Before investing in RADAN CAD/CAM software, creating manual nests took a sheet metal fabricator several hours, meaning shopfloor staff moved on to other tasks while the nests were generated. But now a day’s worth of nests are produced in just a couple of minutes.
“This makes a huge difference to us,” says Tindle Construction Inc.’s Engineering Manager Jesse McGinnis. “We have an employee who only programs for half the day, freeing him up to spend the rest of the time on engineering projects. Because of what we’re able to do with RADAN, it’s not necessary to have anyone generating nests full time anymore.”
Continuous improvement has always been the goal at Tindle Construction, Inc., (TCI) where industry expertise and the implementation of efficiency-boosting technologies has helped the company create high-quality products since 1994.
Headquartered in Fredonia, Kansas, TCI is a family-owned, multi-divisional company regarded as the premier metal fabricator and specialised industrial services company across the USA. Operating across two divisions, Industrial Services and Fabrication, the company produces products for a variety of customers, along with design and planning services.
Jesse McGinnis says some of the aspects that separate them from their competitors include AWS certified and R-stamp welds, custom engineering on architectural parts, and custom high-end finishes on copper, brass, stainless and carbon display products.
Among TCI’s diverse range of fabrication capabilities: ornamental and architectural metal products, signage and artwork, as well as sheet-metal products like wall panels, corner trims, and ceiling inserts are counted. Sheet metal parts, weldments, structural steel, pressure vessels, and unique metal finishes are typical projects that make their way across the shop floor. Aluminium, carbon steel, stainless steel, brass, and copper are TCI’s most commonly used materials.
“We have a lot of different machines with a lot of different capabilities, and combining those is like playing chess,” says Jesse McGinnis. “It’s interesting to see what we can come up with to get the job done, and that’s definitely a challenge I enjoy.” TCI utilises a laser, water jet, press brake, mandrel bender, CNC lathe, CNC mills, and manual lathes and mills. Part of his job is to decide which combinations of machinery will be most efficient and best suited to each unique job.
He was hired by TCI specifically for the fabrication side of the business and was tasked with hand-programming the company’s latest laser. TCI eventually invested in a CNC programming solution for the laser, but over time found that the system was significantly limited in efficiency and flexibility. After investigating all options for implementing a new sheetmetal solution, TCI made the switch to RADAN. “I felt like RADAN was a better fit for us,” says Jesse McGinnis, who also uses RADAN to program TCI’s waterjet.
Unlike many other solutions for sheet metal, he says RADAN also allows them to edit the automatically-generated nests, ensuring that programming control remains in their hands “The ability to edit nests was something that our old software couldn’t give us, but with RADAN we can edit the lead in lead, lead out, tooling, or just edit for cosmetic reasons.”
Concluding, he says: “We wouldn’t be as efficient as we are without RADAN’s nesting and the system’s ability to do what we need.”