Tanker manufacturer uses SOLIDWORKS with ProNest nesting software to enhance production
The company and products
Whale Tankers LTD is Europe’s leading waste tanker manufacturer. The company manufactures more than 250 vehicles a year, and currently sells to local government utilities and private contractors all over the United Kingdom and Europe.
Whale Tankers invested in a new plasma cutting machine that included Hypertherm CNC control and plasma power supply. Although the machine came bundled with the manufacturer’s original CAM system for offline programming, the company’s design engineers did not feel it would be up to the task. They decided to look into other popular nesting CAD/CAM alternatives.
After a thorough test drive, it was clear to the team that ProNest® was by far the most powerful and easiest-to-use software for their needs. The design engineers liked ProNest because it solved a handful of problems that had been causing major delays in the manufacturing cycle.
For example, Whale’s product designs are done entirely in 3D CAD, and so they needed a nesting software for SOLIDWORKS® specific jobs. ProNest was able to integrate directly with Whale Tankers SOLIDWORKS license, allowing quick and easy export of 3D parts to the flattened 2D geometry, ready for automatic nesting.
In addition to improving overall quality of cut parts and significantly enhancing the production process, Whale Tankers found that ProNest software quickly paid for itself.
ProNest’s user-friendly design is ideal for shop-floor use. CAD files are saved on the network and the operators responsible for the cutting machine take care of the day‑to‑day nesting – allowing the design team to focus on their main vehicle design tasks.
The nesting efficiency is faster and better, and shop‑based engineers are able to use ProNest to quickly and automatically nest new parts onto remnants from previous jobs, greatly improving material utilization. Material handling of the skeleton material, a major bottleneck previously, is also handled by ProNest. The software automatically generates cut moves that cut the skeleton material into easy‑to‑remove “chunks,” sized to match the waste receptacle – a savings of 25–50 man-weeks per year!