How To Minimize Sheet Metal Remnants

by Jul 10, 2020blog, Information, Metal Supply, Tips0 comments

Back in January, we talked about ways to reduce costs using a metal fabrication company. One of the ways to do this is by minimizing sheet metal remnant waste. The Short Iron Store accomplishes this while producing high quality products. 

Reducing waste as important for fabricators as well as their customers. Less waste means more profit for the business and better value for the clientele. Here are some ways you can reduce the amount of metal remnant waste in your own work.

Know How Much You Need

Sheet metal fabricators know that one of the keys to reducing waste is improving the usage of the material. Using the trimmed sections to produce additional parts is a great and economical way to use the waste. 

Fabrication companies understand that a certain amount of scrap is unavoidable; the trick is to continually investigate ways to minimize waste and improve efficiency. Automation and technology both go a long way toward minimizing waste during the fabrication process, so a professional sheet metal fabricator should continually invest in manufacturing processes and equipment to ensure their ongoing competitiveness. Advanced software can also help to maximize the usage of materials. Leftover remnants should be retained and used wherever possible.


In the fabrication world, nesting is the process of laying out cutting patterns to minimize the material waste. Often, the team is challenged to determine which strategy is best suited to achieve their production goals.  When choosing a nesting strategy, they must consider productivity, type of metal, orders, and most of all, the labor resources available. Spending time on efficient nesting doesn’t save money if you are going to throw away the remnant. Nesting is about cost efficiency, not just material efficiency.

JIT (Just-In-Time) nesting is important in larger facilities requiring fast turnarounds or large outputs. This process is fully automatic, the machine operator doesn’t perform the nesting individually. 

Batch nesting is all about creating a series of dynamic nests over many sheets reflecting many orders and possibly many due dates.  The goal is to optimize material efficiency and to do so with a minimal amount of human interaction. The larger the number of nests that are created, the fewer the pieces of remnants that are leftover.  

In the metal fabrication industry, there is always going to be excess material at the end of a project. In many cases, there may not be any use for this unwanted material, and it will most likely be sent back into the supply cycle to be processed.

Have Questions? Short Iron Store Will Help!

We are an experienced metal supplier located in Fort Worth, TX. We are here to help you with any of your metal questions, concerns, or needs. If we do not have what you need, we can find it for you. We use a variety of processes and strategies to ensure that we minimize waste and deliver superior quality and cost-effective products to our customers. 

The Short Iron team is more than happy to help you find what you need for your project. Come on in and take a look at our metal supply inventory today!