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‘Connected Shop’ Provides ‘Set It and Forget It’ CAD/CAM Programming

The enhanced features of CAMBRIO’s SigmaNEST Version 21 are centered around ease of use and nesting options for every manufacturing need. The goal of the company’s Connected Shop concept is to bridge CRM, ordering, inventory, production, delivery, and accounting.  

Posted: April 24, 2021

Multi-rail press brake operations are now supported by SigmaBEND.
SigmaSHIPPING and SigmaRECEIVE are two new browser-based apps that simplify logistics on the shop floor with any smartphone or tablet, giving the ability to create delivery and dispatch notes and receive deliveries.
Load Manager and SigmaSCHEDULE offer flexible scheduling for nesting projects with operational dependencies.
SigmaNEST introduces clear nesting strategies based upon job priorities.
Parasolid and Rhino file import are now supported using CAD Import Plus.
Auto Complete Tooling and View Punch Tasks Only make punch programming easier.

The SigmaSUITE from global CAD/CAM solution provider CAMBRIO (Cincinnati, OH) continues to close the loop on manufacturing connectivity, focusing on “The Connected Shop” – scheduling, quoting, and logistics informed by nesting intelligence. The new release of Version 21 of the SigmaNEST suite for fabricators strengthens SigmaNEST capabilities with CAD/CAM enhancements centered on simplicity and best manufacturing strategies.

The Connected Shop

The aim of the Connected Shop is to bridge CRM, ordering, inventory, production, delivery, and accounting. New software products and enhancements to the company’s Business Systems and Shop Floor products have expanded this integration.

CAMBIRA says the debut of SigmaSCHEDULE brings true dynamic scheduling unique in the fabrication industry. Users can plan projects with nested programs, primary cutting operations, and secondary operations such as bending. The software can be configured for specific business needs but also has the flexibility to instantly adjust the workflow plan to inevitable changes. Users can schedule forward for the quickest timeline (as soon as possible), or backward from a fixed due date (just in time). Estimators can use preschedule jobs to ensure delivery dates can be met before accepting the order.

“We want customers to be able to “set it and forget it” so the software works continuously in the background and requires little to no user input. SigmaSCHEDULE plus Load Manager offer a complete scheduling solution designed for the manufacturing industry,” said Wayne Cathers, a product owner.

Load Manager software now has “real-time load balancing” to divide the work efficiently for machines and secondary operations, while identifying any sequence dependencies within the timeline. The software can also be used to automatically “Resolve” the current day’s schedule to compensate for disruptions, such as machine down time or “hot” jobs, to ensure job priorities are met.

Closing the Loop

Also new to the SigmaSUITE portfolio are SigmaSHIPPING and SigmaRECEIVE. These two browser-based apps simplify logistics on the shop floor with any smartphone or tablet, giving the ability to create delivery and dispatch notes and receive deliveries. Both apps give on-the-spot access to relevant delivery data, without the need of full MRP, and they relay the status and location of the job without displaying confidential financial details.

SigmaQUOTE has matured with many flexible features to aid good business practices. Tiered markups that reward priority clients, nuanced markups for specific materials or operations, and limited time promotions have been standardized and are easy to apply.

SigmaMRP offers better visibility and control with enhanced shop floor feedback throughout the workflow. Likewise, SimTrans boosts clarity through a new user command center with dockable viewports and printable operational reports. The increasing integration between the Business Systems and Shop Floor products creates a closed loop of control in which each operation informs the next.

Clearer and Easy CAD/CAM

Aimed at simplifying the user experience, Version 21 of the CAD/CAM software offers a nest that’s clear, easy to use with accurate nesting options for every manufacturing need.

The flagship SigmaNEST product has been improved with intuitive nesting strategies and simplified controls for sheet layout preference, as well as other task parameters. A new process selection feature for combi machines is particularly useful for defining specific technology settings such as toolpath lead-ins or NC parameters based on the cutting process.

Other major developments include enhanced common cut controls for edge quality and the ability to group patterns for fly cutting. With the development of the 3D environment, 3D beveling is much improved with simpler tabbing and countersink holes, rule-based transitions and leads, and automatic ramping of the feed rate based on contour or hole size.

User experience for SigmaNEST Punch is improved with a clearer display of parts, shear hits, transformations, and the ability to view only punch pattern actions on a program. A new automation “Auto Complete Tooling” allows the user to specify some punch details and allow the software to complete the task.

Significant development within the 3D software products includes TrueShape Nesting for SigmaCTL for angle cuts, and added nesting strategies for BestStickMixed or BestStickFixed.  SigmaTUBE packages for SolidWorks and standalone feature broad enhancements to importing, marking, and geometry support. SigmaUNFOLD, SigmaDEVELOP, and SigmaBEND have advanced functionality for handling sharp bends, tooling and setup reports, and batch feedback tools.

CAD Import Plus now adds support for Parasolid and Rhino files to its growing collection of popular industry CAD formats. PDF and image import have been greatly improved with enhanced OCR results, better identification of rotated text, and the ability to import multipage PDF files. SimTrans’ compatibility with CAD Import Plus provides blazing fast speed in converting 3D CAD files into SigmaNEST parts.

Collaborative and Diverse Partnerships

SigmaSUITE Version 21 is supported by an ever-increasing diversity of posts for cutting machines and press brakes across a vast variety of brands.

“With our commitment to a single platform that works across all machine types, the steady increase of OEM partner collaborations demonstrates that the SigmaNEST software solution is a clear choice for many job shops,” said CAMBRIO CEO Robbie Payne. “With the recent addition of Cimatron and GibbsCAM expertise and technology to the CAMBRIO team, our position as a CAD/CAM innovator has never been stronger. SigmaSUITE V21 serves as an exclamation point to that fact.”


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