The answer to integration of cutting processes in the supply chain

31st March 2017
Posted By : Anna Flockett
The answer to integration of cutting processes in the supply chain

With the radical change in how sheet metal companies compete with the advent of technological advances, globalisation, increased complexity and ever shorter lead times, companies in the industry are now fully aware of the need to link all their production processes together so that they can integrate with their supply chain.

Integrating any process into a supply chain, whether within the same company or among multiple companies, depends on two fundamental factors:

  • Alignment: The common vision and objective for the entire chain. This ensures consistency throughout the entire supply chain, whether within one company or among several cooperating companies.
  • Connection: This refers to the communication and the information both for planning and for decision-making, which ensures that the necessary data is available and is consistent and reliable.

For sheet metal cutting processes, this means companies must be capable of aligning their production systems with the general objectives, connecting them and gathering the information needed to make specific decisions on component manufacture while considering the priorities of the supply chain as a whole.

In a typical integration delivered by Lantek, information is collected from the ERP system on manufacturing orders and operations routing. CAD data, product information and delivery dates are then collated and the sheet metal manufacturing technology is applied choosing the best production routes and methods based on the physical characteristics of the part, its material and thickness.

By including these features, Lantek can optimally combine designs, business objectives, and production priorities for the most efficient use of a company’s sheet metal machinery resources. These can be very sensitive to poor planning, especially given the extra complications encountered during parts nesting.

Once manufacture is complete, the results are reported to the ERP system in a format which it can use. With this direct communication it possible for the data to be connected coherently with data from other processes involved in the supply chain, enabling the generation of data analytics including reports such as material utilisation and machine performance.

By integrating a specialised tool for the production of sheet metal parts that works jointly with a financial and business-focused-ERP, Lantek’s dedicated sheet metal solution provides a series of advantages that generic solutions cannot offer. These include more efficient use of material and machinery resources, shorter production cycles by grouping orders into one cutting operation, faster response to design changes, improved quality and reduction in work in progress.

For an extended supply chain, Lantek’s customers get extra benefits such as live visualisation of order status, more efficient buying through close cooperation with suppliers, and automated subcontracting in response to manufacturing capacity limitations.

With Lantek’s software and know-how, the integration of internal or external sheet metal cutting services into the supply chain is set to open up a world of possibilities for the sector, radically improving its productivity and efficiency.

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