Software components and CAD/CAM applications in the Cloud

New horizons for cutting optimization and CAD/CAM with Alma’s Cloud offering

Using a web application is now part of everyday life, both at home and at work.  Industry also has been affected by this underlying trend. We have therefore made a strong commitment to developing a Cloud offering. In the area of cutting optimization, our automatic nesting library Powernest designed for software developers is available in a Cloud version, while industrial cutting companies can perform their online nesting using our new application, Nest&Cut. Several other Cloud projects are being developed, to optimize use of CAD/CAM software and provide new solutions for users.

Did you say Cloud?

The Cloud is a technical solution for storing data and using an application remotely. This enables a software to be used in SaaS mode (Software as a Service), that users pay for on a fee for service basis or via subscription.

Cloud applications make the user’s life much easier. No installation is necessary, and the drudgery of updates is a distant memory. The PCs remain entirely available during operations performed in the Cloud. In case of problem with their computer, users can carry on working on another computer, without losing any data.

Cloud services offer unprecedented flexibility. All you need to do is subscribe to gain access to the power of the service as well as its improvements, without any initial investment, with hardly any commitment and without any risk. The cost is smoothed and adapted to use. In addition, the Cloud facilitates support (it is easier for the technician to reproduce and analyze a problem) and reduces maintenance costs.

Decisive computation power for CAD/CAM

For a single computer, the processing power that can be allocated to an application is limited by its capacities, whereas in the Cloud there is no limit. The very high volume computations necessary to perform all the optimizations are transferred to extremely powerful machines.

For our applications, this makes it possible to perform in 5 minutes something that would take 12 hours on a single PC. In the wink of an eye it is possible to import, clean and pre-process several thousand DXF files, or optimize all the nesting layouts for the next week or month. This means production peaks are no longer a problem!  As a corollary, the computation power has a direct impact on improving nesting performance with our automatic nesting in Cloud mode.

Of course, the software developer must guarantee service availability and data security. To do that

we work with Amazon WS, the world leader in Cloud hosting , and guarantee a 99% availability rate. In 2017 we even delivered 100% availability;  0 seconds of downtime!

The Alma Cloud offering

Our cutting optimization solutions in Cloud mode make it possible to reduce customer production costs at every level.

Powernest

Powernest is a powerful library for automatic nesting  to be used to develop CAD/CAM or ERP applications that integrate cutting optimization functions. In addition to the traditional version in DLL format, Powernest is available as a web service in the Cloud (Powernest WS).

When the software developer integrates Powernest WS, it gives their customers a flexible very high performance automatic nesting solution, enabling them to substantially reduce their raw material costs and improve their productivity. In addition, software developers reduce their own development, integration and maintenance costs, while improving customer satisfaction and their reputation by offering a solution for the future.

Powernest WS has already optimized more than 200,000 nesting layouts in three years, with an availability rate of 100% and zero errors!

Nest&Cut

The Nest&Cut web application allows online use of our algorithms for automatic nesting of 2D parts with complex shapes. In just a few clicks you send the geometries in DXF format, prepare its data, and start automatic nesting in the Cloud. A few seconds later, Nest&Cut produces the optimized cutting drawings in DXF format with the cutting order of the parts, ready for the cutting software or the machine’s numeric control.

The Nest&Cut web application is available on a subscription basis. It enables any company involved in cutting flat materials, no matter where they are in the world, to reduce raw material costs without investing in a costly solution.

Nest&Cut exploits all the power of the Cloud to optimize not only nesting computation times the time required to process and automatically clean the DXF geometries transferred by the user.

An asserted cloud strategy

Huge quantities of data are now processed in the Cloud. We are using machine learning techniques to make the optimization algorithms even more effective, automated and intelligent.

The nesting component is the first to benefit from this transformation. The computations necessary for importing, cleaning and geometric pre-processing are also in the process of changing to Cloud mode, swiftly to be followed by the tool path and sequence algorithms.

In the near future, we will offer Cloud solutions in addition to the functionalities of the current and legacy range. These hybrid solutions (cloud/local) improve overall performance and will also widen the scope of our products’ functionalities.

Eventually, our aim is to offer our customers a complete suite of extremely high performance Cloud modules that can be used separately or assembled for a customized CAM solution, with automation of end-to-end production, modules for 4.0 industry CAD/CAM bespoke CAM software, connections to third party applications, simulation, etc.