Manage inventory, cut lists, and nests with ProNest

Tekla EPM
2021
Tekla EPM Tekla EPM GO

Manage inventory, cut lists, and nests with ProNest

You can use Tekla EPM and ProNest together to keep your inventory, cut lists, and nests synchronized, so that you do not have to enter the same information in both software.

Integration requirements

See the requirements for the ProNest integration below.

Software Required vdersion

Tekla EPM

2019 or newer

ProNest

2019 or newer

ProNest DataSync

2019 or newer

Note that the integration also requires:
  • having particular ProNest licenses. For more information, contact your ProNest representative.

  • downloading the following files:

    File name

    Description

    Download file to

    FabSuite Inventory Sync.xml

    The inventory sync task for ProNest DataSync.

    On the ProNest database server

    Tekla EPM Work Order.xml

    Needed if you plan to export items from Tekla EPM in the work order format.

    C:\ProgramData\Hypertherm CAM\Data Sync [version]\Tasks\

    ProNest to Tekla EPM Summary.fr3

    The custom report to import nested items from ProNest back to Tekla EPM.

    C:\ProgramData\Hypertherm CAM\ProNest 2019\Reports (FastReport)\Custom Reports\

  • having DataSyncCMD installed on the Tekla EPM server.

  • having DataSyncCMD and DataSync server running on the ProNest server.

To test the connection between Tekla EPM and ProNest DataSync:
  1. On the start screen of the Tekla EPM server, type cmd into the search.

  2. In the command prompt, copy and paste the following:

    " "[Data Sync Path]" test1"

If you get the error message "The specified task name is unknown", DataSync is running properly.

If you get the error message "Cannot find Data Sync Service", contact your ProNest representative.

Set up Tekla EPM to work with ProNest

  1. Click the Maintenance ribbon tab.
  2. On the menu, select Integration Settings > ProNest.
  3. To allow sending inventory to ProNest and using ProNest for nesting plates, select the Enable ProNest for Plate Nesting check box at the top of the ProNest Settings dialog box.
  4. In the Nesting Request Format list, select how you want to send nesting requests:
    • Work Order: allows you to send the part list in a single click, and after that, automatically imports to the part list in ProNest

    • PNL/SNL: allows sending both the part list and the available inventory to ProNest in two files with the same name. One of these files is a PNL file, and the other is an SNL file. Opening the PNL file in ProNest imports the parts, selects the imported parts for nesting, and sets the available inventory for the nest to the plates within the related SNL file.

  5. On the Database Connection tab in the dialog box, define how Tekla EPM connects to the ProNest database to sync the inventory:

    Option

    Description

    IP address

    The IP address of the ProNest database.

    The default value is [Computer name]\PRONEST. Note that the computer name needs to be the name of the computer on which ProNest has been installed. This might not be the computer on which you are using Tekla EPM.

    If you want to check if Tekla EPM can connect to the ProNest database properly, click Test Connection. If the connection is not successful, open ProNest and ensure that the database is networked, and that you have typed the right computer name in the IP address field.

    ProNest Version

    The ProNest version that you are using.

    Note that the oldest available ProNest version is version 2012, or version 10.

    Use Windows Authentication

    If you want to use Windows Authentication to connect to the ProNest database, select the Use Windows Authentication check box.

    If you do not want to use Windows Authentication, clear the Use Windows Authentication check box.

    Username, Password

    Your username and password in ProNest.

  6. On the Inventory Sync tab, define the inventory synchronization settings:

    Option

    Description

    Inventory Sync Folder

    The path to the folder in which inventory sync files are stored.

    Note that both Tekla EPM and ProNest need to be able to read from and write to the inventory sync folder. This means that if Tekla EPM and ProNest are installed on different computers, the inventory sync folder needs to be a shared folder.

    Data Sync Command Path

    The path to the location on the Tekla EPM workstation or the server where you have installed DataSyncCmd.exe.

