Cutting Room Solutions for ‘Cutting’ Extra Costs

Cutting room optimization has always been the foundation for establishing a lean apparel manufacturing setup. With the rising input costs, apparel manufacturers today are struggling to save every possible penny during production and the best solution to the problem is cutting down on the cost of the raw materials. A major contributor to the same is fabric which, if used economically, can provide relief to the manufacturers. In a time of shrinking profit margins, saving 5% of fabric can increase profitability by up to 30%. Therefore, a manufacturer cannot afford to neglect the cutting room any more. Automated cutting, spreading and marker making together make available to the management the necessary tools to optimize time to cut, labour requirements and above all save on the fabric consumption. This means that many of the issues that have the potential to restrict the throughput and daily sewing can be sorted with ease. At the biggest technology fair of India, GTE 2012, various pioneers providing total cutting room solutions for optimizing the cutting room will be present with their innovation and latest developments.

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[tab title=”Gerber Technology Solutions for sustainability”]

Gerber plotter XLp offers state-of-the-art inkjet technology at a competitive price
Gerber plotter XLp offers state-of-the-art inkjet technology at a competitive price

Gerber Technology, an advanced software, technology and services company with automation solutions for apparel, technical textiles and composites, aiming to improve customers’ productivity and ensuring profitability, will display its latest innovations for the Indian market, including Gerber’s newest AccuMark V8.5 software and inkjet plotter XLp at the upcoming GTE.

The AccuMark version 8.5 is expected to attract most attention as it is claimed to be the world’s leading pattern design, marker making and grading software that simplifies many of the day-to-day pattern making tasks including accelerating the process of digitizing hard patterns. It also simplifies marker planning by integrating it directly into the AccuMark workflow, accelerates costing tasks, particularly for knitted materials, and provides powerful tools to enable users to create patterns for sleeves and easily add internal darts.

[bleft]The AccuMark version 8.5 is expected to attract most attention as it is claimed to be the world’s leading pattern design, marker making and grading software that simplifies many of the day-to-day pattern making tasks including accelerating the process of digitizing hard patterns. [/bleft]

The other attraction, the Gerber plotter XLp offers state-of-the-art inkjet technology at a competitive price. It boasts of high productivity and performance at a low cost of ownership. The model is available in 1.8 and 2.2 metre wide configurations which could meet different requirements. Manoeuvring at speeds up to 95-square-metres per hour at 300 DPI print resolution with an accuracy of +/- 0.1%, the system uses proven HP inkjet technology and standard off-the-shelf HP inkjet cartridges. The system plots on a variety of materials including recycled paper, bond, craft paper and Mylar sheets, with the choice to plot face-out or face-in, with or without taking paper up onto a roll.

The industrial professionals from Gerber will also communicate with visitors of the company’s other software for fashion design, such as Fashion Studio, VStitcher. Automatic spreaders and cutters for cutting room like Gerber spreader XLs series, Gerber cutter Z series and XLc7000.[/tab]

[tab title=”Topcut-Bullmer High-ply cutter PROCUT XL 7501 & D 600 spreader”]Since 1935, Topcut-Bullmer has been developing technologies and solutions aimed at optimizing the cutting room processes. The German pioneer would be present at the GTE with its products ranging from automatic cutters, spreaders, CAD/CAM solutions to material handling equipments, through their Indian agent Mehala. The high-ply cutter PROCUT XL 7501 and the D 600 spreader, for handling all types of fabrics, will be the new entrants in the Indian market.

“Streamlining the operations and processes of the cutting room, has still not been recognized by all apparel manufacturers in India. But now in these recessionary times, one must realize its importance and go for not just high-end technologies but the ones which suit their organization the best. At the end of the day, material and energy conservation would surely reflect on the company’s margins,” comments Reinhard Kohler of Topcut-Bullmer.

A cutting machine’s productivity depends on the loading and unloading process. Therefore, the interaction of the spreading and cutting technology has been optimized by Topcut-Bullmer. Material logistics also implies an on-going subject for further developments in the area of material handling systems, i.e. for robotic based material pick-up systems. The PROCUT XL 7501 is a heavy duty automatic cutter specifically for the apparel, upholstery, automotive, aircraft and analogue industries. Being a high output machines, it is best suited for the mass market. With a cutting window length of approx. 1800 mm (option: 2500 mm), equipped with linear modules for the X- and Y-axis, the cutter can run at a maximum speed of 90 m/minutes. The cutter comes in maximum ply height options of 50 to 80 mm.

