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Metal sheets inventory tracking after cutting operation

  • 19 December 2023
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It seems this has been asked similarly before but I didn’t see a complete answer.

Our client employs a laser machine to cut metal sheets, generating components.

Assuming each metal sheet produces 100 pieces of a specific component, for an order of 50 pieces, 0.5 sheets are utilized, leaving 0.5 sheets in stock. Subsequently, for a 75-piece order, 0.75 sheets are consumed, leaving 0.25 sheets in stock. Their software aids in optimizing sheet cutting for order fulfillment.

In Acumatica, the current inventory balance is calculated by adding 0.5 and 0.25, resulting in 0.75 sheets on hand. While this is accurate mathematically, it lacks practicality for production planning or MRP.

To address this issue, one potential solution is to establish distinct warehouse locations: "Main" for whole sheets and "Remnants" for partial sheets. The Remnants location will be excluded from available inventory calculations, allowing MRP to consider only the Main location. If Remnants need to be factored in, adjustments can be made manually.

Post-cutting operations, remnants must be transferred to the Remnants Location. Before a new cutting operation, a physical check of the Remnants Location can determine whether sheets are available for production runs, and if so, they can be transferred back to the Main Location.

Considering their current lack of WMS or barcodes, these manual steps may not be the most efficient.

Do you have any suggestions that might enhance the efficiency of the process?

Thanks

 

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Best answer by Robert Sternberg 19 December 2023, 05:24

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I've come across this kind of situation before, so here's my take on how I typically handle it:

 

Full Sheets: I give full sheets a unique Inventory ID. This makes it easy to track and inventory. 

 

Partial Sheets: For the sheets that are partly used, I think about breaking them down into sizes the customer regularly works with (half, quarter, and/or eighth sheets). For each of the new sizes I create a unique inventory ID which separates the quantity for better handling and tracking.  I use negative material issues to add back the partial sheets as a by-product of production when a production order does not consume a full sheet.

 

Small Leftovers: For drops that are smaller than the smallest tracked size from above, you have a couple of options. You could either keep track of the drops outside Acumatica and make an inventory adjustment when they are consumed or if you want to be a bit more detailed, you could track them in Acumatica using lot/serial attributes.  In that case I would assign each small piece a unique 4-5 digit serial number that includes its size and shape.  When the scrap is reused, you can look up the serial number by its dimensions.  I have also had shops chalk the scraps with their Acumatica assigned 4-5 digit serial number. You can use negative material issues here too which helps in the management of inventory.  

 

Would love to know how others are handling this!

Userlevel 2

As an FYI, this related thread may be worth reviewing: 

 

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