ProNest software supports Craig Manufacturing’s willingness to meet any challenge
The company and products
Craig Manufacturing of Hartland, New Brunswick, Canada is the largest privately-owned heavy equipment attachment manufacturer in North America. The company operates out of a state-of-the-art 71,000 square foot facility in Hartland and it has also added a 15,000 square foot facility in Cambridge, Ontario for distribution and specialty manufacturing.
As business increased at Craig Manufacturing, the need arose for additional cutting capacity. “Our existing nesting software program had its limitations; creating nests was often a time‑consuming process. Every hour spent nesting would only produce about one hour’s worth of cutting. The software didn’t have much in the way of automated features so we ended up with a bottleneck right at the beginning of the process,” said Operations Manager Colden Wetmore.
The decision team took a close look at the latest Hypertherm solutions, including ProNest® CAD/CAM software. They were particularly interested in how ProNest would interface with their SOLIDWORKS® 3D CAD, and how it would fit into their specific workflow. They also wanted to improve hole quality, and since ProNest supports Hypertherm’s True Hole® technology, that was an added bonus.
It wasn’t long before Craig Manufacturing’s new EBF plasma table arrived. Equipped with an HPR400XD, EDGE® Pro CNC, ArcGlide® THC, and programmed by ProNest.
“With our prior software we spent six years tweaking the cutting parameters and never got them right,” said Wetmore, “then here comes ProNest with all the parameters built-in.”
Now instead of one hour’s cutting for every hour of nesting, the company is getting 19 hours – a 19X productivity boost! And True Hole technology’s improved hole accuracy and quality have allowed a significant reduction in secondary grinding operations.
Wetmore adds, “Since we installed the new table, which includes Rapid Part™ technology, even our highly experienced operator couldn’t keep up with the increased plate loading and unloading requirements; we had to change our flow to keep up.” They’re also seeing much improved material utilization. “We’ve reduced our raw material inventory by half. Today, because of ProNest our management is happier because cash tied up in plates has been reduced without sacrificing delivery.”