ASCO is a comprehensive suite of CAD/CAM solutions for cutting and bending processes, with a primary focus on sheet-metal processing, starting with metal sheets or coils. However, other materials such as plastics and wood, and metals also in the form of rods and profiles, are possible stock materials for the optimization processes offered by ASCO DATA.
From an organizational viewpoint, ASCO operates in the triangle between design i.e. CAD (which determines the geometry of the parts), ERP (MRPII/PLM, which requests parts in a certain quantity by a certain time) and the MACHINES (which should not have to wait for NC data that must be generated from the CAD and ERP requirements).
CAD and ERP do not necessarily have to be present. ASCO customers can also read in drawings they have received from other sources, or draw them in ASCO and then enter the order to enter a part directly into ASCO. However, integration is an important feature of most installations.
Many companies have converted their production to a batch size of 1, or are in the process of doing so. “Today, only what has already been sold is actually produced.” The rapid product changes, and the need to prevent capital from being locked up in valuable semi-finished products that are stored when waiting for the next operation, are the main reasons for this transformation. Especially with the manufacturing process of separating/cutting, this leads to an ever increasing number of new part constellations that much more rarely use the NC data several times over – they are degraded to resources that are “burnt out” after they have been applied once.
The end result is that NC data are requested much more frequently, much faster and to a greater extent nowadays. And ASCO delivers them. The ASCO solution is designed to respond to the latest changes from the planning and engineering departments, in that the NC data only have to be generated for the machines when they are actually needed. In this sense, ASCO is process planning “just in time”! Nesting at the machine? For years now, this has been business as usual for ASCO users.