Top-end brands in the automation software sector have over the last 12 months become so integrateable that it now allows fabricators of any size to make the leap into high industry technologies.
Until recently, there was a tendency for companies to consider single brand universal software to perform a variety of automation functions right across the shop floor.
According to sheetmetal automation specialist and software distributor, Advanced Sheetmetal Technologies, the industry now finds itself at an interesting crossroad, where those companies are looking to take this step forward can affordably do so.
There has been a lot of debate in our industry regarding low-cost single brand software versus the implementation of function specific software (of various brands), which is slightly more expensive but far more powerful. But there is now a new level of integration, which holds the key. Top end automation software has headed down the same path as, say, products from the Microsoft suite, which have a strong level of integrateability with non-Microsoft products.
So in the Sheetmetal automation sector, there are now similar standards of change for generic information that allows information to pass from one software to another, hence different machines on the same shop floor can use a variety of specialised softwares, which can talk to one another across the processes.
Sheetmetal and fabrication shops recognise they can now make an informed move into the arena of specialised software gradually and as specific needs arise.
According to Advanced Sheetmetal Technologies, one-brand-does-all software can sometimes lack facilities in individual modules primary because it functions as a universal package, and technically it is difficult for them to be completely strong and detailed in every module.
The options are extensive, but the detail is often limited, and fabrication shops, which take this step from manual operation into software driven automation, often overlooked this important fact the first time around.
On the shopfloor, operators often find that a universal software creates a management problem, as it takes a lot of specialisation across all the automation fields to manage it at an optimum.
Advanced Sheetmetal Technologies is a recognised distributor in Australia and New Zealand of quality automation software including Metalix, JetCAM, VBend and AutoPol.