    Inventory Sync Timeout

    The time in minutes that Tekla EPM will wait for DataSyncCmd.exe to respond.

    3 to 5 minutes is usually a sufficient time.

    Material Display Format

    The material display format defined in ProNest regional settings. Note that the format needs to match the format used in ProNest.

    Show File Location Errors for Cut Lists

    If you want to get notifications when ProNest cut lists are located in unsuitable folders, select the Show File Location Errors for Cut Lists check box.

    If you do not want to see these errors, clear the Show File Location Errors for Cut Lists check box.

    Import Cut List before Inventory Sync

    To receive updates on which items have been cut before synchronizing the inventory, select the Import Cut List before Inventory Sync check box. We recommend that you select the Import Cut List before Inventory Sync check box.

    If you do not want to receive updates on cut items before synchronizing the inventory, clear the Import Cut List before Inventory Sync check box.

    Sync Material On Order

    To send material that has not yet been received to ProNest, select the Sync Material On Order check box.

    To avoid sending material that has not yet been received to ProNest, clear the Sync Material On Order check box.

    Enable Automatic Inventory Sync

    If you want to allow Tekla EPM to automatically synchronize the inventory with ProNest, select the Enable Automatic Inventory Sync check box.

    If you do not want to allow Tekla EPM to automatically synchronize inventory with ProNest, clear the Enable Automatic Inventory Sync check box.

    Note:

    If you have created an automated event for synchronizing the inventory between Tekla EPM and ProNest, you should clear the Enable Automatic Inventory Sync check box. We recommend creating an automated event instead of selecting the Enable Automatic Inventory Sync check box.

    Automatic Inventory Sync Interval

    The time in minutes after which Tekla EPM automatically synchronizes the inventory with ProNest.

    The synchronization should happen frequently enough to keep your inventory up to date. We recommend using an interval between 10 and 60 minutes.

  7. On the Transfer Settings tab, select to which ProNest fields you want to map the following Tekla EPM fields:

    Option

    Description

    Tekla EPM Remnant ID Field

    The unique, unchanging ID that EPM assigns to each remnant.

    If you want to see the remnant ID in ProNest as well, select the ProNest field in which you want to show the remnant ID.

    Heat Serial Number Field

    The heat serial number of each inventory item.

    Note that the heat number of each inventory item is automatically mapped to ProNest.

    If you use a heat serial number in Tekla EPM and want to see the heat serial number in ProNest as well, select the ProNest field in which you want to show the heat serial number.

    PO Number Field

    The purchase order on which the inventory item has been added.

    If you want to see the purchase order information in ProNest as well, select the ProNest field in which you want to show the purchase order number.

    Bill of Lading Field

    The bill of lading number, or the shipment number that the inventory item was received on.

    If you want to see the bill of lading number in ProNest as well, select the ProNest field in which you want to show the bill of lading number.

    Secondary Location Field

    The secondary location of each inventory item.

    Note that the primary location of each inventory item is automatically mapped to ProNest.

    If you want to see the secondary location in ProNest as well, select the ProNest field in which you want to show the secondary location.

    ProNest Name Field

    This setting corresponds to the information in the Name field in ProNest plate inventory.

    We recommend that you select the Shape Grade Thickness option. However, if you have used Tekla EPM and ProNest together without the integration before, you can also select the PartNumber option.

    Dimension Units

    Select if you want to show dimension lengths in imperial or metric units.

    Blank Class

    To ensure compatibility with ProNest, select an option for items without a class:
    • Three Spaces: use this option with newer versions of ProNest

    • Empty: use this option only with older versions of ProNest

    Use Full Path for CNC Filename

    To ensure that the ProNest integration works, select this check box if you use version 2021 of ProNest or newer.

  8. Click Save.

Synchronize inventory information with ProNest

Use the Sync with ProNest command to synchronize Tekla EPM inventory information with ProNest and update the cut lists in ProNest. We recommend that you synchronize the two software regularly.

