Steel Industry 4.0: CNC Machine Integration

Many steel fabricators have invested heavily in advanced CNC machines in recent years, greatly increasing their processing capacity and reducing the amount of costly human errors that inevitably occur with older steel processing processes.

What many Steel Fabricators don’t realise it that moving to automated machinery is only the first step in the journey to Industry 4.0. It is impossible to achieve the highest possible levels of productivity without fully integrating your machines with your CAD and ERP systems. The easiest way to do this is by implementing a Steel Production Management System.

The old method to drive CNC machines is either with operators manually drawing parts on directly on the shop floor consoles, or importing raw DSTV data directly from the CAD model. These processes take a lot of unnecessary time and are prone to human and DSTV file errors.

The most optimal way to run these machines is to fully integrate them with your Steel Production System. Your production planner can import the files in the office prior to the production date, nest into material lengths and then send a fully optimised cutting list in the machines specific programming language directly into the machines “to do” lists. This way the machine can run at closer to 100%, as the operator does not have to worry about part drawing and bar nesting and can focus on loading it with material and making sure it is operating efficiently.

This is the only way to be sure that you are getting the most out of your machinery investment is to ensure that the machine is not sitting idle. It also ensures that you are getting the maximum value from your raw materials, as parts are efficiently optimised into stocked, reserved or simulated bars, instead of what was most accessible to the operator.

The other benefit to fully integrating your machines with your IT system is that you enable real-time capacity and production reporting. A quick search will tell you if a part or assembly has been processed or fabricated, and where it is in your factory. A couple of clicks and you have a report telling you exactly what processes were completed in a specific time period and how efficient a machine or welder was on a certain day or shift.

In the past the only way to make this integration was to either invest heavily in expensive none industry specific ERP systems, or to work with numerous different production applications for each of the different types of machine. Graitec Advance Workshop is a Steel Production Management System and Steel Production Reporting designed to replace these applications and integrate with all different types of machine from all Steel CNC machines from many different manufacturers. You can drive your automated machines automatically and will be one step closer through the journey to Industry 4.0.

industry 4 steel fabrication cnc management system

If you have any Steel CNC machines that are not being driven by a dedicated Steel Production Management System then please get in touch with us at to see how Graitec Advance Workshop will help your production processes.

For more information or to request a Graitec Advance Workshop price quote, please follow the link below: 

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