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TOS WHN 13
Make: tos
Type: cnc
Model: WHN 13
Control: Siemens
Spindle diameter (mm): 130
Longitudinal Trav
Make: tos Type: cnc Model: WHN 13 Control: Siemens Spindle diameter (mm): 130 Longitudinal Trav...
Harry Vraets Machinery

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Composites nesting and material tracking software

Posted on 03 Sep 2020 and read 454 times
Composites nesting and material tracking softwareQuickstep Technologies, a leading global manufacturer of composite solutions for the defence and commercial sectors, has implemented JetCAM Expert nesting and the CrossTrack composite manufacturing suite to manage nesting and ‘pre-preg’ composite location and life tracking for its facility in Bankstown, which is near Sydney, Australia.

The company had initially identified potential improvements that could be made in nesting for its three CNC knife cutters, but after investigation realised that further benefits could be achieved in surrounding departments’ handling operations further on in the process, such as lay-up, tooling and at the autoclave.

David Doral, CTO and head of engineering at Quickstep, said: “We were already investigating several nesting software systems, most of them limited only to nesting. We ‘discovered’ JetTCAM in January this year, after it was recommended by an existing CrossTrack user, and were prompted to look at the wider implications of such a system.”

The project was broken down into two phases. The first was to ‘roll out’ CAD import and nesting, to immediately benefit from the material efficiencies of JetCAM’s high-performance nesting.

Phase two will expand CrossTrack to the shopfloor, allowing staff to schedule nests for cutting, track layup tools and monitor the location and shop/shelf life of both raw material and kits around Quickstep’s facility.

After performing a nesting benchmark comparison with several other systems it was clear to the company that the return on investment in material savings alone would offer a payback in just six months for phase one of the project. The decision to select CrossTrack was made in May this year.

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, it was decided that both installation and training would be performed remotely. JetCAM created a virtual environment, based on Quickstep’s CNC configuration, and generated and tested a replica installation in-house. Once proven, the software was installed and tested remotely the following month.

The first test nest was produced within 2hr of the first remote installation connection and further training provided on-line.

Martin Bailey, JetCAM International general manager, said: “The pandemic forced us to think about this implementation in an entirely new way, one that will become a blueprint for future installations.

“We worked closely with Quickstep’s IT and engineering staff along with our own staff across multiple time zones to minimise the installation and configuration time on-line.

“The implementation was fast because CrossTrack is a standard off-the-shelf solution that has been designed specifically for composite manufacturers and bridges the gap often left by financial-driven ERP systems.”