Trimloss last updated

17th January 2018

by Julie Moorcroft

Moorcroft Computer Services

Thinking clear       Thinking software

Thinking Trimloss


by Julie Moorcroft

Moorcroft Computer Services


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Purchasing Mistake 2 - Amateur Designer



When shopping for an optimiser, some companies produce a wish list of features.  The management in almost all companies is usually supremely confident in their own ability to specify the requirements of their prospective purchase from scratch.  They usually believe that if they think of a particular feature, then it must be beneficial, and they are proud of the fact that they thought of it.  





This confident approach ignores three facts.  Firstly, the benefits of any one feature may be limited or even non existent, especially if one of the optimisers being investigated uses a completely different method of solving the same problem.  Secondly, the importance of each feature can vary dramatically and what really matters is the bottom line effect on profitability.  Thirdly, there are probably only about six people in the whole world who have the ability to write a high quality glass optimiser, one of whom is writing these words.  The only way to compare optimisers, is to give all contenders a whole days’ work, stipulating the limits of volume of work in progress and lead times.  


An optimiser like Trimloss can have much more flexibility in the size of each optimisation batch of work, putting less strain on both administration and shop floor staff, reducing material and labour costs even further than the costs of the smaller batch sizes imposed by some of its rivals.  In summary, buyers should rely on the results of detailed comparisons and not think that they can reinvent the design philosophy to achieve the results of the top few elite optimiser authors in the world.  


There are two bad ideas in particular, which seem to be the trade mark of managers who believe that they know better than the few elite optimiser authors.  The first bad idea is attempting to force the final large off cut in a run, to be used for the initial cutting diagram of the next run.  This idea never originates from experienced shop floor personnel, but is advocated only by people with an administration background because it has many practical failings.  Starting a run with an off-cut smaller than the normal stock size, often forces many smaller order sizes of the next batch, to be utilised to help fill that off-cut.  This means that there is less opportunity to keep the waste as low as possible at the end of that optimisation run.  Another total failing of this method is that when an optimisation of one type of glass has been completed, the next optimisation for the same batch needs to be on a different type of glass, so any residual off-cut then has to be scrapped unless there is a different batch ready to be optimised for the same type of glass.  This attempted remedy virtually means cutting only one type of glass per cutting table which makes it much more difficult to push each batch through the shop floor in the minimum amount of time.  Because the amounts of the individual glass type can vary dramatically, this causes bottlenecks on the table cutting the glass type with the highest volumes, and under utilisation of the other cutting tables and a lot more headaches for the production manager.  

Whatever anyone’s beliefs as to the best methods of waste reduction, there is one final undeniable proof of the best optimiser, which is a detailed comparative run on a whole day’s work including all the variations of rectangular, shaped, stepped, annealed, toughened, leaded and Georgian units and all the mix of spacer bar materials, colours and sizes.  We have noticed that our competitors will  make any excuse to avoid such a comparison with Trimloss.  Why do you think that is?  




The second bad idea when there is a toughening plant, is the use of flow production between glass break out, arising and glass toughening.  (See – About Classic Operational Mistakes / Operational Mistake 7 - Flow System Gremlins)  

The bad idea of forcing the final off-cut in a run to be used for the initial cutting diagram of the next run, has been encountered only twice in 33 years of developing and selling Trimloss.  


In both cases the heads of the individuals concerned, were arguably in the wrong place which made it impossible for them to listen to reason.  In one case, the company disappeared from the face of the earth and in the other case, the company was saved from disaster, only by a huge cash injection from a very large benefactor.  


This bad idea nearly infected a very large Trimloss user when a cutting table manufacturer sold them a 6x3 metre cutting table.  The table manufacturer could only recommend the bad practice described here to handle the last large off-cut.  Fortunately, when the Trimloss method was explained to the production personnel, they saw the undeniable practicality of the whole Trimloss approach, enabling them to continue efficient production of millions more sealed units.   



The Trimloss method of avoiding large off-cuts along with the avoidance of all the other problems mentioned above, is to switch to smaller standard splits of the full stock size to complete the end of a batch, even on a different cutting table if that is more practical.  Any very small off-cuts generated at the end after all the orders have been cut, can still be recycled through the Trimloss off-cut features, the end result therefore being no off-cuts at all.  With this Trimloss method, there is no hindrance in handing the batch over to the next processes and potentially full utilisation of all cutting tables, thus keeping the amount of work in progress to a minimum to satisfy the planned delivery targets.