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Punching

Switching gears

By Colin Linneweber

SigmaNEST’s software eases E+I Engineering’s expansion into America

December 2016 - When you run a major industrial operation, you typically want one or two key systems that are able to run multiple tasks and to perform those tasks in the smartest way possible. 

E+I Engineering Group, a maker of electrical switchgear and power distribution solutions with manufacturing facilities in Ireland, England and the United Arab Emirates, established its first U.S. operations in Anderson, South Carolina, in May 2014. E+I soon purchased a Trumpf TruMatic 3000 punch to provide additional metalforming prowess. The TruMatic 3000 concurrently uses laser cutting, laser welding and punching technologies to shape aluminum and other nonferrous metals to size. To ensure the investment would operate to the fullest of its capabilities, E+I executives decided they needed software to complement the TruMatic 3000. 

After exploring various vendors and application programs, E+I Senior Manufacturing Engineer Scott Taylor and his team were attracted to Cincinnati-based SigmaNEST and its CAD/CAM, nesting and automation software solutions for all fabrication machines. 

Founded in 1993 and supported by branches around the globe, SigmaNEST mathematicians and engineers have developed, installed and maintained more than 18,000 sheet metal nesting and automation solutions. 

Taylor was placed in contact with Kevin Keane, a SigmaNEST product manager responsible for all current and future machine tool-related offerings. Keane broke down E+I Engineering’s wish list and detailed some of SigmaNEST X1 CAD/CAM Nesting Software’s features and benefits.     

“E+I opened a new U.S. plant and needed to equip its facility with first-class equipment and tools,” says Keane. 

FFJ 1216 punching image1

SigmaNEST X1 improves functionality for CNC punch, laser and plasma machines.

Integration

“SigmaNEST X1 integrates with the most popular design, manufacturing and business programs thanks to a simple and easy to learn interface,” Keane says. “It also reduces scrap, increases productivity and optimizes production schedules by saving valuable materials and manpower, without sacrificing quality. Maybe most importantly, by importing 3D models with formed features, they can import the part geometry, and the metadata that comes with it, to guide the manufacturing workflow.”

Noting that SigmaNEST X1 improves functionality for CNC punch, laser and plasma machines, Keane explains how this programming works. 

“Our software imports the 3D CAD models of a client and organizes the work and automatically nests the parts on the sheets, applies the punch and form tooling, and creates the programs for the shop floor,” he says. “The software, which also creates reports for shop floor managers, reduces the programming time in the office and saves time in the shop. The shop also benefits from fewer tool changes and simpler setups for families of parts.”

Taylor confirms Keane’s synopsis and specifies how SigmaNEST X1 helped E+I Engineering minimize downtime, maximize uptime and augment output of electrical power products.

Automatic importing

“The ability to import 3D models and its property data directly into SigmaNEST, without the need for DXF files, eliminates the need for manual data input and ensures that the part file is correct,” says Taylor.  

“Assembly importing ensures that the correct quantities of the required parts are nested, thus eliminating more manual input—and potential errors—and allowing quicker turnaround times.”

Through SigmaNEST, he says, “we’re able to import 3D formed features directly and automatically tool them without the need to reference drawings for these odd features. We’re also able to eliminate a lot of tool changes and streamline the tool path to get the most efficient time possible.”

Due to software that enhanced “an efficient operation from programming to the shop floor,” SigmaNEST X1 was critical to E+I’s rapid success in America, Keane asserts.

Taylor says it certainly eased E+I’s expansion to North America. “E+I is based out of Ireland and started up this U.S. branch a little over two years ago,” recounts Taylor. “Whilst the product type is the same, a fully new metalworking system was designed to better meet the demand we met in the U.S. market. This system is the SigmaNEST X1.”

Already a recognized provider of software solutions for fabricators, SigmaNEST remains focused on refining its products and services and creating better models.“SigmaNEST will always concentrate on continuing to develop new, innovative features for the changing demands of tomorrow’s machines and programmers,” says Keane. 

With the right kind of help from a supportive vendor, E+I can continue to pursue business opportunities in North America and partner with big names in the electrical power solutions industry such as Eaton Corp. and ABB. Now that’s smart. FFJ

Sources

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Company Profiles

AIR FILTRATION

IRONWORKERS

NESTING SOFTWARE

SERVICE CENTERS

Camfil APC - Equipment Trilogy Machinery Inc. Metamation Inc. Admiral Steel
Camfil APC - Replacement Filters

LASER TECHNOLOGY

PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Alliance Steel
Donaldson Company Inc. AMADA AMERICA, INC. Messer Cutting Systems Inc.

SOFTWARE

BENDING/FOLDING

Mazak Optonics Corp.

PLATE

Enmark Systems Inc.
MetalForming Inc. MC Machinery Systems Inc. Peddinghaus Lantek Systems Inc.
RAS Systems LLC Murata Machinery, USA, Inc.

PLATE & ANGLE ROLLS

SecturaSOFT

BEVELING

TRUMPF Inc. Davi Inc. SigmaTEK Systems LLC
Steelmax Tools LLC

LINEAR POSITION SENSORS

Trilogy Machinery Inc. Striker Systems

COIL PROCESSING

MTS Sensors

PRESS BRAKE TOOLING

STAMPING/PRESSES

Bradbury Group

MATERIAL HANDLING

Mate Precision Tooling AIDA-America Corp.
Burghardt + Schmidt Group EMH Crane Rolleri USA Nidec Press & Automation
Butech Bliss Fehr Warehouse Solutions Inc.

PRESS BRAKES

STEEL

Red Bud Industries UFP Industrial AMADA AMERICA, INC. Alliance Steel
Tishken

MEASUREMENT & QUALITY CONTROL

Automec Inc.

TUBE & PIPE

CONVEYOR SYSTEMS

Advanced Gauging Technologies MC Machinery Systems Inc. BLM Group
Mayfran International

METAL FABRICATION MACHINERY

SafanDarley HGG Profiling Equipment Inc.

DEBURRING/FINISHING

Cincinnati Inc.

PUNCHING

Prudential Stainless & Alloys
ATI Industrial Automation LVD Strippit Hougen Manufacturing

WATERJET

Lissmac Corp. Scotchman Industries Inc.

SAWING

Barton International
Osborn Trilogy Machinery Inc. Behringer Saws Inc. Jet Edge Waterjet Systems
SuperMax Tools

METAL FORMING

Cosen Saws Omax Corp.
Timesavers FAGOR Arrasate USA Inc. DoALL Sawing

WELDING

HYDRAULIC PRESSES

MetalForming Inc. HE&M Saw American Weldquip
Beckwood Press Co.

MICROFINISHING TOOLS

Savage Saws Strong Hand Tools
Triform Titan Tool Supply Inc.

 

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