Sheet Metal Estimating

Metal fabrication estimating & Cad Cam prediction for 2019

Brad Stropes
As manufacturing industry veteran, Brad Stropes has worked with manufacturers, large and small, throughout North America to help improve fabrication efficiency, productivity, and profitability. He rose through the ranks of a manufacturing software organization before accepting his current role of COO for SecturaSOFT, LLC. « Less

MCADCafe Industry Predictions for 2019 – SecturaSOFT

January 18th, 2019 by Brad Stropes


In 2017 and 2018 the biggest innovation I had seen was by far the amount of fiber lasers entering the industry.  In years past there was skepticism in our industry that fiber lasers wouldn’t take the place of C02.  However, this was proven wrong in these past few years.   Because of the speed of these new lasers; loading and unloading is now where sunk operational cost reside.

In 2019 and beyond, organizations will begin to utilize more automated load/unload solutions for parts and movement of parts throughout their facility.  It will be our job as software engineers to develop intelligent cost factors and solutions to guide such a transition.  When laser speed isn’t an issue, the speed of which parts move throughout the organization will be where shops start increasing profitability.  I believe the CAD/CAM and intelligent estimating solutions will need to develop intelligent cost calculations and route cost calculations to give clarity to the movement these parts.

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The Fabricator Quoting and Estimating Sheet Metal Job Shops

“This speeds up the quoting process a lot,” said Almanza.

It also changes the requirements for the quoting role at the company. In the past NPL filled sales positions with employees with 10 to 15 years of shop floor experience. Today it can generate reliable quotes with less experienced employees.

“Filling sales positions isn’t a problem,” Almanza said. “We’re more concerned with finding operators and other skilled laborers than salespeople. Our quoting software makes sales quick and simple. We now have the flexibility to reallocate resources from the shop floor or front office to help sell when needed.”

SecturaSoft is a new company on the market.

“They customized the software for our needs,” Almanza said. “For instance, not every company wants a complete breakdown of every service included in a quote, but we want to make sure the customer understands precisely how their payment breaks out and how part order volume can affect that cost. They helped us sort through all of that.”