|In this Issue... |
Sponsored by JobBOSS
1.) Question of the month - -- SELECTING THE RIGHT MANUFACTURING SOFTWARE
2.) Tips on selecting the right Manufacturing Software
3.) Hot products
4.) Manufacturing education and training - Customer training in industrial laser systems
JobBOSS is most widely used shop management software for the metalworking industry with bar-code data collection, performance analysis, and contact management. Nearly 4,000 hi-tech shops and more than 21,000 shop technology system users rely on JobBOSS for quoting, scheduling, costing, purchasing, inventory, shipping, and quality control. Click here to find out more.
Question of the month
Selecting the right manufacturing software
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Is it time to integrate your shop's MRP software with the rest of the enterprise? Bob Rosenbaum, publisher, thinks plant disconnects can hurt your business. That's because Manufacturing Resource Planning, (MRP) software, which handles the shop floor, has typically jumped ahead of the rest of the enterprise. If your operation isn't fully integrated, it may be time to start. Do you agree? Send Bob your opinion, questions, comments, or suggestions.
Online Product Demonstration
If you are considering a shop management and control solution, take a
close look at the industry leader: JobBOSS. Click here to view a FREE 10-minute audio overview or interactive demo. If you have any questions, you can speak with a JobBOSS representative at 800-777-4334
Tips on Selecting
The Right Manufacturing Software
Some things to think about when selecting a CAD/CAM package for your shop: Industry experts suggest the first question to ask is "Can this program make my parts?" -- such an obvious question, shops sometimes forget to ask. For CAD, look close at how easy it is to create a model from a print. For example, if your engineer typically works from drawings, have the vendor create geometry from a print during the demo. Ensure the package can create, import, and export complex entities such as solids, Nurbs, curves, and surfaces.
If your shop imports geometries from customer CAD systems, you may need software with files translators for IGES, Parasolid, SAT, DWG, ASCII, and others. Think about how you will deal with your legacy data. Legacy data often mandates software including 2D and 3D within the same product with full transparency. This avoids products that can't talk to each other. Ensure your existing drawings load flawlessly. CAD programs should also feature data-management functions. This lets your shop securely share data with customers and ensures everyone is working on the most current version of a design. You may want to consider a process-specific application. For instance, specialized environments for sheetmetal, weldments, and tubing embody engineering-process knowledge in tailored commands and structured workflow's that help design machinery more quickly than general-purpose CAD tools.
For CAM, determine what system style your shop needs. Geometry-centric systems handle machining complex geometries such as molds, tools, and dies. Process-centric systems tackle process-intensive situations such as production machining. Evaluate a system by its toolpath generation. Is it quick and accurate? You should also learn if a CAM system can load native solid models without translation. Consider a system that combines solid models, automatic feature recognition, and a comprehensive tool database with material, feed, and speed data, which will give you an opportunity to add more automation. Many CAD/CAM systems use post-processors to translate the NC code output. Make sure to ask if the software price includes these post-processors.
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Manufacturing Education and Training
Customer training in industrial laser systems
Prima Laser Tools holds customer training courses for its industrial laser systems. Prima field-service technicians demonstrate and instruct customers on system maintenance and repair. Prima also modifies or expands the training classes and curriculum to meet each customer's specific needs. The company holds training classes at its Chicopee, Mass., facility or on-site after installation. Prima says the on-site option gives the customer the advantage of having its technicians trained while the machine is installed for practically immediate production start-up. Email Prima for more information.
Coming in September: AMERICAN MACHINIST will focus on Finance.