Speaking of the multipurpose and fast, the Compact E 600 spreader has been designed for the benefit of simple and affordable application. The automatic spreader has the ability to cater to the apparel and upholstery industry along with the companies processing technical textiles. The spreader can work at the maximum carriage speed of 120 m/minute and maximum ply height of 180 mm, and comes in working width options of 1600, 1800 and 2000 mm. In the area of material handling Topcut-Bullmer supports two ways. The fabric rolls are led via a bar, which allows a very gentle winding. The alternative consists of a belt-driven cradle which provokes the perimeter of the roll. This technology offers the advantage to lead the roll without any attachment.

One of the major advantages of cutters and spreaders from Topcut-Bullmer is the level of upgradation possible in accordance with the varying future requirements.[/tab]

[tab title=”Morgan Technica Astounding Growth in the Indian Subcontinent”]

Fox 100 automatic spreader from Morgan is able to handle fabrics ranging from basic woven or knitted cottons to the most difficult to spread Lycra
Fox 100 automatic spreader from Morgan is able to handle fabrics ranging from basic woven or knitted cottons to the most difficult to spread Lycra

Automated cutting, spreading and marker making together make available to the management the necessary tools to optimize time to cut, labour requirements and above all saving on the fabric consumption. This means that many of the issues that have the potential to restrict the throughput and daily sewing can be sorted with ease. Morgan Technica is one such company which has in its portfolio all the technologies and solutions for cutting room optimization.

Morgan Technica, the Italian manufacturer of cutting, spreading, plotter, CAD & CAM software and other similar technologies, establishment in 2008, has achieved commendable respect and admiration for its technologies and services. “Morgan has been doing extremely well in the Indian market slowly growing in Bangladesh, where the industry is not ready to accept advance technologies. But today the industry has realized the significant gains in terms of the productivity and fabric saving from these advanced technologies,” avers Anandakumar D, MD, G. A. Morgan Dynamics – the Asian representative of Morgan Technica.

The popularity of the technology by Morgan can be measured by the fact that it has around 66 spreaders, 70 CAD systems, 42 plotters and 22 cutters installed in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka till date. “In India we have more than 40 companies like Raymond, Bombay Rayon, Jockey, Shahi Exports, Orient Crafts, Scotts Garments, Premdurai Export and SportKing etc.,” adds Anandakumar.

Present at the GTE, with the Razor 70 and 90 automatic cutters, which represents a new frontier in automatic cutters with blade bending active control, auto-diagnosis system, digital brushless motors, cutting data report and maximum ply height of 9 cm, the cutter has been specifically designed for mass production addressing the peculiar needs of the industry. Also the vacuum suction in the Razor 90 is controlled by two digital inverters, reducing the power consumption drastically to just between 11 to 12 kW. Fully controlled for automatic slow down on deep curves, cut common line and butter fly cut the digital knife controllers enable precise cutting of all kinds of fabrics and that too without any need of buffer cutting.

[bleft]By empowering its products with the ability to exchange information from each other and any external client, Morgan would not only streamline the cutting room operations but also have the definite edge over its competitors.[/bleft]

The automatic cutter will be juxtaposed with the new Fox 100 automatic spreader from Morgan. The spreader appeals to the whole industry with its ability to handle fabrics ranging from basic woven or knitted cottons to the most difficult to spread Lycra. Apart from the spreaders ability to spread the fabric in all forms of laying formats like face up, face down, zigzag, zigzag with one end cut or both end, the machine can use roll, flat fold form, tubular, open width fabric package without any mechanical change. The spreader has Windows 7 PC built-in, making remote access to all the production reports possible, enabling seamless production data monitoring. Also the spreader runs on separate rails attached to the legs instead of the table top for a longer life span and PLC controllers have been used instead of PPC ones for controlling the digital motors and inverters, making the spreader stand out in its class.

