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SigmaTEK Systems

Latest SigmaNEST Helps Reduce Waste and Maximize Production, Company Says

Manufacturing Software

Software is reported to improve part quality by helping to deliver "cleanest cut possible"

SigmaTEK Systems has recently come out with its latest version of nesting software, SigmaNEST 9.1, which makes advanced programming tasks simple and more automated with the introduction of new features like iPierce, HDX, precision plasma setting, improved import functions, and NC sequencing, according to product manager James Lindsey.

SigmaNEST ( is a CAD/CAM nesting software solution for all major profile cutting and punching machines. Understanding that the investments job shops make in machinery are substantial, the new software version aims to maximize productivity and control costs. "With SigmaNEST, users are saving an average of five percent on material costs with more effective part nesting. Over a relatively short period of time, this adds up to truckloads of steel and other materials. Additionally, SigmaNEST has a cost estimation feature allowing job shops to more accurately spec out jobs and create more competitive bids," Lindsey said.

SigmaNEST is not tied to one type of machine, allowing job shops to purchase machinery based on individual requirements and budget. SigmaTEK president and CEO Ben TerreBlanche called the new software version a "game-changer" in that it enables users to decrease cutting time, improve part quality, and make geometry import more easy and reliable. "SigmaNEST optimizes tool paths in order to cut parts in the most efficient manner possible," Lindsey said. "Over the course of a day, these minutes add up to billable hours and completed jobs. When projected over a week or a month, the difference is substantial."

Increased machine productivity and reduced material scrap have been some benefits Tampa Bay Steel has seen after beginning to utilize SigmaNEST, according to David Carpenter, engineering manager at Tampa Bay Steel, which processes and distributes metal products to customers in the agriculture, construction, trailer, and energy industries. The flexibility of SigmaNEST allows the company to become more agile and responsive, and company managers are finding that the software's cost estimation capability allows for more accurate and winning quotes. "Our customers have come to expect quality and quick turn-around," Carpenter said in a statement. "Leveraging best-in-class technologies allows us to concentrate resources on what we do best while leaving part nesting to the experts."

SigmaNEST is focused on improving part quality. The software is part of a package called Ultra Sharp for plasma cutting, which includes some leading hardware components, including Kaliburn plasma torch. Together, the technologies produce the cleanest cut possible, delivering a quality cut and eliminating the need for part rework or cleanup, which can be a time consuming step. "Today's high-end cutting tools, especially fiber laser systems, have been defined as having a sharper knife. These high-performance machines require best-in-class software tools in order to optimize performance and maximize advanced features and capabilities," Lindsey said.

SigmaNEST 9.1 makes geometry import more easy and reliable, according to Lindsey. Import functions, like an interactive dialogue, allow users to scale parts while giving them the ability to toggle and show errors within the part's geometry before importing the parts, Lindsey explained. Users can import native CAD files in addition to neutral file formats. The company has added a new import from SpaceClaim and improved importing from SolidWorks, SolidEdge, Inventor, Pro/E, NX, and Rhino. Version 9.1 has the ability to import from vector-based PDF files and has a capability to detect and repair part geometry anomalies that would otherwise render a part unmanufacturable.

The Vermeer Corp., in Pella, Iowa, manufactures a wide assortment of industrial and agricultural products. Vermeer recently purchased a Salvagnini fiber laser cutter and, using it along with SigmaNEST, has found it helps with accelerating productivity and reducing scrap, said Vermeer Manufacturing Engineer Kevin Stauner in a statement.

"Manufacturers are investing thousands upon thousands of dollars in equipment, fully expecting a significant and sustained return on investment. Equipment alone will deliver only incremental improvement. It is only [through] maximizing the full capabilities of shop floor cutting equipment with leading software and related services that breakthrough results are obtained," Lindsey said. "Pursuit of profitability will create pressure for continued improvement and waste reduction. Manufacturers, in general, and job shops, specifically, are like never before scrutinizing every aspect of the business, especially tools and processes to boost productivity. And the shop floor is certainly no exception. SigmaNEST improvements have ramifications beyond the shop floor, delivering sustained improvements in terms of savings in material costs while maximizing the performance of costly cutting machines."

SigmaTEK Systems also announced that it will be presenting a half-day seminar on Tuesday, March 27, 2012, that will enable manufacturers to witness the latest in parts nesting technology. The event, part of SigmaTEK's "Nest with the Best!®" Roadshow series, will be held at the Courtyard by Marriott Washington Meadow Lands Hotel, in Washington, Pa., in the Pittsburgh metropolitan area. The session, scheduled from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., is geared toward those responsible for fabrication, CAD/CAM nesting, and overall manufacturing process efficiency improvements.

According to SigmaTEK, companies that cut with laser, plasma, oxy-fuel, water jet, router, punch, or bending machines will benefit from the seminar, which will give attendees an opportunity to see how SigmaNEST® "delivers measurable and sustainable improvement to material optimization, integrates with current manufacturing and business programs, and boosts bottom-line profitability." There is no cost to attend.

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This technical information has been contributed by
SigmaTEK Systems

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