Greycon's X-Trim system uses powerful, state-of-the-art multi-threaded algorithms to find you the most efficient solution and to achieve the best possible result for your company. X-Trim is easy to integrate into your business, it will save you money and provide a return on investment which you can measure in a matter of weeks.

Overview

X-Trim addresses multiple objectives:
• Waste
• Value / cost
• Knife changes and pattern count
• Order splitting and order spread
• Load planning
• Trimming around faults
• Trimming from stock
• Multi-site optimisation
• Core cutting optimisation

X-Trim is a world class trim optimisation system perfected over many years by Greycon and contains state-of-the-art patented algorithms. Seamlessly integrating with SAP and other ERP systems, X-Trim optimises performance and reduces production waste.

The X-Trim system is easily adapted for a variety of industries manufacturing with flat sheets and reels. X-Trim complements and connects to:

  • Commercial order fulfilment systems
  • Advanced Planning & Scheduling systems - X-Trim uniquely offers a certified interface to SAP
  • Manufacturing Execution Systems, such as GreyconMill

There are 500+ sites in over 40 countries in the packaging, film, corrugating metals and paper industries using X-Trim to optimise their production. X-Trim is fully internationalised, including metric & imperial units and compatible with Far Eastern character sets.

X-Trim trim optimisation solution display

Benefits

Office Papers

Detailed Functionality

Constant, Variable & Multiple Diameter Problems

X-Trim can solve problems where all reels (whether produced for the end-user or those that will go through a converting process) have:

  • The same, common, diameter
  • At least some of the reels can be produced in a continuously variable range, or where the material is not reeled at all, but is sheeted in-line
  • At least some of the reels can be produced at a number of pre-specified, fixed, diameters

Multi-primary Machine Problems

The program handles multiple primary machines, whether these represent multiple paper machines in different sites or master stock of different sizes.

Given an order that may be split across more than one primary machine, the program determines how best to split it according to optimisation criteria (see below) and run length constraints.

When splitting an order across multiple primary machines, X-Trim takes into account:

  • The site or facility where the primary machine is located
  • The minimum quantity of this order that can be produced at this site; the program can work with either a minimum quantity or a multiple (e.g. truckloads).
  • Whether the whole of the order or just part of it can be split between sites and/or paper machines
  • The incremental transportation cost for producing this order at this site
  • The specific caliper / density for the grade on each primary machine (orders are specified by weight or reel count)
  • Minimum and maximum primary machine run lengths for load balancing

Associated with each paper machine there is an operating cost and the value of waste; these are used for global optimisation.

Simple, Bi- and Quad- Winders

X-Trim supports simple, bi- and quad-winders.

Faults / Bad Spots

The user can specify that one or more regions of the primary process has an unacceptable fault:

Faults can be:
• Normal, with x-y coordinates
• Full-width
• Hi-lo-hi, i.e. no slitter knife can go into the region
• Splice

X-Trim will produce optimal solutions, trimming around the defective areas:

Stock Conversion Module

The Stock Conversion Module enables X -Trim to meet orders from any mixture of finished and semi-finished products, including the following routes:

  • Jumbo reel stock
  • Parent reel stock (via exact-match / rewinding / sheet cutting)
  • Sheet stock (via exact-match / guillotining)

Different Secondary Processes

Secondary machines can be:

  • Rewinders
  • Simplex / Duplex / Triplex in-line and off-line cutters
  • Off-line Coaters
  • Extruders
  • Metallisers

Position Constraints

Each order may have a position constraint, such as "not at the edge" for situations where the profile characteristics of the paper machine are perceived to be non-uniform. X-Trim supports many variations of the same theme, including:

  • Distinguishing between front / back (or left / right) edges
  • Defining a minimum distance from the edge
  • Allowing up to a user-specified percentage of an order to come from an edge position
  • For off-line coaters and extruders, have position constraints on the parent reels

Multi-packs

Some of the reel orders may require multi-packing, e.g., they must always appear in patterns in pairs (or other multiple) so that they can be palletised. X-Trim supports several variations of the same theme, including

  • Multi-pack defined as a range, e.g. 4:5.
  • Multi-pack as a semi-soft constraint, with limited violations allowed

Load Planning & Transportation Mode

Multiple order lines can be grouped together into a ship-to group and X-Trim can ensure that the total quantity in each ship-to group is a multiple of min/max limits that correspond to a truck / container / railcar. This is particularly useful in the context of optional orders, or in the presence of order quantity tolerances.

Once a solution has been obtained, the system can perform load optimisation, i.e. break up the elements making up a ship-to group into discrete loads.

In some mills there is relatively little space between the primary machine winder and the despatch bay. It is therefore sometimes important that orders are not too spread out in a solution, because otherwise some of the orders will lay on the mill floor, waiting for the other components of this order.

The multi-site optimisation module also supports alternative transportation modes for each order / site combination and X-Trim recommends the most appropriate transportation mode, based on the detailed timing information that is available in each solution and the associated cost and transportation duration.

Knife Change Minimisation

Sophisticated mathematical optimisation can post-process a solution to achieve minimum knife changes, changing the sequence of the patterns and the parent reels within them:

This can achieve savings, depending on the circumstances, of over 40%.

Core Cutting Optimisation

Most plants buy cores in standard lengths and then cut them to the size required. This process is amenable to optimisation and now the X-Trim user can with one click perform this optimisation directly from the trim solution window.

Technical Aspects