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8/23/2010 | 1 MINUTE READ

Trek achieves nine-month ROI in switch to nesting, CAM software

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Trek Bicycle had been generating static nests manually and found an automated solution in software from JETCAM.

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Trek Bicycle Corp. (Waterloo, Wis., USA) reportedly had been looking for ways to streamline nesting for its Gerber knife cutters. Ben Fisher, product manufacturing engineer, said static nests had been generated manually, which could take several hours and were often inefficient depending on the creator and the part shape.

Trek evaluated the market, looking for a way to automate the nesting process and eventually settled on JETCAM (Duluth, Ga., USA and Monaco), created a special format to set the cutting speed based on the number of layers to be cut per pattern. Claude Drehfal, a manufacturing engineer who also worked on the implementation, noted, “Based on sample nests of common parts we were able to justify the cost with less than one year payback.”

The system was installed in December 2009. Five engineers were trained, with the full installation taking one week. JETCAM Expert, High Performance Nesting and Remote Control Processing (RCP) were installed to act as a "black box," automatically nesting orders. JETCAM Orders Controller (JOC) was used to manage kits to be nested. Users could batch process nests to determine optimal kit quantities, and also provided the ability to import files from DXF- or CATIA-generated XML files.

Programming time was virtually eliminated, as orders were queued in JOC and then passed to RCP for automatic nest processing. Single Component Automatic nesting (SCAP) is also used to process CAD files, creating geometry and applying profiling automatically.

“After going through and replacing our manual static nests with JETCAM built nests," said Fisher, "we have seen a 5 percent increase of material yield.”

Trek Bicycle is on target to see a complete return on investment within nine months of install. Several programmers are using a single system, accessed through remote desktop and automated through RCP. They also plan to move to complete dynamic nest generation along with laser kitting at the machines.