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Category: Machining
Volume: 39
Issue: 2
Article No.: 5600

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Advanced Material Yielding Software Could Change the Plastics Industry

The American manufacturing industry has seen major strides in the field of process improvement software & technology over the past several years. These technological and software advances are also available to the plastics industry, yet the vast majority of distributors and fabricators are not utilizing technology improvements to their full advantage.

As technology advances, we now find ourselves experiencing a fourth industrial revolution, which is becoming known as “Industry 4.0.” While the plastics distribution and fabrication industry may not be considered a prime market for complex automation and innovative web based software, you might be surprised to learn that cut-to-size yield optimization technology has experienced substantial strides in its ability to efficiently reduce material scrap, which results in generating more sales and profit.

Historically, The Itemizer has been the most popular optimizer used by the plastics distribution industry. However, a new company, Falcon Optimizer LLC has recently been launched with the aim of changing the way material-yielding software is used in the plastics industry. Falcon Optimizer’s web based software significantly improves substrate yield by an average of 10% and has never been beaten by any other optimization software.

It is now more important than ever to utilize today’s technology for dramatically improving material yield optimization. The plastics industry must focus on ways to improve margins, reduce material waste and find new ways to generate higher profits. Cut-to-size yield optimization software offers a powerful tool to achieve these objectives and far too many plastics distributors and fabricators continue to lag behind today’s yield optimization technology. Embracing change can be slow and difficult but not changing can be devastating to the bottom line.

The industry needs to understand that yield optimization is achieved through complex algorithms, and not by a simple mathematical equation or formula. Yielding is not straightforward and instead must use concepts and theories until a good solution is found. Incorrect yield calculations result in cutting more material than necessary to produce the same number of parts. These theories must be condensed into a programming language to be run with the actual cutting data (part sizes, sheet sizes, saw blade kerf, etc.) to determine the best result. Here-in lies the major difference between yesterday’s calculations and today’s advanced algorithm technology.

Here are two “simple” optimizations that highlight the major differences in optimization technology. The example consists of yielding the most number of (5.00” x 9.00”) parts from one sheet size (48” x 96”) using a .125” saw blade kerf.

Imagine if the customer requires a “moderate” optimization that consists of 3 or 4 different part sizes cut from 2 or 3 different sheets sizes. Or better yet, imagine the customer requiring a more “complex” optimization that consists of 25, 50 or even more part sizes cut from 5 or 10 different sheet size options.

It is this specific area that has seen tremendous gains over the past two decades. Today’s computer systems have the ability to run more pattern combinations, and can test a greater combination of results. At the end of the day, the quality of the software code built into the yield optimization software can literally mean the difference in many millions of dollars in lost profit. Based on what the average plastics distributor is doing today, the wrong optimizer could be as costly as throwing money down the drain!

Falcon Optimizer is on the cutting edge of material yield optimization software. Developed uniquely for the plastics industry, this new optimizer technology gives users unparalleled yields. This new optimizer technology also offers built in individual part pricing calculations, the ability to quickly and easily import pattern files directly to a wide variety of CNC panel saws, as well as web based access which removes the need for downloading or installation of any files. Falcon Optimizer is also in development of additional features such as labor rate calculations, length of cutting times, labor pricing per part, and more.

For more information, Aaron Rappaport, Managing Director, Falcon Optimizer LLC. For more information or to schedule a demonstration on improving your cut-to-size yield optimizations, contact Aaron Rappaport (x118) or Michael Batky (x115) at Falcon Optimizer, 4440 PGA Blvd., Suite 505, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, 33410, 800-583-4726, E-mail:, Web:

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