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Become a one-stop shop - Get in touch! Complete products by adding multiple processes Minimal knowledge required of additional operations Optimizing and automating business processes
Steel service centers

High-end solutions and machines

Steel service centers increasingly want to relieve customers by positioning themselves as a one-stop shop. To achieve this, it is important to add various additional operations or processes to the current production process. Automating and optimizing business processes from work preparation to end product is important as well. These optimizations can result in shorter lead times, reduced costs and a shortened production chain. But how can you, as a steel service center, together with Voortman, make this optimization towards a one-stop shop and what are the advantages? Read more below!

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Complete products by adding multiple processes

To become a one-stop shop and to create as many complete parts for customers as possible, adding additional operations to your current production process is of great importance. The high-end Voortman plate processing machines perform multiple processes on a single machine. This increases your flexibility and creates a simplified production process whereby the routing and intermediate stock in your workshop are reduced. Cutting (bevel), drilling, tapping, marking and countersinking is all possible on a machine such as the V310 or V320, without sacrificing accuracy. And the V304, which can cut with plasma and oxy-fuel, bevel cut and mark, in some cases offers sufficient flexibility as well. Ultimately, you will be able to create parts which are as complete as possible with a shorter lead time.

Minimal knowledge required of additional operations

You may be assuming that you require a certain amount of knowledge to add additional operations to your current production. However, parameters and technology for these operations are provided by Voortman and are automatically applied to your machine. This means that you require minimal knowledge to set up these additional operations such as drilling, milling, tapping, marking and bevel cutting in your workshop. Steel service centers are completely unburdened in this and can focus on other important activities.

Optimizing and automating business processes

It is of great value for steel service centers to automate and optimize business processes from work preparation to end product. This is possible through a combination of Voortman and SigmaNest solutions. For example, the calculation of all operations into accurate customer-specific quotations is easily realized by a smart quoting module, so that you have to program and calculate less than before. You can also schedule work orders accurately in one simple planning tool and automatically assign those work orders to machines. In addition, you can monitor production in real-time and your planning is automatically updated when the machine is running. Machines with multiple work orders can also be efficiently unloaded using a real-time tracking and sorting solution. Finally, a continuous mutual data flow between your different software systems and or databases is made possible by the so-called SimTrans module. Read below in detail, per step in your production process, which smart solutions are available for this optimization in your workshop.

Generate quotes more effectively, faster and more accurately

Companies in the manufacturing industry as well as in steel fabrication benefit from quick and accurate quotations. The Quoting module gives you as a company an indication of how much work you expect to have in the future, but also which materials you need to have in stock, who your regular customers are and how many orders you may receive.

Voortman offers a simple quotation module whereby you can convert a quote to a work order without any effort. This module offers advanced functionalities with which quotations can be generated more effectively, faster and more accurately. Additionally, a CRM database is available where outstanding quotations can be followed up per customer. SigmaNEST, with Voortman machine processing information, automatically calculates processing times and allows for customizable costing calculations for any part or secondary process. This allows you to draw up an accurate customer-specific quotation based on your quick and exact cost price calculation!

One nesting solution that supports all your machines

An excellent nesting program is almost as important as the machine itself. That is why all Voortman plate cutting machines are equipped with one of the most advanced nesting software programs available: SigmaNEST. Together with Voortman, SigmaNEST offers a wide range of modular and customizable functions to get the most out of your production processes. This automatic nesting software is installed on an office computer after which it is used to import files and nest them automatically into standard sized or remnant plates.

The software offers the possibility to import the most common file formats in the metal industry. The CAD import module can be added and used to directly import native formats to ensure all the information is maintained and duplicate work will be eliminated. SigmaNEST generates specific CNC outputs for the machine, which will be converted to all required operations via VACAM software. Streamline your production process and get ready-made parts out of your machine with this nesting software!

Nest more efficiently & save time and material

All machines and associated machining programs can be read in a graphically displayed calendar timeline and managed from this central dashboard. This makes it possible to assign work orders to a specific machine automatically or manually based on type of operation, such as drilling and/or cutting or based on capacity. This planning tool enables optimum productivity through proactive machine scheduling and load analysis tools!

When Load Manager is used in conjunction with the Color Offload module, schedules are updated in real time to accurately reflect shop floor status and the operator can see what the next job is. Workflow optimization is guaranteed!

Track progress and meet deadlines

Once the planning has been made, programs are sorted in the planning queue by program number, material type or thickness, machine and estimated run time and then production is started by the operator. When the program has started, the machine gives the operator instructions for correctly assembling the tools and consumables. Technologies such as cutting parameters, drilling parameters and milling parameters are fully integrated into our proprietary VACAM software and are automatically applied based on the information in the program. Therefore, the operator can focus on the manual operations around the machine.

The estimated machining time is displayed and the planning is updated when the module is running, allowing you to make a forecast of production per day, week or month. It becomes directly visible when a certain program starts or stops and the next one begins, what the capacity of your production is, whether certain programs still need to be split, whether deadlines can be met and whether outsourcing is the best option.

Easy unloading and real-time tracking

In the planning phase, several work orders have been co-mingled which saves time and material since nesting is done more efficiently. Plates are fully nested, including the use of existing remnant plates so fewer actions are required. However, it is also important that these various, mixed orders are able to be easily separated during unloading. The Color Offload module is an intelligent tracking and offloading solution that eliminates operator confusion by displaying nested parts in colors that can be assigned by customer, work order or factory routing.

In addition, information is provided to the operator such as part details or dimensions so the operator is able to do a direct quality check before parts move on to the next work station. When a part has been cut wrong because, for instance, consumables fail, the operator can select and reject parts in the nesting software program. This information can be fed into Color Offload and the part automatically reappears in the work order list in the nesting program, enabling it to be remade.

Create full integration with MRP/ERP systems and other software packages

SimTrans is an online transaction manager that bridges the gap between different software systems from CAD/CAM nesting to shop floor automation to other business systems (MRP or ERP). SimTrans makes it possible for you to work with industry standard database formats (SQL), interfaces or CSV/TXT file interfaces and makes the set-up with an MRP/ERP system fairly simple and standardized.

SimTrans enables you to obtain the right information from different software systems at different moments in the process by means of a continuous mutual data flow. All data generated in SigmaNEST can be send back to MRP/ERP packages. Data such as estimated processing times, estimated processing costs, plates used, waste rates and status updates about programs. This automation allows constant work order tracking through real-time updates and feedback. But also vice versa, if changes in work orders, stocks, delivery times or customer information are made in the MRP system, these data are automatically updated in SigmaNEST.