Dec 21, 2010

Lantek launches its new SteelWork Software to meet the needs of the structural steel market

Lantek Systems launched its new Lantek SteelWork Solution at the recent sheet metalworking technology exhibition, EuroBLECH 2010. The new software has been designed to help companies manage their production processes when designing and completing structural steel, sheet metal, and construction projects.

The new Lantek SteelWork System is the latest step in the company’s ambition to bring its 20 years of expertise to a market which generates 2 billion Euros annually in Europe alone, processing 200 million tonnes of steel.

Alberto Martínez, Lantek SMS Manager, says, “The structural steel sector is undergoing an evolutionary phase, with companies having to adhere to national and European regulations which control prefabricated structures, covering items such as stress calculations, and dimensions. The need to integrate sophisticated 3D design programs with automated manufacture, and the control of production processes, is a priority for companies in the market. Our research and development team produced the modular Lantek SteelWork System to specifically address these demands. We anticipate that this will be an important new market for Lantek as, despite the difficult economic challenges facing the construction sector, the short to medium term prospects for structural steel projects is good.”

The capabilities of the software include 2D and 3D design, CNC programming of profiles, integration with third party structural design software, and ERP capabilities to control costs and production and ensure the best possible return on investment.

Lantek SteelWork is integrated with the company’s Flex3d SteelWork System. This enables the 3D CAD/CAM design and cutting of standard profiles including I, U, L, T, H, round and square sections. Automatic and semi-automatic 3D nesting maximizes material utilization while optimization of the profile and the CNC code, coupled with collision avoidance technology, ensures safe and efficient cutting operations on a range of machinery, including sawing, drilling, punching, tapping, marking, oxycut, and plasma equipment.

Linking with Lantek Expert CAD/CAM, Lantek SteelWork can design nest and CNC program 2D sheet metal profiles. It includes a full range of functionality such as automatic and manual nesting, lead-in contour management, common line cutting, toolpath transformation, CAD interfaces and layer management, offering maximum flexibility.

The integration of the new software with Tekla Structures® BIM software is the first step in the integration of a range of leading 3D structural design systems. Tekla Structures® is currently the most advanced building information modelling system on the market, and the integration enables the import of all the structural components in a complete project. Lantek SteelWork’s ERP is then able to manage operations, costs, and geometries in a web based environment. Based on Lantek’s Integra ERP technology, this new solution has been tailored for the structural steel industry and facilitates process and cost control, and enables management from any location via the Internet. It comprises the following capabilities.

* Project Module. Lantek SteelWork allows the user to import the complete Tekla Structures® model as a project including the tree structure of components and manufacturing stages. Resources and activities are associated with each element, ready for tracking the progress of the project.
* The Production module keeps control of the loading on each resource with automatic checking to ensure the validity of the production plan. Actual costs are tracked and can be compared with the estimate, ensuring the project goes smoothly.
* Budgeting tools within Lantek SteelWork allow users to visualize hours, material and manufacturing costs across different levels of a project, so that managers can get an accurate report of the current status.
* Planning module: performance of individual resources can be measured in the system using feedback from each project. The information can be used to update the manufacturing plan either manually or automatically based on the loading on each resource.
* The Purchasing module keeps track of the purchase orders raised against each project, thereby monitoring expenditure and enabling managers to review its current status against the plan.
* The Warehousing module monitors stock levels of material, including sheet and profile sections. It provides dimensions for the material and maintains traceability records, quality documentation and stock value records.
* Sales and certification tools in the system provide partial certification for each project, status management, invoicing and payment configuration.
* The Lantek SteelWork dashboard provides reports for the complete portfolio of projects. These can include an analysis of time, cost, profit margins, comparisons between actual and budgeted costs, and summaries of the status of production

Initially, the software will be available, as part of a phased plan in Spain, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and the United States, followed by introduction to other markets through Lantek’s global dealer network.

Alberto Martínez says, “Lantek SteelWork is unique in the way it brings together design, manufacturing and production management. Its ability to harmonize the complete process will enable companies to operate more efficiently, deliver projects on time, control costs and achieve improved profitability.”