Computer Software for Steel Professionals

Structural Material Manager Version 16.1 Upgrade

Dramatically Increased Nesting Speed: Due to its inherent combinatorical nature, the complex math involved in material nesting causes the number of required calculations to pyramid as more and more items must be nested. As the number of calculations pyramids, of course so does the processing time required.

The nesting algorithms in Version 16.1 have been upgraded to provide an incredible increase in processing speed and thus provide an equally impressive reduction in nesting time. Both the Length-Nesting and Plate-Nesting Modules have received these improvements.

These speed increases have been implemented without harming accuracy in any way. For instance, consider one nest that was benchmarked under a previous software version at 4 minutes, 59 seconds. Version 16.1 completed the same nest in just 23 seconds and had the exact same level of accuracy!

The next section discusses a new multi-core processing feature introduced in Version 16.1. Please note that the comparison cited in the preceding paragraph was achieved without the benefit of multiple cores. That is, the Version 16.1 test was deliberately restricted to using just (1) CPU core in order to compare "apples to apples." The results speak for themselves in showing that even when nesting on a single CPU core, Version 16.1"s speed increases are indeed dramatic.


Simultaneous Nesting on Multiple CPU Cores: Modern CPUs have multiple "cores." Each core effectively represents a separate CPU so that in terms of processing power, it’s like having simultaneous access to multiple computers.

When running multiple applications at the same time (say Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook are all open at once), the Windows operating system is able to better handle the load and remain responsive if it has access to multiple cores.

Whereas Windows’ use of multiple cores represents an efficient way of multitasking applications by running them on separate cores, Structural Material Manager"s nesting engine has been upgraded to access multiple cores in a different manner: within the application itself. The nesting engine can now simultaneously utilize up to (3) CPU cores.

At the Nest Material dialog, simply specify the maximum cores you allow to be used, and the system will utilize up to that many cores if it determines that doing so will speed the process. If Structural Material Manager determines that the added overhead of "juggling" the interaction of multiple cores will actually hurt performance of a particular nest, it will automatically throttle back to fewer than the maximum cores you allowed.

Where the greatest gains in speed are found is when both the Length-Nesting and Plate-Nesting Modules need run, as the system will run them concurrently on separate CPU cores! Supposing the Length-Nesting Module takes (2) minutes and the Plate-Nesting Module takes (3) minutes in a single-core environment, the total processing time is of course (5) minutes. In a multi-core environment, however, the 2-minute Length-Nesting run and 3-minute Plate-Nesting run take only (3) minutes total because they are able to process simultaneously. Overall run-time in the situation of Length-Nesting and Plate-Nesting running concurrently on separate CPU cores will always be whichever time was longer between them, but that will be significantly faster than the sum of those two times as applies when Length-Nesting is first run on a single core and Plate-Nesting is later run on that same core.


Upgrade Price Quote and Ordering Info: If you are an existing customer with an older Structural Material Manager version, please e-mail us at to obtain a price quote on the latest upgrade. You can then use the Online Upgrade Order Form to conveniently place the order for the latest Structural Material Manager upgrade.


Other Upgrade Versions: This page specifically covers Version 16.1 upgrade features. For information concerning other upgrade versions, visit our main Structural Material Manager upgrade page which contains links to pages describing improvements in each software release from Version 10.1 (circa 2007) to the present.