AutoPanelSizer – Software for optimized cutting plans

Benefits:

  • Blending optimization
  • Reduction of production costs
  • Creation of Guillotine intersections
 

Software AutoPanelSizer

AutoPanelSizer provides an answer to the question of how to place rectangular parts on rectangular plates as efficiently as possible.

Product Description

The software AutoPanelSizer identifies ­optimized cutting layouts for the ­production of rectangular parts from ­rectangular stock material and minimizes the waste. It only generates layouts that can be produced with so-called guillotine cuts. These are cuts that dissect the sheet – or later the remainder of the sheet – by a cut at right-angles to the workpiece and thus separate it into two rectangles (see ­examples part 1). Thereby, the software models a common technology for cutting rectangular parts, applied in particular for the machining of wood but also in the glass, metal, and plastics manufacturing industries.

In industrial manufacturing, typically interlinked saws are used. For example, a first saw cuts the sheet into stripes, while a second saw then cuts these stripes into parts with cuts that are perpendicular to the cutting direction of the first saw. Each saw in the combined system forms a so-called stage. Such a design of sawing facilities leads to additional restrictions for the cutting layout, because there are only as many stages possible as saws available. AutoPanelSizer takes into account ­restrictions on the number of stages.

Furthermore, AutoPanelSizer can compute layouts with trim cuts after the last stage and head cuts in the first stage (see ­examples part 2, 2 and 3, respectively). The software also incorporates miscellaneous constraints such as that are given by the machine or material properties. The ­available rest pieces can be included in the optimization as can different sizes of stock material sheets. In addition, the ­software can account for manufacturing costs for expensive processes, such as head cuts, or the storage of rest pieces after ­cutting on the basis of adjustable parameters.

Anticipatory production by differentiation of required and optional demand

IIn AutoPanelSizer, parts can be declared as required (compulsory) or optional. The first have to be placed on the cutting layouts, the last are only placed if they fit well and improve the yield. For example, parts that are needed the next day can be declared as required, while parts that are needed later can be declared as optional. By this anticipatory production the efficiency of the cutting layouts can be improved and thus the overall usage of material is reduced further.

Guillotine sections

Example Cut with Guillotine cuts

This layout can be cut with guillotine cuts.

Example Cut with Guillotine cuts

This layout can be cut with guillotine cuts, too.

Guillotine cut not possible

This layout cannot be cut with guillotine cuts.

Methods:

Cuts

  •  Computation of guillotine cutting layouts
  • Limitation on the number of stages
  • On each stage, minimum and maximum lengths of cuts
  • On each stage, minimum and maximum distances between parallel cuts
  • Trimming at the edge of the sheets
  • Blade diameter specification
  • Consideration of the grain of sheets and parts
  • Required and optional demand

Trim cuts for parts after the last stage

  • Maximum offcut length
  • Restriction of trim cuts to one side of the part (length or width)

Head cut

  • Maximum length of head cut
  • Trim for head cut
  • Minimum efficiency enhancement that has to be achieved when producing with head cut

Rest

  • Minimum length, width and area; maximum width
  • Allowed positioning of rests if the layout contains a head cut
  • Parameters for evaluating costs of rests vs. production of optional parts

Cutting pattern examples

Cutting layout with two stages
© Photo Fraunhofer SCAI

Cutting layout with two stages. The light parts are required and the blue ones are optional.

Cutting layout with trim cuts
© Photo Fraunhofer SCAI

Cutting layout with trim cuts. In the second stripe from the top, the two parts on the right side do not have the proper size after cutting the stripe. They require trim cuts. The offcut is the grey region within the stripe.

Cutting layout with head cut
© Photo

Cutting layout with head cut. The area framed in orange is theso-called main plan, the other part(on the right) is called the head cutplan. When cutting, the five stripeson the head cut plan are separatedfirst. Then the main plan is rotatedby 90 degrees and can also be cutwith complete cuts.

Software

AutoPanelSizer is distributed as executable. It can be embedded into other applications, e.g. systemcontrol or ERP-systems, through an XML-interface. It is available for all current Microsoft WindowsPC operating systems. Based on the latest research results, Fraunhofer SCAI constantly improves and enhances AutoPanelSizer. AutoPanelSizer developments thus profit from our long-standing experience and wide-ranging knowledge of optimization algorithms.