Above: Lantek’s WOS Open Talk Module can communicate with several types of laser machine controllers, which gives it the ability to track the cutting production data in real time accurately.

May, 2024- Manufacturers continue to face headwinds with persistent talent obstacles, targeted supply chain issues and the need for product innovations that meet more stringent emissions standards. In some cases, cost inflation and high interest rates have hindered capital equipment investments as well.

In the second quarter of 2024, some manufacturers are reporting flat sales while others see sufficient market demand. “It’s a varied scenario currently,” says Anupam Chakraborty, commercial director for Lantek Systems Inc. “But amidst this uncertainty, there are opportunities for software companies like ours to provide valuable support.”

With Lantek Analytics, companies can evaluate and monitor real-time data and gain intelligent visualization.

Lantek’s commitment to digitalizing the industrial metals sector and its investment in research and development have given the company some insight into the software systems and solutions companies need to thrive in today’s business climate.

Lantek Analytics lets companies know material, time and labor costs, along with variables from downstream processing, to help with quick quoting.


Chakraborty outlines three critical areas that pose challenges for job shops and fabricators: quotation, capacity and manufacturing preview. He emphasizes the importance of swift quotation generation, underlining the need for accurate cost tracking that includes different processes from cutting to assembly and shipping.

Lantek’s Integra Quote module allows manufacturers to create and manage quotes for sheet metal parts, profiles and product structures. The software tool calculates the costs associated with each assembly, part or process by defining geometry, material, thickness and associated operations. A user can improve quotation accuracy by integrating the tool with Lantek’s nesting module (Lantek Expert Cut-Plus). The Integra Quote module also integrates with other modules, allowing Lantek’s software system to take a manufacturer from quote to shipment.

“When a customer looks at capacity issues, it can be related to not having enough machines, but it might also be lack of data,” Chakraborty says. “This is where Lantek Integra ERP and Lantek MES Manager come to the rescue.”

Lantek Integra can help a job shop or fabricator organize, automate and manage core business practices by coordinating data flow between different processes and streamlining operations. Lantek MES Manager captures, monitors and tracks operations to efficiently control the manufacturing process from raw materials to finished products. For companies that want to gain real-time control over their activities, Lantek’s Integra ERP and MES Manager are designed to track and direct tasks from launching orders to product finishing.

“Getting a preview of current and incoming workload on the shop floor is also critical,” says Chakraborty. “An ERP and MES system can give manufacturers this preview and provide a roadmap that leads to improved planning. A customer might think about investing in a new machine to increase capacity. However, with better information and shop data, manufacturers can consider alternate routes to get the job done faster without immediate capital expense. This releases cash flow for other value-added investments.”


“Capturing quality data is the key to making the right decisions,” he adds. Manufacturers rely heavily on operators to capture huge amounts of data. More often than not, these data capturing processes are performed manually. In an 8-hour shift, an operator’s priority is to meet deadlines. As a result, data logging can take a back seat, especially during a busy season. The impact on data quality can be significant.

Machine Communication Protocols can help solve the problem by automating data tracking directly from the machine. Lantek’s WOS Open Talk module has the ability to communicate with some laser machine controllers and track cutting production data accurately in real time. Companies can use Lantek Analytics to evaluate and monitor real time data and gain intelligent visualization.

“We’re are continually developing tools to analyze data and create triggers that can help our customers plan more effectively,” Chakraborty says. “For example, if a customer says they need a job quicker than the original shipment date, these software systems can help develop better timelines to be able to meet those requests. It can also help anticipate things like machine maintenance, which traditionally is a time-based deployment activity. Let’s say machine maintenance is quarterly but the equipment is being heavily used and actually needs to be serviced sooner. The right software changes planned preventive maintenance to need-based maintenance.”

Recognizing the pivotal role of AI in manufacturing’s future, Lantek continues to invest in talent, and has doubled its R&D team over the past two years. With a global headcount of 400 employees, Lantek remains committed to offering technological solutions to drive the next phase of industrial growth.

“Our business thrives on people; they are at the core of our company, and we continue to invest in them,” says Chakraborty.

Lantek Systems Inc., 877/805-1028, http://lantek.com/