Holzma Plattenaufteiltechnik GmbH of Calw-Holzbronn, Germany, manufactures sawing systems for panel making and processing plants, and furniture factories, worldwide.

Of course it is not enough just to cut the panels – they have to be cut accurately and economically and the software to deliver that result is part of the package, says Holzma. Like all software, it needs to be updated and upgraded to suit the requirements of the day.

In the latter part of 2012, Holzma introduced two such upgrades.

The first came in the form of an update to its established Cut Rite optimisation software, with Version 9.

The highlights, says Holzma, are: state-ofthe- art graphic displays; enhanced analysis features; multi-core processor capability; and the quality of the calculated results.

Holzma says you can only have everything under control if you can see it all at a glance and that Cut Rite achieves this by using graphs and up to three charts, which can be freely configured by users, able to be assigned to each summary. The most important results are displayed in a general summary.

A new navigation bar provides greater convenience, says the company, so that users can now jump from one menu item to another without first having to return to the main menu screen; they can access all functions from any part of the program.

Version 9 allows data to be edited directly from the review runs screen and users can switch back and forth between areas and make their changes without having to change screen. Should these changes have further consequences, the dependent data can easily be re-optimised or recalculated, while incorrect inputs are quickly corrected, says Holzma.

The company adds that runs can now also be filtered according to name, job number and many other options and grouped by week, so the results of last week’s work are quickly available to the user.

This new software also supports multi-core processors, thus reducing computing time, and there is also an option to ‘keep the last result’, allowing the computing process to be stopped and the last result to be easily retrieved.

A further advance for the new system is networking, with each user able to create their own password.

For customers with horizontal storage systems there is an enhanced board library in Version 9 with codes, previously limited to 25 characters, now able to contain up to 50.

The library now also includes a new field for material density, allowing the software to calculate the weight of boards, components, off-cuts and waste. The user enters the weight per cubic metre of the material and the software then displays the weight of the goods to be processed or shipped. This allows more accurate estimates of how many trucks will be needed for the shipment – or containers for the waste.

Cut Rite now offers some spreadsheet options similar to those of Microsoft Office Excel. For example, users can easily determine the number of rip- and cross-cuts in a cutting pattern, says Holzma. Data and mathematical formulae can be copied as needed and the results automatically indicated.

Other new features include updated toolbars and icons in true colour and the parts and product library can now be extensively illustrated: simply extract images or photos in any file format, from a catalogue for instance, and integrate them. Quotations containing illustrations are a lot more appealing and will attract attention, suggests Holzma.

The new software now checks the stock twice: first before the optimisation process and then again later before transfer. If the stock level has changed between the first and second check, the software will display a warning and allow the optimisation process to be repeated if necessary.

Excel spreadsheets can now be imported directly in .xls and .xlsx format files and the selection dialogs have all been standardised. A new menu option allows reprinting of single labels for individual parts, or all the labels for parts in a single cutting pattern.

Planning software
Intelligent Holzma software, such as the Batch Generation Tool, Dynamic Simulation and MLO, is designed to ensure that a new system will meet your requirements once it is in operation, says the company.

The Batch Generation Tool comes into play when drawing up the initial design for a new system.

Using existing production data from the client relating to cutting and panel storage, the tool simulates a production sequence – with various batches (production sequences, etc) – over several days or weeks in the same way as it would look on the new system. The Holzma team then analyses the results and simulates different concept variations, as the Batch Generation Tool allows all system components to be dimensioned precisely and the optimum solution for the customer to be generated in advance.

Factors taken into consideration are the panel storage size and panel sizing plant layout, the plant performance and the size of the sorting and buffer systems. The aim is to produce batches that are as small as possible as this then keeps sorting costs low after cutting, says the company.

Holzma consultants have been using this software since 2010, particularly for customers who are expanding production or switching to order-based batch size 1 production. In this way, the customer knows what the new system will deliver and has investment security from the outset, says the company.

"We originally developed the Batch Generation Tool as a management tool for our Cut Rite optimisation software," said Arne Mömesheim, head of Cut Rite at Holzma. "Our programmers have now made it possible for this tool to be used for system planning as well."

To do this, the Batch Generation Tool automatically creates several optimisation batches from all the components intended for optimisation. It determines the optimum batch size, taking into consideration cutting waste, performance, production sequence (processing, assembly, etc), criteria for ‘sorting and commissioning’ and buffer sizes. The aim is to develop a system concept that uses a minimum production batch to keep interim storage and sorting as low as possible, while at the same time achieving optimum cutting waste and performance values. The result is a minimum inventory in circulation and maximum flexibility during production, claimed Mr Mömesheim.

The Batch Generation Tool therefore determines the optimum batch size, meaning it considers a single element within the system planning process, while Holzma simulation software is responsible for the overall system concept and performance planning. It determines the exact cycle times and capacity utilisation for all system parts. Holzma says it is then able to simulate all system components quickly and precisely, including store (size), saw (model and version) or parts buffer (capacity), and make plans in line with requirements.

The third element in this new software concept is the MasterListOptimizer, or MLO.

With MLO, Holzma says it can also calibrate the different optimisation and machine concept requirements to one another.

In order to do so, customer-specific parts lists are automatically optimised with various dynamic parameter lists (saw and optimisation parameters) in test runs, allowing Holzma consultants to determine how best to configure the machine. In the end, says the company, the customer knows exactly which sawing equipment will provide the optimum ratio between performance and cutting waste.

"That means the Batch Generation Tool, Dynamic Simulation and MLO complement each other perfectly," explained Volker Kussmaul, sales manager of Holzma Systems Engineering. "Together, these three software solutions provide us with all the data required to give our customers the highest level of planning security right from the start of the project, as well as to determine how best to configure the machine and achieve the lowest possible unit costs."