Spain – Lantek now has a collaborative agreement with the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics (BCAM) to develop new models of applied mathematics and, algorithms that will enable metal forming industries to reach high levels of efficiency in their calculations.
The expert for sheet metal solutions Lantek says the agreement with BCAM will open approaches to improve sheet metal parts nesting from new and innovative stand points, which may provide significant advances to the sheet metal industry. The focus will be developing new models of applied mathematics and algorithms. Current challenges in industry have increased in complexity which makes it necessary to resolve more situations where the calculation of the machining and the optimisation of material consumption is exceedingly complicated when endeavoring to achieve maximum machine efficiency.
According to lead researcher of the project at BCAM, Michael Barton, from the mathematical and computational point of view, the challenge here is to obtain a very precise solution while keeping the rasterisation size to a minimum in order to streamline the algorithm and avoid excessive computing times.
To begin with, the collaboration framework aims to explore new avenues for approaching parts nesting. In the industry, the objective of the nesting process is to maximise material use, configure and arrange the pieces of sheet metal that are to be cut optimally to avoid material wastage and, simultaneously, optimise machine cutting time.
One of Lantek's main research areas is finding, in the shortest time possible, the optimum layout for 2D parts in a large rectangular sheet, which minimises the amount waste material. Its goal is to constantly improve its nesting methods, and this collaboration will result in the development of an advanced algorithm that achieves the optimisation of 2D nesting from different possible approaches. The researchers from the Computational Mathematics group at BCAM have extensive experience in geometric modeling and optimising.
The objectives of the collaboration include:
- designing an efficient algorithm for the problem of parts nesting in 2D as well as discreet pairing measures
- improving the current method, which uses the representation of areas (pixels), through the representation of boundaries
- developing software that both increases the speed of calculations as well as optimising material management.
The methods that are currently in use focus on improving the geometrical representation of the objects and optimising the search for local solutions between the vertexes of different parts.
BCAM is an international research center specialising in the field of Applied Mathematics was pioneered by the Basque Government, the University of the Basque Country and Ikerbasque in 2008, and is also supported by the Provincial Government of Bizkaia and Innobasque. It has a workforce of over 90 high-level researchers, working in different areas from data science to mathematical modeling.