Before you begin, ensure that:
  • DataSyncCmd.exe is running

  • Tekla EPM can access the ProNest database

  1. In the Inventory dialog box, click the Inventory ribbon tab.
  2. On the menu, select Export > Sync with ProNest.

    The inventory information in Tekla EPM is exported to ProNest to synchronize the two software. You can view the process in the Status dialog box.

  3. When the synchronization process is completed, click OK to close the Status dialog box.

In the synchronization process, Tekla EPM checks the ProNest database for new items and links each new item in the ProNest inventory to the appropriate piece in the Tekla EPM inventory. When synchronization is complete, ProNest has all the inventory items that Tekla EPM has.

Note that inventory items that have previously been in ProNest but have not been linked to Tekla EPM are not affected by the synchronization.

Import ProNest inventory to Tekla EPM

  1. In ProNest, print the plates that you want to export into an HTML file.
  2. In Tekla EPM, open the Inventory module.
  3. Click the Inventory ribbon tab.
  4. On the menu, select Import > Inventory from HTML.
  5. Browse to and select the inventory HTML file from ProNest.
  6. Click Open.

    The selected ProNest plates are imported into the Tekla EPM inventory. The import creates a link between Tekla EPM and ProNest, so that the imported plates can be used in nests.

    Existing plates in the Tekla EPM inventory are updated, but their quantity is not decreased.

  7. See the progress of the import in the Import dialog box.

    To see more details on the import, click Open Import Log.

  8. When the import is complete, click the Close button (X) in the upper-right corner to close the Import dialog box.

Import ProNest cut lists to Tekla EPM

Before sending cut lists to Tekla EPM, send the nest to CNC in ProNest.

  1. In the Inventory dialog box, click the Inventory ribbon tab.
  2. On the menu, select Import > ProNest Cut List.

    Tekla EPM imports the cut lists that are available in ProNest.

  3. See the progress of the import in the Import dialog box.

    To see more details on the import, click Open Import Log.

  4. To close the dialog box, click the Close button (X) in the upper-right corner.

Update the inventory using a cut list

After you have imported a ProNest cut list to Tekla EPM, you can update the inventory as follows:

  1. Open a production control job.
  2. Click the Production Control ribbon tab.
  3. on the menu, select Review > Cut Lists.
  4. At the bottom of the Cut Lists dialog box, click New.
  5. Click Make Report.
  6. In the Report Selection dialog box, click Save Cut List.
  7. Type a description and select a due date for the cut list.
  8. Ensure that Share Cut List is selected.
  9. Click Save To Cut List.

    The new cut list appears in the Cut Lists dialog box.

  10. In the Cut Lists dialog box, double-click the new cut list.
  11. To view the nest details of an item, double-click the item in the cut list.
  12. To see images of the nest, click Nest Image.
  13. When an item in the cut list has been cut by a machine, in the Cut Lists dialog box, select the item and click Cut.
  14. Define the properties of the used inventory item.
  15. Define the drop properties.
  16. To remove the item from the Tekla EPM inventory and add the resulting remnant to the inventory, click TFS.

    The status of the item in the cut list is now set to Complete and highlighted in green.

    The remnant item is linked to ProNest and can be used in ProNest for further nesting.

    You can see an image of the remnant, if you double-click the remnant item in the Inventory dialog box.

Troubleshooting TFS

Sometimes, when you take an item from stock with the TFS command, you get an error saying "External Nesting Result is not available". This occurs when the cut list that was imported from ProNest to Tekla EPM could not be completed during the import.

This can happen if:
  • the ProNest job was sent to CNC with the initial nesting, but the material items in Tekla EPM needed to be ordered. This means that the inventory did not exist in Tekla EPM when ProNest marked this item as cut.

  • The ProNest job was sent to CNC multiple times.

  • The cut list was imported to Tekla EPM before the material that was being cut had been received in the Tekla EPM inventory.

