How to choose a nesting software

The most important thing to remember while choosing a nesting software is that this tool must help you make more money. Ideally, you want to process more materials within the shortest time possible and save the maximum of materials for future use – so these are the main tasks to be solved by your nesting tool. When you test different software, don’t stop asking yourself about it – what is the advantage of this particular software, how can it help me save time and materials? Here is what you should be looking at:

1) Duration and method of data entry.

During testing, you need to measure the time needed to enter the data for several orders. It should not be an arbitrary set of parts, but real orders from your production line. Compare the resulting time for competing software. If the difference is a few minutes for one order, you will save dozens of hours over a month.

Astra R-Nesting software

Note the following:

2) Quality and duration of automatic nesting

There are circumstances that must be taken in account while assessing nesting quality:

Astra R-Nesting software

3) Editing of nesting layouts

We believe that a nesting software must have layout editing features. You should be able to manually modify layouts generated by the software, if necessary. You may well save an ample amount of usable material just by turning a single part differently.

Astra R-Nesting software

4) Offcuts inventory

Offcuts are inevitable, but if you want to use your materials in the optimal way, you should keep an inventory of offcuts and use them in the future. That is why the nesting software should have the necessary functionality:

Astra R-Nesting software

5) Part labels

Part labeling in woodworking is performed by printing labels on a regular printer or a special industrial label printer. Labels facilitate part identification during sorting and, therefore, improve performance.

A nesting software must allow the user to configure the label and its properties: size, number of labels on the page located vertically and horizontally, margin size, horizontal and vertical padding.

Astra R-Nesting software

6) Integration with CAD and management systems

A nesting software must have an interface for any external CAD or management system for importing orders, launching software with command line parameters, managing software with passed parameters, and exporting nesting results back to external software.

Astra R-Nesting software

7) Part edge processing

This is a must-have function for a nesting software. The edge processing scheme should be printed on labels – this simplifies and accelerates the process of further part processing and sorting.

Astra R-Nesting software

8) Peculiarities of your production process

Always check the possibility of customizing/configuring the nesting software to the unique requirements of your production process. For instance, you may require the following features:

Astra R-Nesting software

9) Reports

A good nesting software is capable of printing reports for all order elements: specification for part edge processing and facing, cost of work and materials, layouts, warehouse status. It should enable the user to configure the scope and appearance of reports.

Astra R-Nesting software

10) Technical support

Guaranteed technical support is a matter of business stability and reliability. Pay attention to this aspect and contact the developers without hesitation, ask and even advise them on how to make the software better. A good technical support service will appreciate that, since your recommendations and feature suggestions are what we use to improve the software.

Summing up, we will once again focus on the main thing – test your nesting software with a timer in your hand in a real production environment and do as much as you can: from data entry to cutting out parts on the shop floor. If the demo version of the software that you downloaded from the developer’s site does not have such features, treat this developer with caution. Good features are rarely hidden, but bad things are. If the demo version limits the number of parts you can enter, if it limits the number of materials you can use, if it doesn’t let you generate all types of reports – it should alert you.

Choose a nesting software that works best for you!

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