Nested base manufacturing

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Switching from a P2P to a CNC router, and taking on new software and a new process. August 29, 2001

I am interested in nested base manufacturing. We currently are cutting on a sliding saw and a Striebig vertical saw and then processing on a p2p. What are the pros and cons? Is it worth changing from a p2p to a CNC router? How about horizontal boring? Did you make the transition from p2p to router or how did you start?

Forum Responses
Nesting does require a bit of a change from using a P2P. Typically, horizontal boring is sent to a horizontal borer often with dowel insertion. Most machines can be fitted with horizontal drills, but NO machine is fast at this process, and there is simply no room for the horizontal head in the nest, unless you nest those parts along an edge.

In reality, the big transition is one of software rather than process. You need to be using a CAD/CAM package that either nests on its own or one that allows you to manually nest quickly and easily. AlphaCam is fast becoming the standard software in the router market. Komo, Anderson, MultiCam and others are all offering it with their machines.

If you have a cabinet shop, you should also be looking at Cab'net Ware and CabinetVision type products as well.

We have been cutting parts this way for several years. When we started we thought it was a cool way to cut parts. We sell nothing but casework (i.e. no software, no machines).

We have just recently started using the nested base routers. It is neat and wonderful to watch. Our setup went well but the barcode that CV sent out would not read at the machine (they are working on it, I guess). I had a job (about 35k) on hold till I had the machine up and running and the machine cut everything out in 1 day. We think the router opens up new markets to us. We looked at P2P and decided that the routers were the future in cabinetmaking.

I've found that a lot of research needs to be done before jumping onto the nesting bandwagon. Optimization, material costs, material handling costs and shop flow are some of the top priorities and should be looked at very carefully. Also, ask yourself why you would want nesting and to what degree. Are you striving for JIT flow? Do you want to implement it for part or all of your machined parts? There are a lot of really great benefits from nesting, though bad optimization or unbalanced flow can really ruin things.