  • Something in the nest changed in Tekla EPM, invalidating the nest. For example, this can happen if the reserved inventory was used for something else.

To fix the error, try the following:
  1. Ensure that all inventory needed for the nest is in stock and received in the Tekla EPM inventory.

  2. In ProNest, re-send the job to CNC.

  3. Import the cut list to Tekla EPM again.

If you continue to face the same error after this, contact support.

Export plates to be nested in ProNest

  1. Open a combining, estimating, or production control job, a requisition, or a purchase order.
  2. Click the contextual ribbon tab.

    For example, if you are working on a combining job, click the Combining ribbon tab.

  3. On the menu, select Combine.
  4. In the Select Combining Run dialog box, click Nest.
  5. It the lower-left corner of the Combining Run Filters dialog box, click Optimizations.
  6. On the Plate Nesting Settings tab, set Plate Nesting Software to ProNest.
  7. Click Save.
  8. To combine the materials, click the button at the bottom of the Combining Run Filters dialog box, or press F4.

    In the Combining Run Results dialog box, all parts show as not combined.

  9. Click Save Combining Run.
  10. Click the Combining Run ribbon tab.
  11. On the menu, select Export Parts for Nesting > Export to ProNest.
  12. Depending on the nesting request format that you have selected in the ProNest Settings dialog box, do one of the following:

    If you have selected

    Do this

    the Work Order format

    1. Click the arrow on the right side of Work order due date, and select a date in the calendar.

    2. To allow ProNest to mirror plates in the nesting process, select the Mirror Plates check box.

    3. To allow ProNest to rotate plates in the nesting process, select the Allow plate to be rotated check box.

    4. To include the job number in the piece marks of items, select the Include Job Number in Piecemark check box.

      For example, the piece mark p1.dxf in job called Job123 would change into Job123-p1.dxf.

      This can help you to recognize items with the same piece numbers in different jobs.

    5. Click Export Parts.

      The work order is automatically created and imported to ProNest. The name and location of the work order file are not important.

    6. After the export is complete, open ProNest and click Add Parts, or select Job in the menu.

    7. On the Home tab, select Edit Part List > Edit Part List.

    8. On the Work Orders tab of the Edit Part List dialog box, select some or all of the newly imported items, and drag them to the part list.

    9. Click the Close button (X) to return to nesting.

    the PNL/SNL format

    1. Click the arrow on the right side of Work order due date, and select a date in the calendar.

    2. To allow ProNest to nest onto current stock materials, select the Include Sheets check box, and define the priority for nesting onto current stock material.

      Priority 1 is the primary option for nesting.

    3. To allow ProNest to nest onto remnants, select the Include Remnants check box, and define the priority for nesting onto remnants.

      Priority 1 is the primary option for nesting.

    4. To allow ProNest to nest onto orderable inventory, select Include Orderable Sizes check box, and define the priority for nesting onto orderable inventory.

      Priority 1 is the primary option for nesting.

    5. To open the PNL file in ProNest when the file has been created, select the Automatically Open PNL check box.

    6. To include the job number in the piece marks of items, select the Include Job Number in Piecemark check box.

      For example, the piece mark p1.dxf in job called Job123 would change into Job123-p1.dxf.

      This can help you to recognize items with the same piece numbers in different jobs.

    7. To use the ProNest setup for mirroring, select the Auto-Tab check box.

    8. Click Export Parts.

      The export creates two files: a PNL file, which contains the parts to nest, and an SNL file, which contains the inventory plates currently available for combining.

    9. If the PNL file is not automatically opened in ProNest, on the Home tab, select Edit Part List > Import Part List and select the PNL file.

      The matching SNL file is imported automatically.

Import nesting results to Tekla EPM

  1. In the Combining Run Results dialog box, click the Combining Run tab.
  2. On the menu, select Import Nested Parts.
  3. In the Open dialog box, browse for and select the nesting results file.
  4. Click Open.
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