Enfield-based BIZ Engineering Ltd,
has been a user of JetCAM
Expert nesting software since the early 1990s. Originally founded in 1816, the company has evolved into three distinct businesses, all of which rely on punch, laser and routing capabilities to manufacture a diverse range of products, from conveyor systems to go karts.
Peter Smith, sales and quality manager, said: “Since implementing JetCAM back in the early 1990s we have had a variety of different machines, including Trumpf TCL 2530 lasers and another Trumpf 200R CNC punch, up to the current range of punch, router and lasers . All of them have been driven by the software, and it has always been easy for new staff to pick it up with a few hours of tuition.”
A key strength of JetCAM Expert is that tooling is stored on the part, not on the nest, for any number of machines and/or technologies. This has allowed them to cut jobs on any relevant machine based on availability.
Mr Smith added: “During the CAD import process we tool parts for both of the lasers, simply because it is so easy. Although many jobs will only be run on one technology we will occasionally switch jobs between the punch and the lasers.”
Single Component Automatic Processing (SCAP) also allows entire directories of CAD files to be automatically tooled.Automatic nesting
In 2017 BIZ decided to automate the nesting process, adding JetCAM’s free-form automatic nesting (FFAN) to their licenses. Mr Smith continued: “The amount of time free-form nesting saved us was crazy. One of my colleagues programs the nests for go-karts and it has literally halved his time spent on JetCAM and with better results.”
In 2019 the company purchased a Nukon REX 315 4kW fibre laser. Although the software was supplied with a competing system BIZ specified that they wanted to continue using JetCAM to drive all of their machines, so contacted JetCAM to develop a post-processor.
Mr Smith explained: “The company gave us a demonstration of the other nesting software, and one of our engineers had used it in the past. However, we didn’t want to operate two systems in-house as JetCAM has always run any machine without issue. Also, we know how helpful they have been in the past in getting new machines up and running, so we were confident that they could do the same with this new fibre laser.”
A post-processor was written based on information and sample NC code supplied. It was installed and operational in one day, with Mr Smith impressed at the process: “The new post worked immediately, and minor features were added as new requirements were discovered.”
In 2020 BIZ purchased a Trumpf TruLaser 1030 L88, again contacting JetCAM for a post-processor. A new post was developed the same month, with Mr Smith citing that there were no issues after installation. Additional time was spent to optimise the runtime estimation, which had knock on benefits.
He said: “By having much more accurate runtime estimations not only are our quotes much more accurate but our lead times have improved, as we can schedule jobs much more effectively.”
At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic the AXYZ router was also used to manufacture PPE products using new acrylic materials. BIZ contacted JetCAM, who assisted in making sure that the system was configured correctly to ensure the best quality cuts were achieved.
Mr Smith feels that support has been significantly better than other software vendors. He said: "Compared to, say, our MRP system we get very few issues with JetCAM, and any that we do have are resolved quickly, often instantly via remote connection. We feel that we are dealing with an open and honest company that bends over backwards to help us.”
Consolidating all nesting with a single system constantly delivers benefits. He added: “The upgrade to free-form nesting probably saved us half a day per week, and adding a post as opposed to implementing and learning other systems is a massive time and cost saving. For training alone we would have needed four to five days per user.”
Mr Smith concluded: “While we have seen many benefits over nearly 30 years of using JetCAM, free-form nesting delivered a significant improvement, and the support to get new machines going has been superb.
“Going forward, our next step is to link JetCAM to our MRP system using our JOC Lite licenses to import orders for nesting and to take advantage of other features in the software to further automate our manufacturing processes.”