Optimizing Saw Eliminates Back-Office Optimization Problems - TigerStop

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Optimizing Saw Eliminates Back-Office Optimization Problems

Is your shop is struggling to get the maximum yield from your raw materials while exerting the least amount of time and energy? Then keep reading. An optimizing saw means it doesn’t have to be so difficult to have your cake and eat it too.

Pitfalls of Pre-Optimization

Many companies use software programs and their brightest manufacturing engineers to determine the best cutting order to ensure the maximum yield from their raw material. They do this in the back office, sending either paper or electronic cut lists directly to cutting stations on the shop floor. The obvious reason for doing so is to reduce scrap waste. At TigerStop, we call this back-office optimization, but it is often called pre-optimization in the field.

Most companies’ intentions are pure. They set out to save money and time by bringing together their brightest minds to determine the optimal cutting order of parts. That info is then relayed to the cutting station. This, in theory, spares the operator at the machine the hassle of trying to figure out in which order to cut parts so he can focus entirely on loading, cutting (drilling, boring, punching, etc.), and sorting.

But not so fast. 

The Truth of the Matter

The problem is that back-office optimization software is batch-based, meaning it creates cutting patterns based on the entire job. One miscut part, one change in the field, or one shortage of a given raw material length disrupts the entire cut list and forces your engineering department right back into the back office to redo the optimization.

Now you have your best and brightest minds (most likely those who are paid the most) scrambling and working overtime to redo labor they have already performed. This also halts activity at the cutoff station and affects all of the additional manufacturing processes down the line. Think of it as one big nasty gridlocked traffic jam. Imagine this happening every single time there is a tiny hiccup on the shop floor.

Additionally, back-office optimization, or pre-optimization, often requires companies to track their inventory and drops (remnants/usable sections that the back-office optimizer could not find a good solution for in the last batch), which are then used in the next batch. But the work to track and store these parts adds significant time, cost, and confusion to the operator’s day. Ultimately, back-office optimization systems do increase yield but simultaneously increase your labor costs.

Combatting High Labor Costs With Optimizing Saw

TigerSaw1000™  Optimizing Saw
TigerSaw 1000 Optimizing Saw

Optimization and the ability to cut around defects (forklift stabs, discoloration, mars, knots, etc.) and scan raw material lengths to maximize yield are available at the machine. This is a fantastic way to combat the high labor costs associated with back-office optimization. Move it up to the front! Specifically, right at the machine.

The benefits of utilizing an automated cutting and material positioning system, like an optimizing saw, with cutting optimization software available at the machine, are threefold. First, it gives you a better yield and lower labor and rework costs. It also eliminates the need to track remnants and raw materials. Finally, it reduces the heavy costs associated with back-office optimization. That’s a whole lot of capability available at the operator’s fingertips.

TigerStop offers this type of optimizing saw system. It is a dynamic software system because it can roll with the punches that come along with any manufacturing process. Defects, miscuts, and changes mid-stream don’t have a negative effect on its optimizing capabilities. The software is incredibly fast at making calculations on the fly so you will never have an operator spending time trying to make back-office optimization work. Or wasting time looking for the proper-sized part or sorting through material until he gets exactly what he needs.

Screen to MachineTigerStop™ Dynamic Optimization Software

With TigerStop’s Dynamic Optimization software, all your operator has to do is remember “worst first.” Introduce your worst parts (remnants/usable scrap) at the beginning of the cut list. Enter the remnant length, and the software determines if the part is usable. If so, the operator is golden. If not, he simply marks the remnant with a tick and moves to the next piece. Once a remnant has three ticks, the operator knows to put it in the scrap bin for good. Watch that pile of drops and usable scrap disappear overnight.

Doing this will:

  1. Eliminate the need for your engineering department to do optimization because it’s done at the saw without any added labor.
  2. Eliminate any bottlenecks. If there is an issue in the field or a shortage of material, the operator can quickly solve it at the machine, without the entire manufacturing process coming to a halt down the line.
  3. Eliminate the hassle of keeping track of drops and defective material because they are placed in bins and used later on in the manufacturing process.
  4. Improve overall raw material yield.

This will make a significant addition to your bottom line while simplifying your production processes and not adding additional labor costs. If you don’t need the output of a fully automated optimizing saw system, TigerStop also offers automated positioners that can be added to existing machinery and upgraded to include optimizing software.

By Mathias Forsman


Learn more about optimizing material yield at the machine and optimizing saws.