Gar­ment tech provider East­man arms US man­u­fac­tur­ers with sin­gle-ply cut­ters

Stitch World - - EVENT -

Ever since US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump em­pha­sised on the ‘Made in USA’ fash­ion, ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ing has made a come­back in the coun­try and has turned ev­ery­one’s heads. A num­ber of fac­tors have sup­ported this wave, such as chang­ing cus­tomers’ needs at fast pace, ag­ile pro­duc­tion, speedy de­liv­ery, and the ris­ing labour wages in Asian ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ing hubs.

Un­like Asian hubs, United States how­ever is not fol­low­ing the con­cept of mass pro­duc­tion, but a con­cept that is more sus­tain­able and as per the cus­tomer needs. On-de­mand man­u­fac­tur­ing, which can be de­fined as the man­u­fac­tur­ing process wherein goods are pro­duced when, or as they are re­quired, is driv­ing the ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ing in USA.

Start­ing the sourc­ing and pro­duc­tion process once af­ter the order is re­ceived not only saves the time spent on sam­ple ap­proval and de­sign­ing, fabric wastage and long lead time, but also al­lows the man­u­fac­tur­ers to keep up with the trendy de­signs or prints or styles and at the same time helps them at­tain the big profit.

Tech­nol­ogy plays a ma­jor role in this type of man­u­fac­tur­ing process. East­man – the man­u­fac­turer of cutting room so­lu­tions for the ap­parel and other sewn prod­ucts industry, has been bank­ing on the tech­nol­ogy needs of these US man­u­fac­tur­ers with its sin­gle-ply au­to­matic cutting ma­chine. “We have very stan­dard tech­nol­ogy for the stan­dard ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ing com­pa­nies un­like Industry 4.0 com­pli­ant ma­chines, which are ex­pen­sive and are only af­ford­able by few big­ger fac­to­ries,” says Wade Steven­son, Ex­port Pres­i­dent, East­man Ma­chine Com­pany.

“Ama­zon has ‘killed’ shop­ping malls. It has hurt re­tail stores like Macy’s and JCPen­ney which used to place large quan­ti­ties of or­ders. That’s so out­dated now; re­tail­ers nowa­days don’t want to keep huge in­ven­to­ries. So, they have now started plac­ing small or­ders which have to be de­liv­ered quickly,” ex­plains Wade.

These sin­gle-ply cut­ters have a huge de­mand among man­u­fac­tur­ers work­ing in North and South Amer­ica, es­pe­cially Cen­tral Amer­ica and Mex­ico be­cause of

Ama­zon has ‘killed’ shop­ping malls. It has hurt re­tail stores like Macy’s and JCPen­ney which used to place large quan­ti­ties of or­ders. That’s so out­dated now; re­tail­ers nowa­days don’t want to keep huge in­ven­to­ries. So, they have now started plac­ing small or­ders which have to be de­liv­ered quickly.

ob­vi­ous ad­van­tages. Quick, fast and ef­fi­cient pro­duc­tion of small order quan­ti­ties (and not hun­dreds and thou­sands of T-shirts!!!) make these cut­ters’ the man­u­fac­turer’s favourite.

“They don’t need to cut sev­eral lay­ers of fabric be­cause Ama­zon and other re­tail­ers, such as Zara and H&M, are fo­cus­ing on JIT pro­duc­tion and a shorter de­liv­ery time. It dra­mat­i­cally changes the way ap­parel man­u­fac­tur­ing is done,” Wade fur­ther states. East­man sin­gle-ply cut­ters are sim­ple, com­pe­tent and easy to use. They also help in sav­ing the fabric be­cause of au­to­matic nest­ing that is much more pre­cise than man­ual cutting ma­chine. Along with the cutting pre­ci­sion, these cut­ters are rel­a­tively less ex­pen­sive than the labour em­ployed and the cost as­so­ci­ated with it.

The com­pany has its cus­tomers in cities like Los An­ge­les, Texas, Mex­ico. Apart from gar­ments, an­other cat­e­gory that has been wit­ness­ing surge in US is tech­ni­cal tex­tiles. Au­to­mo­tive industry like Boe­ing, car seat cov­ers, etc. are in­creas­ing their man­u­fac­tur­ing share in USA. As Wade con­cludes with a fu­tur­is­tic vi­sion,“The ap­parel busi­ness has not moved sig­nif­i­cantly here, but was it pos­si­ble for a gar­ment com­pany in USA to sur­vive ear­lier? The an­swer is ‘No’. But today, it has been made pos­si­ble be­cause of Trump pol­icy.”

Wade Steven­son ( C), Ex­port Pres­i­dent with Robert L. Steven­son (R ), Pres­i­dent/CEO and R.Trevor Steven­son, Vice Pres­i­dent, East­man Ma­chine Com­pany

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