Constant evolution has always been the forte of Morgan Technica and the same is reflected in their products. All the products by the Italian giant have a computer built-in instead of the usual control panel, empowering the user to communicate with the machine through the medium of something like Cut Order Planning software, removing manual feeding of information. Hence a cutting machine would be able to take instructions directly from the CAD software; a spreader would take the instruction from the cut order planning software and so on. “This would make real time production monitoring & planning of the cutting room possible, in turn optimising the whole operation and making us the one-stop-shop solution providers of cutting and spreading technologies,” concludes Anandakumar.[/tab]

[tab title=”Eastman Machines Versatile Knife Cutting Machine”]

The famous Blue Streak II straight knife cutter from Eastman
The famous
Blue Streak II straight knife cutter from Eastman

Committed to reinventing products for new and emerging markets is what Eastman Machine Company envisions for the future. Found way back in 1888, Eastman delivers engineering-based solutions that make real differences to facilities using new and high-tech materials. Classic in design, with legendary performance and durability, considered to be the standard of the apparel industry, the company will be participating through its dealer IIGM displaying straight knife cutting machines Blue Streak II and denim brute, bandknife cutter EC 700N and EC 900N, round knives EC 35 and EC 45 along with manual, semi and fully automatic end cutters, at the GTE.  

On display would be the world’s most popular and most versatile straight knife cutting machine Blue Streak II, with maximum cutting ply length of 180 mm, the machine is available in all standard electrical configurations, with the largest variety of sizes and blade speeds in the industry, and manufactured in the US using superior grade materials.  

Built on exact specifications of their standard model, also on display will be two other machines – the Brute and Denim Brute straight knives. Considered the most powerful straight knife cutting machines manufactured in the world, the machines effortlessly powers through high ply applications and heavy weight materials. Denim Brute, model 627X is equipped with extra long 1-¾” stroke with Bevel Bloc sharpener shoes, knife slide oiler, wide rollers, lower handle bracket, coarse abrasive belts and round tip blade.

Also seen will be band knife cutting machine, models EC-700N and EC-900N, with variable speed provided by unique inverter control that adapts cutting every type of material. Speed can easily be changed to suit various cutting requirements by a touch panel with digital display built into work table for maximum ease of operation. New tension control mechanism assures proper knife tension. While casters make the machine easily moveable, an inverter circuit fitted in the machine displays error message when overloaded. The machines are fitted with 220V/750W motor and run at a variable speed of 570 m/min to 1140 m/min.

The other machine on show will be round knife cutting machine, models EC-35 and EC-45. Light weight, easy to handle with lower blade, the powerful cutting machine uses 220V/50C/1P power with motor speed of 700-560 RPM. Using ‘standard’ lower blade of size 3½ and 4½ inches, the cutters have cutting capacity of 22 to 32 mm.

The Eastman series of Falcon end cutters help in increasing speed, efficiency and accuracy for end cutting operation. The track guided Falcon enables the operator to make a fast, straight cut in virtually any material, no matter how tough, including quilted fabrics and foam up to 1-¼” thick. Available in manually-operated to automatic configurations, the cutter is supplied with a clamping bracket for absolute accuracy. The models on display at the GTE will be EC-3 manual, EC-6 semi-automatic and EC-9 fully automatic end cutters.[/tab]

[tab title=”Tukatech Introducing new version of TUKA3D”]

A screenshot from Styku, a new virtual fitting room solution from Tukatech
A screenshot from Styku, a new virtual fitting room solution from Tukatech

US- based Tukatech that specializes in pattern making, grading and marker making software, beside many other web-based product development services worldwide to enhance garment production, will introduce the new 2012 version of TUKA3D at the fair. The updated version features new tools for photo-mapping textures on to digital garments, a multi-stitch texturing mode to easily set-up and display visually stunning stitch textures, new advanced lighting and camera effects, and more!  

TUKA3D is also the software that powers Styku, a new virtual fitting room that uses fast and accurate full body scanners to allow shoppers to create online avatars based on their exact physical measurements. Several companies have already begun to work Styku’s software and zero-footprint body scanners into their retail strategy, and 2012 should see the first implementation of the Styku system in India and Sri Lanka.

Meeting all challenges is its most updated and award winning CAD system TUKAcad that will also be displayed at the show. Recently using the TUKAcad, Brandix of Sri Lanka doubled its production in the denim unit. The other modules that will be seen at the fair is TUKAstudio, Tukatech’s fabric and print design software program. TUKAstudio is a complete fabric design solution for creating all textile components including colour ways, repeats, jacquards, plaids, yarn dyes and visual merchandising. This state-of-the-art software system supports single users as well as multi-user environments. System has the Colour Separation Module specifically designed to get colour separation and cleaning done quickly and efficiently.[/tab]

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