You may have to use weight to buy steel sheets and plates from your supplier. But the parts you produce in reality are not designed with weight in mind.
The engineering team define steel parts by its dimension (weight and length) or geometry, from a CAD program DXF file.
It means if you need to produce precise estimates and quotes, you must order exactly the necessary number of plates to produce the parts you need. This a layout optimization problem with geometric constraints.
Automate steel plate weight
Consider the following cutting diagram, produced by Otimize Nesting:
To calculate the weight of the parts for such complex shapes, you need assistance from a software application. In Otimize Nesting, you can see the part weight in the following image highlight:
Weight does not tell everything
Even if you had the weight of the steel parts, without a cutting diagram you cannot determine how many sheets you need to produce them.
If you do not use a nesting program to determine the best sheet layout, you will not have the waste percentage and will never be sure about the number of sheets. And this is bad for the estimates and cost calculation.
Traditional Steel Calculators
There are several plate weight calculators, usually provided by steel supply web sites that allow you to input weight, length, thickness and density and allow type, like the following images.
This is great, but it is not enough to have precise calculations.
A new approach
We understand a nesting program should be used by the sales and supply team and not only on the shop floor, like most nesting software is located.
When the sales is approved, you will know in advance how parts must be cut and all nesting diagrams can be forwarded to the production planning and g-code programming.
What aditional information is relevant while getting material costs?