, you can use the Plate Inventory module to create and catalog remnants (unused portions of plate) for use at a later date.
- Nesting System Optimization
An algorithm will select the best available plate for the parts that you need cut. You can set up optimization to only create nests that meet a user-defined utilization percentage.
- Work Order Processing
With this module, you can combine parts from different work orders on a single nest, increasing plate utilization.
- Common Line Cutting
Useful for certain applications, common line cutting can reduce scrap by eliminating the empty space between parts on a nest.
Maximize consumable life
One major driver of consumable wear is the number of pierces (particularly for thicker material) on a given nest. Typically, the more pierces there are, the faster your consumables will wear out. Additionally, torch collisions can damage your hardware. CAD/CAM software offers several different features to help get the most out of your consumables and torches:
- Collision Avoidance
Torch crashes due to diving and tip-ups can damage your torch and consumables. The Collision Avoidance module optimizes cut paths and head raises to greatly reduce the chance of collision.
- Chain Cutting
With the Chain Cutting module, you can link multiple parts together with a continuous cut that requires only a single pierce. Though this does increase the total cut length on a nest, it significantly reduces pierces required.
- Bridge Cutting
The Bridge Cutting module allows parts to be connected with a narrow web of plate. You can cut multiple parts with a single pierce. This is particularly useful for waterjet and underwater plasma cutting applications, where heat distortion is not an issue.
- Edge Pierce
A standard feature in ProNest and ProNest LT, edge piercing is a method of extending a selected part's lead-in so that it connects it to the edge of the plate. This allows for faster pierce times, especially when cutting thick material. Typically there is less consumable wear and energy usage with an edge pierce versus a standard full pierce.