PrimecutNE is Kinetic’s flagship nesting software, capable of supporting many users simultaneously quoting, specifying jobs, and nesting and scheduling plates for multiple machines. It boasts a simple user interface. When a user logs in, they are presented with the Home Screen (pictured below). From here, users can create quotes or jobs, nest parts on to plates, modify the cutting schedule, reconcile plates and manage the plate stock library. Access to various functionality can be limited to certain users.
A nest begins as either a quote or a job. A job is a collection of parts and plates for a particular customer. A quote is similar to a job but emphasis is placed on the costing information and parts are nested on ‘virtual plates’. A quote is sent to the customer and is converted to a job once the quote is accepted.
After jobs have been entered the parts are pooled together and nested onto available plates, which can be drawn from the system’s own stock management system, from an external ERP system, or simply created on demand if no stock control is required.
After nesting the plates are scheduled to be cut on a particular machine. When the plates are cut the system is notified (automatically if using PrimecutNE-Touchcut integration), and any offcuts or skeleton plates to be kept can be returned to stock, jobs are updated so the system always knows how many of each part in a job have been nested, scheduled, cut or rejected, and can track when jobs have been completed.
The system tracks all historical data- all plates that have been cut, their heat number and serial numbers, what parts were cut on them from what jobs, on which machine, by which operator, on what day and how long the job took versus how long we predicted. Every part entered in the system (and every plate) is stored in the SQL database and can be reported on at any time in future.
A number of integrations are available with 3rd party ERP/MRP systems, and custom job importers can easily be created. Current integrations include:
For businesses who cut parts directly or indirectly for their customers, we provide a powerful quoting module. Quotes can be generated from parts only, but for the most accurate results we recommend nested quotes where the true shape of the parts and how they fit onto a plate can be taken into account. Primecut has a costing database which stores cutting, bevelling, marking, drilling, tapping and milling speeds for different grades and thicknesses of material, and in estimating times we take account of machine accelerations and rapid traverse speeds. Both ship weight and “used weight” are calculated for and distributed among the parts nested together on plates. Extra off-machine processing such as folding, welding, galvanizing etc can be accounted and charged for as can plate setup charges, programming charges, freight and tax. Configurable reports can be generated for the final customer (for example the quote itself), for the salesperson (for example showing more detail, including costs and margin) and for management (for example the value of quotes won and lost per salesman in the last month).
Quotes can be “won” and spawn actual jobs to be cut; in doing so the nests used for quoting can be reused automatically if desired and if the plates requires are available in stock, alternatively the new job parts can simply enter the total pool of parts to be nested allowing them to be mixed with other jobs.
Parts from all active jobs are then pooled together in nesting mode allowing greater efficiency in material use, reducing plate handling. Our new automatic nesting algorithms produce efficient and regular looking nests. When multiple parts from one or more jobs are nested onto a single sheet full tracking is provided to distribute material usage, time and cost from a plate between its nested parts and jobs.
The autonesting applies a number of different algorithms and evaluates the best result. Part priority when nesting can group parts by size, job, customer or due date. Nesting can optionally constrain grain on selected parts to match the plate grain (which is tracked through remnants even if they are rotated). Advanced manual nesting tools are also available including arrays, staggered arrays, clustering and bump nesting. Below is an example of an autonest.
Plate Inventory Management
Primecut can manage your plate stock, keeping track of all your new and offcut plates in its SQL database. Offcuts are stored with their true shape- no guessing whether a part might fit an offcut, the system knows for sure. Heat, serial number and test certificates can be tracked; offcuts inherit these from their parent plates and any parts that have been cut can be traced back to the plates they were cut from. management reports can be generated for stock on hand, stock to be ordered, stocktake, plates cut between dates etc. Custom integration is possible with 3rd party ERP and accounting databases, contact email@example.com for more information.
Scheduling and Touchcut Integration
Above is an analysis of time within a complex part.
A unique feature of PrimecutNE when used in combination with Kinetic’s Touchcut controllers is the scheduling integration. Primecut can accurately estimate the cutting time for each plate and by adding heuristics for plate loading and unloading and real world inefficiencies, can predict how a long each plate should occupy the machine for. Each machine can then see its queue of scheduled plates and how many hours cutting is queued up for it. The queues are ordered lists, so plates can be prioritized for example by the earliest due date of any of the parts nested on them. Sales people or manufacturing engineers can see at a glance where the parts they are waiting for are in the queue and approximately when they should be cut. Above is an example of scheduling to multiple machines within Primecut NE.
At the machine the operator see not just the queue of plates ahead of him to cut, but also what tooling will be required, what parts are to be cut and he can even access dimensioned schematics on screen to check parts are within required tolerances. The operator can record heat number and serial numbers of the new plates they cut and this is propagated back to primecut and recorded against the plate and all offcuts that may be produced from it. The system records how long each plate actually spent running the program, as well as how long it occupied the machine, providing feedback both to verify the accuracy of Primecut’s costing data and to provide a measure of operator efficiency.
Primecut was originally developed to support the multi-process capabilities of Kinetic’s Touchcut controller and its machines, and as such has world leading capabilities for programming combined cutting, beveling, drilling and machining.
Cutting and beveling can automatically select a current and gas process, and specify leadins and leadouts and whether pierce preparation is needed, based upon the material and thickness. Hypertherm True-Hole can automatically be applied to suitable holes when plasma cutting.
All bevel geometries are supported including compound bevels such as as K-bevels, transitions bevels, and oblique penetration bevels. Special features are included for the bevel cutting of domes and pipes.
Multiple spindle operations can be applied as a set to a single hole geometry, for example blind drill and tap then countersink. Pre-drilling of pierce holes can be automatically applied to starts on thick plate, offset by just the right amount so that the arc or flame starts on the edge of the drilled hole.
Milling can be applied to slots, for facing, and for interpolating and cleaning out cuts made with plasma or flame.
Flexible Part Import
We support DWG and DXF files through Auotcad 2018.
We also support STEP import of solid models, however the solid being imported must represent a “plate” type parts, ie something we might conceivably cut, bevel and machine from plate.
For structural applications we support DSTV files (commonly encountered with a .nc1 or .nc file extension). These can represent an entire bill of materials, or a single part and usually contain material, thickness and quantity information as well as drilling tapping and beveling information.
We can also import csv spreadsheets referring either to external dxf or dwg drawings on disk (service cutting scenario) or to pre-existing parts in our database (manufacturing scenario).
Custom plugins can be written to interface to 3rd party ERP and accounting systems to automate job or quote entry.
Additionally we have a parameteric shape library of common 2D and 3D shapes. This can be extended with programmable customer-specific parameteric shapes if required.
Postprocessor Support for 3rd Party Machines
Kinetic can configure postprocessors for 3rd party cutting equipment, so you can use your PrimecutNE to control all your cutting machines. We have done posts for several lasers, and other manafacturer’s plasma and flame tables. In order for us to quote you on a post for your machine we need some example programs, and ideally the manufacturer’s documentation on what their programming codes mean.