The new release of the linear stock-cutting optimization add-in (1DCutX) for Excel from Optimalon Software got two major improvements. Users can now minimize the number of different cutting layouts generated by 1DCutX and perform the material cutting calculation in a highly customised way using VBA language in Microsoft Excel.
When 1DCutX calculates how to cut linear stocks with minimal material waste, it generates a list of cutting layouts. Several stocks can be cut simultaneously instead of one by one. The fewer layouts produced during the calculation, the less time cutting operators spend loading stocks.
The new version of 1DCutX introduces the option “Minimize count of different layouts” that forces the optimization algorithm to produce as few layouts as possible. However, this option could reduce the total utilization rate because it could use more stocks than the regular calculation.
Denis Smirnov explains: “Automation has always been at the top of the list of client requests for 1DCutX, and this new version brings it to life. Support of VBA automation provides a new way to perform optimization in 1DCutX. Instead of using standard dialog boxes invoked from the menu, users now can call the “Execute” method from VBA code and get the same results as before.”
Users just need to create an instance of the linear cutting class, assign settings and specify the ranges of cells containing the stock and parts information. The method “Execute” returns a text value that is empty if the calculation is done successfully; otherwise it returns an error message.
Automation allows users to tune-up the generated reports by including/excluding the graphical layouts, the part/stock matrix or the cutting instruction spreadsheets. The new version of 1DCutX comes with an automation guide that describes in detail how to create, set up and run the calculation using VBA. In addition, the installation provides a new example spreadsheet with simple VBA code that demonstrates automation in action.
With the initial investments of $97 users of 1DCutX reported monthly savings in materials alone range from $200 to $1500, which means the software pays for itself in less than a month. Free trial version of 1DCutX is available on Optimalon’s website.