Using PypeServer Lyte with Manual Saws
When searching for fab shop productivity enhancements, manual tools are often overlooked in favor of automated machinery. However, most fabricators can get big labor and material savings with their existing manual tools just by adding a computer tablet running PypeServer Lyte software and a label printer to their manual stations. The cost of these additions is usually only around $3000 per station, a fraction of the cost of new machinery, and the workflow improvements apply to chop saws, band saws, cold saws, roll cutters, snappers, and any other kind of straight cutter. In this article, we’ll review three key ways PypeServer Lyte helps supercharge your manual cutting workflow, enhancing your productivity without large capital investments.
1. Model-to-Machine, Easy-as-Pie
Generating accurate cut lists and measurement instructions from complex CAD/BIM models can be time-consuming and error-prone. PypeServer Lyte comes with our free Connect plug-ins for Autodesk design tools plus our free Cloud Service, which allow you to select what you want to fabricate directly in the model and send those parts straight to your cut stations using only an internet connection. There’s no waiting for model publication, no lost or duplicated files, and no guesses as to what’s been cut. The parts go straight to the station and their status is updated in real time as they’re cut. Of course, PypeServer Lyte can also accept cut lists from most any software, including STRATUS, MSUITE, SysQue, eVolve, BuildCentrix and anything that can produce a PCF, PCD, CSV, PSVR, or other standard file type.
2. Advanced Nesting for Material Efficiency
One of the primary challenges in manual cutting workflows is material waste. Inefficient nesting, inaccurate cuts, and accidental duplicate cuts can result in substantial waste, driving up costs and affecting project timelines. PypeServer Lyte addresses this concern with its advanced nesting capabilities that optimize the order and placement of parts on the stock to minimize waste. The material savings from automated nesting alone can pay for your Lyte upgrades in one job, making it a no-brainer for any manual cutting station.
3. Labeling, Real-Time Status Updates, and a 3D Viewer
PypeServer Lyte features the industry’s most comprehensive labeling system, including part labels, drop labels, and joint labels. Create as many label templates as you want using our intuitive drag-and-drop label editor, including 1D and 2D bar codes, images, and text; and print them using any label printer Windows can recognize. The bar codes you put on your labels can link to any URL, including spool sheets or the 3D Assembly Viewer built into PypeServer’s Cloud service.
Upon each cut, the software immediately reports status back to the Cloud, giving you a clear overview of what has been completed and what remains. At the same time, it prints out the part label that can be scanned with any phone or tablet to pull up PypeServer Cloud’s fast 3D Assembly viewer to assist downstream welders, assemblers, and field personnel. The 3D assembly viewer is particularly valuable when dealing with complex assemblies. It allows fabricators to visualize how components fit together before the assembly begins. This feature streamlines assembly to reduce the likelihood of errors and ensures that the final product meets design specifications.
Real-Life Example: Therma’s Success Story
Therma, an MEP contractor based in San Jose, California, serves various market sectors including Biopharmaceutical, Education, Healthcare, Food, and beverage, Commercial, Industrial, and Data Center facilities.
Therma’s fabrication team has been using PypeServer Connect, Cloud, and Lyte with four manual cutting stations, two for copper, one for hangers, and one for miscellaneous cutting. At their copper stations, the team has taken advantage of nested cut lists taken straight from Revit and Plant 3D, label printing with barcodes, and instant Cloud status updates to consistently achieve over 1000 cuts per month at each station. Pictured below is their fully-manual clean copper roll cutting station.
The Therma team estimates they immediately started saving 20% on labor and 5% in materials once they implemented PypeServer with their manual stations. They can now standardize workflows throughout the fab shop so that fabricators and VDC teams expect the same uniform workflow on every job, further improving performance across the organization.
At their hanger station, the Therma team uses a portaband on a hinged arm, a tablet running PypeServer Lyte, and a label printer and consistently produces over 500 cuts per month. The Therma team estimates they immediately started saving 20% on labor and 5% in materials once they implemented PypeServer with their manual stations. They can now standardize workflows throughout the fab shop so that fabricators and VDC teams expect the same uniform workflow on every job, further improving performance across the organization. Therma are now using the savings they’ve realized with their manual tools to justify the purchase of automated tools to bring them to an even higher level of productivity.
PypeServer’s Connect, Cloud, and Lyte prove that manual tools can be far more productive with just a small investment in software. Even the simplest manual saws, snappers, and cutters can experience a substantial workflow improvement. With PypeServer, traditional tools are empowered to deliver precision, efficiency, and cost savings that rival their automated counterparts. This further enables fabricators to standardize workflows throughout the fab shop. When everyone from CAD designers to Detailers and Fabricators expects the same workflows across projects, significant performance improvement can be achieved.